The Importance Of Realizing Your Content Is Probably Available Online For Free

This post originally appeared on Techdirt.

We talk a lot about how it makes sense for people to make their content available online for free and adopt business models that take advantage of that, rather than complain about “piracy.” While unauthorized file sharing is usually illegal, it’s pretty silly to pretend that it doesn’t happen or that you can stop people from sharing stuff they like with others. That said, artist Evan Roth has launched an “Available Online For Free” prank-style promo campaign for his new art exhibit (via Urban Prankster) by creating stickers that can be snuck onto products in a store to advertise the fact that… well, they’re probably available online for free. (“Available Online For Free” is the name of the art exhibit and the exhibition book is, not surprisingly, available as a free download.) While it’s probably not a good idea to go around putting these stickers onto products in a store (disclaimer: I wouldn’t recommend it — the pictures are kind of funny… but you likely won’t make friends with the store owner), the campaign is a pretty creative and humorous way of stating the obvious — anything that can be, will be available online for free, one way or another. Making your content freely available online doesn’t mean that you can’t still find ways to sell it, but you need to recognize that this is the lens through which a lot of people see products on a shelf. If you don’t realize that yet, you may be in for a lesson via sticker sometime soon…

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