The innovation scare tactics

Michael Wolff:

But let us not argue the case that all this quite obviously impedes innovation and is part of a new unreal property land grab – not about technology at all, but about intellectual property: an effort to privatize much of what was once understood to be shared and public (indeed, not ownable, like the shape of the iPhone).

There is just so much wrong with Wolff’s story, it’s hard to know where to begin. Let’s just take this little gem of a paragraph.

How is it that stopping a company from blatantly ripping off your design “obviously impedes innovation”? It doesn’t. As I wrote earlier this week, all it does it stop copying. It encourages innovation because companies will have to think for themselves instead of stealing like Samsung did.

This is not about the shape of the iPhone. Nokia has a rectangle phone too, but Apple didn’t sue them. This is about Samsung stealing everything that Apple did, from hardware design to software and sold it as their own.

Samsung and writers like Wolff are using this innovation argument as a scare tactic. It won’t work.