RE: [Geeks] Re: [NYT] Microsoft Is Set to Be Top Foe of Free Code

From: John Hall (
Date: Thu May 03 2001 - 15:51:50 PDT

Yes, it is a huge deal. A company is a collection of individuals
(employees) financed by another group of individuals (investors) that
survives by satisfying the goals and aspirations of another group of
individuals (customers). The transactions in that chain by definition make
everyone in that chain better off than they otherwise would be.

Protecting property increases the value of all property, and results in more
of it, for another group of individuals (the human race). That is
particularly important with IP, since technology in general is the "Lever of
Riches" that allows you to escape Malthusian traps. As I have now reached
an age more advanced that was generally possible before the technological
advances and wealth generated in the west, I find it even more valuable to
me than I did previously.

So while it is clear that people who support protection of IP and companies
are defending a system that has been incredibly important to the aspirations
of the human race, it isn't clear that you do or have.

What is clear, of course, is that if you wish to work for free and give away
your IP for free that nothing should stop you. Doing so will tend to
decrease the market clearing price for IP (improving the lot of those who
use it at the expense of those who produce it for sale) and ultimately
resulting in less IP. It isn't terribly clear to me whether that is a net
benefit in the long term, but it is likely to be a net benefit in the short

From: Nick Seidenman []

It may well undermine the IP of countries and companies.

Big Fucking Deal!

What it preserves is the intellectual property of individuals. You know,
human beings? Or is that just not important anymore?

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