Tuesday, January 26, 2010

James Boyle: Obama record on tech policy is mixed

James Boyle has another terrific article in the FT, this time on Obama's mixed record on tech policy

"Let us start 2010 with some good news. In June of last year, I wrote about the Obama Administration’s record on technology policy. There was much to praise in the reinvigoration of the FCC’s commitment to “net neutrality,” (the commitment to a non-discriminatory internet) and a lot to hope for in terms of patent policy.
Unfortunately, in the copyright realm, the Obama administration had devoted itself, like its predecessors, largely to a content industry agenda which has given us mind-numbingly long copyright terms, intrusive legally backed digital rights management, and even a new proposal to cut individuals off from the internet simply for being accused, three times, of illicit downloading."
He goes on to discuss the US's changed stance on the WIPO copyright exceptions treaty for the visually impaired - having originally opposed it the US now supports it - and the secret ACTA negotiations, which if "this were to be debated in public in London or Paris or Washington, those proposals would meet with furious objections by everyone from civil libertarians to the communications and consumer electronics industry."  Read the whole thing. You can't beat James for succinct, engaging, educational reporting on intellectual property and this stuff is incredibly important.

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