Hmm. I think one thing that contradicts this “great thing for everybody” is stated in the next paragraph: “BitTorrent Inc never succeeded in capturing any meaningful part of the upside from all this disruption.” In other words, it failed to capture the value it created. This is the same problem for creators of digital media, instead, the distributor platforms and consumers have captured all the value through low-priced subscriptions. But this is not sustainable and it is increasingly subsidized by the platform shareholders with the promise of some future payoff from Big Data. Digital files are cheap; storing, renting, and distributing them through a centralized service is not.

The problem is that it is easier to attach value to tangible assets, tougher to assign them to “experiences” that are freely shared. It almost becomes a public good problem with non-rivalry and non-exclusion in consumption. I enjoy the experience of clean, fresh air, but nobody is really able to charge me for that experience. Thus nobody is motivated to provide that good.

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I am currently a tech start-up founder in the creative media original content space. Social science academic and author.

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