Issues of intellectual property are very important to a knowledge-based society. Ultimately we are going to need to find a solution that both encourages innovation and protects consumers from out-of-control corporate tactics.
Granted, the campaign has a few bigger worries right now than locking down a coherent policy on digital rights. However, assuming Dean is able to capture the nomination, I would like to see him start to formulate a policy in this area.
Dean should understand how important open technologies, such as the Internet and open source software, have enabled the campaign to grow into a formidable power. The power which open technology can influence on the culture is staggering. It may well prove one of the deciding factors in this Presidential election. Which is why we need to ensure that the freedom to innovate and share information will be upheld in a Dean administration.
Since Dean appeared on Lawrence Lessig's blog, I have had high hopes that Lessig would be asked to advise candidate Dean on technology law and digital rights. Lessig is a boardmember of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a staunch opponent of the DMCA, Patriot Act, and other attacks on our civil liberties and "online rights".
Many may think that digital rights are unimportant, in comparison with other pressing national matters, but the fundamental way in which open technologies have impacted our national culture should be a clear wake-up call that this is an area of vital importance to our future. I hope that Governor Dean will give it the attention and focus which it deserves.