Hip-hop trio De La Soul have been honored with the Webby Special Achievement Award Artist of the Year in recognition of their "bold, daring decision to offer their entire discography for free download."

As the music industry trends more and more toward digital sales and online streaming, artists – specifically ones like De La Soul who sample so proficiently – struggle to release work on services like iTunes and Spotify due to abundant clearance issues.

The alternative (simply giving away the music) strikes many as unthinkable. But with a long stretch of Twitter trending, De La Soul showed its fans that hearing the music is more important than paying for it. For that, The Webby Awards is honored to award De La Soul as the 2014 Webby Artist of the Year.

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