Obama gets behind copyright cops

Any illusions geeks may have fostered about president Obama being a bit of a lefty are slowly crumbling to dust.

The US president may have a bit more African blood than all of the previous incumbents of the White House put together, but that won't make him any less establishment friendly.

Take the issue of copyright - one which gets freedom-loving geeks hot under the collar of their T-shirts. Obama is sharp enough to realise that copyright law is pretty much the only thing holding up US industry.

A transcript of a speech the US president made to the Export-Import Bank's Annual Conference last week reveals that The Prez thinks IP protections are essential to keep US businesses afloat.

"Our single greatest asset is the innovation and the ingenuity and creativity of the American people," he proclaimed. "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 labour."

"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 USTR [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."

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is a set of draconian measures drawn up by and on behalf of big business interests to enforce strong copyright protections in a manner that puts consumers in the firing line.

The European Parliament voted to disclose the secretive machinations currently going on to bring ATCA's proposals into effect. Moves which will once again bring the EU into conflict with US regulators.

Expect more baddies to have French and English accents in upcoming Hollywood films as the propaganda battle ratchets up a notch.