Blackberry, victim of patent trolls, asks for more pain

by Stephan Kinsella on February 5, 2014

Ayn Rand thought that the producers should not voluntarily subsidize the parasites who attack them for their virtues. So she has the men of ability go on strike against the state and the parasitical class in her famous novel Atlas. Some mock Atlas and Rand’s other fictional themes as being caricatures and unrealistic.

Yet here we have the spectre of the former CEO of Canada’s Blackberry (RIM), Jim Balsillie, urging stronger IP (patent and copyright) protection. This is a company now going downhill fast, one that was once at the top of its game. And one that was the victim of a $623 million dollar suit brought by US patent troll NTP.

On the face of it this is an example of irrational or craven leaders caving in to the extortion racket that is IP. Yet this will not fit the Randian story, because, of course, Rand supported IP (in one of her two greatest missteps; the other being her support of the state and the US hegemony and Constitution).

So here we have a former CEO of a company that was penalized over a billion dollars due to American-foisted patent law…. asking for patent law to be strengthened and increased. How perverse, sallow, corrupt, clueless, and unprincipled. Horrible. Shame on you, Balsillie. And shame on all libertarians who are in favor of patent and copyright. Shame on you.

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