How Hollywood, Congress, And DRM Are Beating Up The American Economy

The United States traded its manufacturing sector's health for its entertainment industry, hoping that Police Academy sequels could take the place of the rust belt. The United States bet wrong. America needs new, realistic trade policies, columnist Cory Doctorow says.
And it can peacefully co-exist with movies, music, and microcode, but not if Hollywood gets to call the shots. Not if IT managers are expected to police their networks and systems for unauthorized copying -- no matter what that does to productivity. Not if our operating systems are rendered inoperable by "copy protection." Not if our schools are conscripted into acting as enforcers for the record industry.

The information economy is all around us. The countries that embrace it will emerge as global economic superpowers. The countries that stubbornly hold to the simplistic idea that the information economy is about selling information will end up at the bottom of the pile.

What country do you want to live in?

Cory Doctorow is co-author of the Boing Boing blog, as well as a journalist, Internet activist, and science fiction writer. Read his previous InformationWeek columns.