John Perry Barlow, Cognitive Dissident

John Perry Barlow is the co-founder of the EFF, a one-time cattle rancher, and a songwriter who has several Grateful Dead classics to his credit. I had the pleasure of having the best and most improbable lunch of my life with him and Douglas Adams when I presented QuickTime at a Milia show in Nice, France.

Mother Jones is running a great interview with Mr. Barlow, in which he uses his experiences with the Dead to debunk the “fact” that music sharing is bad for the recording industry.

You’d be hard pressed to find somebody who is more passionate about the belief that sharing music is good for you as a songwriter and good for humanity as a whole. The best thing that ever happened to the Grateful Dead, from an economic standpoint, was giving away our music.

Mother Jones: In terms of bootlegging?

It wasn’t bootlegging. We let people tape our concerts and distribute the tapes. And that became the first example I can think of viral marketing. The record companies certainly didn’t know how to market us. So we became self-marketing through our tapes.

Mother Jones: And that helped you economically?

No question.

And this is just one of the many interesting topics up for discussion. [via Daily Relay]