In response to my (perhaps-too-snide) criticism of John Perry Barlow‘s focus on software-licensing fees as a barrier to economic development, I’ve received a handful of critical e-mails. All polite, each critic reminds me that Barlow is co-founder of Electronic Frontier Foundation and a Fellow at Harvard Law School. He is not, as I mistakenly implied, merely a rock star.
But I stand by my criticism of his point. Assuming that the New York Times did not quote him out of context, to focus on software-licensing fees as an impediment to economic growth is misplaced at a Forum allegedly devoted to finding ways to help the poorest of the world’s poor achieve greater prosperity. It would be like discussing the health benefits of curing acne at a conference devoted to curing cancer.