by Kieran Healy on November 5, 2006

I was browsing in the campus bookshop over lunch and saw the “UK/Australia edition”: of “Freakonomics”: for sale — this is the recently released revised and expanded version. Looking to see what had changed, I was surprised and gratified to see that the new version incorporates much of Steven Levitt’s “response”: to “our seminar on the first edition”: The essay is prefaced by a generous comment from Steve to the effect that the CT seminar is the best available discussion of the book. Unfortunately the new edition doesn’t contain our essays (though it does give the seminar’s URL), and so we won’t be getting any royalties for our efforts. This shows why traditional models of publishing are doomed in the era of free online content.

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ralph 11.05.06 at 11:20 pm

You wanted royalties?


bi 11.06.06 at 12:21 am

Online ads! Online ads!


astrongmaybe 11.06.06 at 3:24 am

“Doomed” or “cleverly parasitic”?


greensmile 11.06.06 at 12:25 pm

I now know to skip buying Freakonics 2.0 and just dig through the CT archives.

Benkler’s book I still want to buy…I think the favors of attribution and just generally pointing out the good work of others ought to be mutual if only out of courtesy.


bb 11.06.06 at 2:55 pm

Everyone knows that CT rox. The question is, why?


paul 11.07.06 at 9:25 am

I’m going with 3. A bunch of smart people spent a lot of time commenting on the first edition, for which they get direct compensation of zip. One smart guy incorporates their discussion, directly or by reference, and gets compensated according to sales. (And since the discussion does you rather less good without the text, and most 2.0 sales aren’t going to be to buyers of 1.0, the impact of the discussion on sales is, if anything, positive.)

It is really a triumph of the dead-tree, brick-and-mortar folks that they’ve managed to block workable avenues for making money off long-tail online stuff for so long.

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