Monday, March 15, 2010

Obama Puts All Our Eggs In Intellectual Property

This is why we are doomed:

Obama to 'Aggressively Protect' Intellectual Property

Key point from 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."
Unfortunately for us and our children, he's got this backwards.  Creativity may be lovely, but ideas are cheap.   What's valuable is the execution of those ideas, turning them into products and services and an improved quality of life.  We've forgotten this.  We think we can draw a blueprint, send it over to China, give it to a bunch of kids in a factory and get them to put together our sneakers and electronics for pennies an hour.  Then we get pissed when one of those kids takes the blueprint over to a photocopy machine, makes a few copies, and heads out to start his own company. 

Does Obama really think he can make it harder for people to copy ideas in the future?

Obama goes on to talk about licensing, which always makes me shiver.  Yeah, you know all that fine print on credit card agreements and software packaging, all that drivel that you click through without reading before you set up your facebook account?  Thats our export, now.  That's what we have to offer the world.  We're betting our future on license agreements.
"There's nothing wrong with other people using our technologies, we welcome it," Obama said. "We just want to make sure that it's licensed and that American businesses are getting paid appropriately. That's why the (U.S. 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 (ACTA)."
That ACTA, by the way?  Turns out the European Union is not as happy about it as Obama hoped.  Their parliament just voted against it 633 to 13

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