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09.21.15

IBM is Again Attacking Free/Libre Open Source Software by Pushing for Patents on Software

Posted in GNU/Linux, IBM, Patents at 8:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

IBM’s infamous love of patents outweighs the company’s publicly-professed love for Linux

Manny Schecter

Summary: A timely reminder that Big Blue is no true friend of GNU/Linux and other Free software projects, just an opportunist that uses the Linux brand and wants to make the platform a commodity (for servers that run IBM’s proprietary software and use IBM-branded hardware)

Manny Schecter, the Chief Patent Counsel from IBM, is lobbying for software patents in India, based on statements like this one. IBM wants software patents everywhere (not just the US), quite frankly as usual. It also did this in Europe and in New Zealand. The evil side of IBM is clearly Free software-hostile, as it lobbies for laws that are inherently ruling out Free software, or make it incredibly hard to adopt. The article that Schecter linked to says that “Srikant Sreenivasan, co-founder at Mumbai-based cloud technology company CloudLeap Computing Pvt. Ltd, spent four months re-engineering something his company had already built after realizing that they had unknowingly infringed on a patent filed by a multinational company.”

Well, like IBM…

“CloudLeap had to reinvent the wheel since it was catering to clients in the US, where the patent law protects all software, unlike in India, where software was so far patented only if it was used in conjunction with an embedded chip or system.”

Again, like IBM…

We have been writing a great deal about the ugly side of IBM for nearly a decade. The above just serves to remind us that IBM has not changed its ways.

To say that IBM is a “big company” and that its patent policy does not reflect or extend to technical staff is akin to the same apologetic gestures offered by Microsoft boosters when it’s pointed out Microsoft sues GNU/Linux with patents (still).

Windows is Dying, Based on my Conversations With Microsoft Windows Staff

Posted in Microsoft, Vista 10, Windows at 8:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Urbis

Summary: The arrival of Vista 10 heralds the continuation of a trend that Vista 8 cemented, namely an inevitable demise of Microsoft’s common carrier (and formerly cash cow), Windows

THE PAST WEEK has been rather informative as I personally came to discover that Microsoft had shrunk (whilst obviously hiding this from the public and the media). Dedicated “Microsoft” buildings have been ‘folded’ into shared buildings, personal offices became shared offices, and there is generally great fear of Google, with operating systems like ChromeOS and Android (Chromebooks now outsell Windows laptops). Recognition of the end of Microsoft is now acceptable even within Microsoft itself (the staff).

Microsoft is very upset when the media speaks about numbers regarding Vista 10, based on what I have learned. Microsoft is nervous because these are lies, perpetuated at times by overzealous boosters. The numbers that are out there put greater pressure on Microsoft to meet expectations because the true numbers are vastly lower than stated in the media. Low-cost ‘upgrades’ and (almost) forced ‘upgrades’ just aren’t enough. People from Microsoft say to me that Microsoft, for a change, does not want to share Windows numbers. Vista 10 is seemingly the exception. Suddenly the company wants secrecy and silence. There is nothing to brag about.

People who work for Microsoft tell me that Vista 10 has had serious stability issues (hence the frequent mega-patches) and even Microsoft boosters speak about these issues right now. Mary Jo Foley makes it look like a negative story (especially the headline), but it ends up coming across more like a bait/advertisement. Robert Pogson says this is “Why Everyone Should Hate M$ And Their Desktop OS”. In another very recent rant, Ken Starks says: “And as far as them having the right not to install the uploaded file if they have automatic updates turned off, then Microsoft is nothing less than a burglar, jimmying a back door to gain entrance. In my world, even according to current law, Microsoft is committing a criminal act.”

This rant from Mr. Starks is about Microsoft force-feeding users of Windows the Vista 10 ‘upgrade’. This happened (based on timing of reports) just over a month after the release, probably because Microsoft realised people were massively rejecting Vista 10. Breaking the law probably seems like the lesser risk to Microsoft given these harsh circumstances. Nobody wants the common carrier. If Windows dies, Microsoft will collapse very quickly.

Over the past week I saw some people ranting about Windows RT, which is destined to be abandoned by Microsoft very soon. This possibly last update of the system disappoints users, who have already been ranting to me about performance issues, among other, far more severe issues. It’s a disaster.

Windows is in a state of crisis and the empire of Windows collapses pretty fast, largely due to counterparts with their growing development environments, including those which target the Web/browser and mobile devices (only iOS and Android).

Ask people who actually work on Windows (developing it) what they think about the future of Windows — or lack thereof — to better understand where the world is heading. It’s sunset for Windows and, consequently, for Microsoft too. All they have is momentum/inertia and this too is running out.

