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The White House Asks: What's Blocking Innovation in America? - My Answer: IP Laws

Feb 13, 2011, 23:04 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Pamela Jones)

"The White House is asking us to give them ideas on what is blocking innovation in America. I thought I'd give them an honest answer. Here it is:

"Current intellectual property laws are blocking innovation.

"President Obama just set a goal of wireless access for everyone in the US, saying it will spark innovation. But that's only true if people are allowed to actually do innovative things once they are online.

"You have to choose. You can prop up old business models with overbearing intellectual property laws that hit innovators on the head whenever they stick their heads up from the ground; OR you can have innovation. You can't have both. And right now, the balance is away from innovation.

"Let's take some specific examples to show why that is so. When Napster first showed up, it was innovative. Heaven knows it changed the world. And instead of letting this creativity flourish, make money, and create jobs, the law was used to kill it. And kill it it did. The law is still trying to kill or at least marginalize peer-to-peer technology, and so it has never been used to the full."

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