Robert_Charlton - 2:00 am on Feb 17, 2011 (gmt 0)
This is a significant step forward, I feel, and I'm delighted to see it happen, and I'm delighted to see Google coming in with a much more reasonable distribution fee than Apple's.
Way back in 2001, Sergey Brin and Larry Page were interviewed on Public Radio, and they were envisioning a content subscription model then, to compensate content creators. I mentioned it briefly in this post...
Google founders Brin and Page on public radio
The original links in the above thread to the archived presentation have been broken. I'll post more recent links below. Regarding paying for content, though, in his prepared speech in 2001, Larry Page said...
From the transcript... [commonwealthclub.org...]
...So there's going to be a lot of access to information, and I believe that's a good thing in general. Companies like Google are trying to make sense of all that information that's going to be available.
One risk of that is that people don't get paid for their content, which is clearly a problem. I'd personally like to see a model where you can buy into the world's content. Let's say you pay $20 per month and get access to the world. Somebody else needs to figure out how to reward all the people who create the things that you use. This is basically what happens with a lot of systems today. Radio stations pay into a big fund, and then the organization decides which labels and which artists to reimburse, based on what got played on the radio. It's a nice model because it allows access to everyone for everything that exists, but you don't have to think about, "Oh, I'm going to spend five cents to look at this web page" or things like that. That will allow content producers to still get rewarded for what they do.
In the speech and the Q&A, Brin and Page also discuss distribution of other media along similar lines. The One Pass system isn't exactly what they describe, but it's a step. There may not be a one-size fits all approach that will make everybody happy, and there are competing interests with big money involved. It will require publishers, musicians, video creators getting it together to simplify things refine the model. Otherwise, Apple, which controls some important closed platforms, may continue to be able to charge 30% for that usage.
Here are links to the transcripts of the above broadcast in three sections. I distinctly remember some other material regarding mobile that's noted in my 2001 post but isn't included in these....
The Future Of The Internet
Google Co-founders - March 21, 2001
The Commonwealth Club
Speech: Sergey Brin - Larry Page
Answers to Written Questions from the Floor
There's also a "Purchase Tape" link for the audio that doesn't seem to be working, and it's hard to say what the format might be. It would be great if this were available in some sort of online audio format that could be archived and purchased at a reasonable price. ;)
PS: Yes, I'd like to have an opt-in information sharing policy too.