20 May 2009

Making an Ars Technica of Itself

This review of "Burning the Ships" is perhaps the most clueless thing I've ever read on Ars Technica:

Phelps' point throughout is that such deals were possible thanks to Microsoft's IP, which gave it something valuable to offer in cross-licensing agreements that brought companies together as partners, not just as totally independent rivals. That's the way it has to be for companies today; technology has grown so complex that a "fortress mentality culture and go-it-alone market strategy" simply won't work anymore. Collaboration and partnership are the new name of the game, and IP is the glue that seals such deals.

That's like saying giving people manacles is providing them with some nice bling. The point is they are manacles - just like intellectual monopolies are manacles. They are only valuable in the eyes of slave traders; any civilised society would ban them.

To call this "collaboration" is a perversion of language: it's about *enslavement*, pure and simple. It's just that Microsoft has become subtler.


Matt Asay said...

I agree. I was surprised by Ars Technica's take, as they usually do a much better job. I can't help but think they took the jacket cover's word for what the book said. I did a bit more digging (I actually read the book). Here's my take.

Glyn Moody said...

Thanks - in fact, it was largely based on your review and analysis that I felt confident that I wasn't being *totally* unfair....