July 16, 2024

Kling on Free Content

Arnold Kling, over at the free website TechCentralStation, offers an odd little op-ed arguing that free content is crap. Some of it is crap; but there’s a lot of great free content out there too. The beauty of the web is that you only have to read the stuff you want to read; and most readers are pretty good at finding the good stuff.

[In case any of you think you would like this blog better if you paid for it, you are welcome to pay. Just send me a check, at 35 Olden Street, Princeton NJ 08544 USA. (The rest of you can go on reading it for free.)]

Kling argues that Creative Commons is based on “a strikingly naive 60’s-retro ideological view … that content publishers earn their profits by using copyright law to steal content…” I don’t buy that. Creative Commons is mostly just a tool for writing copyright licenses; you can choose from a wide variety of licenses, ranging from pure public domain to much more restrictive licenses.

Kling seems to be attacking Dan Gillmor for Gillmor’s supposed opposition to selling content through established publishers. Never mind that Gillmor sells his content through an established publisher.