> But. AP, for instance, is a subscription service. If you're a
> newspaper, you pay a set fee, you can use AP material, without
> editing, even. So you don't need journalists, right? AP has some of
> the best material in the world, right? Well, it turns out that not a
> single newspaper has used the opportunity to fire all their
> journalists and become a Low-TCO, all-AP, highly efficient
> republishing machine. You need journalists of your own to give stuff
> your own slant, to analyze from your perspective, etc.
Bad analogy. A better example would be to look at the way, at present,
a writer can get paid for each republication of his work. One often
sees articles in newspapers with the byline "previously-published
in...". Under your model, the only people to make money from this
re-publication would be the publishers.
> As for the copyright, yes, you will retain copyright. But, the
> material will be licensed free of charge, and be freely
> redistributable, under the terms of the license (too many people
> confuse license and copyright). Now, this might be tough for
> freelancers. Then again, if you do it well, someone will probably pick
> you up to do contract work for them.
Stuff on the Net already is free, insofar as anyone can link to it
unless it's on a subscription-only site. If an article of mine is on
a web-site, then, to anticipate, "the tools" are already available.
The only reason for making it redistributable is so that someone can
put it on their site, and get the hits (and thus the click-throughs
and advertising revenue) from it.
> If you're worried, however, that people working for no salary, solely
> because they love to write, will outperform you in the market place,
> well, too bad. That's what's going to happen, unless you also love
> your work, and are really good at it. All I want to do is put the
> tools in the hands of the people. If it means some "professional"
> journalists go down, hey, that's a shame. The general public will have
> better news, and be better informed.
People working for no salary. Hmm. Well, what you really mean is
people who work for a salary and do other work in their spare time,
Everyone always wants what's best for the "general public", don't they?
The trouble is though, this worthy body doesn't exist. Society is
divided into classes. And what's good for one class may be bad
for another. Making the product of work free benefits those who can
exploit the products -- a company running a website, for instance --
at the expense of those who do the work. Thus, your scheme, far
from benefiting the "general public", benefits certain companies and
those who own shares in them at the expense of those who do the work.
I happen to feel the reverse should be the case: that productive work
should be rewarded, and mere possession of property should bring no
rewards of itself.
I know I'm going to be told that this argument could also apply to
free software. But it doesn't, and Stallman has actually addressed
this point. A program without the source-code is incomplete.
Therefore, programs should be provided with source-code. Once the
principle of software with source has been accepted, it becomes
practically impossible to prevent "piracy" of the source, just
as it is with binaries; therefore it is better to fix the system,
by removing restrictions on the distribution of software (if the
originator makes the choice to distribute it). This argument doesn't
carry over to writing.
> That being said, I think one possibility for the license would be to
> optionally disallow free redistribution in paper media, for instance.
> Let's call it a "paper tax". But these issues should all be discussed,
> and within a few days, I'm setting up the mailing list for this
> discussion. It'll be published on Advogato, at the very least.
> Everyone who has an opinion on the matter, should join.
The revenue model for a paper magazine and that for an on-line version
don't differ -- they are both based on advertising. Why penalise one?
In summary, always look at the bottom line. The model you propose
has positive benefits only for publishers. But stuff that's on the
web is already published. If publishers want to make money, they
should pay for their own content, not use someone else's.
[ Parent ]