“..That’s why I’m laying out a plan to keep the Internet free and open. That why I’m urging the Federal Communications Commission to do everything they can to protect net neutrality for everyone..” – Barack Obama, President of the United States
The Internet used to be a place where we gain information and resources for free, but things are changing. Increasing amount of resources are becoming available only if people are willing to pay a price. This caused students to be against paywalls and often demand for easy access to these articles for research and projects.
As a consumer, the Internet should definitely be free to legal content, such as videos, music and social networks. Open Education Resources (OER) enables free access to education materials. It supports self-study and enhances learning at a reduced cost. This allows people whom are less privileged to have the opportunity to learn. Knowledge should be free! It’s the motivation that drives one in willingness to study that should bother, not money/wealth. I understand that education institutions need to earn, but what about those that can’t afford them? Does it mean that their future will be ruined? Probably not anymore, given the access to OER.
Gaining knowledge grant people the power to innovate, promote economic growth and create jobs opportunities. Thus, knowledge should not be kept behind paywalls and expensive publication. Instead, we should promote the spread of knowledge online.
People living in this generation are the main drivers of consumer sovereignty, we demand for convenience of access to when and what we want. An example would be Spotify, a commercial music streaming application that provides consumer with the advantage of having free online contents. Additionally, the application also connects to PlayStation™ and social media such as Facebook. However, if users don’t pay to upgrade their application to ‘Premium’, they will be listening to lower quality music with advertisements played in between songs.
Producers of these music materials may disagree to what Spotify is doing. On 30/03/2015, Jay-Z along with other A-list artists re-launched Tidal, another music streaming platform that allows users to access music content… but at a cost! The main difference between Spotify and Tidal (claimed by Tidal), other than the price, is the 1411kbps HiFi CD-quality streaming and artist-owned. However, only with a decent sound system, then you’ll be able to listen to the differences.
Thus, which will you prefer? Free Spotify with 320kbps quality or Paying Tidal for a CD-quality?
Source: NewsINC (focus on ONLY Spotify and Tidal)
Another example against free online content would be the newspaper industry, with most requiring readers to pay a subscription fee.
Source: Screenshot from SPH subscription
Whilst I agree that publishers and producers should receive some form of compensation for their work, there’s also downside to adding a price. Like what I’ve mention in Topic4, people will always find ways around boundaries. Which results to pirate downloading of music or students searching for PDF files online illegally.
(438 Words-excluding dialogues)
A Guide to the Open Internet (The Open Internet: A Case for Net Neutrality)
ERIC – Dramatically Bringing down the Cost of Education with OER: How Open Education Resources Unlock the Door to Free Learning, Center for American Progress, 2012-Feb
Everything you need to know about Tidal — in 90 seconds | Mashable (YouTube)
Litttle records: Advantages and Disadvantages of Open Access Journals
President Obama’s Statement on Keeping the Internet Open and Free (YouTube)
Should online content be free or should we pay a fee?
Spotify vs Tidal vs Apple Music (Spotify vs Tidal vs Apple Music)
Tidal: 10 things you need to know
US Senator Brian Schatz on Open Access and Turning Breakthroughs into Businesses (- Open Access Week)
90% of online content to be held behind paywalls in three years media company survey suggests by: Lepitak, Stephen.