Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Money for nothing, Clips for free

I'm realizing that I don't post up all that much on here these days, but right now I wanted to just write up my feelings on something - free content.

In the age of the Internet, the concept of free has been horridly warped. I don't care if it's movies, music, or video games. I don't care if your are 15 or 55, the problem is the same: folks think that everything on the Internet should be free.

Free television to me is what you get from broadcast signals, and is paid for by the advertisements that you watch. You pay for a cable version of this programming simply because you want to be able to watch a clearer signal, or have more channels available. These stations still have commercials on them, because the channel gets paid by you watching commercials. The costs of distribution are covered, for the most part, in your cable access. Not the production of the shows, or the folks that put together the programming schedule. The cable company gives you a conduit to additional programming that you pay for, but you still pay for the content by commercials.

Radio is free, because you listen to commercials. There are premium radio, where you have more selection and it's commercial-free (well, except for commercials for themselves it seems), but you pay for that expanded selection.

The Internet is NOT free, there is no "broadcast" method to gain access to it for free. What you are paying that $20-50 a month for is the ability to connect into the large web of networks. That gives you no entitlement for anything and everything that is available on the Internet. It gives you a conduit to the world. Why is it that people do not want to understand that the content providers aren't paid by their internet host, but rather that the content has to make money somehow?

Downloading movies, music, television and video games without any level of compensation is illegal: it's no less illegal than you shoplifting from Best Buy a DVD or CD. Yet folks feel entitled because it's the Internet, and everything should be free on the Internet! There are plenty of incredible things that are free on the internet (this blog site is just an example), but not everything is free.

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