23 November 2006

Who profits from user-created content?

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User-created content
“At the heart of the Web 2.0 movement is this idea that there is real value created by tapping the shared wisdom of grassroots communities, composed mostly of fans, hobbyists, and other amateur media makers,” writes Henry Jenkins, who is the director of the MIT Comparative Media Studies Program and author of several books.

“Yet, there is a nagging question — if these grassroots efforts are generating value (and in fact, wealth) and their creative power is being tapped by major corporations, at what point should they start receiving a share of revenue for their work?”

“We have all seen major media companies telling us that file-sharing is bad because it takes other people’s intellectual property without just compensation. So, why are these same companies now taking their audience’s intellectual property for free? Do we understand their profits primarily as a tax to support the infrastructure that enables their distribution?”

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(via Howard Rheingold)

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