Feeds

Disney chief Eisner recruits Abe Lincoln in piracy fight

Vaclav Havel also implicated...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top three mobile application threats

Disney CEO Michael Eisner has recruited Abraham Lincoln, Vaclav Havel, Douglass North and Sigmund Eisner (relation) for his campaign against intellectual property pilfering on the Internet. And we want some of whatever his speech writers are smoking.

In a piece published in today's Financial Times, Eisner announces that Lincoln would have been thrilled by the Internet, describes him as a "great patenter," and finds some favourable comment from Lincoln on patenting. Before patents, "any man might instantly use what another had invented; so that the inventor had no special advantage from his own invention. The patent system changed this; secured to the inventor, for a limited time, the exclusive use of his invention; and thereby added the fuel of interest to the fire of genius, in the discovery and production of new and useful things."

He may also have mentioned copyright, but on this Eisner is silent. Lincoln's status as a great patenter, incidentally, stems from a single patent (one more than your average US president, we grant you) for a device for lifting riverboats over shoals. It never went into production, and from the look of the model now in the Smithsonian, we think we have an inkling why.

Poor old Vaclav Havel's contribution to Eisner's opus is somewhat more tenuous. Oblivious to the massive hostage to fortune he was creating, he wrote in 1995: "the inviolability of private ownership ... enable man to live in dignity, freedom, and responsibility." Conclusive stuff, no?

Professor Douglass North contributes the observation that the steam ship did not replace the sailing ship until 100 years after the invention of the steam engine, patented in 1769, because "back then, inventors were not assured of the rewards that would derive from the ownership of their ideas." We're not sure we follow the logic here, but as he's a Nobel prizewinner and we aren't, we'll pass swiftly on Sigmund Eisner, Michael's grandfather, who taught his father not to steal. Down the generations this has been refined, so now Michael himself says: "I instructed my children that they could not slip a comic book under their shirt and sneak out of the store."

Back with Abe, Eisner says "he undoubtedly would have disdained those who go to sites with names such as Gnutella, Madster, BearShare, Limewire, Swaptor, Morpheus or Rapigator to pilfer the intellectual property of others." Indeed.

Not, of course, that there's any question that Eisner has had this nonsense made up solely to plead the case of Disney Corp: "In writing this, I am not just speaking from the self-interest of the head of an entertainment company. For me, theft of property, via the internet or any other way, is not only alarming because of the material loss but also disconcerting because it implies the loss of the moral compass on which our society is based." Indeed. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.