Philosophical Musings

May 30, 2010

Peter Drucker on Intellectual Property, 1993

Filed under: business,Copyrights — Elad Kehat @ 11:49 am

Found in the Wired archive:

We have to rethink the whole concept of intellectual property, which was focused on the printed word. Perhaps within a few decades, the distinction between electronic transmissions and the printed word will have disappeared. The only solution may be a universal licensing system. Where you basically become a subscriber, and where it is taken for granted that everything that is published is reproduced. In other words, if you don’t want everybody to know, don’t talk about it. I think we are getting there very fast.

I have worked with musician Peter Gabriel on several projects. At a workshop we were holding for AT&T he was asked, “How do you deal with piracy of your albums?” Gabriel said, “Oh, I treat it as free advertising. I follow it with a rock concert. When they steal my albums in Indonesia, I go there and I perform.”

How come it took the music business about 15 years to sort-of figure out what Drucker (and apparently Peter Gabriel) got in 1993?

Which just goes to prove what Drucker says earlier in the same interview:

Thirty-odd years ago I began to counsel that you should build organized abandonment into your system. It follows the old line that it makes more sense for you to make obsolete your own products than to wait for the competitor to do it. But this is very hard for organizations to do. The internal resistance is great. They have to be forced.


May 3, 2010

Since When is a Phone Call as Bad as a Weapon of Mass Destruction?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Elad Kehat @ 12:57 pm

The following paragraph appears in Google AppEngine’s terms of service (emphasis mine):

2.2. Your use of the Service must comply with all applicable laws, regulations and ordinances, including any laws regarding the export of data or software. You agree not to use the Service in the design, development, production, or use of missiles or the design, development, production, stockpiling, or use of chemical or biological weapons. You agree not to use the XMPP API to operate or to enable any telecommunications service or in connection with any applications that allow users to place calls to or receive calls from any public switched telephone network.

So if I develop an app that may hurt the profits of incumbent telcos I’m on the same level as Saddam Hussein? Actually, I’m probably a worse person – he didn’t have WMDs after all. (Well technically he did, just not in the second Iraq war). Better watch out what apps you develop, or a Tomahawk cruise missile could find its way to your home office…

Note: Don’t get me wrong – I love app engine. What I don’t like is lawyers gone mad. At the very least they could have separate those prohibitions into different subsections.

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