Friday, June 12, 2009

The Internet is not Free

By Bob Sacks

There was an article posted by Jon Fine of Businessweek , titled “Barry Diller And I Don't Agree About Charging For Online Content” . This article, as you might expect, got me all riled up. I am so very sick of this false discussion.

Can we please just start at the beginning?

The Internet is not free. Depending upon your own special addiction, you pay a hefty fee for entrance alone to the World Wide Web. I pay between all my devices at the very least $300.00 a month. My guess is if I truly added it up, I would be shocked and it would probably much more. I choose sanity and I don't really want to know how much this free information is costing me. So I don't want to do the math. Where exactly do you define that as free?

Oh, you mean after I pay at the gate for entrance into the park, I have to buy tickets for each individual ride. Disney used to be that way in years past and they changed the policy and they ain't going back.

If we as publishers are to make a fair profit, it will be as some sort of consortium deal just like cable TV. Do we pay micro-payments to watch the shows we watch after paying the cable fee? Hell, no! We pay up front for anything we feel like watching at any given time. That is the simple answer.

So I am asking Jon Fine who wrote this article, to send this note to Barry Diller and get it done already. The rest of the discussion is just ridiculous. If we don't get it up front we aren't likely to get it at all.