Steve Jobs, 1996: "Good Artists Copy, Great Artists Steal"

Oh, hello! A trip to the YouTube wayback machine shows that 1996's Steve "Great Artists Steal" Jobs might have taken issue with 2010 Steve Jobs, and his patent lawsuit firebombing of HTC. Irony!

The comment was made during a 1996 PBS documentary called "Triumph of the Nerds", and looks a smidge hypocritical in light of today's events. As does this one: "We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas." Goodness. If that's true, then lawyering up against innovative competitors must be the one of the best ideas you ever heard.

In fact, compare the above to what Jobs said just today in the press release about the HTC lawsuit:

"We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it. We've decided to do something about it. We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours."

Emphasis added. That's quite a 180 for a company and a man who have always been known for respecting and triumphing innovation. A disappointing one, at that.

Update: To clarify, and as is clear in the video, Jobs was quoting Pablo Picasso in the headlined quote. The follow-up quote is all him. [YouTube via commenter Fractal the Meek]

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