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information wants to be free?

Malcolm Gladwell reviews Free by Chris Anderson: Books: The New Yorker: “And there’s plenty of other information out there that has chosen to run in the opposite direction from Free. The Times gives away its content on its Web site. But the Wall Street Journal has found that more than a million subscribers are quite happy to pay for the privilege of reading online. Broadcast television—the original practitioner of Free—is struggling. But premium cable, with its stiff monthly charges for specialty content, is doing just fine. Apple may soon make more money selling iPhone downloads (ideas) than it does from the iPhone itself (stuff).”

This is a very good critique about the concept of “free” information. It’s definitely challenged a few of my thoughts on the future of “free” ideas. I am someone who still buys music (on vinyl, no less) and I’m willing to subscribe to magazines that I can get for free on the internet.

It’s very clear that this is still playing out, and as Gladwell puts it, there are no iron laws as to how all of this will play out as newspapers, television and publishing continue to get ripped apart by the internet.

Categories: Random Thoughts.

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