George Michael shifting to free online music

The Indy Channel reports that George Michael (half of the hit 80’s duo Wham) has announced that after his next album he’s quitting the music industry — and shifting to giving away his music for free download:

“I’ve been very well remunerated as they say for my talents over the years, so I really don’t need the public’s money,” said Michael. “I’d really like to have something on the Internet with charitable donation optional, where anyone can download my music for free. I’ll have my favorite charities up there and people will hopefully contribute to that.”

Michael said that he expects this move will lower his public profile, since few people will care about him if he’s “not making money for someone.” He also believes he will enjoy the process of making music much more, once he is not contractually bound to release albums on a pre-determined schedule.

Michael is one of many high-profile artists with a bone to pick with the music cartel, having practically stopped his career after a bitter legal battle with his label, Columbia. Hopefully the few winners from the previous system will be able to blaze a new trail that newcomers with more to lose can follow.