Scott Cook (photo by AJ Valadka)

Canadian troubadour, Scott Cook writes folk songs for sharing. He’s not a big name and he’s never going to get rich from making music.

He survives by the kindness of friends and strangers; from those who come to his shows and from the small number of folks who still buy CDs.

If you do purchase a physical copy of his fourth album – One More Time Around – you are rewarded with a full lyric sheet together with the chords for anyone who wants to learn how to play his songs.

You’ll also find a long, impassioned essay arguing why people should always come before profit.

woodyguthrie01He quotes from the great Woody Guthrie as a spokesman for Creative Commons long before computers became such an integral part of our lives:

“This song is Copyrighted in U.S., under Seal of Copyright # 154085, for a period of 28 years, and anybody caught singin’ it without our permission, will be mighty good friends of ourn, cause we don’t give a dern. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it. We wrote it, that’s all we wanted to do.”

Cook praises Noam Chomsky and the late Aaron Swartz as more contemporary advocates of true democracy and is critical of the copyright law which, he argues, “was originally intended to incentivize creativity, but has grown to stifle it”.

Cook’s message is as old as folk music but it’s one we need to be continually reminded for as he says : “In the communities we’re forging, and in what wilderness is left, there’s still such joy and love to be found”.

I second that emotion.