Monday, July 23, 2012

Animal Farm Shrugged

Google Says Some Apple Inventions Are So Great They Ought to Be Shared

In plain English, Google wants Apple's intellectual property to be declared public property. Google General Counsel Kent Walker wrote:
While collaborative [Standards Setting Organizations (SSOs)] play an important part in the overall standard setting system, and are particularly prominent in industries such as telecommunications, they are not the only source of standards. Indeed, many of the same interoperability benefits that the FTC and others have touted in the SSO context also occur when one firm publishes information about an otherwise proprietary standard and other firms then independently decide (whether by choice or of necessity) to make complementary investments to support that standard in their products. … Because proprietary or de facto standards can have just as important effects on consumer welfare, the Committee’s concern regarding the abuse of SEPs [standards-essential patents] should encompass them as well.
He means some Apple patents should be seized and given freely to Google, because they are popular. And Google is at a competitive disadvantage without them. License them? No, that's unfair, or too expensive, or insufficiently damaging to a competitor. It is the job of government to DO SOMETHING about this.

A reading of Atlas Shrugged reveals this is exactly the same pressure Hank Rearden faced from an eerily familar Kleptocracy. I used to nod and have a smallish chuckle when I saw an Ayn Rand plot device writ in MSM headlines. Now? I'm scared.

I understood Animal Farm as a warning, not a manual for governing. Now, I hear the president of the United States paraphrasing Old Major and Napoleon in every campaign speech.

Reality's convergence with the "fiction" of Rand and Orwell is accelerating. Google is Orren Boyle, Jim Taggart, Wesley Mouch and Dr. Potter combined. Old Major and Napoleon are the current administration.

2 comments:

Roug said...

Corporations that frolic in the fields of crony capitalism are always surprised when they discover that the tyrants they support don't naturally realize when they've reached the perfect balancing point of totalitarianism.

This will not end well for Google, for Apple, or for any other company willing to enlist the government's assistance in keeping their competition down.

Anonymous said...

Outstanding commentary.

Regretably, Hershblogger's conclusions are spot on.

-Lady Astor