Linked by David Adams on Sun 11th Jul 2010 18:54 UTC
Internet & Networking There's an article today at that looks at recent trends around net-based pay-for services and the smattering of paywalls from News Corp to the NYT that are up or threatening to be put up, and speculating that this could be the beginning of a trend. Of course, a YouTube video rental site and a few large publishers putting up paywalls will make zero difference to the "free internet" on their own. But if they're successful, it could spark emulation. But could this be a trend that could snowball enough to change the nature of the net?
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Well, that was one 'mother' of a post ;)

Funny, given how absurdly slanted your response was... and unrealistic too. Lemme guess, early to mid twenties, two college loans with mommy and daddy still giving you money, either US west coast or somewhere in the Nordic states of Europe? Either that or a Kiwi. Sorry, the attitude (and ignorance) just kind of screams that.

... [abridged due to word limits] ...

You go on about free agencies - so why is someone even WANTING to charge for services an issue then? This is the part that burns me, you don't want to pay for it, DON'T. The Internet on the whole is a luxury, NOT a neccessity (unless it's your job) and frankly too many people are getting their panties in a twist over that luxury due to this increasing sense of entitlement. Magically we're supposed to just have a means of life materielize from thin air or something.

Life doesn't work that way.

Thanks for your reply. I have no problem with people charging with what the market will bear, in fact I have my own business. I think we agree on that. I was trying to point out several things (which I'll extend upon a bit) since your original post insuated that for-profit is the principal reason people produce stuff (perhaps that is not what you meant):

* paywalls don't work when people will provide the same stuff for free. Especially when some of that free stuff is of good enough quality and sometime superior. Since news is not really that scarce they need to be thinking that people will pay for ease-of-use instead. However, paywalls are a large barrier to ease-of-use.

* conventional economics and measures of productivity don't account for much of the labour actually performed in the world. Most of this labor is unpaid, unrecorded and free. Clearly accurately accounting for this labour is difficult. This is only one of the limitations of the economic models we have. That also means that care has to be taken when using economic models to determine the future or justify courses of action. Sound judgement is also required.

* people will do stuff they want for free and their reward is sharing it widely with others. I certainly do this with a lot of the products I create, and it is only some of them that can be charged for. Clearly not everyone acts this way, but it is not like the profit motive is the only reason that people do stuff. In fact it seems the exception (as I hope my over-the-top examples seemed to illustrate).

Incidentally, it is good you have a minor in history. Fortunately I understand this Americanism, however you should not always assume all your readers do. While historical insight is helpful it is not necessarily relevant to a discussion on economics and probably no more relevant than my PhD in (astro)Physics. (giving quantitative and qualitative understand of the limitations of economic models).

Edit: typos

Edited 2010-07-12 20:19 UTC

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