History vs Today and the Future

The Financial Times’ John Gapper reports tonight on advance wording in a speech that Microsoft associate general counsel Tom Rubin will give tomorrow. In his remarks, Rubin will take a shot at what Microsoft views as Google’s/YouTube’s
disregard for copyright rules.

I’m not a lawyer (in fact, in most people’s minds I’m only half a rung up the ladder as a PR person), so I won’t pretend to comment on whether Rubin has a legal leg to stand on. I do, however, believe that Rubin and others (RIAA/MPAA and proprietary software vendors are you listening?) are stuck in neutral while their customers and competitors move forward like a Porsche on a straightaway.

Microsoft and the old media guard are clinging to a copyright fight that is stuck in yesterday’s business models. They’ve refused to adapt to the tenets of business: listening to the market and their customers. Instead of fighting for history, they should be working with their customers — and, more importantly, their customers’ customers — to map out a better future.

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