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Re: awareness + flexibility + security

From: Jonathan S. Shapiro
Subject: Re: awareness + flexibility + security
Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2005 07:39:43 -0500

On Tue, 2005-11-15 at 06:53 +0100, Marcus Brinkmann wrote:
> The distribution channels for books, CDs, DVDs, cinematic movies, etc,
> are all tightly in the hand of large corporations.  These corporations
> exercise their power for, yes, social control.  The content that is
> distributed in masses has gone through many filters of corporate
> self-censorship (passive selection), or has in fact been produced
> actively by the corporation for corporate interests ("pop stars").

Funny you should mention this. Yes, the distribution channel is where
the power lies today.

In the New York Times last week, there was an article about how authors
are changing their names in order to be published. The major bookstore
chains are tracking which authors sell and which do not. If sales of
your book are modest, your next book will be less actively promoted. One
real flop and they just don't order your next book. Authors are changing
their names in order to work around this!

So: setting aside the question of whether bits should be free, there is
a separate issue here concerning freedom: centralization of marketing
and distribution power in an information market weakens diversity, and
ultimately, freedom.


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