Knowledge is NEVER free. The idea that you supposedly can get it for nothing, or that you should, leads people to devalue it or to give up on acquiring it as the truth of the cost becomes apparent. Even worse it makes ignorance appear to equally as valuable as knowledge. Ignorance costs more in the longer run, but knowledge can be expensive in the short run in terms of money, time, and opportunity cost as you choose study over play and leisure. So it’s not free versus cost, it’s short term cost and long term gain versus the “free” ignorance and its long term losses.