Information Wants to be Free ... Information Wants to be Expensive (Stewart Brand)

Some of the distinctions of “the information economy” (as compared to an industrial age, or even an agricultural age) is that information (goods) have properties different from material (goods).

In a conversation with Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand is cited, saying:

Wozniak told the 125 programmers gathered in Sausalito, Calif., that it was a shame companies wouldn’t give engineers the rights to products they developed if the company decided not to market them.

Brand followed up by saying, “On the one hand, information wants to be expensive, because it’s so valuable. The right information in the right place just changes your life.

“On the other hand,” he went on, “information wants to be free, because the cost of getting it out is getting lower and lower all the time. So you have these two fighting against each other.”

Wozniak replied, “Information should be free, but your time should not.”

“Information wants to be free … and expensive” | Jennifer Lai | July 20, 2009 | Fortune at

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