Like so many in Silicon Valley in the 1990s, I thought the Web wouldSo, the one time author of a manifesto "Piracy Is Your Friend" now admits "I was wrong. We were all wrong." He also writes:
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
To help writers and artists earn a living online, software engineersIt 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.
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.
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