Why are we still debating free?
I invite you to join the debate, but I'm actually amazed that we're still having this conversation. Free has happened. I suppose that you could wish that it didn't happen, but it did. Fighting it is pointless. Just look at the damaging whack-a-mole strategy of the major labels.
As one of my favorite music industry thinker's Andrew Dubber of New Music Strategies commented, "Yes, Google gives their consumer-facing stuff away, and they are a massively successful company. That doesn't mean that if you give your consumer-facing stuff away you will also necessarily be as successful as Google. But if you try and charge by the transaction in that environment, you will necessarily fail, because this is just how things are now."
Let's stop debating free and start debating how to do free right.