The present and future of post production business and technology | Philip Hodgetts

Oct/10

5

The real cost of Free

The real cost of Free http://bit.ly/cd8njl

I read responses like these and I really wonder why anyone cares about mainstream media, with their lack of research, wholesale publication of press releases (without disclosure) and the tendency to push headlines (and page views).

Apart from Guardian columnist Helienne Lindvall publishing material with zero research, making claims that were simply not true about Doctorow’s speaking fees, but manages to completely misunderstand that no-one has ever said that “content wants to be free”. Many business models include free content: commercial radio, broadcast Television and newspapers have long used free content as part of their business model.

Doctorow makes the point:

The topic I leave my family and my desk to talk to people all over the world about is the risks to freedom arising from the failure of copyright giants to adapt to a world where it’s impossible to prevent copying. Because it is impossible. Despite 15 long years of the copyright wars, despite draconian laws and savage penalties, despite secret treaties and widespread censorship, despite millions spent on ill-advised copy-prevention tools, more copying takes place today than ever before.

As I’ve written here before, copying isn’t going to get harder, ever. Hard drives won’t magically get bulkier but hold fewer bits and cost more.

Networks won’t be harder to use. PCs won’t be slower. People won’t stop learning to type “Toy Story 3 bittorrent” into Google (NSDQ: GOOG). Anyone who claims otherwise is selling something – generally some kind of unworkable magic anti-copying beans that they swear, this time, will really work.

So, assuming that copyright holders will never be able to stop or even slow down copying, what is to be done?

What is to be done are that new business models must be created around free content and there have been any number of success stories, particularly in film and music. Remember that all Corey Doctorow’s books are available free under a non-commercail Creative Commons license. He has had two books on the New York Times bestseller list for the past two years. He knows what he’s talking about from his own experience.

Read the whole article, it’s well worth it.

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1 comment

  • Thomas · October 6, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    “Hell, look at my last barber, in Los Angeles: the man doesn’t use a PC, but I found him by googling for “barbers” with my postcode. The information economy is driving his cost of customer acquisition to zero, and he doesn’t even have to actively participate in it.”

    That nails down “our” behaviour.
    We – “the tech-age human beeings” – we cannot find the the time no more to explore our surroundings wherever we at a particular moment are, nor we can decide anymore whats important to os or not.

    We’re getting trashed, burried by information every single minute and hour during the days of all these few years of our life.

    Sure that people cannot tell anymore whats “free” and what’s not.

    Entertainment channels do not tell us how good any movie was running at the box office, nor it tells us how that or these featured “15 minutes of fame”-musicians do live on their own after the big hit.

    Entertainment channels are selling us pink bonbons 24 hours a day so people get literally enforced to think of it as “free-ware” and all the goods are literally flying into their mouths, because every moron can find information on the web.

    But, the half-life period of such “stolen” products are very short and i believe that people are subconsciously forced to invest in different entertainment goods that will pay off the damage they unwittingly had done to the “industry”.

    My opinion is to cool down and not to exaggerate anything regarding this topic.

    “The Web” is the only real subcultural movement in this real world of liars and impostors, and “the web” has more “rebellious” character that can change this world substantial and that’s why “they” try to make it down

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