Topic 5

When discussing online content there are positives and negatives to be considered when producers choose to make their content freely available. The PowToon below highlights some of these.

In a world influenced by money, it is not surprising that millions of illegally downloaded materials are obtained each day. In a report carried out by MarkMonitor Inc. (2011), they found “of 43 unique sites they observed. Traffic generated to these sites was over 146,000,000 visits per day”. It’s clear that online piracy is a real issue, so by a producer making their materials free they can avoid the stigma that comes from illegal downloads.

There are certain scenarios where creators wish for their content to be consumed by as many people as possible. In an interview with Time (2014) the band U2 outlined why they wanted to release their album for free on I-Tunes and how by doing this they reached “500 million users”.

Although U2 have already made vast sums of money, it can be in smaller creator’s interests to follow their example. By reaching a large audience, it can increase the likelihood of consumers paying for future content that those producers create.

As for disadvantages, there are varieties of reasons why someone may not wish to distribute their work for free. The obvious reason is the loss of initial earnings. For some, creating content is money orientated and without a reward is pointless. In an article by The Wall Street Journal (2014) popular singer Taylor Swift discussed how “music is important and rare and therefore valuable, so should not be free”. This is the opposite of the previous example involving U2.

Continuing from this, a further disadvantage that covers not just media but academia and politics, is the issue of plagiarism. The infographic below outlines examples of where plagiarism occurs and the ramifications that follow.


Although paid content can be plagiarised, by making your content freely available you encourage this even more. In academia for example for someone to plagiarise a journal article they may have to pay “as much as $40,000”. (The Guardian, 2012)

In my opinion, for forms of media to grow, content does need to be readily available but to encourage this there needs to be an incentive for those creators such as money or recognition. This will help both the creator and the online community.


Reference list:

MarkMonitor Inc. (2011), Online Report Accessed [08/12/2016]:

Piktochart, Personally Created Online:

Powtoon, Personally Created Online:

The Guardian (2012), Online Article Accessed [06/12/2016]:

The Wall Street Journal (2014), Online Article Accessed [09/12/2016]:

Time (2014), Online Video Accessed [06/12/2016]:

Time (2014), Online Article Accessed [06/12/2016]:


3 thoughts on “Topic 5

  1. Hi Tom,

    Firstly I thought the video introduction was very informative and gave a good overview into the topic before further explaining your ideas. The idea of U2 releasing their album for free was a great way to bring popular culture into the topic and it was an area I hadn’t focused much attention on in my blog so I found it interesting. I would agree with Taylor Swift in the fact that music, as any good or service, should be paid for as there is a cost to the artist of producing it. Do you think media accessible online should be paid for? I also enjoyed reading your info-graphic and in particular found the Pixar lamp case to be compelling as some cases seem to be for the benefit of winning compensation rather than for accreditation. Overall a great post!


    (142 Words)


  2. Hi Tom,

    I enjoyed reading your blog post and the unique approach you took on answering the topic of open access. Your use of both Powtoon and Piktochart meant your post was always engaging and never a dull moment when reading it. The Powtoon video was very informative and displayed the advantages and disadvantages of open access very well.

    I particularly enjoyed your use of relevant examples on discussing whether giving out music for free is right and the inclusion of the contrasting views of two prominent artists, Taylor Swift and U2. The addition of diving deeper into open access and covering plagiarism illustrates further the disadvantages of using open access in today’s age. Your Piktochart shows clear and relevant examples of how plagiarism is used on a day to day basis.

    However, from researching the topic of open access I discovered how it also helps education worldwide especially in developing countries. Surely you would agree despite the disadvantages in the long run it will be very beneficial, hence why the UK government is also moving in this direction?



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