SansBlogue  
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
  Here's a revelation. Duh!
The NY Times has an op-ed piece "Pay Me for My Content" by Jaron Lanier, explaining his big conversion. He writes:
Like so many in Silicon Valley in the 1990s, I thought the Web would
increase business opportunities for writers and artists. Instead they
have decreased. Most of the big names in the industry — Google,
Facebook, MySpace and increasingly even Apple and Microsoft — are
now in the business of assembling content from unpaid Internet users to
sell advertising to other Internet users....

There’s an almost religious belief in the Valley that charging
for content is bad. The only business plan in sight is ever more
advertising. One might ask what will be left to advertise once everyone
is aggregated.
So, the one time author of a manifesto "Piracy Is Your Friend" now admits "I was wrong. We were all wrong." He also writes:
To help writers and artists earn a living online, software engineers
and Internet evangelists need to exercise the power they hold as
designers. Information is free on the Internet because we created the
system to be that way.
It is an exaggeration, there are other factors at work (as I have argued in "Back to the Future: Virtual Theologising as Recapitulation" Colloquium, 2005, 37,2, 115-130.), but it is an exaggeration that points towards truth. If the digerati agreed, and convinced the big holders of "content" the movie distributors, TV companies, music labels, "timeless" magazine publishers (things like National Geographic and others whose content does not date fast)... we could have a system that allows a very small charge to access, widespread acceptance, and the new age of digital creativity could begin.

In the mean time we are stuck with more and more intrusive advertising or with producing "labours of love" in our "spare time" :(

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