Full article here. (Once archived, it won’t be (F)ree)
Gladwell argues that “Free” is a kind of utopian vision, or at least as it appears in Chris Anderson’s new book: “Free: The Future of a Radical Price” What’s being overlooked is the cost of actually gathering news and information, and the infrastructure required to do so:
“This is the kind of error that technological utopians make. They assume that their particular scientific revolution will wipe away all traces of its predecessors—that if you change the fuel you change the whole system.”
Yet, aside from this utopianism, should we go so far as to have the law step in…protecting news-gathering organizations to some degree?
Gladwell finishes with:
“The only iron law here is the one too obvious to write a book about, which is that the digital age has so transformed the ways in which things are made and sold that there are no iron laws”
It’s still up in the air.
See Also: Walter Isaacson’s piece in Time a while back: “How To Save Your Newspaper,” that is, if it isn’t already a shell of it’s former self.
See Also On This Site: Posner makes the case for some legal copyright intervention: From The Becker-Posner Blog: The Future Of Newspapers
From The Seattle Post-Intelligencer Via Sound Politics: Why Did The PI Die? From Slate: Jack Shafer On The Pulitzer Prize-Who Cares? Who Reads The Newspapers? The Newseum Opens On The Mall: More From The Weekly Standard