On known plagarist and hack Chris Anderson’s terrible business practices:
What he is actually proposing is the complete divorce of capital and earnings from those who make the product that is being sold. The only thing that is “Free” in this instance is the labor of the people who earn Chris Anderson money.
What he is literally saying is that the business side of an editorial operation—which is, in this case, the owners, not merely the part of the organization that handles the business of the site—is the complete authority of the editorial operation. That they retain all of the value, and that they have no obligation to share any of that income with any other part of the business. (In his description, this website in question “makes good money,” which then pays the people who make the website something “nominal; a few bucks,” or nothing at all.)
All of which is to say that the owners provide none of the product which is actually being sold and retain nearly all of the profit of that labor.
What he is proposing is down somewhere, on the scale of ethics, well beneath Wal-Mart’s policies of no longer hiring any full-time workers so as to avoid health and unemployment insurance. It is in fact some weird sort of neo-feudal, post-contract-worker society, in which he will create a dystopian and eager volunteer-slave system of “attention-paid” enthusiasts (which is to say, people with no other options, and no capital of their own) to create products from which rich people can get richer.
(via Richard Metzger)