Flying My Red Flag -er- Shirt

by Steve Mallett

Related link: http://www.giantrobotprinting.com/commies/



Billy Gates' recent comments about intellectual property reform activists being communists made me laugh and then it made me mad. I'm over it now... (what else would a monoploist say?) so I'll just wear the commemerative T-Shirt. It came today.

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No doubt it will rise ire with friends who know me as a Righty, but while I support free unencumbered enterprise I don't equate that with permitting overarching abuse of intellectual property laws at all. In fact, it's just the opposite.

5 Comments

mentata
2005-01-21 12:48:37
history dyslexia
The bit from Bill that got me was:

Intellectual property is the incentive system for the products of the future.

Yep, and creative innovation is the differentiator of the past. What a visionary. Does the guy walk backwards, too?
spaceman
2005-01-22 13:46:06
history dyslexia
Well, money has always been the incentive and IP a way to protect the start-up costs of giving birth to the product. So, he's not wrong.. he's just stretching the truth, as usual, to justify the abuse of that protection.
mentata
2005-01-22 15:13:09
DadaLibre
My point isn't that IP hasn't or won't play a role in motivating innovators; I'm picking a bone with the choice of words, particularly definite articles: "the incentive system for products of the future". He speaks if the IP carrot is something new and fashionable, and also as if products of the future simply won't come from non-IP motivated creativity. I agree with you that it's typical claptrap from the monopolist, but I also happen to think at the pace things are moving he's more wrong than right. Has there been more new ideas come from Microsoft or the Apache Foundation in the last few years? Do you thing some future innovation might come from say China, where IP has less authority than a soggy lo mein noodle? Back in the 90's, did any products of the then future come from non-IP driven efforts like http or xml? How much room will Bill's vision account for the occasional counterexample, let alone the thousands I can browse in pools all over?

It's irony. Communism was a macroeconomic system that has largely proved unsustainable. The Microsoft juggernaut is huge, but I see it running on yesterday's accomplishments more than today's fresh gas. Their model, if completely unaltered, could very well prove insufficient to sustain the monolith on the same scale in this new reality. Accumulated data is often more protected than the legerdemain of some nifty program logic, so from your recent work I assume you drank some Kool-Aid somewhere along the way. I would think you of all people would be more skeptical of these assumptions. If you don't believe, who will? It's GhandiCon 3 man.
spaceman
2005-01-22 15:58:13
DadaLibre
Ok I'm with you on the choice of words thing now. Yeah, I see what you mean. So, he's full of it on another level as well.


"I would think you of all people would be more skeptical of these assumptions. If you don't believe, who will? It's GhandiCon 3 man." Dude, I don't believe anything comes out of Redmond.

phaxda
2005-01-27 12:39:03
this shirt is great!
I ordered the shirt from Giant Robot and it's a REALLY nice shirt. Thanks for the link!