Tuesday, February 1, 2005

A lawyer's tech-bashing

I recently attended dinner at a friend's place. There was this vocal lawyer who was among the guests. An expert in intellectual property issues, he is currently writing a book about the issues facing the media industry with file sharing schemes. Sharing a few thoughts of his with us, he expressed the opinion that "the Internet makes no noticeable difference to distribution of products, in particular music".

Excuse me? I was flabbergasted!

So all the trends, measures, indicators, analyses and successful examples of using the Internet to support new forms of distribution would be wrong and in fact Amazon, OOPrint, UPS, General Electric, Dell, Cisco Systems, IBM, eBay... and many others are just plain wrong about the benefits of the Web!

Interestingly, this brilliant lawyer does not seem to have factored i-Tunes or Creative Commons in his analysis.

I think the lawyer fell victim of the latest fashion of tech-bashing (which may actually just be about to become not so much in fashion). He did not do his homework on the subject and just goes with the flow that currently prevails in parts of Belgian society.

And in fact the issue is not so much the Internet per se, which is already transforming in a very fundamental way all human interactions and all sorts of transactions, but information technologies in general I think: infotech is a genuine revolution of colossal proportions that makes industrial era thinking obsolete to a very large extent. We have yet to see all of its effects on our lives. So the vocal lawyer is mega wrong in his statement and he too can bet that his job will be transformed radically well before he quietly ends  his traditionally constructed career.

"An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does
truth become error because nobody sees it." - Mahatma Gandhi


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