I was going to happily recommend my latest piece of writing to you but I can’t. Not because i don’t like what I wrote but because you can’t afford to read it.
My latest published article (a chapter) is in the Routledge International Handbook of Creative Learning. Check out the price at Amazon: almost 200 dollars for the book! Even more outrageous: we received no royalty for the piece, just the ‘honor’ of being chosen (a common ploy in educational publishing, by the way).
On the other hand, last night I was e-mailed a complete pdf version of our book Schooling by Design by a colleague; she was sent it by a district official who used it with his staff after finding it for free on the web just by googling the title.
I’m sure every one of us has downloaded copyrighted material (songs, tv shows, article, books); I confess I have done so in the past. But under both approaches to content access there will soon be no worthy things widely available except from people who can afford it.
It’s bad enough that the Internet has had a Gresham’s Law effect on information available to us, but if intellectual property is thus threatened on both sides we are all in trouble. And so, that’s my grim Labor Day weekend thought: it is utterly unclear what intellectual/artistic labor is now worth in the modern world. Pass the mustard…