In the world that we live in now, it seems that everything is free… You can find music for free, movies for free, resources for free, and the list goes on. As a consumer, it’s nice. I appreciate all of the free things available on the net. However, if I was on the other end of the spectrum, I’m not sure I would feel so good about all of this!
Levine makes some great points, but I think comes across a little harsh and hard. He does bring up some good issues…. maybe I’m just not a fan of his tone.
I am intrigued by the piracy issue that most people see as the basis for this whole problem we are facing now. I have to disagree with this group of people and take Levine’s side on this one. In his book “FREE RIDE: How Digital Parasites are Destroying the Culture…” Levine talks about how Piracy isn’t the issue here. (Location 89) He talks about how so many things that are illegal are so easy to access and this is causing a huge problem! (Location 89) The more people use these “illegal” resources, the more other companies are going to struggle.
In my professional life, I tend to worry about what is going to happen later in my career. Really, the only potential partial fix to this problem is to stop making everything so easily available. I know this is going to be hard, if not impossible… but I’m not sure of any other options. Things are just too easy to get to. Too easy to access… I’m not saying that I want these changes, but I’m afraid they are going to happen in big ways. I have already begun to see some of these things happen in sites that I use myself. Some of my favorite educational websites are now charging for a membership. Even though I’m sad this is happening I think it might be the start to something new. However, if all people don’t get on board with this, the charging sites or businesses are going to struggle. Have I bought the membership? No. Why not? I can find material somewhere else for free…. It’s probably not as good, but it’s something I can use.
I hate to admit it, but I’m a part of this problem….And I know I’m not alone. I know some people will pay for the exact thing they want, but most of us would take something that’s a little less than what we want if it’s free.
I think that Levine probably does not participate in things like Netflix and Hulu simply because they are distributors who benefit from other peoples’ work. Is this brilliant? YES. Is it making tons of money? YES. Is it helping the individual producers of movies and tv shows? I’m not sure. I know that they can get paid from people watching their show through these businesses…. But how much does it benefit them? Are they just going along with it to be able to make something? Something is more than nothing right? I’m afraid that if we continue on this path, lots of creativity is going to be squashed. People aren’t going to be motivated to create new things because there won’t be anything there to reward them. We all have to make a living somehow. (Ideas from Location 143)
There are some big challenges ahead and I think that we, consumers, need to be ready for some big changes.