Is the Internet Really “Free” ?

In an article by Lowell Peterson he explains the endless debate of whether or not internet is actually free, and questions where the flow of money goes in a constant feed of information on the web. He explains that “consumers pay huge amounts of money to connect their computers and phones to the pipelines carrying the vast flow of content, but very little of that money makes its way into the pockets of the people who create that content. Instead, the money goes to the Internet service providers and others who control the pipeline.”

 

He compares how traditionally, writers and other creators made money because television networks and movie studios sold access to their work. With the internet, this traditional way is changed, as people tend to give their works to viewing of the internet.

 

I believe this is important to many artists and those who wish to make money from their works, as using the internet could be a set back. The internet is a wonderful marketing tool, but with the constant attempts to monetize the net, creative users must maintain a friendly relationship with their works and the web.

 

Posted by Lindsay LaChance

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3 thoughts on “Is the Internet Really “Free” ?

  1. I think this article makes an interesting point about how in the grand scheme of things, people who use the internet on a regular basis are paying to gain access to what they see. Unless you work for a website or an internet provider, money never really ends up in the pockets of people who go the Internet just for personal use. Even when people sell things on websites such as eBay or Etsy, they have to pay a fee to put their item up there. So at the end of the day, eBay and Etsy can still make a profit. This becomes tricky when artists put their work online, because who is to say someone isn’t taking ideas/images and gaining money off of it elsewhere? As much as people can freely express themselves on the Internet easily, someone, somewhere, is going to be getting paid.

    Posted by Nicole Romeo

  2. I agree with you both. This article does bring things into perspective. At first I was thinking, well I do not really spend that much money on accessing the internet. I just pay for internet and the netflix. Then as I think about it, there xbox live, online memberships for blogs and magazines, and much more.

    When he says “Consumers pay huge amounts of money to connect their computers and phones to the pipelines carrying the vast flow of content, but very little of that money makes its way into the pockets of the people who create that content. Instead, the money goes to the Internet service providers and others who control the pipeline” this opened my eyes to a new perspective. When you pay for the internet you pay mainly for the connection through the isp. However someone has to spend all that time creating the content. I mean people like the creator of facebook started making money through the advertizements. Before then it was a free project.

    Posted by Brian Hays

  3. Lindsay,
    Wow, super relevant post. I like when you said, “creative users must maintain a friendly relationship with their works and the web,” because we need the web to promote but not as a free marketplace where we should just hand over the stuff we make willy nilly.

    Nicole and Brian, great responses.
    -J

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