transition to freedom

From: David Weinberger
Date: Sat, Jun 20, 2009 at 12:24 PM
To: Berkman Friends

Chris Anderson’s book about the new economics of freeness
1. Chris points to the moment when radio broadcasts made music free as an example of a time when a product suddenly went from for-pay to free. Drake is wondering if there are other such moments in our history.

At 12:47 PM 6/20/2009, Peter Suber wrote:
> David and Drake, A similar moment occurred in 1840 when England introduced the postage stamp. Before that, mail was free for the sender, but the recipient had to pay to collect it from the post office. When mail became free for recipients, its use skyrocketed.
> Like mail, radio is not free for everyone, just for the “recipient”. It has production costs, but they are paid by the “sender” so that end users can get the content free of charge.
> In this 2002 article, I compare “going postal” to the open access revolution now in progress –shifting the costs of research publications from recipients to senders. (In early 2002, the term “open access” was too new to be widely understood, so I used the older term “free online scholarship” or FOS.)…
> Peter
> Peter Suber

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