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All You Can Eat

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Jim Griffin is a super smart guy, a virtual poet on the “digital delivery of art” – here is his take on the digital content future:

    It is a simple concept: replace pay-as-you-go or pay-by-the-piece pricing models with flat fees, one price for roughly all you can eat. Essentially the route travelled by theme parks that once charged by the ride and now sell one entry fee at the door.

    Simple, yes, but it can sound complicated: actuarial accounting replaces actual counting. Relative revenue splits replace per unit margins. Percentages rule where boxes were king. In the process, profound societal change accompanies a move from granularity. That which is not free can feel free, at least at the moment of use. Aggregated buying power can produce win-win results that replace battles between customers and sellers.

    ….So where does this leave us, digital delivery ahead, carbon and friction behind, brackish combinations surrounding our Tarzan-like transition from one vine to the next? It leaves us in a better place, one where access to art and knowledge are not conditioned on the size of your wallet, or worse still, the size of your parents’ wallet. A world where the collective flat fees outweigh per capita average spending, where ideas can flourish with reward and without friction, a world Eleanor Roosevelt and Cicero would adore.

    To act otherwise, to create digital tethers to creativity and information, would condemn much of the world’s population to darkness, to outdated textbooks and third-hand inspiration. What’s worse, it’s the haves who will suffer alongside the have-nots, the former deprived of the creativity of the latter. Flat fees and feels free go hand-in-hand, creating a world of compensation and collaboration. We hold much more in our open hands than we ever could in the closed-fist of so-called intellectual property. Finding the balance is the key and pricing should be our focus. [The Register]

Exactly – there is no other way to compensate creators and copyright holders AND preserve the open nature of the Internet, which is its greatest strength, and civil liberties.

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