Red Alert

Where is our digital ambition?

Posted by on January 30th, 2013

Why aren’t we defining intellectual property as an integral part of our economy?

Our future prosperity will be carved out by backing the talent of businesses working in high tech. Kiwi businesses. A thriving manufacturing sector is at the heart of Labour’s vision. A weightless economy is integral to that.

The manufacturing inquiry is integral. So is getting our Patent laws right. Quantifying the strength of our Intellectual property sector might kick start us to realise our own worth.

Here is my speech tonight in the debate on the Prime Minister’s speech. The hands off, leave it to the market approach  of this government has failed all over the world. It’s clearly failing in New Zealand.




9 Responses to “Where is our digital ambition?”

  1. Nick Taylor says:

    “Why aren’t we defining intellectual property as an integral part of our economy?”

    Because there’s no such thing as “intellectual property”?

    Because it’s fundamentally incompatible with a free internet?

    Because it’s a monopoly set up for the benefit of middlemen and censors?

    Because it’s a blight on other economies – patent trolling costing the US 1/2 a trillion in the last 10 years alone?

    Because it’s fundamental purpose isn’t to “promote the creation of works for the public good”, but to kill competition?

    Because “IP” is a type of monopoly rent – ie: it allows the greedy to make money without creating value?

    And this represents a parasitic drain on people who DO create value?

    We should not be arguing to make the legal fiction that is “IP” a central part of our economy, we should be abolishing it completely.

    Just a thought.

  2. Henk says:

    Nick has a point on the debate on IP. Know that it is pretty philosophical. However, we need ‘digital ambition’. We can ship that zero weight stuff easily. Not so with the classic beef, lamb and kitchen appliances, no wonder the latter are now coming from China! So, focus on design and digital.
    Recent science appropriation mostly on pie in the sky stuff. Very worrying, honestly.

  3. Mark Harris says:

    What Nick said.

    A “weightless economy” is not about “intellectual property”, which is a legal fantasy dreamed up by neo-classical economists who want to be able to buy and sell everything.

    Have you learned nothing in the last four years?

  4. Jack Ramaka says:

    An economy without a plan or procedures in place to manage the economy is like a ship without a rudder.

    The pidgeons are starting to come home to roost with John Key, all he can do these days is bag the opposition parties.

    It appears to be a competition of who can get back into Parliament rather than doing what is best for the NZ Economy.

    Unfortunately in politics we do not get people elected who have practical business skills, John Key comes from an industry full of snakeoil salesmen who do not actually produce anything except for margins on the sale of assets, financial products/instruments or currency.

    Looks like we have given the fox the keys to the henhouse.

  5. PlanetOrphan says:

    One reason … no one wants to pay a reasonable rate for IT Genius (OR any other Genius for that matter).

    Novapay for example, extremely simple reuirements, stupid and ill thought through from the outset, why ? , because they were cheap.

    Protecting your IP is about thinking it through before you “give it away”, this country scabs genius everytime.

    Just ask your ex beloved leader Helen Clarke.

  6. Martin Purvis says:

    I agree with Nick Taylor’s comments.

    We need to have a national strategy concerning how to support and enhance our services sector. This means coming up with better ways to open doors for greater interaction. But strengthening IP is definitely *not* the way to do this, since IP is a confused and unsound idea that closes doors.

  7. kenny says:

    Enough answers there for you Clare?

  8. Red Guard (Te Kauwhata) says:

    I disagree with Nick’s logic about abolishing ‘IP’ protections, etc. A well spun arguement, but frankly there needs to be protection for those who have made the investment creating.
    Open slather actually undermines their efforts and labour, and let’s be frank, such idealism or faith in the market, etc, etc, has been shown to be a load of bollocks many times over. Markets are not free and uninhibited, there are always measures of control, influence and cause.
    IP protection will provide a modicum of a level playing field, in essence respect in the market place if you will.

  9. Matt Smith says:

    @Red Guard (Te Kauwhata) wrote: “there needs to be protection for those who have made the investment creating”

    Lawyers invest in creating their text too but it’s widely understood that having monopoly rights over legal techniques would harm society and politicians seeking to make laws.

    The argument isn’t about rewarding investment — lots of things have intellectual investment without patents or copyright (e.g. clothes). The argument is whether monopoly rights given to individuals encourage benefits to society as a whole or not through greater investment.

    In the case of the computer software industry it’s clear that New Zealanders don’t want “protection” and that ownership of ideas reduces innovation, and makes us vulnerable to US companies who “own” essential and basic ideas in computer science.

    Or in the case of healthcare it’s making drugs more expensive than is necessary to reward investment.

    “The historical and international evidence suggests that while weak patent systems may mildly increase innovation with limited side effects, strong patent systems retard innovation with many negative side effects,” Boldrin and Levine wrote. “More generally, the initial eruption of innovations leading to the creation of a new industry—from chemicals to cars, from radio and television to personal computers and investment banking—is seldom, if ever, born out of patent protection and is instead the fruit of a competitive environment.”