Do you read science fiction? Good for you. Do you read William Gibson? If you donit youire missing out. William Gibson is one of the most influental writers of the past couple of decades, and for good reason.
At least a couple of Gibsonis books (notably Count Zero) feature the phenomenon of corporate piracy. Competion in the future is so fierce, and the power of big corporation has grown so much, that an important person that wishes to change employers does so at great risk, and has to hire special armed clandestine forces to get him safely transferred to the "other side".
Well now, according to this article at InfoWorld, this stuff is no longer science fiction. Here is a quote:
POLICE WEDNESDAY ARRESTED the former president of Internet music distribution company Liquid Audio Japan and four others on suspicion of confinement of a business colleague who was planning to start a similar company in the United States, Japanese media reported.
Masafumi Okanda, 32, and four others abducted a 33-year-old executive of Liquid Audio Japan and held him for two days to prevent him from taking a business trip to the United States, Kyodo News reported, quoting Tokyo police. At the time, Okanda was president of Liquid Audio Japan.
Corporations are getting bolder. Now, for the record, I think personally that corporations will be less evil masters that governments have been. But seeing that governments have traditionally been slaughtering everyone including their own citizens, there is still room for a lot of evil there. Better keep an eye on them.
And by the way, Liquid Adio is one of those company I consistently and unstoppably am getting tons of spam from. I think big companies need it for their shareholders: "Oh, we have a great future; our mailing list is now at 12 million people." Not mentioning the fact that 90% of those people have not signed up for the newsletter.