“The less you do, the stranger it all seems.”
Dallas Clayton

Copying Brings Prosperity


Illegal Copying Has Always Created Jobs, Growth, And Prosperity:

“In the late 1700s, the United Kingdom was the empire that established laws on the globe …

The UK had a strictly protectionist view of trade: all raw materials must come to England, and all luxury goods must be made from those materials while in the UK, to be exported to the rest of the world. Long story short, the UK was where the value was to be created.

Laws were written to lock in this effect. Bringing the ability to refine materials somewhere else, the mere knowledge, was illegal. “Illegal copying”, more precisely.

The heart of the problem is this: those who decide what is “illegal” to copy do so from a basis of not wanting to get outcompeted, and never from any kind of moral high ground. It’s just pure industrial protectionism.

… Copying brings prosperity at the national and the individual levels. Those who would seek to outlaw it, or obey such unjust bans against copying, have no moral high ground whatsoever”

This entry was posted in AltEco, Business, Intake, outside. You are welcome to read 2 comments and to add yours


  1. danny
    Posted October 23, 2014 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    How would you feel if you developed a software program for a couple of years and then someone copies it and put it on a pirate site so everyone can copy it?

    • Posted October 23, 2014 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      thank you for asking Danny 🙂

      First, I recognize and appreciate the view from which your question originates. I was raised and indoctrinated in that same mentality.

      I can’t really answer your question directly since I haven’t written software for two years and had it copied. Theoretically, in the past I would have probably been angry, today I would be proud. But more important is the fact that trying to live in the mentality that underlines the “angry” version has not worked out well for me.

      But maybe you should redirect your question to this guy who gives software away for free (so there is no need to copy or pirate it) and has recently raised $160m of venture capital (based on a $1b valuation pre-money) for a company basd on the same software that is given away.

      Most of the Internet that so many people take for granted is build upon or derived from “copying software”. This is true on many levels from the Apache web-server which dominates the Internet through to the embedded software that runs network devices (switches, routers, etc.) most of which is based on variations of linux distributions.

      Most interesting to me though is the macro-view. Consider that software (like any branch of knowledge) is an evolutionary artifact. Any programming language is an artifact of evolution of human thought. No modern programming language that implements object-orientation invented it. The creators of these languages inherited that knowledge … it was (and continues to be) a gift from humanity to them … making it a commons. The privilege of writing software is a gift.

      It is modern economic reasoning that wants/needs to break that paradigm. However there are other (than renting software) business models to explore that are better aligned with the gift of the commons.

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