Charging to browse

(Via Michael Geist’s blog). Sometimes I sort of wish news like these were false. The main Australian copyright collecting agency is requesting Australian schools to pay for browsing the web. They argue that it is analogous to making photocopies, and therefore they should pay their members for the benefit.

Trying to dissect the idiocy of this policy is a wasted point. The mind process that produces such a view of the world is so alien to me that I don’t even know where to begin. I am guessing that there are several assumptions here that are so wrong that they should not even warrant discussion:

  1. Students only browse Australian sites.
  2. Authors of Australian sites are members of the collecting agency.
  3. Those sites require royalties in order to survive.
  4. A click equals a sale.

One day I’m going to start charging people who read my stuff, seems like I’m the only one who writes for pleasure.

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