Obama Administration on Copyright: Same Old

20:37 Mon 20 Apr 2009
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I missed a lot of these moves when they occurred. Even though the “copyright czar” position hasn’t been filled yet, it looks very much like Obama’s administration is little better on copyright issues than the previous administration.

The demands came a week after the Justice Department, fresh with two RIAA attorneys in its No. 2 and No. 3 positions, announced the administration’s support of $150,000 in damages for each music track purloined on a peer-to-peer file sharing program. The administration, moreover, has just declared as classified the inner workings of worldwide intellectual property trade pact. And Hollywood is urging Obama to embrace internet filtering as the content industry seeks to cut internet access to repeat copyright violators.
—David Kravets, “Obama: Stop Filling Administration with RIAA Insiders”, Threat Level, 02 April 2009

Better than Bush is a pretty low bar, but apart from some relatively minor progress on environmental issues and the fact that Obama is simply a much more impressive head of state in terms of presentation and demeanor, I’m not seeing a lot of evidence that the new administration is actually an improvement. The argument could be made that in comparison to what a McCain administration would have been like, what we have is much better, but I could have sworn that what people were really hoping for was a dramatic improvement over Bush.

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