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Bill Gates Calls Copyright Violators “Communists”

In an interview with C|Net, Bill Gates said:

There are some new modern-day sort of communists who want to get rid of the incentive for musicians and moviemakers and software makers under various guises. They don’t think that those incentives should exist.

Boing Boing calls copyright violators “Free Culture advocates”, and thinks BillG said something wrong or “evil”. Look, I violate copyrights every day, both in my private life and my jjjjjjjj—, but I harbor no illusions about what I do. I’m no more a “Free Culture advocate” than a abortion activist is a “Free Choice advocate”. I’m sorry, but Boing Boing can’t make jokes about stupid political correctness and then follow it up with the same stupidity. If you can’t use the real words for what you are advocating, then you should be embarressed to call yourself an advocate. Besides, complaining about Bill Gates saying that copyright violators are wrong is a waste of time while the RIAA is flooding file sharing networks with computer viruses. Microsoft puts barely effective piracy controls in its software, but when it comes to copyright violations, its pretty tame.

Another detail from the interview: close to a million people have already set up MSN Spaces. Wow. Also:

What do you think of Apple’s success so far? I mean, they clearly have had a hit with the iPod.
Absolutely. They had a hit with the Apple II, they had a hit with the Macintosh, and they have a hit with the iPod, so this is a company that’s had three hits, and that’s very impressive. There are a lot of companies that don’t have three hits. And in the same way that Macintosh helped get people exposed to the graphical user interface, the iPod is doing a great job getting people to think about digital music.

Read between the lines: Just like the Mac created the market we eventually took over, so will the iMac. Bill also says Microsoft is working on updates to IE, and doesn’t see Firefox as much of a competitor, because far more people try it out than actually switch to it. Are there any statistics on that?

January 6th, 2005 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Open Source, General | one comment

1 Comment »

  1. You’re kidding, right? Gates wasn’t talking about “pirates.” He was referring to Lawrence Lessig (brilliant lawyer at Stanford who understands modern issues), Richard Stallman, and the entire open source community. Lessig, the PubPat foundation, the EFF, and others fight for the right to share IF THEY SO CHOOSE. Gates believes the first person to come up with an idea should be able to control and extort that idea for eternity. But all works are eventually supposed to enter public domain. It’s what’s best for the advancement of society and it’s a requirement for a free and balanced country where everyone is supposed to be equal. Should penecillin cost $1000 and all the money go to some company who bought the rights? Of course not. But Gates believes if he hordes intellectual property he should be allowed to use it to control anything in the world he desires. Sorry, but he shouldn’t have that right. Reform is needed.

    Comment by veridicus | January 6, 2005

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