We need the Law of Unintended Consequences

by Michael Alderete on 4/17/2002

I hate to continue to beat on this theme, but I keep finding great resources to share. The Street Finds its Own Use for the Law of Unintended Consequences is the single best argument I’ve read for why legislation like the DMCA or the CBDTPA isn’t just bad for consumers, it’s disastrous to a prosperous United States.

The Law of Unintended Consequences applies in spades to new technology; telephones were invented to bring opera into people’s living rooms!

The fact of the matter is that no group of engineers in a boardroom can ever anticipate what normal people will do with their inventions. … Indeed, the measure of a product’s success is how far it diverges from its creator’s intentions.

When the coked-up Hollyweird cabal tried to ban the VCR in the mid-eighties, they thought they were fighting for their existence. They did not imagine…the pre-recorded tape market, which has become the backbone of their industry, providing revenue long after Police Academy n-1 has left the big screen.

Laws like the DMCA or the CBDTPA put incredible restraints on the use of technology, and will prevent the kinds of innovation that have put the US at the front of the technological revolution.

Read Cory’s article, and then fax it to your congressperson.

Previous post:

Next post: