Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 12th Mar 2010 23:18 UTC
In the News And thus, our true colours reveal. Since Obama was the young newcomer, technically savvy, many of us were hoping that he might support patent and/or copyright reform. In case our story earlier on this subject didn't already tip you off, this certainly will: Obama has sided squarely with the RIAA/MPAA lobby, and backs ACTA. No copyright and/or patent reform for you, American citizens!
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in the end, doesn't matter
by elanthis on Sat 13th Mar 2010 21:44 UTC
elanthis
Member since:
2007-02-17

In the end, the President is kind of irrelevant. The people tend to place too much stock in what the President is actually able or even supposed to do. Three branches of government and all that. Congress makes and passes the laws and the Supreme Court decides what is and is not actually allowed.

The party system also dilutes the power further. Any President is pretty much stuck doing what his party tells him to do for a variety of reasons, not least of which is that Congress can stonewall any reforms or bills he supports and that the party can pull funding and campaign support. That in part is why I vote Independent for pretty much any serious contender (which we didn't have this last election).

My real primary fix if I had some kind of magic fix-shit-ray would be to just limit Congress to have no more than 1/5 of the seats alloted to any party, along with strict rules regarding what a party is defined as (so you don't get e.g. Democrats spinning off two or three sub-parties that just parrot the Democratic stance). The Libertarians have a teensy tiny piece of the congressional pie, there are about as many independents, and the vast, vast, vast majority is all Demoblican. Doesn't give a voter a lot of options.

To expect Obama to understand software patents is, frankly, silly. Nobody outside of a very tiny set of the population (non-uber-rich programmers and tech company employees) have any reason to all to even be aware of patents, much less the problems with software patents. If someone goes up to Obama and says, "omg people are stealing our tech and we're losing money and that hurts the economy," he simply does not have the knowledge to understand the problem. The smartest thing he could do is delegate the issue to an aide or cabinet member, who himself is probably going to delegate to somebody else familiar with software IP, who only got hired because he made a name for himself which implies big-money business and not "IRC hacker fandom" and that in turn means he's probably been on the giving end of a devastating patent lawsuit more often than the receiving.

The Libertarians have been pushing an ex-programmer as their presidential candidates for years, but to be honest, I would MUCH rather have Obama or McCain or so on than an ex-hacker be our Commander in Chief. The President's job really isn't to deal with laws; it's to enforce them and to lead the military. Obama took enough (rightful!) criticism for lacking real military experience, and an ex-coder with no real political experience _or_ military experience is even worse. I'd gladly vote for the guy in Congress but no way in hell would I want him to be President.

The gist of what I'm saying is that if you REALLY care about patent reform, stop giving a shit what the President is doing and WRITE YOUR CONGRESS REPRESENTATIVES! They're the ones who are in charge of making these treaties and laws!

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