Doddering old musician and full time annoyance, David Byrne, said recently that the internet is going to kill creativity because there's too much free, he actually means pirated, music and art on the internet. He hates it that musicians and artists post free stuff online because he thinks that people will get so used to getting everything for free they'll demand it all the time and therefore no one, including him, will make any money off their work.
And of course he's full of shit.
His argument presupposes that everyone who posts and puts things on the internet do so with the express intent of getting paid for it and making money off it. Most artists know that they'll never make a dime off what they draw, paint, and create. They do however crave the kind of exposure that the internet provides. I know I feel that way. My father was an artist, he made oil paintings, and he despaired over never having sold one. He lived and died well before the internet exploded and he never had the chance that I've gotten, which is to show my art to an international audience. Yes, I'd like to make lots of money off the art I produce but I'm grown up enough to know that' not going to happen, so I gladly put my art online for others to see and if I find out someone is using it to make money off of, they'll be hit with a lawsuit.
Also, giving shit away can lead to big sales or at least some sales. Monty Python put some of their sketches on You Tube well after they had put out their work on DVD. You Tube is of course free and any one could watch what the men in Python put online. Quite soon after the clips hit You Tube a funny thing happened, sales of Python related DVDs went through the roof. They experienced a 200% INCREASE in sales after the You Tube vids hit. In a related note, I discovered many bands on Free Music Archive and I downloaded their songs. I burned those songs to a CD and I listened over and over to them. Then I searched out more music by some of those bands and I bought the music I found. I bought it on CD and on digital download.
So, yeah, free is good because it gives people a taste, it doesn't kill creativity. Only an old out of touch idiot who is frightened by the future would say that.
Dr. Monkey Hussein Monkerstein