America's Illicit Industrial Revolution and Lessons for Today's Intellectual Property Theft Debate

As a young and newly industrializing nation the United States aggressively engaged in the kind of intellectual property theft it now insists other countries prohibit and crack down on. Drawing from his recent book, Smuggler Nation: How Illicit Trade Made America (Oxford University Press, 2013), Andreas discusses how America became a hotbed of intellectual piracy and technology smuggling in its adolescent years, particularly in the textile industry. Only after it became a mature industrial power did the country vigorously campaign for intellectual property protection--conveniently overlooking its own illicit path to industrialization.

Peter Andreas is a professor in the Department of Political Science and the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. He was previously an Academy Scholar at Harvard University, a Research Fellow at the Brookings Institution, and an SSRC-MacArthur Foundation Fellow on International Peace and Security. Andreas has authored, co-authored, or co-edited nine books, written widely in scholarly journals and policy magazines, presented Congressional testimony, written op-eds for major newspapers, and provided frequent media commentary. His most recent book is Smuggler Nation: How Illicit Trade Made America (Oxford University Press, 2013).


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