Though the home team bias is obvious, this SF Gate bio of Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren is instructive:
- In Silicon Valley, where crack computer programmers and networking aces are now competing for jobs waiting tables and tending bar, the connection between government policies that are hurting the digital economy and skyrocketing tech-sector unemployment seems pretty obvious.
But outside those circles, many other Americans haven’t connected those dots yet. More important, they haven’t realized that the government is also about to come after them.
Take, for example, the legal rights consumers won in the landmark 1984 Sony Betamax case, which established “fair use” rights to make limited copies of CDs, records, TV shows, books and other entertainment products. As digital wares replace older analog media such as videotapes and audiotapes, those rights will disappear.
The fate of the high-tech economy has always hinged on the successful introduction of a steady stream of new technologies and services. One of the reasons so many techies are out of work right now is because companies don’t hire people to make products that might be illegal, such as anything capable of copying digital media. And that means that what’s left of the new-media industry will continue to die on the vine, taking the hopes of would-be suppliers to that industry, and much of the tech sector in general, down the tubes with it….