Tropicalismo in Power


Wired goes to Brazil, and paints it as a Slashdot utopia:

Brazil, in its approach to drug patents, in its support for the free software movement, and in its resistance to Big Content's attempts to shape global information policy, is transforming itself into an open source nation—a proving ground for the proposition that the future of ideas doesn't have to be the program of tightly controlled digital rights now headed our way via Redmond, Hollywood, and Washington, DC.

No surprise there either, actually. In a world divided into the content-rich and the content-poor, it's increasingly clear to those on the losing side of the divide that the traditional means of addressing the imbalance—piracy—is a stopgap solution at best. Sooner or later some country was bound to square off with the IP empire and be the first to insist, as a matter of state policy and national identity, on an alternative.

While I was interested to read about the Brazilian government's approach to Linux, pharmaceutical patents, etc., the most interesting thing I learned from the article is that Gilberto Gil is now the country's Minister of Culture. For those of you who don't know who Gil is, this is a bit like making Bob Dylan the head of the NEA.