My alternative busines model
jan.wildeboer at gmx.de
Thu Dec 5 12:13:31 UTC 2002
MJ Ray wrote:
> Niall Douglas <s_fsfeurope at nedprod.com> 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 ;-)
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