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Permanent link to archive for Friday, March 10, 2000. Friday, March 10, 2000

DaveNet: Speaking of the Cluetrain.

Doc Searls: Talking Patents. "I hate them, but we all have to start talking about them, because our world is being mined at an accelerating pace."

Where we're at with patents. "The not yet published innovations we developed in 1999 and 2000 are as unobvious as outlining was in the early 80s. They are quite patentable, imho, and they will be valuable patents."

PC Week: Hype aside, WAP has worries. "The Geoworks issue seems to have the WAP Forum worried. One new member said a recent forum meeting in Rome was crowded with lawyers who whispered to forum executives every time the conversation got contentious."

2/16/99: Amazon.Com Purchases Minority Stake in Geoworks. " has invested $5 million in Geoworks common stock, representing approximately a seven percent interest in the company."

SightSound.Com: "The royalty rate for the License is one percent of the total price charged to customers per transaction for the download sale of music or other audio recordings."

3/31-4/1 in Boston: Geek Pride Festival. "Go figure. Go geek!"

Steve Yost wants to start a Charity Banner Portal.

Jacob Levy: "In a previous life, I was part of a team that was trying to get VC money to do a start-up. The VCs made a big deal about having a 'non-volatile competitive advantage' in what we were doing, to assure that we would have the prospective market to ourselves."

Yesterday Mike Murry had trouble reading comments in response to Jeff Bezos's open letter. Me too, works now.

NPR's Elaine Korry reports that the "online retailer recently received a patent on sales links between webpages. If enforced, Amazon would be able collect royalties from online companies that refer sales from one website to another."

Dan Gillmor: "Later Thursday, in a phone interview, [Bezos] defended Amazon's actions and amplified on his patent aims."

Inc: What Business Is Really In? "It's unprofitable, of course, but that's just the superficial answer. The tsunami of red ink, founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has long maintained, is part of the plan. On to the deeper question, then: What on earth is the plan?"

Irish Times: Loss-making Amazon turns to bullying. "As the Web grows almost grotesquely commercial, harking back to the community-mindedness that built the Web is at the very least, quixotically admirable. But don't underestimate the power of community."

I found out about the Irish Times editorial from its author Karlin Lillington who sent me a response she received from Amazon PR, which explains a lot. Here's a screen shot of the email.

This email has lessons for lots of people. First to the PR guy at Amazon, Bill Curry, this is not a positive way to deal with the press! Second, to Tim O'Reilly who is cited as supporting Amazon, please consider what you're supporting.

And to all of us who are subject to criticism, even ridicule, myself included, it comes with the territory. As Jean-Louis Gassee used to say, maybe he still does, "As the monkey climbs the tree, more people can see his bottom."

Late in the day, apologies from Jeff Bezos and Bill Curry to Karlin Lillington.

Representing the other school of thought, Christopher Locke, one of the Cluetrain authors, mentions the Bezos-O'Reilly public posts as evidence of their clued-in-ness. But Chris, how would you feel if the art you practiced were subject to the kinds of nonsense rules the USPTO is trying to foist on software developers? Could you have published Cluetrain if Tom Peters had the patent on books that help businesses use technology?

Here's where the Cluetrain guys can get a clue.

Katiesoft "provides partners and portals a super sticky Internet opportunity, backed by patent protected features no one can imitate."

To Scripting News readers, please send me pointers to companies who openly use patents to limit competition.

Another thing to worry about. There's a two year gestation for patents. A harrowing question raised by the Sun people I met with on Wednesday, has Microsoft filed a patent application on XML-RPC technology? Since Microsoft cites me as a supporter of their work, I must find a way to ask this question without provoking the "You Don't Love Us" response from Microsoft.

11:20PM: It's been a remarkable and exhausting day. We did actually ship some new technology today, but I'll wait to explain that until tomorrow.


Last update: Tuesday, December 07, 2004 at 2:57 PM Eastern.

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