Monday, October 23, 2006

David v. Goliath

Radley Balko points out a potential consequence of the new, stupid, unproductive anti-internet gambling law:
There's no appetite for slapping trade sanctions on US goods; that would hurt Antiguan companies and consumers far more than Americans. Instead, the country may refuse to enforce American patents and trademarks. This would make it possible for Antiguan-based companies to produce knock-offs of American intellectual property, like video and music recordings or computer software. Such a tactic would get the attention of major US firms like Microsoft Corp. and entertainment titan Time Warner Inc. It would also put tiny Antigua's trade war against the United States on front pages around the world.
How cool would it be for itty bitty Antigua to challenge the US and win? As the world becomes more and more connected and the long tail gets longer and longer it is certainly possible that countries that specialize in certain types of commerce could gain power that outstrips their relative size.

I wonder if poor third world nations could use this approach to get the US and Europe to drop their unfair agricultural subsidies? I guess they would have to start caring about the conditions for their poor first - but I'm guess it would work.

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