Interview with Wilco's Jeff Tweedy: "Music is not a loaf of bread."

In today's Wired News, I interview Jeff Tweedy of the band Wilco about why he feels the record industry's attempts to stamp out filesharing are wrong. The band has a new CD out,

A Ghost is Born, and a new book — The Wilco Book — with photos, art, essays and previously unreleased tracks on an accompanying CD (cover image shown here).

WN: What if the efforts to stop unauthorized music file sharing are successful? How would that change culture?

Tweedy: If they succeed, it will damage the culture and industry they say they're trying to save. What if there was a movement to shut down libraries because book publishers and authors were up in arms over the idea that people are reading books for free? It would send a message that books are only for the elite who can afford them.

Stop trying to treat music like it's a tennis shoe, something to be branded. If the music industry wants to save money, they should take a look at some of their six-figure executive expense accounts. All those lawsuits can't be cheap, either.

WN: How do you feel about efforts to control how music flows through the online world with digital rights management technologies?

Tweedy: A piece of art is not a loaf of bread. When someone steals a loaf of bread from the store, that's it. The loaf of bread is gone. When someone downloads a piece of music, it's just data until the listener puts that music back together with their own ears, their mind, their subjective experience. How they perceive your work changes your work. Treating your audience like thieves is absurd.

Link to Xeni's Wired News interview with Wilco.