A recent post on Intellectual Property Watch is a very good article on how corporations don’t get innovation. Even if you buy a piece of property e.g. an iphone you can not innovate with it. Quoting Leander Kahney, editor of Cultofmac.com and author of Inside Steve’s Brain “Apple is selling directly to consumers, who aren’t the best guardians of their own self-interest. The open PC model works for knowledgeable users who know what they are doing and how to protect themselves, but not so for 15-year-old fashionist as and techno-phobic geriatrics, Kahney said. “A measure of lock down is exactly why Apple is successful, it hides complexity while ensuring a certain level of reliability and stability. The vast majority of Apple’s customers are utterly unconcerned. They could give two hoots that they can’t hack their devices.”
I think it is thoughtful of Apple to protect dumb kids, senile old people, and all the rest of us from ourselves. After all we are all just too stupid to make our own decisions. My mother recently fell and hurt herself very badly. It was life threatening. So to continue with this line of thought we need to ban all ladders, and rugs (tripping hazards) We need to shut down Home Depot these guys actually sell high-powered welding machines, bandsaws, nailguns, great big heavy pieces of lumber, bottles of sulfuric acid, pesticides, and many other scary dangerous products it anyone that can pay for it. That’s right, anyone could walk in off the street and purchase literal truckloads of lethal implements and chemicals. It’s a good thing none of the titans of tech own the hardware stores.
The argument then comes back to intellectual property rights. What I find amusing is these same Titans of Technology got to be titians by doing exactly what they don’t want anyone else to do. Taking apart devices and figuring out how they work and then (hopefully) improving them. Are we to believe products like the Apple/Mac, the PC, among many other examples just “popped” into their heads one day and sprang into being without ever a backward glance at what came before them!?
With the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1997. Many of our rights disappeared and much of our future innovation went over seas. Innovation is not dead but we are trying really hard to kill it.