Monday, January 10, 2005

ORIGINAL STUPIDS (C) MICROSOFT 2005: There's not been much doubt that Bill Gates is more a lucky huckster than a intellectual heavyweight, and that these days his thinking is restricted to little more than "shall I use the waffle maker in the east kitchen or the west kitchen" and "with all these zeros on my bank statement, is that a quillion or a gazillion dollars?" But even by the standards of a man who believed that Windows XP was ready ship, his outburst about calls for copyright reform is surprising:

QUESTION: In recent years, there’s been a lot of people clamoring to reform and restrict intellectual-property rights. It started out with just a few people, but now there are a bunch of advocates saying, “We’ve got to look at patents, we’ve got to look at copyrights.” What’s driving this, and do you think intellectual-property laws need to be reformed?

BILL GATES: No, I’d say that of the world’s economies, there’s more that believe in intellectual property today than ever. There are fewer communists in the world today than there were. There are some new modern-day sort of communists who want to get rid of the incentive for musicians and moviemakers and software makers under various guises. They don’t think that those incentives should exist.

... thereby revealing he doesn't understand anything about the copyright debate, nor, indeed, much about the differences between Communism and Socialism, and precious little about either of those, too.