Monday, April 7, 2008

Economics Rule

In today's society, where information and content are freely available and easily distributed, infinite goods will eventually become free. This is basic economics: scarcity creates value, so infinite goods are inherently less valuable. When those infinite goods are free to produce (or copy), then the price of the good is pushed towards free. I believe that within 20 or 30 years, we will see an explosion of availability to goods that are currently tied up behind copyright and licensing agreements. This includes television, movies, pictures, music, and even books as they become more widely available in e-book formats. We are already seeing this with publishing companies distributing their e-book catalogs for free and networks that are, for the first time, allowing free internet access to their television programs.

The question then becomes, who will pay for all this free content to be created? The answer is simple; free, infinite goods will help sell the scarce goods produced by companies and individuals. This could be any number of things, such as a free music track helping create fans for an artist or an e-book sparking a desire to buy a book you never would have considered. The point is that, at the core, it is all basic economics.

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