Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Truth, justice and Edwin Howard Armstrong - SOPA and PIPA

There is so much bruhaha going on about IP protecting and SOPA, PIPA and other supposedly good things designed to keep us safe, just as a straight jacket is designed to keep the violently insane safe. Whenever the topic of protecting your ideas comes up I always give the example of Edwin Howard Armstrong ( who I refer to as EHA), the genius who could explain physical devices other people had made and ended up being rewarded the patent for FM Radio.

Here comes the clincher, this patent made him an millionaire, but he also lost his millions defending his patent and ended up jumping out of a window. The system, in this case the legal system, is designed by those already in power to maintain the status quo i.e. they remain in power in perpetuity. When EHA's FM threatened the established AM empire, the emperor encouraged people not to pay royalties for the use of the FM technology.

Similarly if a co-operative content creation studio which uses a different (read more mental world as opposed to physical world) distribution and monetisation approach compared to the current studios, they will be victimised to a point where they will voluntarily defenestrate themselves. After all those living in the content creation Shangri-La live beyond the monetary system and trade in reputations instead, money is only really useful for getting things from those who do not really know you - Asiyekujua hakuthamini.

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