Hearne: Lefsetz on Web Paola — What, You Thought the Internet was Free?

game-of-lifeThink the Game of Life is rigged?

Take a number. Now sit back and let edgy entertainment lawyer / scribe Bob Lefsetz explain it to you.

But first the news:

“Independent artists could disappear from YouTube ‘in a matter of days’ after the Google video service confirmed it was dropping content from independent labels that have not signed up for its upcoming subscription music service,” The Guardian reports today.

The headline reads: “YouTube to block indie labels who don’t sign up to new music service”

Lefsetz take:


“Welcome to the winner take all economy.

Or, to put it another way, did you really think Google and Facebook were FREE?

You can’t have it both ways. Partake of the service and then bitch that you don’t like the terms when suddenly it’s your effort involved.

This is part of a bigger story. How our whole universe seems to be flowing to the 1%. That the blockbusters triumph and everybody else survives on peanuts.

But you can make another hit record. There’s a low barrier to entry. But Google owns search and Amazon owns sales and Facebook is your home away from home. No VC with any intelligence is going to fund a competitor, especially after Microsoft lost billions with Bing.

Eventually there will be competitors. Eventually these companies will be eclipsed, just like VisiCalc and WordPerfect. But for now…

Bob Lefsetz

Bob Lefsetz

It’s all about money. The rich get richer and those not already rich want to be so too.

So you can’t trust a soul. Not anybody. Sayonara…

So until the public realizes there is no free lunch, and that their odds of getting rich are minuscule, expect these heinous about-faces to continue.

YouTube is laden with ads. Google is a business. What made you think otherwise?”

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2 Responses to Hearne: Lefsetz on Web Paola — What, You Thought the Internet was Free?

  1. Orphan of the Road says:

    The laws of nature say you get nothing for free.

  2. Libertarian says:

    Free ones are $49.95 today, and today only.

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