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Re: <nettime> Michael Malone : Regulating Destruction
Felix Stalder on Thu, 28 Dec 2006 21:38:01 +0100 (CET)


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Re: <nettime> Michael Malone : Regulating Destruction


On Thursday, 28. December 2006 15:12, Newmedia {AT} aol.com wrote:
> Too little -- The reason why there are so few IPOs nowadays is that
> the Internet Bubble is over and is not coming back. This has nothing
> to do with "regulation." This is a cyclical change that follows a
> well-documented pattern, which is best described by Carlota Perez in
> her "Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital."

I wonder if the lack of IPOs has also something to do with the way
the IP mess shapes the current business landscape. At least partially
-- certainly with patents, but perhaps also with copyright -- IP has
become a defensive mechanism. A kind of an arms race. You need a lot
of IP in order to prevent others, who also own extensive portfolios,
from trying to sue you out of existence. Which would be easy since it
has become very hard to do anything of any size and not violate some
IP laws somewhere. Particularly with "social applications".

The effect is the formation of a kind of IP cartel, able to coordinate
its actions through cross-licensing, in ways that do not only avoid
anti-trust legislation, but also make it impossible for any member
of the cartel to defect (because they would break the licensing
agreement). In such a situation, the only prospect for a start-up is
to be bought up by a large company, able to prevent others from suing
it. Effectively, bringing it into the cartel.

This, it seems, is what happened with youtube.com, which now is in the
favorable position to cut deals with the majors who will then go after
the independent sites and sue them for copyright infringement. They
will even be able to cite their agreement with youtube.com as a proof
that they are willing to play constructively.

Felix








--- http://felix.openflows.com ----------------------------- out now:
*|Manuel Castells and the Theory of the Network Society. Polity, 2006 
*|Open Cultures and the Nature of Networks. Ed. Futura/Revolver, 2005 



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