Creators’ Stockholm Syndrome

Malcolm Tredinnick comments on comments [sic] on the Freakonomics blog, to the effect that surfers are upset that an open source style release of content is a form of exploitation of authors.  Malcolm doesn’t seem to have comments turned on, so I’ve got to counter-blog here.

My view on all of this is that “creators” don’t really have much understanding of how money flows through the system, nor how they  typically have no power compared to the distributors of their creations.  Each of them wilfully believes the lie that they will make a mint from their creation and therefore willing subsidises the distributors.  I’ve mentioned, with amazement, that “authors’ groups” continue to press for the expansion of copyright even though, by their own admission, copyright is a complete failure for those same people.   In the freakonomics example, the interns would be swapping guaranteed obscurity for the potential for recognition – a swap which is not obviously bad, and is probably good, for them.

I believe that creators have been so captured by distributors as to be subject to a sort of Stockholm Syndrome and mindlessly parrot the party line of publishers and distributors.


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