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I want it all - and I want it for nothing. - The Paranoid Android
...musings of a mechanically depressed robot...
I want it all - and I want it for nothing.
There is a growing sickness in the world and I am not referring to Swine 'Flu. This sickness seems to be prevalent on the Internet and it's not porn (you clicked the link? - you pervert!) It's getting worse all the time. Although its effects are widespread this sickness has no name that I know of.

The sickness seems to effect children first. It's symptoms are greed and stupidity. It also effects adults; women and men are both susceptible.

I saw the most recent outbreak this morning on a website I use and value. They have moved to a two tier service model today and there is an outrage. People are threatening to never use the website again. Nasty names have been thrown around and there is a growing thread of people who have their heads stuck so far up their own behinds they can't see sense or reason from the diatribe they spout.

Today, if you want all the cool stuff that Curse.com offers you have to pay for the service.

They very first post in the ironically thread titled " Curse got greedy" states that it costs $24 a month for this premium service. It actually costs $4.95 a month... or $29.40 a year if you pre-pay. There also appears to be some confusion about what a two tier service is. Curse.com is not a paid only service. The free service still exists , but paid (or premium) members get some extra benefits... some/one of which used to be available to the non paying members. If you pay you get access to faster servers, no adverts, and the con traversal "update all" button.

The update all feature was available (until yesterday) to people who haven't paid for the service. Today those same users have to click on each addon that has been updated (they are still shown which ones need to be updated) and click the update button. The content available to users is the same, the only difference is speed and convenience. So are Curse.com really greedy to offer a premium service?

This has happened with LJ over the years... the introduction of "paid only" (first paid only feature in LJ?) features is rarely popular with those people who don't have paid accounts - but to take the time to complain about it without realising that you sound like a spoilt whining brat has always amazed me.

I blame the Internet! (no - I don't really) But it provides a lot of things for no charge both legally and illegally. This seems to have given many people the idea that it is somehow their right to have free stuff. They are oblivious to (or have no care for) the cost to the holders of the free stuff - they only care that they can get it all for free.

I have also used a site which relied on voluntary contributions each month to cover the couple hundred dollars it cost to keep the site up. There was a list of the contributions each month and the amount outstanding. The same few names would crop up (usually $5-$20 dollars at a time) but the forums were full of people (there are over 3.5 thousand registered accounts) asking questions about the software and addons provided. Voluntary contributions don't work because so few people will pay for something if it is available for free. This is why shareware went from "pay us if you want to" to "pay us if you want to continue to use this after 30 days"

I was beyond amazed to see a forum where people complained that Blizzard was conning its millions of customers with the "pay as you play" model. It was as if Blizzard's work and costs were done the moment you bought the game. The weekly patching, bug fixing, server running, R&D and I'm sure a bunch of things I have no idea about don't cost anything, perish the thought that a company like Blizzard might actually want to make a profit.

There needs to be a new compulsory class in every school about the value of stuff. Mostly if something is free it has no value*. If it has no value then someone is not going to take the effort to produce it. If you find something of value to you then you should pay for it in some way; even if that means switching off your ad-blocker. If someone offers you someone else's work for free without permission then you should decline. The class should teach the consequence of taking work without paying for it; no-one will contribute any more.

This rant was prompted by the drama at Curse.com today, but I've been feeling this way for a while about the purchase of pirate CDs and DVDs, the abuse of the welfare state, and a general lack of respect for other's efforts.

The world is sick, the symptoms are common and plain to see, and yet this sickness still doesn't have a name.

*There are always exceptions to the rule... and in this case the most successful exception is Wikipedia. With no advertising revenue, and completely run on voluntary contributions it keeps my faith in the greater good.

Tags: ,
Current Location: RM12 5JH
Current Mood: annoyed annoyed
Current Music: Billy Bragg - I Dreamed I Saw Phil Ochs Last Night

2 comments or Leave a comment
tweezlebum From: tweezlebum Date: April 30th, 2009 02:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Preach the word. I am brewing a similar rant inspired by the food pantry, so I'm definitely feelin' you.
paranoidandroid From: paranoidandroid Date: April 30th, 2009 07:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Some peoples kids eh? ;)
2 comments or Leave a comment