Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno, to Form Digital Musicians Union

By Jon Newton 1/26/03

"We need a model partnership where every artist should have a controlling influence in the whole production process - if they want it."

This quote is attributed to Peter Gabriel, announcing that he and Brian Eno are planning the formation of a musicians' union to be called Mudda (magnificent union of digitally downloading artists).

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Gabriel, co-founder of OD2, is currently Microsoft's bedrock online music partner. Eno is working with SSEYO which develops interactive audio and music software.

"Some think that we want to cut out parts of the music business, but that's not the case," Gabriel said, quoted in a BBC report here.

He said musicians needed the record industry, because they were "good at making music and not necessarily good at marketing" - but musicians shouldn't be the slaves of record companies either.

The Beeb also has him saying he can't understand big music stars that advocate free music downloads while accepting big cheques from record companies at the same time. After all, most artists depended on record sales for up to 60% of their income, he said. Only superstars could afford to give away their music for free, because they had other opportunities for making money.

As one of the founders of OD2, which stands for On Demand Distribution, Gabriel is offering 300,000 songs in MP3 and WMA format and the download technology to retailers like Freeserve, Tiscali, Wanadoo and Virgin, adds the report.

Jon Newton is the editor of and is a regular contributer to MP3 Newswire. Jon's site is devoted to the politics of digital music and his insights as well as those of his co-writers can be read there. We urge you to explore it.

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