Information, if allowed, flows freely.
Classic Marxist theory, cost consists of capital, land and labour.
We now have a fourth factor, information.
Karl Marx wrote of machines whose cost was zero, that never wear out.
Information does not wear out, costs nothing to reproduce.
Feel free to listen to The Way of the Bow, share with your friends, download.
Digital music costs nothing to reproduce, e-books cost nothing to reproduce. If I listen to digital music, it does not wear out when I listen, I can share with my friends. An e-book does not wear out when I read, I can share with my friends.
I can of course share a book with my friends, but were I to, I cannot read it, it costs something to cut down the trees, make the paper, print, to distribute, to shelve, to retail. If I share it, for example pass on through BookCrossing, the more often shared and read the more dogeared it will become. One reason why I prefer to give books away rather than share.
The price of information goods tends to zero. If you are being charged more than a pound a dollar or a euro for an e-book, you are being ripped off.
The only thing that maintains the price of a song on iTunes is the near monopoly Apple exerts.
We see this with the price of iPhones, the price maintained by near monopoly and Draconian intellectual property rights, thus Apple maintains a high profit margin, even when its share of the market falls. Helped of course by tax dodging, low wage workers at Foxconn in China and the massive subsidies from the Chinese government.
Most jobs could be replaced by robots, were it not for the creation of what David Graeber calls bullshit jobs. The car wash replaced by half a dozen migrants with dirty rags and a bucket of water.
- Apple now inhaling 94 percent of global smartphone profits, selling just 14.5 percent of total volumes
- How does Apple make 94% of smartphone profits despite having lower sales volume
- How China Built ‘iPhone City’ With Billions in Perks for Apple’s Partner
- Cost of stuff tending to zero
- Co-ops – sharing – commons
- Paul Mason discussing PostCapitalism
Below a series of charts and a video that illustrate price of information goods falling.