Yes, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Nobel Prize winner and
internationally known humanitarian, is a fan of free music. Don't read
that to mean he supports illegally downloading music, however.
Tutu has become involved with SOS Records, a label that plans to let users decide which acts it signs. Tutu was in New York on Tuesday to help launch the label's site, which will offer open MP3s free of charge.
In a telephone interview with CNET News.com, Tutu, famous for helping to end forced segregation of blacks in his home country of South Africa, said that after hearing about the idea from SOS Records' CEO Steve Nowack--during a chance meeting in an airport--Tutu instantly loved the idea.
"I am participating because we all belong to the human family and each human being has been touched by music," Tutu said. "Until now, there are people who may not have been able to access music because of the barrier of finance. Steve's project is now going to break down that barrier.
Tutu also credited music with helping him in the struggle against apartheid. "Music helped us in our struggle," Tutu said. "When we were fighting
apartheid, we had a song that we sang to hold up our hope. We had a
song we sang when we were in pain. We had songs for crying, and for
when we were laughing. Music is in our veins."