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!
Obama made the remarks in a speech at the Export-Import Bank’s annual conference in Washington.
“We’re going to aggressively protect our intellectual property,” Obama said in his speech, “Our single greatest asset is the innovation and the ingenuity and creativity of the American people […] It is essential to our prosperity and it will only become more so in this century. But it’s only a competitive advantage if our companies know that someone else can’t just steal that idea and duplicate it with cheaper inputs and labor.”
“There’s nothing wrong with other people using our technologies, we welcome it,” Obama continued, “We just want to make sure that it’s licensed and that American businesses are getting paid appropriately. That’s why the [US Trade Representative] is using the full arsenal of tools available to crack down on practices that blatantly harm our businesses, and that includes negotiating proper protections and enforcing our existing agreements, and moving forward on new agreements, including the proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.”
It seems that the RIAA, MPAA, and similar organisations have been successful in lobbying the US administration into supporting their cause. This means that the US government will continue to (financially) support an industry that is simply outdated, and has failed to adapt to the changing market – which seems remarkably anti-capitalistic and anti-free market, even for a Democratic president.
Luckily for at least us Europeans, the European Parliament has already shot the ACTA agreement down in an overwhelming 633-to-13 vote, while also forcing total openness – something the US does not want. This means that despite Obama siding with the content providers, ACTA will most likely not come to fruition.
Sadly, all this also means that American consumers will continue to see their rights eroded, as corporations and content providers further gain influence within the government. This means that devices you buy will not actually be yours, that uploading a video of your daughter dancing to a song on the radio could cost you thousands of dollars in damages, and it will also most likely mean that three strikes laws will be enacted.