[permaculture] The long tail vs the short? Permaculture Copyright....

Evan Schoepke thejulianeffect at gmail.com
Thu Dec 3 03:25:40 EST 2009

This post is in regards to the Permaculture copyright
and I know your tired of it but it is really important:

Okay, so I figured it out, I'm from a generation that inherently understands
the long tail <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Long_Tail> vs the
short in regards
to spreading or selling of information.  I'm not saying that is good or bad,
but it is different.  We can argue different philosophies (and should) sure,
but it is hard to argue with a calculator.
This was a great comment I received on punk rock permaculture
ezine<http://www.punkrockpermaculture.com>that made me see the
incredibly powerful
value ($) of *the Long Tail <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Long_Tail> *and
why exactly it is *good for poor folks, small publishers, folks that don't
speak english, trees, the planet, permaculture and more*!  I and many others
love Tagari we just want to see permaculture grow faster and wider than ever
before in order to avert more ecological and social destruction. In order to
do that it is my very sincere belief Tagari desperately needs to adapt to
the digital age.

The last poster really said it. Tagari has a few large paper products, but
if they were willing to digitize more of their library, they would have a
huge catalog: PDC videos and audio sets, surveys of individual property
designs, business documents, a large number of Bill's and others'
permaculture articles, audiobooks versions of things, etc etc. Tagari's
distribution model is severely limiting the dissemination of their works,
and surely their profits as well. If they sold the Manual as a PDF for $1, I
bet they would make more money per annum from those sales than from all
hardcopy sales, from which they probably make $50 or less in profit each.

They could be selling digital copies of out-of-print works every day of the
week for a small price, and make more money that way than saving up for
another print run. If they had several dozen digital products going for 99
cents each, of high quality and packaged well, they would surely reap much
more profit than trying to rely on sales of a few short-run printed
materials. And as has been said above, since they are such a niche producer,
they would undoubtedly draw in a great deal more hardcopy sales from all the
publicity of a cheap internet sales presence.

Information wants to be free, because it is digitizable and therefore easily
reproduced. There is no point in trying to "protect" it. The law on this
point is simply unenforceable and backward. Moreover, it would be to
Tagari's great enrichment to recognize the true nature of their resources.
They would surely profit from a more creative approach to "publishing".

I am ever more suspicious of Mollison's business legacy. If his foundation
and income in old age actually relies so much on publishing profits, its
other ventures must have failed, such as property holdings, added-value and
land production systems, equipment rental, vacation rentals, and above all,
income from teaching courses and design services. How could this be? How
could an organization advocating such a robust and industructable
money-making system rely on feeble book sales?

"Gratis and libre" is the pathway to money. I would say Leo has the right
idea in "asking for permission" first, and that something could have
probably been worked out with Tagari. But that is obsolete now, in that PDCs
and Manuals hit the torrents a few years ago. Now Tagari might learn from
this episode, spread the word digitally, and *make some real money!* Get
those awesome lectures from the 80s on iTunes Bill! Join the Long Tail
already *sheesh*.

You can see all comments on this post here:
Thank you for your time
gaia punk designs

The obstacle is the Path.
-Zen Proverb

I write at www.punkrockpermaculture.com

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