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Give It Away Now

Another musician gets the Internet

Phil Harvey

March 27, 2008

1 Min Read
Give It Away Now

10:50 PM -- I was just listening to a repeat of Howard Stern's radio show from Thursday and heard an interesting interview with Counting Crows lead singer Adam Duritz. "The Internet is not a cash register, it's a billboard," he said. "It's a bunch of machines that connect the whole world. There's no way you can tell me there's something wrong with that."

That's partly what's wrong with the music business -- and other content-related businesses that view the Internet as a threat. They're simply using it the wrong way, seeing the promotion and brand extension it allows as theft.

Giving content away may really be the only way to make money and stand out when bandwidth becomes a commodity -- the stuff of silly contests, even -- and digital rights management has the unintended effect of discouraging consumers.

Giving content away may also be the thing that gets traditional mobile TV off the starting blocks, especially if no one's going to make the effort to create a uniquely mobile experience.

Duritz is right. The Internet is a valuable tool for most businesses. But it's not always a cash register.

And creating something in digital form isn't the end of a process, it's just the beginning. Hopefully your work becomes part of someone else's fun. That's not theft. It's advertising.

— Phil Harvey, Editor, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Phil Harvey

Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

Phil Harvey has been a Light Reading writer and editor for more than 18 years combined. He began his second tour as the site's chief editor in April 2020.

His interest in speed and scale means he often covers optical networking and the foundational technologies powering the modern Internet.

Harvey covered networking, Internet infrastructure and dot-com mania in the late 90s for Silicon Valley magazines like UPSIDE and Red Herring before joining Light Reading (for the first time) in late 2000.

After moving to the Republic of Texas, Harvey spent eight years as a contributing tech writer for D CEO magazine, producing columns about tech advances in everything from supercomputing to cellphone recycling.

Harvey is an avid photographer and camera collector – if you accept that compulsive shopping and "collecting" are the same.

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