For example, a committed artist who has worked on a creative project for years, let's say, striving to bring it to the highest quality he or she can muster, becomes harder to discover in the world of "cheap" works and amateurs. The level playing field of free content mixes the great with the commonplace, the original with the fake, and everything is flattened in an ever-expanding universe of creative material.
So, for a work of artistic quality to be valued, it either needs to be drawn out from the field or it needs to be scarce. The scarcer, the better. If demand can be created for its uniqueness, then its value rises.
This may be one way that even journalism could find a way out of its present crisis.
Andrew Potter, a columnist at Maclean's magazine, recently wrote an interesting piece that explores this paradox. It's called "When 'free' becomes really expensive," and you can read it here.