Piracy? Or Different Rules of the Game

This was a good read about so-called “piracy” in China (link here).  What people do not understand is that this is not pirating. This has been labelled such by business lobbyists, out to protect their future revenue streams.

Being a “Pirate” is taking something from someone else, something that is already owned. A “potential market” no one owns. It’s potential. In the future. Who owns the market is governed by who makes the best product or provides the best service for it – or the market is shared. Entering a market with a copied similar product is simply people doing business. We humans have done this for a very long time. We have always done it. We always will. It’s human.

We have anti monopoly laws and we have patent protection laws: at their core, the two are in direct conflict with each other. No wonder the West is confused.

Patents are only a recent invention in human history, and serve to stymie development and innovation, not stimulate it. No, I do not like my products being copied and stolen, but I like how it makes me think: creative and inventive to keep up development and protect – and share – my assets. It makes me create my revenue in different ways, creative ways.

Google is the good example of being creative. How many patents? And how do they protect new developments? Very few, if any, and very carefully. (Read about it here).

Patents are dangerous and create false economies. Look at what GM did with electric car and battery technology in the early 2000’s. They “bought” the patents to revolutionary battery technology and then shelved it, along with burying (and destroying) all of their existing physical electric car developments.

In the end this was good a good thing. The Tesla car company in California rose up from the GM team that was dis-enfranchised, and they now make great cars. The documentary “Who Killed the Electric Car” was created and a following emerged. Now 10 years later and all major marques are releasing electrics cars or hybrid electrics.

This buy & bury technique has been replicated as long as there has been “product rights”.

And who invented the radio? There were lots of people involved, and junior school history teaches incorrectly that it was the Italian Marconi?  How, when he copied 17 patents to do so? Patents created by Nicoli Tesla 10 years earlier?

So, copy, China. Copy, copy, copy. Make things better, more efficient, more sustainable. Please.

What doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger.

Jeremiah Josey


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