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

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Cowardly Anonymous, 24 Mar 2012 @ 9:03pm

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

    Sure, I'll find something else, made by someone else, with the money that I didn't spend there. The thing is, if I were to pirate something, I'll still have the money to purchase that other thing.

    Have spare money --> will make a purchase.

    The question is whether I purchase something they sold, or something someone else sold. See, I can always find some form of free entertainment, whether or not I'm pirating it. I can play forum games, word games, card games (even home-made cards if you're being a stickler), tell jokes, play my own instrument (or sing, stickler) and so much more. So they have always and will always have to compete with free (all of that stuff is available because I need it elsewhere).

    As for who else is getting my money, if I don't spend it on entertainment, I'll get a better car or eat at a fancier restaurant.

    If they don't give me what I want --> they don't get a dime.

    In other words, the act of pirating doesn't diminish the amount of content I'm willing to pay for, because I was clearly looking for a specific option (remember, this is someone who is pirating because they couldn't find a way to purchase what they wanted). This money isn't going out of the economy (no net loss) and it isn't going to the offending label/studio (local loss), but this is not the fault of piracy. It is their own fault for not offering the thing I was willing to buy.

    tl;dr: I will not buy second rate crap, even if it is the only thing you are selling.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.