Exploiting the Knowledge Economy

The issue of Freelance exploitation is something that is a rather passionate topic for me personally, as I have experienced it in one way or another myself.

The main issue with freelance work, more-so freelance writing, is as stated by Lobato and Thomas I would say is that there are no formal protections. Compared to a ‘secure’ job with a company, where you have constant income and protections that aid you such as work cover or even minimum wages, you don’t have this when working for institutions that are based on the content farm philosophy.

As people are able to charge what they want for this type of content, it brings to question many ethical issues, however there is not enough room to talk about this here.

I feel the main issue with this system is that there is always going to be the manpower to do this work for content farms, and this competition may in fact create even lesser value monetarily. Pushing this most I feel is the concept of experience, and idea that ‘that you can’t have too much’, and ‘you never have enough’.

This stigma means that these people are going to go through being paid below minimum wage, in the hopes that it will lead to a more lustrous career in the industry. The model however, does not take into account that writing low value (quality wise) articles for companies that farm your content doesn’t really go the places that it is expected to lead.

It is hard to think of a way around this industry practice, as there is nothing governing what is right and wrong. Ethically this type of practice is not ideal, but for most organisations in this situation the ethics do not make a difference to the outcome. As an individual I don’t think there will be much that can be done, or if something can be done it won’t very influential. I think that as a group change could be made, but it is still going to be a long road from where we have come to at this moment in history before we can bring journalism back to what it once was.

Thepiratebay vs Foxtel, your thoughts?

Ellen makes a great point, I don’t think I could have said it any better.

It is not that many Australians don’t see what they are doing (in terms of pirating content) as illegal, they whole heartedly realise that. I talk about it as a collective, as Australia has the highest rate of piracy world wide.

I think Ellen’s point that Australians would be happy to pay for they TV programs (at a reasonable price that is), rather than pirate them. It is rather pathetic that we have to wait so long for some shows, and sometimes never get them unless we have Foxtel.

One thing that Ellen didn’t mention (nor did I expect her to) was the AFL. I personally, find it disgraceful that “Australia’s Game” as it is always so kindly put, is near impossible to bearably watch without paying for it. Coverage by the low quality channel 7 is not enough, and people don’t want to buy Foxtel or AFL live to watch something that many believe should be free. Who want’s to watch standard definition crap on channel 7, and not even see their team play?


Check out Ellen’s post here if you want to hear her thoughts on Piracy and subscriptions.

Week 2 questions

Here they are, a bit late, but better late than never.


  1. Though songs are copyrighted etc. what can potentially happen when we post videos or publicly sing songs that are copyrighted. I don’t mean mainstream music, however in particular I mean “the world’s most popular song” ‘Happy Birthday’.
  2. When embedding youtube videos, is there any particular written copyright regarding the embedding of those videos, stopping you from posting certain videos.
  3. Can the potential policing of copyright through ISP’s be seen as completely legal? Does it not imply that ISP’s are going to know the type of content we are engaging with. e.g. P2P for piracy. Could this not be a further risk to the online privacy which we all desire?