Media Wants To Be Free

Jason Chervokas was the co-founder of @NY which along with Calacanis’ SAR were the two bibles of the NYC internet scene in the mid 90s.  I still miss Jason’s brilliant writing and everyday commentary on the technology and internet scene and wish he and Tom would put the band back together.

But regardless, he’s just penned what I believe is the perfect explanation of what is wrong with a subscription model in a digital world.  He calls is Media Wants To Be Free (But Not in the Way You Think).

His point is simple.  People are happy to pay for content but if they do, they want to use it everywhere.

As Jason says:

The universal appeal of peer-to-peer file sharing ….. in part has to do with the freedom from paying,
but even more so has to do with the freedom of use–not "use" in the
sense of piracy–redistribution for commercial purposes–but "use" in
the sense of personal choice within a neatly legal context.  In absence
of an industrial infrastructure to provide that choice, end users are
doing it for themselves.


The other night I spent a half hour trying to figure out why a episode of Weeds that Jessica paid $1.99 for wouldn’t play on her powerbook laptop.  The reason?  Because we already had five other computers in the house authorized on the account she bought the song with.  What the hell does that have to do with anything????

I am sick and tired of paying ten times for the same content.  I want to pay once and use whenever and wherever the hell I want to.  I am sorry that others use that same freedom to pirate the same content, but I don’t and I resent the fact that I am treated like a thief by association.

Now that I have calmed down, let me finish by quoting Jason again:

Media companies–producers, owners of programming networks, distributors–had better start thinking not outside the box but outside the device and outside the pipe. That’s the information freedom that consumers want and that consumers will implement whether media companies like it or not.

I am glad that I am not the only one who sees the world this way.

#VC & Technology