Topic 5 – Is getting free content a crime?

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Have you ever felt this way when you are looking for article or research paper and they ask you to pay for it? Or when Taylor Swift remove her music from online streaming?

Being able to access to free content is by open access.

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The video below explains what is open access about.

When content producers use open access there will be some pros and cons:


  • Increase Readership
    Because the articles are available online for free, there will be an increase of readership. When the public is able to gain access to the articles, there will be an increase of citations as well [1]. As a marketer, if my marketing research paper is able to gain more views and comments it will benefit me improve on it and even inspire me to go for a new direction of research.
  • International Access
    Having your article being easily googled online, it will be able to go worldwide. Developing countries will be able to gain access to the articles and have the chance to participate in research despite their low-income [2]. Also they can improve on their transfer of education with the aid of free articles. Video below is an example of how open access has help a breakthrough:


  • Costs incurred 
    Having a free article, there is nobody to support the publication and the research & development fees. Producers have to fork out these fees on their own and this could discourage them from publishing on open access [3].
  • Quality
    Because of the lack of funding for the Research and Development, the quality of the article could be worst than traditional paid access models. With the traditional paid access model, there will be funding to sustain the articles, however with open access, sustainability could be a difficulty [4].

Let’s look into the music industry for example.

Miley Cyrus released her new album for free, her reason for it? She wanted to have a break from the mainstream music so she has this album as an experiment. And it was a good investment where she got the artistic freedom and also keeps her name in the press [5].

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As compared to Taylor Swift where she wants consumers to buy her music as she feels music is art and valuable art should be paid for [6]. With her “enthusiastic optimist” she sold 14.9 millions tracks on iTunes [7]!

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In conclusion, there isn’t a definite yes or no of whether content producer should make their content free but it comes down to the objective of their content.

Word Count: 420 words


13 thoughts on “Topic 5 – Is getting free content a crime?

  1. eatgoodicecream says:

    Hi Jue Yin,

    I really enjoyed reading your blog post as you’ve looked into this topic’s discussion on various online platforms, rather than only focusing on academic content. In addition, the headings give readers a clear view of what to expect for the content below.

    Firstly, do you think artists such as Miley Cyrus for releasing her album for free have had an alternative purpose? Adding on to your answers above, I would like to think that Miley is in fact using free album as a bait to lure more audience to her upcoming world tour for 2016. After all, she wouldn’t want her effort to go down the drain.

    Secondly, I wonder what are your views on producers/artist wanting their work to be paid online. In other words, making users pay for things owned/created by them. This would definitely result in more illegal downloading. Thus, at the end of the day is Taylor Swift really getting what she deserves by insisting that consumer buys her music?

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    Let me know what are your thoughts. (:

    Siew Woon

    Liked by 1 person

    • tjueyin says:

      Hi Siew Woon,

      I agree on that releasing her album has other purpose like keeping her name in the medias as well as promoting her world tour like what you said.

      And I feel that popular artist like Taylor Swift don’t have to worry about illegal downloading or users not purchasing her music. As she has a big fan base that supports her, hence they will purchase her music to support her or wanting to make her top the charts in iTunes.

      Thanks for commenting on my post! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. amandakeee says:

    Good morning Jue Yin!

    I was devastated when Taylor removed all her music from online streaming, “we are never ever ever listening to Taylor on spotify!”

    I liked how you mentioned points that I previously left out in my post and after reading yours, I had more to add on to my pros and cons list!

    The world is shrinking and evolving at a fast pace and now, we are able to view content from all over the world with a click of a button. It is almost like a form of education, where we are able to “visit” and learn about places and cultures. So with open access, life is made so much more interesting and learning becomes more interactive and unique to everyone!

    I also agree with your point on the quality of the materials provided by content providers. The competition out there is fierce and in order to stand out, they would need new equipment and funds for further R&D. Better quality cameras would allow YouTubers to play with different functions and create impressive video content.

    To me, the good definitely outweighs the bad in this situation because I am all for sharing and learning from one another. It can all be made a pleasant experience if we act responsibly. What do you think? ☺


    • tjueyin says:

      Hi Amanda,

      So happy to hear somebody that is as devastated as me when it happened.

      I agree with you points of how sharing is caring, and if everybody act responsibly by not putting non credible materials online the world will be a better place for education, entertainment and even business.

      Thank you for commenting! 🙂


  3. yeejoey says:

    Hi Jue Yin, Great blog post once again. you provided really engaging animations and pictures. I always get frustrated when payment is required to read the articles online. All I wanted to do was read the article and learn some insights but similarly to the point the guy in this video shared, we will only know whether the articles is pertinent to us when we pay! Thus I am especially happy whenever I find free articles :p

    In your conclusion, you indicated that making content free comes down to the objective of their content which I tam skeptical about. Do you mean content in terms of articles by professional content producers? Personally, I think that there are many other factors that affects why contents are openly accessible or not. For instance, content producers may not be have enough money to pay for an APC to publish the article despite how much they may want to. In my post, I shared an infographic that contains several reasons why content producers may not publish OA.


    • tjueyin says:

      Hi Joey!

      In my post, the objectives I meant could be for entertainment purposes. But it all comes down to whether the content producers is responsible 🙂 Your post was beneficial for me, cover pointers that I didn’t research on.

      Thanks for commenting 🙂


  4. Memolast says:


    Thanks Jueyin for sharing with us the news about the free album Miley Cyrus did. Honestly ,I was completely unaware about it. I have looked through the reference and it seems that many people are noticing her free album even without great publicity. I guess this ties in to the explanation that free access content does bring along some benefits.

    Upon typing the first paragraph, I was a little contradicted to the fact that is it because it was Miley, that she was able to produce a free album and yet get noticed. In fact, not really… Someone whom already has the fame is doing so, this proves a lot to those that have yet to be famous. The first step to being successful is to be noticed.

    In life, to succeed, we have to start being noticed

    Jueyin, do you agree with me that we create LinkedIN, Twitter or even Facebook are reasons for us to be noticed too? 😉


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    • tjueyin says:

      Hi Calanthea!

      Glad that my post was informative to you!

      I feel that we all have reasons to create social media, it could be for business purposes or just sharing our daily life with our friends. And yes, in one way or another we want to get notice, is either by the public or by family and friends 🙂

      Thanks for commenting on my post

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Justin Kang says:

    Hi Jue Yin,

    It’s the last topic! Hope you have been enjoy this module!

    I chanced upon your post on this topic and I find the points you raised with regards to the pros and cons of open access is pretty interesting!

    Certainly open access content can indeed increase access & readership! I mention something similar in my post and I notice a few others like Jasmine have same viewpoint too.

    Free content indeed tends to get more views & in turn getting more citations, which could give more motivation for the producer of the content! I’m glad you made the point on international access due to the article being easily googled and thus benefiting those developing countries overseas with their education “in spite of their low-income” is in sync with myself and many others!

    I notice you also mentioned the cons are the cost and quality being affected which I too can relate with my post. Just a question on that as you also brought up Miley Cyrus releasing her new album for free,

    For content like music, do you think they should also be open access to the public? Or paid for like in Taylor Swift’s case


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    • tjueyin says:

      Hi Justin!

      Happy that my post is helpful for you !

      I feel that in terms of music or entertainment industry, there isn’t a affirmation yes or no to open access about their products. I feel that it comes down to individual objective or views of producing their work. Certain artist feel that that work is like an art hence requite paid access like Taylor Swift or can be like Miley Cyrus where she just want to experiment and not be restricted so she have a open access to public to enjoy her music.

      Thanks for commenting 🙂


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