a16z Podcast

a16z Podcast: A Whirlwind Tour of Current Policy Issues in Tech

Mike Masnick and Julie Samuels

Posted November 3, 2015


There’s a “game” being played right now among lawmakers and tech companies around policy issues, and as tech touches everything, everyone has to play some version of it. Even if the game keeps changing. Even if they don’t want to.

Or do they?

What if the game could be reinvented in a way that respects, but doesn’t reinforce, an entrenched system — especially given newer ways of engaging? Part of the problem is that only big companies can afford to play the game, argues  Julie Samuels, executive director at Engine (which does research, analysis, and advocacy for tech entrepreneurship): “Bad policy is bad policy because it’s bad policy. But the big companies can afford bad policy.”

Joining Samuels in this a16z Podcast discussion about the evolution of policy and tech is Techdirt’s Mike Masnick (who also founded the “digital-native think tank” The Copia Institute). They end by giving us a whirlwind tour of current policy issues in tech — from patents and IP in China to cybersecurity, privacy, and Safe Harbor in Europe … And the gig economy, talent, and immigration. All in just under 60 minutes.

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The a16z Podcast discusses the most important ideas within technology with the people building it. Each episode aims to put listeners ahead of the curve, covering topics like AI, energy, genomics, space, and more.

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