Bruce Abramson, "Digital Phoenix: Why the Information Economy Collapsed and How It Will Rise Again"
The MIT Press; New Ed edition (October 1, 2006) | ISBN:0262511967 | 373 pages | PDF | 2,3 Mb
Abramson, a lawyer with a Ph.D. in computer science and an interest in microeconomics, has an explanation for the dot-com bubble's collapse based in classical economics: confused by network theorists, giddy investors assumed well-timed dot-com startups would reap monopoly profits from a geometrically expanding Web (hence the bubble), while, in fact, the Internet proved a hotbed of cutthroat price competition where profits are hard to come by (hence the collapse). With that out of the way, the bulk of Abramson's book is taken up with what he sees as the engine for new growth: intellectual property rights. Case studies include the Microsoft antitrust case, the rise of Linux as an open source alternative to Windows, and the recording industry's battle against free downloading channels like Napster. Abramson gives an intricate but lucid and engaging account of these controversies, illuminating the interplay of copyright and patent law, technology and marketing. He makes a case both for the government's role in policing abuses of intellectual property rights—Microsoft, he believes, is indeed a monopolist—and for a relaxed intellectual property regime that fosters competition and innovation. (June)
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