Microsoft Claims to Have Built ‘Windows’ on Top of Linux, But Where is the Source Code (GPL)?

Posted in GNU/Linux, GPL, Microsoft at 8:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

What if Microsoft® Windows Azure is actually what Microsoft calls “piracy”?

Manchester

Summary: Microsoft cannot rely on Windows anymore, so it takes GNU/Linux code and puts its own brand on it, without even releasing the changes (as per the GPL’s requirements)

THOSE who pay careful attention to details and have fairly good memory can still recall that Microsoft had violated the terms of the GPL before it finally compiled. This happened at least once if not twice around the time Microsoft assaulted Linux to promote its proprietary hypervisor (obviously with back doors as Windows is a requirement) and later, just shortly afterwards, lifted some social media code. To Microsoft, GPL is still like “cancer”, to borrow the words of Microsoft’s CEO at the time. Microsoft is just trying to find a way to live with (or co-exist) with “cancer”.

There have been many reports that mostly emanate from Microsoft’s own, self-promotional claims. The Register has one of the earliest reports about this, followed by some Linux sites which asked the right questions, such as: “We don’t yet know when and if Microsoft will release the source code of the project and which licence they will use for it; the Linux kernel is licenced under GNU GPLv2, so it has to be a compatible licence.”

Various news sites twisted the story, if not just in the headlines, then in the body too. Microsoft boosters took this the furthest [1, 2] and rather than admit that Microsoft is more or less defeated by GNU/Linux (at the server level at least), they tried to belittle the importance of these revelations, which would inevitably have come out (Microsoft chose a ‘controlled’ release of the news). “Microsoft has built a Linux-based operating system” was the headline of one such report, but another way to put it is, Microsoft built its proprietary framework using GPL-licensed code from Linux. When will we see the source code and what does it say about Microsoft’s appreciation of its own code, which is obviously unfit for purpose in such complex environments of a very large scale?

To put the story in just one sentence, Microsoft realised that its own code/workforce is unable to put together a reliable hosting platform, so it turned to Linux, took some “cancer” it liked, then put its “Windows” and “Azure” branding on the whole lot. That’s ‘innovation’ the Microsoft way (there are many prior examples) and it may actually — for now at least — be a violation of copyright law. So who’s the “pirate”?

Dutch Report: EPO Suicides Possibly Caused by Working Conditions Imposed by EPO’s Management

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: More press coverage about the terrible situation at the European Patent Office

HR Praktijk, yet another Dutch site, joins at least a couple of newspapers with their reports in the country which houses EPO headquarters. Below we make our permanent record of a Dutch article with various translations. The English translation of the article is as follow:

11 September 2015, From: Jesper van Wijk, Via: De Volkskrant

EPOrg employee suicide possibly caused by poisoned working conditions

Staff union SUEPO is raising the alarm on the recent suicide of an employee of the European Patent Organisation (EPOrg) in Rijswijk. De Volkskrant reports that poisoned working conditions may have contributed to the suicides of five employees at the European organisation.

Staff representatives previously raised serious concerns on the policies of French EPOrg president Benoit Battistelli. SUEPO claims that under his reign, work pressures have been radically increased and that Battistelli has unilaterally forced through changes.

Social dialogue

The Netherlands and other members of the European Union have voiced concerns onhardened social climate within EPOrg. “Partly due to these signals, management and staff representatives have entered into a social dialogue,” State Secretary Dijksma of Economic Affairs wrote to the Dutch House of Representatives in July.

The situation has not improved since. In a letter to the 38 EPOrg country representatives who supervise the organisation, the union is now again raising the alarm on the death of an employee who worked at a location in Rijswijk. This is the fifth time in a little over three years’ time that EPOrg employee has committed suicide. In 2013, an employee from the Rijswijk office jumped from the seventh floor of the building during work hours. The other three incidents were of employees of the EPOrg headquarters in Munich, according to the Dutch newspaper Volkskrant.

Possible measures

On 26 August, the union wrote Battistelli a letter requesting a conversation on possible measures to improve the work situation, but so far he has refused. “It’s tragic that SUEPO is again trying to abuse a personal tragedy to stir up controversy in a situation that calls for sympathy,” Battistelli wrote to the union. “The parallel you seem to want to draw between the death of a colleague and recent reforms and the working atmosphere in general is wholly inappropriate.” SUEPO states that a direct link between the suicide and the working conditions has yet to be established, but that the labour inspectorate should be granted the opportunity to research the tragedy.

