The Internet Will Not Be Free for Much Longer

Get used to it, you’ll eventually have to pay for everything. Information systems start out as wild, open-source orgies of utopianism but they always end up corporate money-making monsters.

My go to examples are the telephone & radio. Telephone lines were locally installed, usually by the hardware store but the US gov’t created a monopoly (Bell) to control the system. Radio was also a wide-open royal rumble before regulation stepped in. Without regulations it was impossible to set standard ad rates (read: monetize).

The truth is, you can’t break the cookie jar and not replace it. The Web is cannibalizing all kinds of “old media,” but our economies have to replace those dollars somehow.

If you’re interested in Information Systems I highly recommend The Master Switch by Tim Wu.

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