I, for one will do my level best to see that print never gets killed off because there’s an inherent problem with digital data as a storage medium.
It’s incredibly fungible.
One E.M.P., one good power spike, one rogue line of code, one crooked user, one crooked or greedy “service” provider, and your “archived” data is toast. Hard copy isn’t that vulnerable.
Add to this, the fact that data as a record keeping mechanism can be conveniently changed with just a few key strokes or a snippet of code… as is called out here in 2012:
There’s other issues as well. When I buy a book, or a CD, in hard copy I own that thing with zero gatekeepers that could limit my access to, or use of it. I’ve paid for it, and can not be required to pay again to use it.
If I use digital data for these things there’s a gatekeeper in the storage service. If those gatekeepers (and they will) arbitrarily decide that they suddenly want to charge me a monthly fee for the “privilege” of using that which I’ve already paid for, there’s not a thing I can do to stop them… except to not use their “service” in the first place.
This is coming soon. We’ve already seen it with computer software. In Usenet days, when I bought a program like MS Office for $300, I owned that program in much the same way I own my books. So long as the computer I had was capable of running the program I was free to use it.
Then came device specific licensing where I had to pay $300 each time I replaced a computer. This was tolerable because I only replaced computers when the cost of repair exceeded 50% of the cost of replacement… About every 5 years or so.
Now we have been “gifted” annual licensing where I get to pay $435 every F’ing year. At this point I said “F$!# It! And F$!# Microsoft!” dumped Office and went to O.S.A.L.T. for a copy of Open Office. I pay them what I used to gave to pay Microsoft every 5 years or so…. About $50 a year.
Here’s the thing… those gatekeepers of DropBox, Kindle, all the dozens of Cloud Storage “services” are heading down the exact same path that Microsoft took. In fairly short order (a year or five at the outside) they will start charging a monthly or yearly fee for you to access your data. At that point the sky is the limit because you’re locked in by the mass of data you’ve stored “for free” and your options are two:
Pay their usury.
Loose all that data you’ve already paid for.
This is why I have cloud accounts but I never ever put anything there which I wouldn’t walk away from in a heartbeat. ALL my data gets mirrored up to a terabyte hard drive that’s local. Cloud storage is off… as much as I’m allowed to turn it off.