As we are going to explain later this month (despite us being on vacation), there are many actions in progress and this awareness campaign is even reaching television, not just radio and newspapers. The EPO’s management increasingly finds itself becoming the story. Not patents it grants are the story but the corruption of the management itself. The amount of public pressure has become proportional to the degree of repression and the more the EPO tries to suppress publication (or staff awareness of these issues), the worse it is getting. Some have already pointed out the sharp rise (an order of magnitude) in suicides — a fact that the bureaucrats will find incredibly hard to refute. It is merely a side effect or a symptom of the EPO going rogue.

Links 21/9/2015: Tizen 3.0, Red Hat’s Results Coming

Posted in News Roundup at 1:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Microsoft’s wake-up call on software piracy

    With piracy-related lawsuits becoming a looming possibility, open-source software seems to be the answer

  • Exercising Software Freedom in the Global Email System

    In this post, I discuss one example of how a choice for software freedom can cause many strange problems that others will dismiss. My goal here is to explain in gory detail how proprietary software biases in the computing world continue to grow, notwithstanding Open Source ballyhoo.

    Two decades ago, nearly every company, organization, entity, and tech-minded individual ran their own email server. Generally speaking, even back then, nearly all the software for both MTAs and MUAs were Free Software0. MTA’s are the mail transport agents — the complex software that moves email around from one Internet domain to another. MUAs are the mail user agents, sometimes called mail clients — the local programs with which users manipulate their own email.

    I’ve run my own MTA since around 1993: initially with sendmail, then with exim for a while, and with Postfix since 1999 or so. Also, everywhere I’ve worked throughout my entire career since 1995, I’ve either been in charge of — or been the manager of the person in charge of — the MTA installation for the organization where I worked. In all cases, that MTA has always been Free Software, of course.

  • Open source ‘essential for heritage preservation’

    Working together on open source tools based on open standards is very important for those involved in the preservation of digital information, says Barbara Sierman, board member of the Open Preservation Foundation.

  • GNU/Linux Touted As Safe Replacement For Illegal Software In Bangladesh
  • FOSS the Solution to Piracy, Newspaper Says

    On September 9, a Bangladeshi English language newspaper, Dhaka Tribune, reported that the country’s Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Task Force and Copyright officials had seized 69 laptops with pirated Microsoft software and arrested two high ranking officials at Flora, one of Bangladesh’s largest computer retailers. The raid came after two years of newspaper ads sponsored by the country’s Copyright Office warning about the legal implications of selling pirated goods.

  • AT&T’s Chiosi: Unite on Open Source or Suffer

    The telecom industry needs to agree on how it wants the various pieces of open source to come together in a platform for the future, AT&T’s Margaret Chiosi said here Thursday. Otherwise, there is the risk of a splintered effort that will ultimately slow critical network transformation.

    Chiosi, a Distinguished Network Architect at AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) who is also president of the Open Platform for NFV Project Inc. and one of the original players in the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) NFV ISG, explained why open source is critical to AT&T’s Integrated Cloud (AIC) architecture — its converged services platform moving forward — and outlined the numerous open source groups in which the telecom giant is participating, which span 700 different projects.

  • Google’s Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software uses Tesseract

    Google’s OCR is probably using dependencies of Tesseract, an OCR engine released as free software, or OCRopus, a free document analysis and optical character recognition (OCR) system that is primarily used in Google Books. Developed as a community project during 1995-2006 and later taken over by Google, Tesseract is considered one of the most accurate OCR engines and works for over 60 languages. The source code is available on GitHub.

  • Modest CEO on open source and acquisition by PayPal

    Professionally, Harper was CTO of Threadless and then CTO of Obama for America. He’s currently CEO of Modest, Inc., which was recently acquired by PayPal. I asked him what really drives him and he said, “I like to have fun and do interesting things.” Also, in a talk Harper gave in Sweden in 2014, he said that he strives to hire people who looked different from him. In this interview, I ask him more about that and his upcoming All Things Open talk.

  • Google, Twitter Forge Open Source Publishing Partnership

    Google will be coming late to the publishing party, having failed to challenge Facebook with its own social media platforms — the short-lived Google Buzz and the faltering Google+, noted SEO researcher Joshua J. Bachynski. Google’s inability to understand its user base has forced it to form an uneasy partnership with Twitter and others, he suggested.

  • Events

    • A Preliminary systemd.conf 2015 Schedule is Now Online!

      We are happy to announce that an initial, preliminary version of the systemd.conf 2015 schedule is now online! (Please ignore that some rows in the schedule link the same session twice on that page. That’s a bug in the web site CMS we are working on to fix.)

