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. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Mar 2012 @ 2:08am


    The main problem, morals and ethics aside, is that people CAN get anything made of 1's and 0's for free

    The main problem is that is not true, you can get SOME THINGS THAT EXISTS and is provided in a format that is digital (1's and 0's). You cannot get EVERYTHING thing digital for free, my bank account has a sum of money in it that is only 1's and 0's you cannot get that for free.

    If I could get anything, I would be able to get "Water World 2" but I cannot, because it does not exist, that content was never created in the first place.

    The fact is someone or group has to cover the expense of creating something, they take on certain risk, and hope it will 'pan out', cover costs and return a profit on that investment.

    Sometimes it works and sometimes not, but anything that reduces the possible profit made from an investment will reduce the prospects of that investment being made in the first place. If that investment is not made, that product is not created.

    no product created, nothing to copy, a lose/lose situation.

    You cant pirate it because it was never made, they cant produce it because the loss from your 'taking it for free' reduces the incentive for an investment to create it in the first place.

    Masnick and nina would have you believe that regardless of any possible failure to make profit from the investment someone will invest anyway !!!
    Masnick and Nina are wrong...

    Sorry, the real world does not work that way... deal with it.

    accept being willing to allow investers to profit to promote investment therefore providing more product (variety).

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