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.

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