Tuesday, 12 May 2009

On charging for content

I'm against subscription services as a matter of course. From my point of view, an industry-organised tax on Internet access which is then paid out to content providers on a per-click basis seems much easier to manage and structure.

Much cleaner and fairer from the point of view of the consumers too, who would also benefit if they were content providers themselves.

Much fairer.

More in the original spirit of the Internet.

Topologically, it puts blogging and Internet posting of all kinds and types of media back in the realm of voice communication, where we pay for the phoneline and blocks of minutes - but not for the words, pictures or videos themselves.

The problem we have, of course, is that too many of the content providers are also in the business of supplying Internet connections. Rupert Murdoch's media empire is one of the biggest culprits with a multitude of newspaper outfits and then ISPs such as Sky. However, even homely ISPs have tried to do the reverse by hooking you into their portals whenever you allow them to automatically install a new connection.

A definite conflict of interests which surely needs to be sorted out if future distribution models are to be equitable, fair and sustainable.

And in the current political climate, do we really want anything else?

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