The Barack Obama Administration was eight years of absolutely awful – in innumerable, incalculable ways.
Obama had every one of the very many tentacles of the Bureaucracy Leviathan – actively attacking the private sector.
The Donald Trump Administration is thus far, thankfully, the anti-Obama Administration. Undoing so very much of the precedent awful.
Obama – Obamacare. Trump – kills the awful Obamacare individual mandate. With hopefully more repealing to come.
Obama – Net Neutrality and a New Deal phone law power grab of the Internet. Trump – rescinds it.
Obama – tens of thousands of new pages of regulations. Trump – killing twenty-two regulations for every one he adds.
Let us now turn to the engine of our 21st Century Information Economy – Intellectual Property (IP).
As more and more things go from the physical to the digital – IP and its protection gets to be more and more important.
Everyone understood that stealing music CDs and movie DVDs – physical imprints of those artistic ideas – was bad.
But, bizarrely, not everyone understands that downloading the digital version, without paying, the exact same music or movies – is also bad.
This is nonsense of the first order. The shiny, circular piece of plastic CD or DVD- don’t matter at all. The artistic ideas imprinted upon them – are all that matters. Those are the exact same artistic ideas in the computer files you’re downloading – saved digitally rather than physically.
Stealing them via your computer – is no different than stealing them on the shiny plastic.
This simple logic – applies to everything IP.
The Founding Fathers wrote the Copyright Clause for a reason.
The Founders knew that if you couldn’t protect the property generated by you in your head – your ideas – any physical property that followed was equally imperiled.
No private property protection – no First World, successful economy. Especially so now – in the Digital Age.
The Obama Administration – hack shills for the anti-IP Silicon Valley – spent a great deal of its time undermining everything IP.
Including awfulness like creating (with Congress) the patent-killing Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) – turning the mission of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) literally on its head.
And in a huge chunk of last minute awful, three days before being sworn out of office, the Administration abused the Justice Department’s Federal Trade Commission (FTC)’s antitrust powers – to sue patent holders for…holding patents:
“Patent: A government authority or license conferring a right or title for a set period, especially the sole right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention.”
Trump has all along the way had a markedly different perspective on IP. He actually, you know, likes it – and wants to see it protected.
And Trump has routinely cited China as the world’s biggest IP thief – the visual aide to end all visual aides – mostly because they are the world’s biggest IP thief.
Candidate Trump campaigned routinely excoriating China for its $800+ billion in annual IP theft. President Trump in August signed an executive order calling on his Administration to thoroughly examine all the ways China steals our IP.
And now that the many Administration officials have gotten their feet wet and they have hit the ground running – the realignment from the anti-IP Obama Administration is really beginning to take shape. In every conceivable direction.
Including – rightly, thankfully – the nation’s national security approach. Because trillion-dollar theft of our stuff – each year, every year – is absolutely a national security problem.
In December, the Administration released its “National Security Strategy.” On pages 21 and 22, you find the following:
“Promote and Protect the U.S. National Security – Innovation Base
“America’s business climate and legal and regulatory systems encourage risk taking. We are a nation of people who work hard, dream big, and never give up. Not every country shares these characteristics. Some instead steal or illicitly acquire America’s hard-earned intellectual property and proprietary information to compensate for their own systemic weaknesses.
“Every year, competitors such as China steal U.S. intellectual property valued at hundreds of billions of dollars. Stealing proprietary technology and early-stage ideas allows competitors to unfairly tap into the innovation of free societies.
“Over the years, rivals have used sophisticated means to weaken our businesses and our economy as facets of cyber-enabled economic warfare and other malicious activities. In addition to these illegal means, some actors use largely legitimate, legal transfers and relationships to gain access to fields, experts, and trusted foundries that fill their capability gaps and erode America’s long-term competitive advantages.
“We must defend our National Security Innovation Base (NSIB) against competitors. The NSIB is the American network of knowledge, capabilities, and people—including academia, National Laboratories, and the private sector—that turns ideas into innovations, transforms discoveries into successful commercial products and companies, and protects and enhances the American way of life. The genius of creative Americans, and the free system that enables them, is critical to American security and prosperity.
“Protecting the NSIB requires a domestic and international response beyond the scope of any individual company, industry, university, or government agency. The landscape of innovation does not divide neatly into sectors. Technologies that are part of most weapon systems often originate in diverse businesses as well as in universities and colleges. Losing our innovation and technological edge would have far-reaching negative implications for American prosperity and power.
“UNDERSTAND THE CHALLENGES: The U.S. Government will develop a capability to integrate, monitor, and better understand the national security implications of unfair industry trends and the actions of our rivals. We will explore new ways to share this information with the private sector and academia so they better understand their responsibilities in curtailing activities that undercut America’s NSIB.
“PROTECT INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY: The United States will reduce the illicit appropriation of U.S. public and private sector technology and technical knowledge by hostile foreign competitors. While maintaining an investor-friendly climate, this Administration will work with the Congress to strengthen the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to ensure it addresses current and future national security risks. e United States will prioritize counterintelligence and law enforcement activities to curtail intellectual property theft by all sources and will explore new legal and regulatory mechanisms to prevent and prosecute violations.
“TIGHTEN VISA PROCEDURES: The United States will review visa procedures to reduce economic theft by non-traditional intelligence collectors. We will consider restrictions on foreign STEM students from designated countries to ensure that intellectual property is not transferred to our competitors, while acknowledging the importance of recruiting the most advanced technical workforce to the United States.
“PROTECT DATA AND UNDERLYING INFRASTRUCTURE: The United States will expand our focus beyond protecting networks to protecting the data on those networks so that it remains secure—both at rest and in transit. To do this, the U.S. Government will encourage practices across companies and universities to defeat espionage and theft.”
Behold a sound, strategic, wide-ranging approach to IP and its protection.
How very un-Obama Administration of the Trump Administration.