Re: Intellectual Property? was Bill Gates

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Sun, 5 Oct 1997 22:28:01 -0700 (PDT)

> >To some extent, Microsoft's dominance derives from their illegal and unlawful
> >theft of intellectual property. Even if intellectual property should be
> >abolished, as Lee advocates, Microsoft's competitors couldn't use Microsoft's
> >intellectual property,
> Huh? Can you explain this last part? If Int.Prop. was abolished, what
> would MS's Int.Prop. *be*, and why couldn't someone else use it??

Eli has a good point, though he's a bit scattered in expressing it.
Microsoft has used existing intellectual property law to protect its
market, while at the same time taking advantage of holes in the law
to use the ideas of others.

On the whole, I do not think that intellectual property protection
was really necessary or even beneficial to MS on the whole; in fact,
I'm sure they lost more money because of it than they made. But it
is nonetheless hypocritical of them to play both sides. If they
believe, as I do, that intellectual property is just a government
subsidizing the cost of exclusion for one type of business over
another, then they should refrain from using it for themselves.

The cost of exclusion is an ordinary expense for any business; there
is no reason that authors and inventors should be privileged to have
the state bear those costs for them. That's nothing but snobbery,
treating inventors as if they are somehow more "worthy" than ordinary
craftsmen. The result is plain: the decline of craftsmanship and
customer service in the last century is the result of IP law shifting
the economy to artificially value innovation over quality.

Lee Daniel Crocker <> <>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC