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Clinton v. Trump on Copyrights, Patents (Ars Technica)

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The hot-button issues this election can be counted on one’s fingers—and for most voters, things like copyright and patent policy don’t make the list. Assigned to a wonkish zone far from the Sunday morning talk shows, intellectual property issues aren’t near the heart of our deeply polarized political discourse.

Of the two major party candidates in 2016, only the Democratic candidate has a platform that even addresses copyright and patent policies. So today, let’s look at what we know about Hillary Clinton’s plan, and make some informed speculation about what could happen to these areas under a Donald Trump presidency.

Given that the campaign is focused (as always) on a relatively small group of issues, tech policy watchers who spoke to Ars were surprised to see a presidential platform that mentions IP issues at all. Clinton’s briefing paper on technology and innovationaddresses both copyright and patent issues directly, and that in itself is something of a surprise. Trump’s website has no such information, so the best clues to his approach lie in his public statements and the people he has surrounded himself with.