We Don't Want Everything For Free. We Just Want Everything

from the kids-today dept

Recently, I gave a Sita Sings the Blues talk to a roomful of 15-to-17-year-olds. Near the end I explained Free Culture and my stance against copyright, which led to some interesting discussion. Turns out most of them are manga fans, and familiar with publishers’ complaints about scanned and translated manga shared freely online. They all read them anyway (except one, who prefers to read entire manga in the bookstore). I asked them how they would choose to support artists they liked (once they had some disposable income) and they said:
  1. Donate buttons – with the qualification that they want to know as much as possible about where the donation is going. They said honesty and transparency are important.
  2. Kickstarter – They all knew about it (which was notable because none of them had heard of Flattr) and valued pitch videos that explained how the money would be used.
  3. Custom drawings
  4. Merch
  5. Physical copies
  6. Live Shared Experiences, including ballet, museum exhibits, and concerts. The event aspect was important; they wanted to be able to say, “Remember that one time when that awesome show was here…” They agreed seeing things in person is a more powerful experience than seeing things online, and worth spending more on. One said she would buy CD at a live show because “it reminds you of the show.”
  7. One said he would support artists by promoting their work to his friends.

Semi-related, I took an informal poll of how many would prefer to read a book on paper vs. an e-reader. The vast majority said paper, but what they really seemed to want was dual formats: paper copies to read comfortably and collect, and digital copies to search and reference. Makes sense to me. Only two of them had iPads, and none used them for “enhanced eBooks.”

My favorite quote of the afternoon, from a 15-year-old girl:

“We don’t want everything for free. We just want everything.

crossposted from ninapaley.com

 

Filed Under: artists, copyright, culture, free, honest, support, teens, transparency


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  1. icon
    Torg (profile), 24 Mar 2012 @ 10:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Most people just want one of five formats, tops. And it's not that hard to do, as anyone who's ever bought from Bandcamp would be able to tell you. Whenever and wherever without restriction actually requires less code than limiting the when and where, so I'm not sure how that is a great hurdle, and, again, Bandcamp does that. Sharing on Facebook is also something Bandcamp does, in the form of likes and the ability to listen to an entire track or album before buying it. I'm not sure if it qualifies as cheap for most people or not, but I've never had a problem with the pricing. Having music used in talentless rap never hurt anyone, since the rapper must first have that music and the listeners won't use it as a substitute for the original music because it's got all that talentless rap in it.

    So yeah, basically what people are asking for is wider adoption of a system that already exists, not some great technological hurdle the likes of which would drive Sony bankrupt.

    The success of Kickstarter shows that people are quite literally willing to pay the price to get things made. I'm not sure where you got the idea that they aren't from.

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