The Real Cost of Free

Cory Doctorow has an absolute must-read essay in the Guardian on the issue of “free.”


  1. AWESOME!!!

  2. I don’t understand why he has to be so defensive about how much he charges for a conference.

    If he uses the internet to distribute free materials & ideas (e.g. through his blog) that make him famous enough to enable him to charge $25000 or whatever… then more power to him.

    And he does not need any special legislation in order for his model to work.

    Anyone is free to do the same.

    But beware that you won’t be able to charge $25,000 just for scribbling “ZOMG LOLCATS! Can I haz copy?” all over the web….

    And, unfortunately, this is the dream of so many misguided “artists”… that the record labels can make them famous and rich based just on some BS…
    (although I must confess that “the industry” has set some precedents that can lure them into that way of thinking…)


  3. Refreshing!
    So pleasant to hear someone tell it like it is rather than how they wish it to be. Truth devoid of self-serving spin is like a cold beer on a hot day.

  4. Some of the comments remind me of some of the pro-lock-everything-down-so-people-can-only-use-it-the-way-I-want-them-to arguments that you used to see here, while completely missing the point of the article itself (which they also did here).

  5. @Napalm
    When dealing with an agency you need to remember that there is a difference between what the agency charges and what the person doing the work gets paid. For instance, in one job I had the customer was charged $1250 per day for my time (~300K per year) but I was paid about one fifth of that amount.