Saturday, December 01, 2007

Crazy Uncle Dave vs striking writers

Dave Winer is obviously trolling in his piece today entitled The Hollywood writer's strike, but what the hell, it's a slow Saturday arvo and I don't feel like seeing Beowulf right now.

Dave takes the position that if he can make money without charging for his creative works, then no one should demand to be paid for being creative, at least where their content is delivered over the Internet. He claims that chances to make money off online content do not exist, which is completely ridiculous. One billion chances from Viacom's suit against YouTube alone, Dave. I see a lot of employers of striking writers on comScore's video traffic rankings. There must be money to be made there somewhere.

Dave invalidates his own argument by pointing to the fact that he got angry in the 90s about how as he claims, "creative work won't be directly paid for in the future". Let me see, what has changed since the mid-90s? Oh yes, back in the mid-90s Dave had created an intellectual asset (Frontier) and was still in the midst of trying to make it succeed. He felt the financial pressures of running a business, of paying wages, of setting himself up for the future. He is now independently wealthy from selling off his previous creative works, and is semi-retired. He has the luxury of treating his creative work as charity that he donates to the world. He no longer has to strive to succeed.

Dave, there are those of us who are not rich, who still have to work to earn a living. Please don't insult us by telling us that we should work for free, or accept anything less than an honest day's pay for an honest day's work.

The system is not going to "break", as Dave predicts. The system is capitalism, that's not going to get broken. Capitalism adapts. Capitalism wins. Individual workers lose when they don't stand up for their rights, which is why the writers' strike should be supported. Unless you're on the side of the executives.

Actually, I think I will go and see Beowulf. It is a fine example of technology and creativity being merged together, so that left-brain and right-brain types can work on the same project, and both get fairly compensated.


Blogger Vishal Sharma said...


When are we going to see the demo or beta version of Tinfinger mate :)

5:12 pm, December 14, 2007  
Blogger Paul Montgomery said...

Very soon, I promise. :)

12:43 am, December 16, 2007  

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