Joseph Schumpeter and will.i.am

In his ‘Theory of Economic Development’ (1911), Joseph Schumpeter notes the importance of innovation and the role of the entrepreneur in economic growth. Specifically, the importance of carrying out ‘new combinations’ is emphasised, yet whilst the innovative entrepreneur has a creative role here, Schumpeter notes in later work that,

I have always emphasized that the entrepreneur is the man who gets new things done and not necessarily the man who invents.

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Earlier this month, musician Arty noted on twitter that despite the use of significant elements from Arty & Mat Zo’s ‘Rebound’ in will.i.am‘s ‘Let’s Go’, that no clearance rights to use the song had been sought or issued, adding later,

I was never contacted or consulted by Interscope Records, and never signed any license agreements

In addition to ‘Let’s Go’, on ‘#willpower’ it is noted that ‘Bang Bang’ contains elements of Sandro Silva & Quintino’s ‘Epic’, ‘#thatPOWER’ contains elements of Arty’s ‘Kate’, ‘Great Times Are Coming’ contains elements of Denis Koyu’s ‘Tung’, and so on. The Will.I.Steal facebook page looks into this further.

But is this theft? Or is will.i.am acting as the Schumpeterian entrepreneurial source of economic growth, enacting new combinations and realising innovation? His account of the Arty & Mat Zo incident implies that the problem lies in the fact that the law can simply not move at the pace of creativity, and his admiration of innovation is in no doubt:

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
I would invite the best Japanese chef ever. Then I’d invite today’s best scientists and innovators like Dean Kamen, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Marc Benioff, and the world’s most influential venture capitalists, and the dinner would be about investing in new innovation led by youth in inner cities.

More here.

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