MicrosoftMissesThePoint: Again.

Over on Microsoft’s anti-piracy site they say:

Imagine if anything you thought, made, or distributed could be legally reproduced and freely given away by others. What incentive would there be to continue your hard work? Cultures that value ingenuity, creativity and progress, have good reason to value intellectual property. In order to keep those cultural pioneers exploring, thinking, and inventing the next big thing, they need to know that what they discover, invent, or create is protected by law.

Let’s take this apart, a line at a time, shall we?

Imagine if anything you thought, made, or distributed could be legally reproduced and freely given away by others.

Wow! How cool would that be? I mean, that’s total democracy at work, where ideas and concepts can be diseminated through the entire population, and folks pick the cream of the crop, improving the whole. OK, I’m sold. I’ll have some of that, please.

What incentive would there be to continue your hard work?

Because other people are sharing their stuff too. That’s incentive enough, surely. I mean, if you’re striving to improve the whole by sharing what you’re doing, that’s impetus to do your best surely? If everything were freely distributed, that’s all that is good in humanity put into practise, and the opposite is just greed, selfishness and all those other negative emotions.

Cultures that value ingenuity, creativity and progress, have good reason to value intellectual property.

Actually history shows that cultures which value ingenuity, creativity and progress promote freedom of access to all. That’s why it’s the more enlightened cultures have promoted free education, free healthcare, abolished slavery and given equality to all. The concept of intellectual property doesn’t have a place in cultures which promote freedom.

In order to keep those cultural pioneers exploring, thinking, and inventing the next big thing, they need to know that what they discover, invent, or create is protected by law.

No. They need to know that what they discover, invent, or create is available for peer review, open to improvements by others and freely distributable. They need to know that the have contributed to the betterment of humanity as a whole, not to the wallets of some faceless corporate shareholder, and know that in return they will be credited with what they’ve done, and can share in the works of others too.

To think anything else is just to consider their customers to be selfish, greedy, self-serving and lazy. If that’s the kind of customers Microsoft is appealing to, they’re welcome to them.

Just think. That’s what Microsoft thinks of you.

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