established business vs. innovation

Russell Turpin
Wed, 09 Jan 2002 19:43:06 +0000

Jeff Bone:
>My problem with transparency stems from the observation that the cost of 
>COPYing drops dramatically in transparentland, and hence the possibility of 
>a beneficial BUY outcome for the innovator diminishes accordingly. It's 
>easy to see this behavior, particularly in the technology industry. Cisco 
>and Microsoft are two good examples, validating that in certain 
>circumstances established players employ both COPY and BUY.  Look at, for 
>instance, the context of the Cisco acquisition of Netspeed.  First they 
>threatened COPY, then when Netspeed's patent protection made it clear that 
>COPY was too risky, they went to BUY.  The essential COPY example should be 
>obvious:  Microsoft v. Netscape. ..

I can't help but notice, of these two examples, current
corporate opacity proved completely INeffective at
preventing COPY. In the first case, this was prevented
by IP, and in the second case, it wasn't prevented. It
seems to me the relevant thorny examples would be ones
where COPY failed because of trade secrets, e.g., the
Coca Cola formula. Since it can't COPY, Pepsi resorts
to bribing us with Britney Spears. Us wily coke drinkers
sneak our favored drink into Pepsi-only theatres, so we
can enjoy Britney while rejecting her as a corporate

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