There?s a growing movement among some folks to make all information in the world available to everyone on the planet at no charge.
But if information is free to consumers, that means the salaries of the subject matter experts, writers, and editors whose job it is to produce content must all be paid by advertising, rather than subscription and product sales. One can argue that all content producers would be then influenced by advertisers, who would hold their financial fate in their hands.
Content producers who produce objective, unbiased reporting because they accept no advertising, like traditional subscription newsletter publishers, cannot survive if they must give away everything they produce for free.
Consumers, by the way, don?t buy into this ?all information is free? crap: according to an article in BtoB (1/16/05, p. 10), the information industry will generate revenues of $306 billion in 2006.
That?s an increase of 8% over 2005 sales — an indicator that the growing presence of the Internet is stimulating rather than retarding the sale of paid content.