Archive for August 2009


The Incredible Information Valuation!

When is a comic book worth $3,600,000 more than its face value? Answer: When Walt Disney wants to buy it. Today, Disney announced it had agreed to acquire Marvel Entertainment, Inc. for $4 billion. Marvel, which only a few years ago was mired in bankruptcy, owns the rights to a range of intellectual property including […]

Change we can't believe in–at least not when it comes to copyright

In Chapter 9 of “The Laws of Disruption,” I write about the ridiculous increases in statutory fines for copyright violations that the entertainment world has forced into law over the last few decades, even as the costs of production, marketing and distribution of content decrease with the advent of electronic channels. In the one file-sharing […]

"No One Will Ever Buy a Car on the Internet"

File under: Someday they’ll be sorry they said that in print. In the early days of e-commerce, when many of my audiences were deeply in the stage of the grief process known as “denial,” executives in a variety of industries tried to wish away the revolutionary (though ultimately liberating) potential of the Internet to re-create […]

Moore's Law Lives!

A fascinating article last week by CNET’s Brooke Crothers on efforts by IBM to use carbon DNA molecules to extend Moore’s Law. Readers of my books will remember that Moore’s Law is the prediction by Intel founder Gordon Moore that improvements in semiconductor manufacturing technology translate to computer chips (the basic building blocks of computing […]

The SCO Phoenix Rises…Again

I made a lot of people in the Linux community unhappy when I wrote in CIO Insight ( “Battle over Linux: When a Win May Not Be a Win,” Sept., 2007 ) that the decision by federal judge Dale Kimball to grant partial summary judgment to Novell on SCO’s claims of ownership of key UNIX […]

Lori Drew verdict finally overturned

I wrote extensively in Chapter 8 of The Laws of Disruption about the madness of prosecuting Lori Drew, a Missouri woman, for her participation in a cruel MySpace hoax that contributed to the suicide of a 13 year-old girl named Megan Meier. Drew’s behavior aside, the decision by federal prosecutors to charge her under the […]

Mainland Chinese rights sold

Rights to The Laws of Disruption in China have been sold to Cheersbooks, a preeminent publisher associated with China Renmin University Press. Given the prominent (and increasingly important) role played by China in many of the issues associated with Internet regulation, I’m excited to see how the book is received there.

Inc./The Next New–Potentially Illegal–Thing

“The Next New—Potentially Illegal—Thing,” Inc. Magazine, May, 2009 – Larry Downes’s interview with Inc.’s Leigh Buchanan warns innovators to avoid the increasing legal pitfalls of new technology introductions.

CNET/Preserve Internet Freedom

2007 “Preserve Internet Freedom…From Regulation,” CNet News.com, December 12, 2007 – Larry Downes takes an unpopular position on Net Neutrality, arguing that the cost of government interference with Internet access provisioning is almost certainly higher than the benefits.

CIO Insight/Legal Jungle

2008 “The Legal Jungle” Columns, CIO Insight, 2005-2008 – Many of the examples and cases from “The Laws of Disruption” were first discussed in columns Larry Downes wrote for CIO Insight.