This is just something quick I was thinking about while watching that movie in class the other day. Steal This Film II, according to Blackboard?
Well, it touched briefly on how professionals are having issues making money off of some of their content because it is so readily available online this days. But does it really need to be all about the money?
The video also mentioned how there is a lot of amateur content out there these days. These amateurs make their own stuff and put it on the internet for free for everyone to enjoy. Their primary focus isn’t on making money, but producing good quality content. How many artists and film industries these days can attest to that?
There is a webcomic I follow, Romantically Apocalyptic (if you like web comics I highly recommend it), and its author once said something I really agree with: if an artist (of any kind) really wants to make quality content, they’ll put it out there for everyone to enjoy for free; and if your content is good, you will find loyal fans who will support you through buying your merchandise, or even sending donatitions. That’s how this author is currently funding his projects. Maybe because they’re focused on quality, their stuff might actually be better than the professional stuff.
Now, I’m not saying that everyone who makes music and movies should start giving away their content in the hopes of people funding their stuff out of the goodness of their hearts, but perhaps we ought not sneer at amateur products. After all, unlike Hollywood and the music industry, amateurs want their content to be good: they’re not (always) interested in becoming rich off of it.
I mean, honestly. This guy is a genius, his artwork is beautiful, and he’s not in it for the money (though I’m sure it helps); he does make money, but it’s not his primary objective. So maybe he wouldn’t really be an amateur, but he’s not in any kind of business or anything. Ah, whatever. The main point is he makes amazing stuff and it’s available to see online for free.
So just because something is free for consumers, does that make it better? No, of course not. However, because there is no pressure for amateurs to make money, they can put better care into their work. Also, they value their fans a lot more. Basically, the content being free doesn’t make it better–but the autors being free does.