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Netlabels are platforms for online distribution and promotion of music released for free under Creative Commons or similar licenses. They are part of the free music scene, which has been developing dynamically since the advent of the Internet and digitalization. The article employs the concept of democratization to analyze the emergence of netlabels and their impact on the dissemination of music. This paper shows that although the democratizing potential of new technologies is to a certain extent disappointing, grassroots free music movements, such as netlabels, spontaneously build institutions that fulfill focusing and filtering functions to help artists and listeners find what they are looking for in the hyper–abundant musical marketplace.

About the author

Patryk Galuszka is assistant professor at the Institute of Economics at the University of Łódź, Poland. Apart from conducting research on free music scenes, he is currently investigating the development of crowdfunding services. His research interests focus on media economics, intellectual property and popular music studies. .

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