The cost of free

Helienne Lindvall writes in the Guardian:

Cory Doctorow [will] cost you $25,000 (£15,800) to get him to speak at your conference…

But what does Doctorow speak about? Well, ironically, he’s a proponent of giving away content for free as a business model – and for years he’s been telling the music industry to adapt to it. Am I the only one to see the irony in this?

I don’t see the irony. This is exactly what Doctorow recommends. Give your content away and charge to perform it. Give your music away and charge for your gigs. I bet the content of his slides is creative commons, and I bet the recordings of this talks are creative commons even. But if watching a video of him isn’t enough for you and you want him in person, then you pay for it.

It seems that Helienne Lindvall does not understand even the basic ideas of free culture.

UPDATE: Helienne Lindvall seems to have been misinformed anyway, as per this tweet from Doctorow himself:

@helienne, I’m afraid you were badly misinformed. I don’t have a “booker”, I don’t charge anything like the sum quoted, most talks are free

UPDATE: Doctorow has since written an interesting article rebutting Lindvall.

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