21 November, 2007

Free and the internet

Is it possible, given the status of the internet today as being a free resource, for this to change in the future and much more of the net to be charged for?

Well, ignoring that people 'cheat' with MP3s etc today, games such as Second Life suggest people are willing to pay for content sometimes.

If we assume that whilst artists (in the broad sense- novelists etc too) love their work but simply cannot afford to do it if they do not earning any form of living from it, would the model of Second Life be a way of persuading people to pay for content? I don't think so. In SL you are paying for an experience, with art (of all types) you pay for the ownership. Given that MP3s and online books are already undermining the idea of paying to own something online, I would argue that if the internet charges in the future, it'll be for experiences rather than ownership. 'Ownership' will have to continue to be funded by advertising (which seems to be the sole way the web is funded at the moment).

Maybe I'm just showing my ignorance on how the internet works, though!


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