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June 4, 2012
What Stewart Brand Actually Said
In Dave Lowery's rant about the state of digital music, he noted that while people often (mis)quote the "information wants to be free" meme. In particular, Lowery pointed out that Brand also said that information wants to be expensive.
I thought it was worth expanding on that a little, as it's the topic of today's Quotation of the Day:
Information wants to be free. Information also wants to be expensive. Information wants to be free because it has become so cheap to distribute, copy, and recombine - too cheap to meter. It wants to be expensive because it can be immeasurably valuable to the recipient. That tension will not go away. It leads to endless wrenching debate about price, copyright, 'intellectual property', the moral rightness of casual distribution, because each round of new devices makes the tension worse, not better.
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