|13824 - Shirky: Fame vs Fortune: Micropayments and Free Content||31/12/2005 - 03:14:53|
Fame vs Fortune: Micropayments and Free Content
First published September 5, 2003 on the "Networks, Economics, and Culture" mailing list.Micropayments, small digital payments of between a quarter and a fraction of a penny, made (yet another) appearance this summer with Scott McCloud's online comic, The Right Number, accompanied by predictions of a rosy future for micropayments.
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To read The Right Number, you have to sign up for the BitPass micropayment system; once you have an account, the comic itself costs 25 cents.
BitPass will fail, as FirstVirtual, Cybercoin, Millicent, Digicash, Internet Dollar, Pay2See, and many others have in the decade since Digital Silk Road, the paper that helped launch interest in micropayments. These systems didn't fail because of poor implementation; they failed because the trend towards freely offered content is an epochal change, to which micropayments are a pointless response.
Original Location: http://shirky.com/writings/fame_vs_fortune.html
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