9 January 02005

Bill makes it chic to be a communist again

I'm a bit behind the breaking news here, but this Wired News article brought me up to speed on how Bill Gates has branded those who propose reforms to intellectual property regulation, to adapt them to the Internet age, as "modern-day sort of communists".

He further asserts that these people "want to get rid of the incentive for musicians and moviemakers and software makers". Apparently he hasn't heard about the many musicians and moviemakers and software makers who seem fairly motivated to produce work under a more flexible set of terms. As the blurb for the Wired Creative Commons CD says, "When it comes to copyright, [these musicians] are pro-choice".

As a term, 'communism' has lost its sting, so Bill's John Birch Society rhetoric has, in many quarters, had the opposite to the intended scare effect. People are producing 'creative commies' t-shirts, button badges and all sorts. Every cultural movement needs an easy-to-lampoon, high profile opponent that it can define itself in opposition to, and Bill's brand of pullover-and-slacks blinkered denial provides just that.

Posted by David Jennings in section(s) Miscellany on 9 January 02005 | TrackBack

Update: according to this report, IBM seems to be showing pinko tendencies. But then Bill, having built his empire on the back of IBM, has always outdone them for business acumen, hasn't he?

Posted by: David Jennings on 11 January 02005 at 12:06 PM

PaidContent.org has an update on this story, with a couple of links where Bill tries unconvincingly to wriggle out of his use of the 'c' word.

Posted by: David Jennings on 17 January 02005 at 10:05 AM
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