Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Digital Parasites

THE Internet has brought us lots of good things; it's also put an enormous number of people out of work, especially members of the creative class who've been turned into underpaid, unstable content providers. Information, after all, wants to be free.

"It's tempting to believe that the devaluation of creativity we've seen over the last decade was somehow inevitable," writes former Billboard editor Robert Levine, "that technology makes information so easy to distribute that any attempt to regulate it is futile."

Levine's new book -- Free Ride: How Digital Parasites are Destroying the Culture Business, and How the Culture Business Can Fight Back -- argues that it didn't have to be this way. Various industries -- music, newspapers, publishers -- swallowed a lot of b.s. about how the Web was going to make everyone rich, and now they're living with the consequences.

I spoke to Levine for today's Salon here. It's part of the Art in Crisis series I'm writing with a number of other scribes. Please check it out.

UPDATE: And here is a review from Sunday's (27 Nov) NYT Book Review, calling this book an important statement.

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