Is Exclusivity Over-rated in a hyper-social world?

Exclusivity was once the most expensive right one could purchase, when it came to intellectual property. In practical terms it’s far cheaper to employ or pay off a creator for a right to license (while allowing essentially worthless means of exploiting or expressing control) than it is to buy-out the full rights of anything. But today a new factor may be at play: Exclusivity might cost any owner of intellectual property more than any possible benefits of control, at any cost.

By limiting access and usage of a work, the controllers limit it’s ultimate value, both long and short term. The opportunity-cost in the social and branding realm are so great for any attempt to control a mark, melody or line of type is enormous; when people don’t feel free to borrow and share your work you are socially shunned. More: all social relevance and benefits flow from sharing, not “like”ing. You can buy like’s in bulk, but actual shares in your demographic cost a lot more (and often involve user-trickery).

Is this a new rule?

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