Is It Something In the Air? Gates on Creative Capitalism

Deven Desai

Deven Desai is an associate professor of law and ethics at the Scheller College of Business, Georgia Institute of Technology. He was also the first, and to date, only Academic Research Counsel at Google, Inc., and a Visiting Fellow at Princeton University’s Center for Information Technology Policy. He is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley and the Yale Law School. Professor Desai’s scholarship examines how business interests, new technology, and economic theories shape privacy and intellectual property law and where those arguments explain productivity or where they fail to capture society’s interest in the free flow of information and development. His work has appeared in leading law reviews and journals including the Georgetown Law Journal, Minnesota Law Review, Notre Dame Law Review, Wisconsin Law Review, and U.C. Davis Law Review.

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5 Responses

  1. started the parade in a post a couple of days ago, in which it’s pointed out that most business people hate capitalism, because capitalism implies competitiion, which business people hate. Especially monopolists like Bill Gates. It’s worth considering the possibility that people like Gates support the mainstreaming of CSR is their expectation that a social norm (or, even better, legal rules) mandating “social responsibility” will create barriers to entry by potential competitors by raising costs.

  2. Deven says:

    Hmm. Steve, thanks for the points. In your post it seems you think I do not view some of Gates motives with the proper amount of suspicision. Yet the sentence right after your post’s quote states “As I write this post Gates talks of MS’s philanthropy. It is hard to swallow. Many of the press stories about MS show it as purely driven to colonize the world. Gates says there is more to what MS does. Yet maybe as Google rises, Gates really wants to undercut it. Maybe he thinks he can do it with this move.”

    In other words, yes, this whole thing could be a ruse. I just think it will be interesting to see where he goes with the ideas. If he is using the idea as you describe, I think the people he relies on may call him out. It may not matter but it could limit that motive. We’ll see.

  3. Bruce Boyden says:

    Ruses themselves can restrict behavior; e.g. by requiring that behavior that exposes the ruse not be open, which limits the sort of behaviors you can engage it.

  4. Deven says:

    Bruce, What’s the frequency Kenneth? Afraid you lost me.

  5. MS Bob says:

    “Still, he is not exactly an idiot”

    But, alas, he is an economic idiot.