Would the net be better off if we had to pay for websites?

Do you think that the Web is better off now that we get all of the services we do (email , social networking, Internet crawl searching, video hosting) for free? Or could it be possible that paying for access to these websites would generate more favorable results.

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Paywalls inhibit access to content so by default they limit the freedom that exists on the internet. Not everyone also has a credit card which is needed for online transactions unless you feel that brave putting a PayPal account all over the place, and most places don’t use PP anyway.

>but what if everyone adopted crypto currency

Not happening


Bad idea
When there is one thing we need more then ever is modesty. Completely free kills websites, paywalls kill the variety (only the ones with big fan bases survive).

  • Tone down the ads so the site does not look like an 80s neon disco without adblocker.
  • Give an option to donate (pia paysafe, paypall, bitcoin, etc.) to encourage people positivly, not turn them off with another paywall.

Rant incomming!
There are too many paywalls up allready.
Take for example the art sector. EVERYTHING is locked behind Patreon (and the like). You can´t just take a stroll arround and pick a few nice pieces anymore. Sure, there is Artstation and DeviantArt where you still can do so, but both places are used more as promotional sites leading you into a paywall of each and every artist.
For music, the whole “watermarking” (cough cough audiojungle cough cough) was just the beginning. Now artists lock up everything. Getting that one piece you like requiers creating an account, connecting the darn thing to google+ so it connects to your youtube channel, then you have to enter your credit card details (costs nothing… go figure!) so you can then F_ _ _ ing finally download the music you want just to listen to it.
Kudos to Bandcamp in that regard! Just enter your email and the amount of money you have set aside to support the artist and done.

Yes, I understand artists need to eat. But after they figured out they could paywall-it-all, prices went up to hyperinflation levels of insane!
And then they wonder why people “crowdfund” their work and torrent it…

The overall situation is bad. Tone it all back down, avoid the extremes and kindly ask for donations! When I have money, I´ll donate some…

Do not even get me started on the “only 10 bucks per month”-bullshit!


I think free is better, but the funding of free needs to be carefully considered as part of design, not an afterthought. I’m also anti-selling data, so hence I don’t mind ads that don’t interfere with usage… yet I don’t actually think there is income generation potential sufficient to fund many sites (for example twitter it would, but not a site that creates it own reviews), and I don’t know if conglomerating a bunch of minor payment methods or begging donations (like wikipedia) are good long term answers.

Part of me hopes that with IPV6’s multicast voluntary distributed hosting ect could decentralize many services and thus reduce overhead costs, but just as payments via crypto won’t become common die to their nature primarily as speculative shares, I don’t see this as actually happening in the real world. Also that won’t help with costs of living of content creators, so not sure what the ideal solution is.

Nothing is free
Data is the new oil, when you use free email you are feeding the beast.
"Should I use Linux to protect my privacy from big companies?"

We don’t get these for free. We sell ourselves to pay for them. Personally, I would rather pay with money. My biggest concern with the net as it exists today is the constant tracking, data mining, and the privacy concerns that come with those. Being able to pay for services with money would help to alleviate that.

Do they? If I sell you a piece of free as in freedom software, does it cease to be free as in freedom? If a website asks for money in exchange for its services you are still free to get that same service from some other provider.

I’m not sure I follow your reasoning through this section. Why should you be entitled to that artwork without compensation for the artist? Inconvenient services are a bad implementation of a paywall, not a slight against paywalls themselves.

I believe he is against the fact that artists lock all the content away; content that people would be interested in getting (demo), behind the paywall.

But I’m trying to figure out if that is actually any different that paying to go to an art gallery viewing. It just feels different.

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The problem is the execution.
Take for example Bandcamp. You can buy each piece by itself.
Meanwhile on Patreon, you have to pay for all the stuff, not just the one piece you want.

>"same service"

>you are free to go use another product that isn't the one you want to use and is probably inferior due to it not being behind a paywall

That’s the ISP argument of “well if you don’t like our prices you can just not have internet”

I see it now.

It’s partly different in that you’re not buying art, you’re buying temporary access to view the art, so the product itself is different. What’s being put behind a paywall is not the artwork, but a service. I’d like to call it an antiquated pricing model, but it seems to work well for the industries that still use it.

I’d compare to the old days of music CDs, where you had to buy a whole album for the three tracks out of twelve that you actually liked. These days, we can not only demo each track before purchase, but we can also buy them individually. This is a good, consumer friendly pricing model for intangible goods because it helps the consumer maximise the use they get out of their money. The convenience and the good value proposition also encourage spending over piracy, which is better for the artist.

Yes, inconvenient implementations are certainly bad. However, they don’t condemn the core idea itself. Bandcamp in particular is one of the best platforms for buying music. I kind of wish they would expand into other markets.

Yes. What should make you entitled to use any service without paying money for it, if the service provider decided to monetize it that way? The so-called free services being inferior is not an argument against paywalls; you get what you pay for. Is it not perfectly reasonable to expect a service, which sells to its consumers rather than selling its consumers to advertisers, to invest heavily into providing the highest quality good they possibly can to those consumers?

That is a false analogy. The ISP argument is “We own all of the infrastructure in your area, and have put up heavy legal and anti-competitive barriers to prevent any competitors from entering the market. You do not, and will not, get a choice in the matter. you must buy from us, or not buy from anybody.”

Those restrictions do not exist on the internet. There is nothing that, say for instance Google, could do to prevent you from starting a competitor to Youtube that charges money for its use, or to prevent a consumer from using said service.


I’d happily support specific websites if there was a “push transaction” system in place. Credit cards, Paypal, etc are all “pull transaction” systems. Cryptocurrencies are mostly push systems, but as @kewldude007 said above, not happening. Most website operators can’t be bothered to learn and set up their own crypto-receiving system, and any third parties that do the job for them will fiscally rape & plunder everyone involved.


Cn you elaborate a little more on this? I don’t quite understand.

When you make a credit card purchase, you’re authorizing the payment company to “pull” money out of your account (hence “pull transaction”). Paypal et al do the same thing. When you send cryptocurrency, you “push” the money from your address to theirs.

The reason I prefer “push” over “pull”, is in a pull system, once they have the neccessary information for one transaction (ie credit card number, expiry, and CVV), they can create as many transactions as they like (ie the majority of credit card fraud). With a push system, you have to initiate every transaction, with no way for them to do so.

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Makes sense, never heard those terms for payments.

So why not just wire money to them?

Because its not instant, so its hard for companies to know they have been paid before giving access to online goods… not so much of a problem with shipping physical items unless your needing them next day or so.

Also there isn’t actually a way to do that as a private individual, you need to use a banks service with any delays or fees associated, as cash is the only end user push based system (even checks are pull).