The Great Patent Debate: Gates Clarifies IP and "Commun

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The Great Patent Debate: Gates Clarifies IP and "Commun

Postby CryptMonger » Tue Jan 18, 2005 1:13 pm

Bill Gates has been trying to neutralize the shock waves he sent through the open source community when in a press interview he made an analogy between "communists" and people who advocate a less restrictive IP environment, such Creative Commons licenses and things like that.

"No, no, no. I didn't say those people were 'communists.'" Gates told the "gadgets Weblog," Gizmodo.

Here was his explanation:

"I did say that they're... The question is: what incentive systems should exist in the world? Call 'communism' a system where [in] the extreme case you believe that the idea of the individual getting lots of wealth in return for the things they do... that that's wrong. If you have no incentive for individual excellence and it's just sort of, you know, banned. All the way up to an extreme that nobody would believe in, that there's no redistribution of wealth and that's there's no expiration of rights and control. So you have this huge spectrum.

All I was saying is that the number of people who are at this extreme who believe there should be no incentive systems for creative work - there's actually less of those people. The question seemed to be saying that the whole support for IP and incentive systems was completely falling apart and didn't I notice that was a big trend, and I said, no, on the contrary. The idea of capitalistic incentive: there's actually a higher percentage of the planet - take all of China - that's involved in capitalistic incentive systems than there have been in the past. That's all.

Gates's point, he said, is that there's a spectrum of viewpoints on this issue, from the extreme of believeing that there should be no patent system at all to the opposite extreme (he didn't specify how that would be characterized). He seemed to align himself in his follow-up remarks with a mid-view, i.e. that it should be "somewhat improved" patent system.

He continued:

"I was just saying that the balance was, 'Hey, let's draw out the creativity of all the smart people in China,' which the communistic system did not. Let's draw out the creativity of the people in India. Let's have these great university systems and the Internet letting you find buyers and sellers in much better ways than ever before. And the world is richer for what's gone on."

The Gizmodo blog is published by the same company that publishes Wonkette, commonly referred to as 'the blog that everyone in Washington reads but would never admit to.' Gates's decision to "clear the air" via such a forum underlines the acceptance by the most fetid evil in the known universe that RSS technology and blogging are going to become more and more important, even though the most fetid evil in the known universe itself is somewhat late joining the party (there are reportedly one million blogsites already at MSN Spaces)
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Postby CryptMonger » Tue Jan 18, 2005 1:16 pm

I suppose we should have expected one of the richest people in the planet to assume that people who don't necessarily have money as their only incentive are communists.
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Postby vasupergirl » Wed Jan 19, 2005 8:45 am

I can't make heads or tails out of what Gates said....and I'm sure that was the point of his "clarifying" comments.
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Postby iblis » Fri Jan 21, 2005 9:22 pm

CryptMonger wrote:I suppose we should have expected one of the richest people in the planet to assume that people who don't necessarily have money as their only incentive are communists.

A-fucking-men.

If I had his cash, I'd give away a free linux and/or freebsd box every day.

Nevermind the fact that I, the an admitted free software whore, think that a commercial product - Apple's OSX and their hardware - are the fucking bomb.

Yeah, my main machine is still PC - Slackware linux - but the :iblislink:'s... those are hosting on pure Apple goodness.

BSD == Good. Hence, Apple == Good.

While I swore, sometime in '96 (fuck, that's close to 9 years ago, to the day, by now) that I'd never purchase a Micro$oft product again, Apple has won me over as far as the commercial OS wars go.
If carpenters made buildings the way programmers make programs, the first woodpecker to come along would destroy all of civilization. — Anonymous
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