Yesterday I happened across a post by Heather Green over on BusinessWeek‘s Blogspotting site, “On Updike and the Future of Books” (Link), and having read most of the Kelly article to which she refers, caught wind of Updike’s comments, and given the same topic plenty of thought on my own (most recently due to my interaction with the ISHUSH blog – I gave an interview(!) for it prior to the Kelly New York Time‘s article which included some of the same observations… digital books make good kirkyans), I couldn’t help but leave a rather long comment. If you’ve read this blog even occasionally over the past year, you won’t be surprised by what I wrote on the BW blog. The thing is, Ms. Green’s concerns have been my concerns for years.
The big problem I have – represented by my regular posts on the subject – is the general lack of thought that seems to be going into the full ramifications of a culture developing a severe lack of interest and respect for the creative work… the intellectual work… that goes into the things they consume. It’s as if all the ads on television insisting that individuals should “get the credit you deserve” have convinced consumers that they deserve everything they can get, access or download. For free. On demand.
So I agree with Ms. Green. The problem is that there is very likely little we can do to avoid the situation at this point. This didn’t occur overnight and it’s not going to be resolved any time soon. If people don’t understand what a copyright is they certainly don’t realize how intellectual property laws are supposed to work; how intellectual property laws actually benefit society. All of this convergence going on probably equates to free music and movies to most of them and not much else. Even if it kills them, they’ll continue to mindlessly consume; oblivious to the potential unpleasant consequences.
So that’s how it is folks. If you create, you better learn how to brand yourself. And when you do, be prepared to find companies like Revver who take your creative work, aggregate it, distribute it with advertising attached and give you a cut of the revenue. That’s the model and it’s a big part of the creative future. Hopefully it won’t be the only worthwhile option. Because when Ms. Green says, “The problem to me, reading over Kelly’s article, is how he presents how creative types are supposed to respond,” what she appears to miss is that creative types will be expected to respond. By their own society. For free. On demand.