Micropayments Pop Up Again

from the charge-me-again dept

Most people pay their ISP bill, with the idea that it allows them to connect to the internet, where they can retrieve free content. That’s the value in connecting to the internet. However, this continued focus on how to charge for content online means that a discussion about “micropayments” has to pop up every few months. The latest plan is to let the ISPs themselves charge additional fees for the content which simply show up on the monthly ISP bill – and are then passed on to the content provider. I’ll admit that, on its face, this sounds more reasonable than previous micropayment plans. Where it gets tricky is that most people still don’t expect to pay for content online, nor should they. They paid for their connection to the content, and that’s enough (except in special cases – mainly porn and timely financial news). Any other content tends to get offered elsewhere for free, meaning anyone who charges has to compete with free.

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