Amateurs should, and will, be able to disseminate their creations, whether podcasts or songs or blogs or films, over the Internet. But those who hope to make a career of writing or talking or making music or shooting video should be able to protect their work and try to earn a living from it. If we don't encourage experimentation with profit-making business models (beyond just search-based advertising) - and with rights-management schemes - we'll end up restricting the creation of web media to amateurs, particularly amateurs of means. And we'll end up with mediocrity. The greatest content is not created by those who do it just for love; it's created by those who are so dedicated to their craft that they have no choice but to do it for both love and money.
What a bunch of baloney, Nick. Money comes, regardless of whether it's one or all of your incentives. Competition itself encourages experimentation of business models, and attempting to assert a difference between amateurs and professionals is a ridiculous exercise akin to second generation Americans locking the doors to immigration. We're all amateurs, Nick, particularly when we hide behind the skirts of DRM models in an age where producers and publishers had better get used to paying us to pay attention to them, and find their profit in the margin in the marketplace of gestures.
Of course we should be able to protect our work, not just from those who steal intellectual property but from those who put up the kinds of broadcast business models that crush the creative spirit in a sea of mediocrity and lowest common denominator blockbusters. There are markets for both, and business models as well. Just not Audible's, so far. Nick's right about one thing: If its Wordcast service (as it calls it) or the associated pricing model is flawed, then it will flop. Try again, Mitch. Mediocrity, Nick? That's what gave podcasting its break in the first place.