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The Past And Future Of Information Empires

Columbia law professor Tim Wu writes that information technologies have all gone through a similar life cycle: "Information technologies give rise to industries, and industries to empires." Wu says this cycle ultimately destroys the innovative spirit that creates new information technologies and the openness that typifies them in their early years.

In his new book, The Master Switch, Wu asks if the Internet is next. NPR's Robert Siegel asks Wu if the history of various information technologies -- the telephone, movies, radio, television -- can predict the future of the Internet.

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