Free Culture

Metaphors That Don’t Hold Water

I’m a big fan of Boing Boing, and I want to be Cory Doctorow when I grow up, but I’m sorry to say that the metaphors in his interview here ring false:

Well, locomotives didn’t require horseshoes. You know, the blacksmiths might not have liked the fact that locomotives didn’t require horseshoes. But if you started a business to outfit locomotives with special horseshoes in order to keep the blacksmiths happy, you probably wouldn’t have lasted very long.

The blacksmiths would like it even less if you stole the horseshoes from their anvil for the metal to make your trains. When you’ve driven all the blacksmiths out of business, how will you pay for the metal that you’ve previously got for free?

Likewise, if you’re starting a business to outfit phones with special locks that make it hard to copy things in order to make the music industry happy, then you’re probably not long for this world.

Yeah, you’ll never train kids to pay for things they used to be able to do for free. Like talking to each other…