My alternative busines model

Jan Wildeboer jan.wildeboer at
Thu Dec 5 12:13:31 UTC 2002

MJ Ray wrote:
> Niall Douglas <s_fsfeurope at> wrote:

> I'm not so sure this is off-topic.  I think it is probably one of the
> beliefs that you have not been stating that is wildly different to most
> people in this group, I think.

Well - I can agree partially with that. Capitalism and entrepeneurship 
aims at making money. The best and most reliable way (and thus the thing 
market members try  to gain) is an unfair advantage in your specific 
market. This unfair advantage makes your offer outstanding from the rest 
of your market members thus creating more opportunities for you - if you 
can retain the unfair advantage.

If your specific unfair advantage is strong enough you will eventually 
monopolize your market which is always the best to have. This is 
happening all the time and it is not worth noting. It is the way 
capitalism works. No news here.

Som examples of unfair advantages: Knowledge, rare ingredients, sheer 
company size, control of ressources.

> The "artificial legal restraints" are what grants the current set of
> business monopolies: copyrights and patents.  There is nothing natural or
> innate about one business being able to prevent its competitor from
> mimicking its public methods.

And exactly that is why these restraints have been incorporated. But not 
by the public - it all happened based on lobbying from market members 
that either want to protect their market or break a monopoly of someone 
else. It is about both retaining and controlling the unfair advantage.

> We have found a way that copyrights can be used for the opposite goal: to
> prevent monopolies; and I hope that someone has found or will soon find a
> similar tool for patents.  The difficulty is that we are probably further
> behind on the patent "arms race" than the copyright one.

Copyright has one big difference. It is gained by creating and protected 
automatically (EU-speaking here) and is free whereas patents are 
expensive and not a common good.

> Maybe abolishing these legal restraints would be a good thing, but that
> would be a very large structural change and I doubt we could forsee the
> outcome reliably.  Anyone up for a gamble?

The implementation of the patent and copyright protection was exactly 
that: a large structural change. No need to fear yet another change ;-)

Jan Wildeboer

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