partial swipe: "A series of court decisions in the 1990s, though, made this kind of musical collage all but impossible, forcing artists to get permission for every snippet they used — a logistical and financial nightmare. Lawsuits flew against several rappers, and a form of cultural expression virtually disappeared.
Hip-hop may have little to do with high tech. But its experience carries a stark warning for the future of technology. High-tech behemoths in a range of businesses like mobile computing and search and social networking have been suing one another to protect their intellectual property from what they see as the blatant copying and cloning by their rivals. Regardless of the legitimacy of their claims, the aggressive litigation could have a devastating effect on society as a whole, short-circuiting innovation."