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osOpinion: The Jeff Bezos vs. Tim O'Reilly debate

Mar 07, 2000, 06:40 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Kate)

[ Thanks to Kelly McNeill for this link. ]

"I assume that most people have read, or heard of the most recent "web patents" debate; a sort of public debate between Tim O'Reilly of O'Rielly and Associates, and Jeff Bezos of Amazon. When two people that really believe that they are right, and hold such opposing positions, it's always worth thinking about it, and working the answer out for yourself...."

"Then, Tim kindly posted his phone conversation with Jeff. Jeff is obviously is an intelligent man, and made some excellent points. One that particularly struck me cold was the statement - "we don't want to be another Netscape" - as a justification for fighting big companies like Barnes and Noble, who are arguably plagiarizing most of Amazon's novel ideas, without coming up with their own...."

"Jeff Bezos now wants to protect his company from his Big Nasty, Barnes & Nobel. Like Microsoft vs. Netscape, his is a small operation. Like Netscape, his company is top, due to intellectual property. It's a perfect example of how investing in R&D pays off, and taking a risk on the big bad Internet makes you a millionaire. Of course, on the web, everyone copies from everyone else. Since it's early days, the way you had "the coolest" site was if you copied other peoples cool HTML code, and made it better. Now, with backend databases & the like, it's more about functionality."

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