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IP & NDA (Day 319)

Connected with my high school teacher's son. He's an entrepreneur now in Netherlands after leaving a job in Uber's San Francisco headquarter. We were talking about IP protection and NDA's with investors. Here's one of my edited response:

"I think the world is moving towards the open source/decentralization. Personally, I'm against patenting or NDAs in the blockchain field. Patenting is very "anti-innovation", you see how the anti-trust cases by Tencent and Alibaba and Baidu in China. Users suffer. Monopoly is bad. Think how FB and Google are owning the entire value chain of your personal data. Especially in the blockchain world that i'm involved with, projects tend to share with others what they want to build, so any developer can jump in and build that; versus safeguarding your "invention" and trying to maximize the return on your own. To be honest, ideas are cheap, because information is available to everyone for free. Many people can come up with the same ideas with the same set of information. The advantage that Warren Buffett used to have is no longer an advantage. Despite their legendary history, Berkshire Hathaway is no longer the top performer. The quant guys are owning the market. The difference? It's not the "idea" or "information" gains you an edge, your execution is what matters the most, when everybody has the same information. To expand on that, the execution landscape has changed as well. Capital has been abundant to many projects, the real advantage now is in the distribution channel--and what I mean by that is in the community. You see how news agencies are struggling to survive because of the problem i mentioned: information is free now, distribution channel is diversified--people are reading news from Facebook posts instead of newspaper websites. Their only survival probably is gonna be changing the way contents are distributed, like how the music industry has come about eventually, after wasting tons of time and money on lawyering up..."

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    Hello Calvin;
    While information is indeed free and abundant these days, its' quality is dependent on who delivers it. Consider it a raw material to be used by IT professionals to make something of it that you can successfully sell. You came up with a great idea to do so and want to collaborate to make it happen - wouldn't you want to have an NDA with your teammates? There was a recent post here @ IH about a rogue developer who was trusted without an NDA, got access to code, then was dropped due to legal restrictions, and now is threatening to publish that code if not reinstated in the team.
    So, imho, while agreeing that patenting may be an impedance, I find it risky to forgo NDA.

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      Very good point. Definitely every project has its own unique situation and need to act accordingly. Unless it's an open source project, most company's code is a protected IP, if the said developer publishes the code that is a violation of the IP and should be sued. Of course, if it's an international remote developer, it's very hard to enforce that.

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