Sunday, July 15, 2012


A recent commentator postulated elsewhere that digital content becomes increasingly cheap and eventually is free. I have heard this before and I always wonder if the content producer, the creative spirit, would go along with his or her work being free.  Is the satisfaction of an audience sufficient?  Would they still keep composing, writing, painting?   How would they live?  Would writers retreat to garrets to starve and musicians perform on street corners accompanied by a small monkey with a tin cup?

Will creative expression become a hobby?  Will writers put their manuscripts in a drawer when they finish?   Will painters decorate only their own walls?  Will musicians compose and play at their own children's birthday parties?

There is a lot of free content on the internet.   Is it enough?

Then there is the oft-quoted saying:  "You get what you pay for."

Somehow digital products are in a category of their own.   There is nothing to hold in your hand.   You can't so easily share it with a friend.   Now with something like a cup of coffee from a coffee shop you do have something to hold in your hand but most people are not inclined to share.  Your coffee is gone within fifteen minutes.  When your hairdresser cuts your hair, you can see the result but although it lasts longer than the coffee, there comes a time when it has 'disappeared'.    Neither of these products is digital though and perhaps that makes the difference.   We expect to pay for them and often give a tip as well.

I prefer to apply another old saying  to the work I do and the product I produce:

"The labourer is worthy of his hire." 

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