Get PJ Media on your Apple

PJM Lifestyle

Will the Xbox 360 Be Banned in America?

If allegations of Microsoft patent-infringement are true, prohibiting sales is the right thing to do.

by
Walter Hudson

Bio

June 5, 2012 - 7:00 am
<- Prev  Page 2 of 2   View as Single Page

That is one reason why a ban of Xbox 360 sales in America is unlikely to occur, because Motorola has an interest in profiting from a deal with Microsoft, and Microsoft has an interest in dealing to continue sales. A sales ban has already taken effect in Germany based on the same patent-infringement claim, putting pressure on Microsoft to concede the point and cut Motorola in for a piece of the action. That would be an appropriate outcome, assuming Motorola’s claim is legitimate.

Of course, the other prominent reason why a ban of Xbox 360 sales in the States is unlikely is political. An ITC ruling in August would place Obama in an uncomfortable position two months before the election. Which political impulse would prevail, and to what end? Obama’s anti-business sentiment could break either way, against Microsoft’s “greed” or Motorola’s. When you add in the likely response from young voters whose sense of right and wrong is governed by whether they get what they want, the good money is on Obama breaking against a ban.

All told, the episode demonstrates intellectual property theory, highlighting an issue of fundamental rights for a large and youthful segment of consumers. In an age of rampant media piracy through file sharing, intellectual property is under withering assault from those who ignore the role of the mind in production and focus only on scarcity. So the argument goes: if I take your bike, you no longer have it; but copying your idea deprives you of nothing. Only, it does. The idea is a value conceived and rightly owned by its producer. The idea would not otherwise exist, and its producer is entitled to control its disposal.

In practice, Microsoft acknowledges this with every sale, accepting money in trade for products which consist of more than circuits and discs. What an Xbox or game played upon one is, at root, is an idea. The material absent any mind applied to it would be worthless.

<- Prev  Page 2 of 2   View as Single Page
Walter Hudson advocates for individual rights, serving on the boards of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Minnesota, Minnesota Majority and the Minority Liberty Alliance. He maintains a blog and daily podcast entitled Fightin Words. He also contributes to True North, a hub of conservative Minnesotan commentary, and regularly appears on the Twin Cities News Talk Weekend Roundtable on KTCN AM 1130. Follow his work via Twitter and Facebook.
Click here to view the 28 legacy comments

Comments are closed.