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Tavistock NJ

1 edit
reply to ISurfTooMuch

Re: The president can't do anything here

said by ISurfTooMuch:

What the people who wrote this petition don't seem to understand is that the president can't do a thing here. Congress designated the Librarian of Congress as the only person who can grant DMCA exemptions, and the president has no authority over that person.

The petition is a nice gesture, but it's utterly misguided.

The President can do things. He may not be able to ORDER the Librarian of Congress to change his decision. But The Librarian of Congress is an appointed position and is appointed by the President(with Senate confirmation). And he can be FIRED by the President. It isn't like a Supreme Court appointment where he has the job for life. So yes, Obama can exert significant influence over the decision.
I will be perfectly happy if the budget cuts specified in the Budget Control Act go into effect. 3 cheers for the sequester. Take the money from the drunken federal spenders.


Tuscaloosa, AL

Perhaps, but there are several complications. First, nothing at all can happen for the next three years, since the window for exemptions has closed until that time. Second, I wonder how the cell phone companies would respond if it appeared that the president pressured the Librarian of Congress to make the exemption. I could certainly see them suing on the grounds that undue pressure was applied to force the exemption. I'm not saying they'd win, but they'd probably muddy the water for a few additional years. And, after all this, any exemption granted would potentially go away after three years.

The real solution is to change the stupid law, and that requires that pressure be put on Congress. And the issue there is that people, overall, won't or can't come together in any meaningful way to apply pressure. The Christian Right has been pretty effective over the last few decades, and that's because, by and large, they've focused like a laser on what they want and aren't afraid to go after politicians who defy them. Until people who want a sane approach to technology, patents, civil liberties, etc. are willing to get organized and be just as ferocious as these religious groups have been, they'll continue to lose these fights.


Hazelwood, MO

Congress can change anything especially concerning a group that they created to offload their workload to.

If they want to make it legal to unlock a phone, then they can make it legal and they can do this regardless of what the Library of Congress does or says.


Tuscaloosa, AL

Congress can, but the president can't, at least not directly. In fact, even the Librarian of Congress can't for the next three years.

So basically, if you want this changed in the next three years, Congress is the only option. Well, you could sue on the grounds that the DMCA was never intended to cover phone unlocking, but that will take a while to wind through the court system.