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Roosevelt Institute Fellow Susan Crawford appeared on MSNBC’s Up with Chris Hayes last weekend to discuss the problem with patents in our modern intellectual property-based economy. In the clip below, Crawford explains that “the expensive, loony unreality” of many tech companies is that “all they’re doing is inventing patents, not patenting inventions. It seems backwards, and it’s actually frustrating for the inventors involved and for everybody.”

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On the growth of so-called “patent troll” litigation, she notes that there are two major problems: “One is that you could box out your competition with the threat of this lawsuit, but also you’re making it very difficult for anybody else to invent something new… everybody’s afraid, and that’s no good for innovation.” So what’s the answer? Crawford suggests that it’s time to get really creative and “start over,” eliminating software patents entirely.

Captive Audience, Susan Crawford’s new book on the telecom industry and its growing monopoly power, hits shelves January 8.

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President Joe Biden

Photo by The White House

Two tiresome realities about being president of the United States: first, everybody blames you for things over which you have little or no control: such as the worldwide price of oil, and international shipping schedules. Should there be too few electronic gee-gaws on store shelves to pacify American teenagers this Christmas, it will be Joe Biden’s fault.

Second, everybody gives you advice, whether you ask for it or not. Everywhere you look, Democrats and Democratically-inclined pundits are tempted to panic. “The cold reality for Biden,” writes New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait “is that his presidency is on the brink of failure.” A return to Trumpism, and essentially the end of American democracy, strikes Chait as altogether likely.

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