[OT Canute] Re: [LINK] [Fwd: Interesting KPMG report on DRM]

Trei, Peter ptrei at rsasecurity.com
Mon Oct 7 10:26:49 EDT 2002

> Robin Whittle[SMTP:rw at firstpr.com.au] wrote:
> . 
[lots of good stuff about the music business clipped]

> I think this is an accurate analysis of a really sad situation.  Like
> King Canute, the record companies are devoting most of their thinking
> and resources to holding back the tide.
[even more good stuff clipped]

In the interests of pedantry and accuracy, may I point out that Canute
did not actually expect to hold back the tide. Canute was an an early 
Danish king of northern England, living ~995-1035. Like most modern
leaders, he was surrounded by yes-men. Unlike them, he did something
about it:

[From http://viking.no/e/people/e-knud.htm]

"Let all men know how empty and worthless is the power of kings. 
For there is none worthy of the name but God, whom heaven, earth 
and sea obey".

So spoke King Canute the Great, the legend says, seated on his throne 
on the seashore, waves lapping round his feet. Canute had learned that 
his flattering courtiers claimed he was "So great, he could command the 
tides of the sea to go back". Now Canute was not only a religious man, 
but also a clever politician. He knew his limitations - even if his
did not - so he had his throne carried to the seashore and sat on it as the 
tide came in, commanding the waves to advance no further. When they 
didn't, he had made his point that, though the deeds of kings might appear 
'great' in the minds of men, they were as nothing in the face of God's


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