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February 18, 2006

Rise of free digital content, fall of priced printed content

Sergey Dmitriev, Have We Seen the Back of the Hard Copy Reader? St. Petersburg Times (Russian Federation), February 14, 2006. (Thanks to LIS News.) Excerpt by Open Access News Blog (17 February 2006):

All of this means that the market of e-content (that at present basically means mobile content) is one of high growth potential. The hard-copy format is doomed to fall in its share of the market. The Internet University of Informational Technologies gives a few of its courses in the traditional way, despite their complete accessibility on the web site. The university’s administration believes that free publication on the web in no way influences book sales, because those who read books and those who read books on a computer are different categories....Sooner or later open source will settle down in the mobile world. Motorola released a mobile with Linux, and Nokia is already selling a Linux-based internet tablet. On such platforms the installation of DRM systems is pointless... In due course much can be expected from the much-hyped Google project called ‘Print.’ It can therefore be said that there is plenty of similar, accessible content. Moving the text to pocket computers and mobile phones by oneself is less and less complicated. A shift in our system of values is now taking shape. When a new generation that now downloads illegal music from the internet and uses open source software will age, it will more likely change the law than its way of thinking... It means that content in itself is not recognized as a good. And of interest to the market, from a commercial point of view it can only be as a contextual part of a more complicated service. Such thinking, and its corresponding business model, is clearly visible in such companies as Google: on one hand their services are impossible to copy, on the other for end users they are free.

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