[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [wg-b] RE: opportunity to pre-empt, or license to infringe?

----- Original Message -----
From: "Hartman, Steve"

> At last year's annual meeting of the International Trademark Association,
> stated that the Internet is a unique phenomenon: It is a worldwide,
> instantaneous communication system that is democratic and decentralized.

That's nice.

> That said, I believe that you, and others, underestimate the economic
> opportunity and importance of the Internet. The Internet has the potential
> of significantly increasing productivity, reducing costs, and ultimately
> improving the standard of living of all peoples around the world. Not
> or tomorrow, but in 10 years, maybe 25.

Mr. Hartman. Just FYI. I taught one of the first courses on Electronic
Commerce ever offered at Rutgers University and at the HK University of
Science & Technology. That was in 1995-6, when, I suspect, you had never
heard of the term. Currently I am an Associate Professor in a graduate-level
School of Information Studies that accepts around 200 students a year from
all over the world. The most popular topics and courses revolve around
e-commerce. We now have courses in electronic commerce, e-commerce
technologies, building e-commerce web sites, and network security, in
addition to the more basic programming and networking topics. We produce
graduates who are gobbled up by GE, Lucent, Cisco, Nortel Networks, and
information systems and e-commerce consulting firms.

Further FYI, the productivity gains and living standard improvements are not
10 years away, they have been happening, gaining momentum for the past five
years at least.

This debate is about the proper scope and definition of rights, and it is
about maintaining the kind of open and competitive environment that created
the Internet. We are not WTO protestors. Many of the people who are getting,
or will be, squashed or elbowed aside by your proposals are precisely the
small businesses and start-ups in e-commerce who got us to this point. Many
of the firms and government agencies on your side of the debate were
clueless until quite recently.

> Commercial interests and other trademark owners will inevitably play a
> role in the growth and economic development of the Internet.

Growth and economic development is one thing. Regulation and control and
monopolization are quite another.