August 26, 2011
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“We’ve been shameless about stealing great ideas” Steve Jobs, 1994.
Over the last year only, Apple has unleashed a number of lawsuits suing other companies because they have allegedly infringed some of their software patents or copied their hardware design or some other copy-related accusation.
Now I couldn’t care less about those big companies involved in these patent wars (Samsung, HTC, Google, Apple) but I can’t avoid seeing the irony in Steve Jobs’ quote from 1994 when today he is targeting anyone and everyone that dares to ‘steal’ Apple’s ideas.
And if Samsung, HTC and the likes can stand against someone like Apple with their own patent portfolio and take this to the courts, it’s not the same for the average medium sized software house or lone developer. Those who don’t or can’t go into the game of patent acquisitions and legal battles, are doomed to become extinct in the near future, simply because people like Steve Jobs want to be the masters of the universe not allowing anyone else to create anything without their permission.
If this patent mentality had been around 20-30 years ago, Steve Jobs would have been wiped off the market by his competitors long ago. But due to the more liberal approach to the sharing of ideas at the time, geeks and hackers could come together and expand on the inventions of others and build cool systems that would revolutionize the computer industry. The irony being, now that some of these geeks and hackers are on “top of the world”, they’re screwing every other young geek and hacker over to make sure nobody invents something without paying their dues to the pimps of the technology industry.
So keep this in mind when reading hymns and praises about Steve Jobs now that he has resigned from Apple and people are rushing to ‘thank’ him and tell us how cool a guy he is, how we moved us all forward to a technological heaven and bullshit like that. He is just another hypocrite and no matter how many iCool devices he makes, his patent-oriented mentality will have eventually caused more harm to the technological world than the potential good of his inventions.