What sort of response do you think you’ll get when you ask the richest man in the world the following 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?
If you answered that he’d call them commies, you’re right!
“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.”
Check out the News.com story here. (That question in the Q&A is pretty close to the end.)
Bill Gates can credit pretty much his entire fortune to his ability to take advantage of the existing copyright and patent laws. What would you expect him to say? That he thinks the whole system is screwed up and needs reform? He’s precisely the sort of person who benefits from the current model.
(Perhaps ironically, some would argue that he started his fortune by BREAKING those laws.)