Alan Jacobs at The American Scene argues with the “freetards.”
That’s a new term for me. I think I’ll steal it and use it myself without paying any license fees for it.
His first article on the subject was titled, “My writing doesn’t want to be free.” He credits the Fake Steve Jobs for the term.
Jacobs questions the applicability of the method whereby bands give away free music as a kind of loss leader. That idea is one that comes up a lot in these discussions — the freetards tell us to give away our writing/music/software for free and make money on X.
So here’s my question: If giving away your stuff on the internet as free loss-leading MP3 files or PDF’s is a virtuous way to sell something else, how come in international trade it’s considered evil? There they call it dumping or predatory pricing, and there are treaties and laws against it. It can be argued that authors who give away stuff for free are hurting others who’d like to sell their goods just as much as those countries who sell lead ingots below price in order to drive competitors from the market.