Digital Phoenix: Why the Information Economy Collapsed and by Bruce Abramson

By Bruce Abramson

Whereas we have been expecting the web to make us wealthy -- again after we proposal all we needed to do was once to shop for lottery tickets known as dotcom stocks -- we ignored the genuine tale of the knowledge financial system. That tale, says Bruce Abramson in electronic Phoenix, came about on the intersection of know-how, legislations, and economics. It opened up via Microsoft's manipulation of software program markets, via open resource tasks like Linux, and during the file-sharing adventures that Napster enabled. Linux and Napster specifically exploited newly enabled company types to make details sharing reasonable and straightforward; either platforms met powerful competition from entrenched pursuits motive on retaining their very own earnings. those situations set the degree for the way forward for the data financial system, a destiny during which every one new expertise will threaten strong incumbents -- who will, in flip, struggle to retard this "dangerous new direction" of progress.Disentangling the technological, felony, and fiscal threads of the tale, Abramson argues that the most important to the whole info economic system -- knowing the prior and getting ready for the long run -- lies in our method of highbrow estate and inspiration markets. The severe problem of the data age, he says, is to inspire the construction and dissemination of rules. After discussing correct matters in highbrow estate and antitrust legislation, the economics of festival, and synthetic intelligence and software program engineering, Abramson tells the data economy's formative histories: the Microsoft antitrust trial, the open-source stream, and (in a bankruptcy referred to as "The laptop Ate My Industry") the arrival of electronic track. ultimately, he seems to be towards the long run, studying many ways that highbrow estate reform might strength fiscal progress and displaying how the knowledge financial system will reshape the methods we predict approximately company, employment, society, and public coverage -- how the knowledge economic system, in truth, could make us all wealthy, as shoppers and manufacturers, if now not as investors.

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Extra resources for Digital Phoenix: Why the Information Economy Collapsed and How It Will Rise Again

Sample text

New technologies introduce new opportunities. Some attempts to exploit these new opportunities may yield enormous rewards, while others that appeared to be equally promising may lead to spectacular failures. Meanwhile, the existing legal environment—by definition a legacy of a different technological 20 Chapter 1 era—may be ill-equipped to deal with this brave new world. The inheritance is almost certain to include laws that prohibit beneficial advances, laws that permit harmful exploitation, and even laws that somehow manage to do both simultaneously.

And it’s simply irrelevant that software is neither a book nor a machine. 21 We owe perhaps the most significant of these contributions to a team of two IP scholars, Pam Samuelson and J. H. Reichman, and two technologists, Randy Davis and Mitch Kapor. ”22 The Manifesto tackled a critical issue that computer scientists had deferred to their social science colleagues: how to motivate and reward software developers. The team began its work on the horns of a dilemma. Most programs don’t meet the requirements for patents, so we need to give them copyrights.

Her argument implies, of course, that innovators are also on notice that their rights could weaken (or even evaporate), should Congress decide to go that route. But because that particular question didn’t arise in this case, she never addressed it explicitly. It remains a theoretical issue for scholars to debate another day. Now, the significance of a debate between a court’s majority and its dissenters differs depending on how close to the bench you stand. If you don’t live in the legal world, it’s little other than a curiosity.

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