The Second Battle of Poitiers

Famous as the site where King Charles Martel beat back Muslim hordes in 732, the sleepy French city of Poitiers is again a war zone. This time the defenders are French customs agents trying to hold back an invasion of Japanese video recorders. This year alone, 550,000 (85% of total sales) were sold, an influx authorities fear could cripple France's own fledgling video recorder industry and deepen its projected $14 billion foreign trade deficit. When hefty new $65 annual licensing fees failed to dent demand, the government turned to obstructionism. Henceforth, decreed the...

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