Subject: Re: Free software and free music have some similar problems.
From: Russell Nelson <>
Date: Fri, 23 Jul 1999 11:54:13 -0400 (EDT)

Keith Bostic forwards:
 > ran in the New York Times on May 9, 1999 by Jaron Lanier, (go to
 > and do a search for article) the author suggests
 > that musicians will ultimately have no choice but to give away music for
 > free saying that "there are lots of ways to make money from fans" without
 > giving us a single example.

Software isn't exactly like music.  With software, it's (largely)
functional and when you pay for it, you get the same thing, only
better.  With music, it's entertainment and you get more of what you
liked about the first thing you got.

Still, the methods of paying for it are similar.  I think that what
we're seeing is a reduction in coercion and a return to the need for
people to cooperate.  Yes, information tends to be a public good, but
neither do I believe that it's impossible to get paid for providing a
public good.  Here are some ways:

1) Give away enough of the information to get attention, then ask to
be paid to give away more.

1a) Find a patron.

1b) Build a fan club.

2) Sell something physical and include the information with it.

3) Simply sell your MP3 files and ignore the copying.

All of these will only return you a pittance, but that's all that
you're getting from "the industry" now.

-russ nelson <>
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