Wednesday, November 05, 2008

President elect Obama

It looks like the US has elected Barack Obama president. Has Martin Luther King's dream been realised?

Well I hope that means that my kids will never even consider the possibility that the colour of a person's skin would be a factor in the election of someone to such an elevated office. On the up side hopefully Obama will attempt to repair some of the damage done to the US Bill of Rights by previous administrations. He is committed to shutting down the detention and torture centre at Guantamo Bay at least.

On the down side (you can rely on me to find the black lining in the silver cloud) with the Democrats in complete control of Congress and the White House and the massive influence of the entertainment industry in Democratic circles, we can expect a blizzard of extreme IP laws in the first couple of years of the Obama presidency. The copyright cops they recently failed to get President Bush to sign up to will be in; we can also expect a US version of the French 3 strikes law; the pressure to drive ACTA forward will be increased; the Enforcement of IP rights act will got through on the nod; ISP copyright filters may be mandated; copyright term may even be back on the agenda in the US since the Mexico has a longer term...

The president elect has the high expectations of a lot of people resting on his shoulders so is bound to disappoint at least some, especially given the state of the US and world economies, international relations and world's trouble spots. I wish him the best of luck but there was something about the soundbites from his acceptance speech that have been getting repeated air time during the morning that was strangely empty and unsatisfactory... surely the speechwriters could have come up with a bit more substantive than "We may not get there in a year or even in one term... but we will get there. I promise you America we will get there" (I paraphrase but that was basically it)?

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