In Information Doesn’t Want to be Free, Doctorow’s Second Law states that “Fame won’t make you rich, but you can’t get paid without it”. Doctorow states that in order to be famous, the person has to be lucky, talented and a drive to succeed. But fame does not equal money as you can spend money faster than you can earn. However, in the Arts industry, you do need some fame in order to get some extra money and the road to get famous is through the internet.

However, Doctorow starts off with a negative point, the Streisand effect. The Streisand effect is the phenomenon when something negative about you, a celebrity, on the internet has more views after you make a lot of noise about it. This is named after Barbra Streisand when she made a fuss over a picture of her house was featured in a negative light. With fame, comes people who like to stir up controversy. However, there are people called Internet “reputation managers” who charge money for controversy to go away but as Doctorow says, they “are ripoff artists”. The internet is a copying machine that downloads five copies for a person on their computer to view. With this, what hope do “reputation managers” and even the Arts industry have? I believe that once anything is on the internet, it stays there till the end of time, so anything hidden in the past can come back to bite and can hurt your reputation.

He continues on the topic of the internet and points out that it is an audience machine. This is because entertainments like movies, television shows and radio shows can be accessed through the internet rather than through its normal channels. This means that they can reach out to more potential people and make more money. Even though you won’t be able to predict the amount of money by using the internet but the audience can decide whether you get paid until they have seen it. He states that it is difficult to interest audiences in your works but you can increase the audience capacity by making your product cheaper.

Doctorow tells us that the way to get more audience is through conversation, not content on the internet. In the world, the word of mouth is the most important tool to get people to get interested in things and the internet is made of the word of mouth. Communication between people passes information that can be vital to the survival of a person or company. The internet is made of websites that are used for conversation such as Facebook and Twitter, and by talking about a movie or song, it increases the audience capacity.

There are 6 things that an artist can do to get paid:

  • By selling a physical copy of the art
  • By selling advertisements
  • By selling merchandise
  • By selling commissions
  • By selling tickets
  • By asking for donations

This overview is Doctorow’s guide for creative businesses to succeed in the digital age. Even though they have been used in the era before the internet came about, these methods have successfully been used in the 21st century and convert audience appreciation into money.

In conclusion, I believe that Doctorow’s Second Law is true. Fame can be gained by anyone and the money you gain can be tremendous but by using more than what you have, the money that you might have earned has gone to waste. The internet is a very good way for the entertainment industry to earn money but it is also a double edged sword, such as the Streisand effectm, which could ruin a person’s career. As a person thinking of going into the entertainment industry, what Doctorow says conforms to what experts, who have been in the industry for many years, have said. This day and age are very different from 10 years ago and people have to use the internet to attract the audience to their art.

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