Dear Don Dodge,

by M. David Peterson

You are my new hero!

Don Dodge on The Next Big Thing: Microsoft lawyer rips Google on copyrights - Why?

Oh boy, here we go. Microsoft attacks Google on copyright regarding their book scanning project, and then takes a swipe at YouTube as well. Really dumb move! What are these Microsoft lawyers thinking? Even if they are right, which is debatable, what reaction do they expect from the public at large? This strikes me as pandering to the Association of American Publishers where the Microsoft lawyer is speaking today. Here is a transcript of his speech. The speech is actually pretty good until he drives over the cliff and starts slamming Google.

The AAP filed suit against Google for copyright infringement 16 months ago, and it is still in the courts. What is to be gained by making these inflammatory comments? Be quiet and let the courts sort this out.


NOTE: For those unaware, Don Dodge is a lawyer. Apparently I was mistaken. As I followed up in a comment below.

All of this time, and I thought you were a lawyer? Yikes! I think it must have to do with your "say it like it is" approach to the business world (which I *GREATLY* admire, btw...), and your tendency to tackle the tough, legal related issues that most 'softies tend to steer clear from.


ADDITIONAL-NOTE: For those unaware, Don Dodge works -- as an *lawyer* inspiration to us all -- for *Microsoft*!

Dear Microsoft,

4 Comments

Don Dodge
2007-03-07 05:17:20
David, Thanks for the kind words. I am a big fan of Tim O'Reilly and all the people there. Please extend my thanks to Tim for his suuport on this issue.


I must correct one thing. I am not a lawyer...thank god. However, I have learned a lot about patents, trademarks, DMCA, "fair use" and Internet law over the years. I was director of engineering at AltaVista and VP of product development at Napster. Those were technical roles but they required lots of legal knowledge given all the lawsuits and legal negotiations.


Microsoft has attracted lots of great talent over the past few years. Ray Ozzie is amazing. I worked for Ray at Groove Networks as VP of product management. I learned a lot working with Ray every day. JJ Allaire is a rock star, and he is having a great time at Microsoft. Jon Udell is one of a kind. We are lucky to have him. There are hundreds more bright visionaries that have joined Microsoft but they don't get a lot of press.


Thanks for the lift on a very turbulent day.


Don

omz
2007-03-07 07:35:21
Don, let me ask you a question. You are allowed to make this kind of comments regarding your employer legal movements? I know it is your personal blog, but still makes me wonder about MS reactions.
Don Dodge
2007-03-07 09:59:44
OMZ, Yes any Microsoft employee is allowed to express their opinion. This post was a little over the edge, but my manager sent me a note today and said "Great post!".


There are over 3,000 bloggers at Microsoft, and they are encouraged to put a public face on Microsoft. Every development team at Microsoft has a blog and anyone can ask a question or comment.


Of course we can't disclose secrets, unannounced product plans, unreleased financial details, or comment on things that are currently in litigation. Other than that we are free to use our judgement and say what is on our minds.


Think about it...isn't that why you hire great people? To represent your company? Every employee at every level talks to customers, partners, suppliers, and others in the normal course of their jobs. Blogs just expand the audience...and I think in a good way.


Don

M. David Peterson
2007-03-07 10:35:36
@Don,


All of this time, and I thought you were a lawyer? Yikes! I think it must have to do with your "say it like it is" approach to the business world (which I *GREATLY* admire, btw...), and your tendency to tackle the tough, legal related issues that most 'softies tend to steer clear from.


Oh, and regarding Rock Stars: You are most definitely on the "A list", without a doubt! This type of thing -- this standing up for what's right -- is the kind of thing that makes legends. It truly is inspiring to see. Thanks!


re: Tim O'Reilly and the rest of the folks here @ O'Reilly Media: Couldn't agree more! Finding inspiration is an easy thing to do when you have leaders such as Tim leading the charge. It seems the two of you have quite a few traits in common, without a doubt!