Esther Dyson’s Intellectual Value essay and the New York Times

Some fifteen years ago, Esther Dyson said that with the rise of the Internet the price of information will tend to zero. Profit is to be drawn from events and products. Ms. Dyson did hold the New York Times up as a possible rule-proving exception. This appears not to be so.

With the New York Times promoting its Store and Events, the paper indeed is — as Esther Dyson predicted — following the example of the Grateful Dead.

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This article appeared in Wired, Issue 3.07, July 1995.

Intellectual Value
– by Esther Dyson
What happens to intellectual property when it gets on the Internet?

. . .

Much chargeable value will be in certification of authenticity and reliability, not in the content. Brand name, identity, and other marks of value will be important; so will security of supply. Customers will pay for a stream of information and content from a trusted source. For example, the umbrella of The New York Times sanctifies the words of its reporters. The content churned out by Times reporters is valuable because the reporters undergo quality-control, and because others believe them – context, again. The New York Times can almost make the truth – for better or worse.
. . .