defending the right to innovate
Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.
Copyright Notice: We don't think much of copyright, so you can do what you want with the content on this blog. Of course we are hungry for publicity, so we would be pleased if you avoided plagiarism and gave us credit for what we have written. We encourage you not to impose copyright restrictions on your "derivative" works, but we won't try to stop you. For the legally or statist minded, you can consider yourself subject to a Creative Commons Attribution License.
There is no such thing as a natural monopoly. The only monopolies are government-granted ones. Contrary to Pearlstein, Google doesn't have a monopoly on anything, and isn't a monopolist. (Ditto for Microsoft, contrary to Soviet-style Do"J" bureaucrats. His last statement that enforcement of the antitrust laws caused IBM to "supplant" AT&T, Microsoft to "supplant" IBM, and Google to "supplant" Microsoft is absurd. What happened is that IBM, Microsoft, and Google innovated new technologies and business methods that enabled them to outcompete established rivals. AT&T was hobbled by the fact that it had a government-granted monopoly, which caused its "innovation gene" to suffer an innovation-stifling "mutation."
[Comment at 12/18/2010 05:22 AM by Bill Stepp]
Actually microsoft does have a monopoly on windows by virtue of being the copyright holder and distribute it under resrictive terms.
[Comment at 12/18/2010 10:38 AM by Anonymous]
Without looking it up, I believe economists hypothesize that there are natural monopolies, that is, enterprises with scale advantages which make it possible for them to take over or dominate an industry. Microsoft is one such--there are real advantages to Microsoft because Windows and Word are so widely used that most people do not consider an alternative--those are the software they learned and is installed on lots of other computers. I have considered shifting to Linux for example, but won't--too much trouble and Windows has a whole lot of add-on apps.
I think Google has a natural monopoly as well. It is dominant in search and online advertising and is moving into other services. Others are trying to compete but the first actor advantage is now overwhelming.
We might push for breaking them up in order to introduce more competition, but for most people, it is too easy to go with the big guys.
Browsers, in contrast, do compete. I have Firefox, Opera, Google Chrome, and Internet Explorer on my computer. I continue to use Firefox by far the most because I have been able to modify it to do what I want it to do. I can't do the same things with the others, but keep them because each has one or two apps that I need from time to time.
[Comment at 12/18/2010 01:52 PM by John Bennett]
Monopoly in the "natural monopoly" context means single supplier. To the extent it has a monopoly on anything, it's because of the monopolies known as copyright and patent. There are alternatives to Windows and Word--doesn't Google apps have a competitor to Word? Lotus Notes (I think that's a Word competitor) and Apple. I assume there are others. Being dominant in something (e.g. search) is not the same thing as having a monopoly. Google is very far from having anything approaching a monopoly in advertizing even if it is a big player in that field. I see zillions of ads for salespeople in advertizing at companies that don't begin with the letter "G".
[Comment at 12/19/2010 06:16 PM by Bill Stepp]
There are natural monopolies. Each (unique) individual has a natural monopoly over their work. No-one but Fred Carpenter can supply "Bespoke chairs handmade by Fred Carpenter". Others can purchase and resell them, or make imitations, but they can't provide the same.
Only Elvis Presley can sell new recordings of himself singing. Now that he is dead, no-one can supply them. Impersonators can sell imitations and copies, but that's not the same.
If you want Crosbie Fitch to comment on your blog you'll have to come to me. I have the monopoly over the supply of such comments. And that's true with or without copyright. Probably truer without it, given that copyright's 'privilege creep' suggests authorship as something that can be transferred, bought and sold.
[Comment at 12/20/2010 05:30 AM by Crosbie Fitch]
Most Recent Comments
at 01/09/2020 09:14 AM by Anonymous
at 12/18/2019 03:10 PM by SYSSY
IIPA thinks open source equals piracy rerwerwerwer
at 07/08/2019 11:35 PM by WolfLarsen Larsen
IIPA thinks open source equals piracy Thank you for this great
at 06/21/2019 02:13 PM by spam name
Questions and Challenges For Defenders of the Current Copyright Regime Eu acho que os direitos autorais da invenção ou projeto devem ser
at 05/11/2019 09:15 PM by Marcelo
IIPA thinks open source equals piracy https://essaywritingsolutions.co.uk/
at 04/07/2019 11:22 PM by WolfLarsen
at 04/07/2019 11:21 PM by WolfLarsen
IIPA thinks open source equals piracy rwerwewre
at 04/07/2019 11:20 PM by WolfLarsen
at 02/05/2019 07:44 AM by Anonymous
Questions and Challenges For Defenders of the Current Copyright Regime It is one of the finest websites I have stumbled upon. It is not only well developed, but has good
at 06/19/2018 10:36 PM by Michael Jones
Killing people with patents I'm not really commenting the post, but rather asking if this blog is going to make a comeback
at 01/09/2018 03:46 AM by Anonymous
The right to rub smooth using a hardened steel tool with ridges Finally got around to looking at the comments, sorry for delay... Replying to Stephan: I'm sorry
at 05/08/2015 08:35 AM by Dan Dobkin
Let's See: Pallas, Pan, Patents, Persephone, Perses, Poseidon, Prometheus... Seems like a kinda bizarre proposal to me. We just need to abolish the patent system, not replace
at 04/10/2015 10:44 AM by Stephan Kinsella
The right to rub smooth using a hardened steel tool with ridges I'm a bit confused by this--even if "hired to invent" went away, that would just change the default
at 04/10/2015 10:34 AM by Stephan Kinsella
Do we need a law? @ Alexander Baker: So basically, if I copy parts of 'Titus Andronicus' to a webpage without
at 01/08/2015 08:58 PM by Sheogorath
Do we need a law? The issue is whether the crime is punished not who punishes it. If somebody robs our house we do
at 11/17/2014 04:48 AM by David K. Levine
Do we need a law? 1. Plagiarism most certainly is illegal, it is called "copyright infringement". One very famous
at 10/29/2014 10:49 AM by Alexander Baker
Yet another proof of the inutility of copyright. The 9/11 Commission report cost $15,000,000 to produce, not counting the salaries of the authors.
at 09/20/2014 03:19 PM by Alexander Baker
WKRP In Cincinnati - Requiem For A Masterpiece P.S. The link to Amazon's WKRP product page:
at 06/28/2014 10:03 AM by Doris
WKRP In Cincinnati - Requiem For A Masterpiece Hopefully some very good news. Shout! Factory is releasing the entire series of WKRP in Cincinnati,
at 06/28/2014 10:00 AM by Doris