Information wants to be free has turned into one of those
soundbites that are believed by virtue of being so often repeated,
like a cross breeding of of
Drink Coca-Cola and
blah considered harmful.
Drink Coca-Cola is an accurate summary of what the
Coca-Cola Corporation said.
Information wants to be free is a
misleading, disgraceful misquote.
Here is Stewart Brand's entire clueful paragraph,
quoted from page 202 of my copy of
The Media Lab:
Information wants to be free. Information also wants to be
expensive. Information wants to be free, because it has become so
cheap to distribute, copy and recombine — too cheap to meter. It
wants to be expensive because it can be immeasurably valuable to the
recipient. That tension will not go away. It leads to endless
wrenching debate about price, copyright,
and the moral rightness of casual distribution, because each round of
new devices makes the tension worse, not better.