By Bruce Abramson
Whereas we have been watching for the web to make us wealthy -- again after we notion all we needed to do was once to shop for lottery tickets referred to as dotcom stocks -- we neglected the true tale of the knowledge economic climate. That tale, says Bruce Abramson in electronic Phoenix, happened on the intersection of know-how, legislation, and economics. It spread out via Microsoft's manipulation of software program markets, via open resource initiatives like Linux, and during the file-sharing adventures that Napster enabled. Linux and Napster specifically exploited newly enabled enterprise versions to make details sharing affordable and simple; either structures met robust competition from entrenched pursuits rationale on protecting their very own earnings. those eventualities set the degree for the way forward for the knowledge economic climate, a destiny during which each one new know-how will threaten strong incumbents -- who will, in flip, struggle to retard this "dangerous new direction" of progress.Disentangling the technological, felony, and financial threads of the tale, Abramson argues that the main to the complete details economic climate -- figuring out the previous and getting ready for the longer term -- lies in our method of highbrow estate and thought markets. The serious problem of the data age, he says, is to encourage the production and dissemination of rules. After discussing proper matters in highbrow estate and antitrust legislations, the economics of festival, and synthetic intelligence and software program engineering, Abramson tells the knowledge economy's formative histories: the Microsoft antitrust trial, the open-source move, and (in a bankruptcy referred to as "The laptop Ate My Industry") the appearance of electronic tune. eventually, he seems to be towards the long run, interpreting many ways that highbrow estate reform may possibly energy financial development and displaying how the knowledge economic system will reshape the methods we expect approximately company, employment, society, and public coverage -- how the knowledge economic system, in truth, could make us all wealthy, as shoppers and manufacturers, if no longer as investors.
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Maybe you’d prefer to hire a team of copyright and criminal lawyers to discuss the possible uses of your code and your likely legal liability. Or maybe you’d prefer to just forget the whole idea and keep working at the mall. Talk about chilling innovation! Many technology users advocate outright rebellion. They seem to believe that if someone else’s IP rights are in their way, they should be able to ignore them with impunity. This attitude leads to an anarchic disregard of property rights, which is unlikely to be very helpful in achieving the goals of IP policy: many innovators who don’t get paid will eventually stop innovating.
We might be better off requiring developers to register their source code with the government in exchange for IP protection and deferring government publication for long enough to permit commercial development. But that’s an implementation detail—critical no doubt, but tangential to the scheme’s inner workings. The fundamental idea is to develop specialized software IP rights that mimic the patent system in many ways, but that differ from it in several others— notably the standards for granting protection and the timeframe of that Progress of Science and Useful Arts 43 protection.
Com managed to convince a District Court judge that it deserved the patent on one-click shopping,19 the Federal Circuit recognized that protections may have gone too far. com had to change its shopping software in the middle of the 1999 holiday season. In the meantime, Amazon’s one-click patent interfered with Internet retail development for fourteen critical months. The PTO reportedly began to reflect on whether its standards for business-method patents had become too permissive. The Supreme Court, the Federal Circuit, and Congress should all follow the PTO’s lead.
Digital Phoenix: Why the Information Economy Collapsed and How It Will Rise Again by Bruce Abramson