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ex machina

amazon patent saga. scene 48.
fade in. tim talking on cell phone with jeff. tim looks disheveled and oblivious to the ire that he is raising in the woman seated at the next table because he is talking loudly.
Tim: With the Web we've had this incredibly fertile period marked by a great deal of sharing and consequent innovation, most of it by independent developers who've learned by looking at what others were doing, imitating it and then playing leapfrog. And it is these developers whose efforts are most harmed by the fear that they may be sued by a player like Amazon.

Jeff: We aren't going after those developers. There are lots of people using 1-click purchasing on their sites whom we aren't suing. We're just going after the big guys who are going after us, the guys who are not innovating themselves but just copying us and working to crush us.

Tim: Would you be willing to make some kind of public promise that you won't be going after other people about this?

Jeff: I'll think about it and talk with my lawyers to see if there's any way we could do that without harming our suit against B&N.
more talk. woman at next table scowls and flings peas at tim. power lunch leads to 'action items' for tim:
1. For to think hard about what kind of assurances they could give to independent developers about their safety from patent lawsuits.

2. To continue our conversation about patents, openness, and software innovation.

3. For me to write up our conversation so far and share it with the public, even in its inconclusive state. After all, one of the rules of the Internet, as articulated so brilliantly in The Cluetrain Manifesto, is that a market is a conversation. We don't have an answer yet, but we're talking.
salon hyperlinks stage right. adds historical dimension in attempt to distinguish itself from punditry masses.
Contrary to popular belief, business-method patents have flowed from the Patent and Trademark Office for over 100 years. Many appear at least as obvious as Amazon's. For example, patent 44,778, awarded to Isaac Bates on October 25, 1864, covers a "method for teaching penmanship," specifically an innovative position of arm, pen and hand. Meanwhile, patent 660,255 protects a method for teaching speaking and reading to the deaf. It was issued in 1900."
dave hyperlinks stage left. offers large hunk of cheese to tim [who politely declines] with a side of unsolicited advice for jeff:
The only way to have a conversation with the Web is to put your own words on the Web. An actual interview or essay, clearly stating Amazon's position. It's great that he talked with Tim, but it's no substitute for a direct response to their customers."
slow fade. pan left as woman draws back large spoon of peas aimed at...
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3/04/2000 08:46:00 PM 0 comments


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