    • Software Freedom Day 2015 Phnom Penh

      The Digital Freedom Foundation is organizing our Software Freedom Day event in Phnom Penh together with the National Institute of Posts Telecommunications and ICT and the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications on September 19, 2015 at the NIPTICT Building. There will be 10 presentations and several lightening talks with topics covering free and open source software ranging from operating system, virtualization, drones, mapping, servers, to security. Here is the detailed schedule.

    • How will you celebrate Software Freedom Day?

      Software Freedom Day is a global celebration of free and open source software (FOSS). What will you to on September 19, 2015 to celebrate?

      We hope you can choose to do many of the options we listed in our poll to help celebrate FOSS on Software Freedom Day, but even if you can only do one that will be a great benefit to the community.

  • Web Browsers

    • Shopping for a Browser

      I remain deeply suspicious of Chrome, since it has been reported to be snooping on its users and reporting back to Google. And, sadly, the latest news from Firefox is discouraging. It’s possible that that adware and snoopware will be left out of Mozilla’s SeaMonkey browser, which I have recently installed.

    • Mozilla

      • The Firefox Is in the Hen House

        For a variety of reasons that nobody outside of Mozilla seems to completely understand, Mozilla ended its relationship with Google late last year to ink a deal with Yahoo. Some pundits are figuring that Yahoo offered better terms and that Mozilla stands to make more money now than before, especially since it’s now selling default search on a country-by-country basis instead of carte blanche for the entire planet. Others say the change in affiliation had little to do with money, but was brought about by ideological reasons, basically revolving around Mozilla’s Do Not Track system, which Google does not support. Reportedly, as part of the new deal, Yahoo has agreed to abide by Do Not Track requests.

        Whether Mozilla receives more income from Yahoo than it did from Google is questionable, even if a majority of Firefox users keep Yahoo instead of flipping the switch to Google search, which is doubtful. Certainly, a recent move by Mozilla might indicate that the new deal with Yahoo isn’t as fruitful as the organization had hoped and that it’s scrambling to create new revenue streams.

      • Announcing Rust 1.3

        The gear keeps turning: we’re releasing Rust 1.3 stable today! As always, read on for the highlights and check the release notes for more detail.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Dutch Standards Board mulls making ODF mandatory

      The Standardisation Board of the Netherlands wants to make the use of the Open Document Format mandatory for Dutch public administrations. ODF is one of the required ICT standards in the Netherlands, following a policy dating from 2007. However, the document format is ignored by most. This should change, said Nico Westpalm van Hoorn, the chairman of the standards board, speaking on Tuesday at the ODF Plugfest in The Hague.

    • Italian military to switch to LibreOffice and ODF

      The Italian military is transitioning to LibreOffice and the Open Document Format (ODF). The Ministry of Defense will over the next year-and-a-half install this suite of office productivity tools on some 150,000 PC workstations – making it Europe’s second largest LibreOffice implementation. The switch was announced on 15 September by the LibreItalia Association.

      The migration project will begin in October and is foreseen to be completed at the end of 2016.

      The deployment of LibreOffice will be jointly managed by the two organisations, announces LibreItalia. The NGO will help the ministry to ready trainers in different parts of the military, and the Ministry is to develop a series of online courses to help with the switch to LibreOffice. The material is to be made public using a Creative Commons licence.

      An agreement between the Ministry and LibreItalia was signed on 15 September in Rome, by Ruggiero Di Biase, Rear Admiral and General Manager of the Italian Ministry of Defence Information Systems and Sonia Montegiove, President of Associazione LibreItalia.

    • LibreOffice Installations In EU Governments Approach One Million

      The government of the UK, in its guidance on using ODF (Open Document Format) surveys usage of ODF and LibreOffice by EU governments. Usage is huge and widespread and profitable. Lately, The Netherlands is considering making ODF mandatory in government. That this was obvious to me 15 years ago but is now being acknowledged shows the depth of lock-in M$ has caused in the world but, in 2015, folks are now running on the sandy beaches instead of in neck-deep water. The world is finally being freed. Better late than never.

    • FSF turns 30, Italian Military Goes LO and ODF & More…
    • Italy’s Ministry of Defense to Drop Microsoft Office in Favor of LibreOffice
    • Making FLOSS The Default Option Helps Procurement For Government
    • ​Italian Ministry of Defense moves to LibreOffice
    • Forza open-source: Italian military to adopt LibreOffice
  • CMS

    • WordPress brings the freedom to the front

      About 75 million Web sites depend on WordPress. If you are one of its many users who recently upgraded to Version 4.3, you may have noticed something new. Recently, a coop worker-member, Pea, informed me that this version includes a new tab with a reference to the GNU General Public License. With some quizzical interest, I ran the upgrade on a WordPress instance I maintain.

      I eagerly waited for the upgrade to finish. When it loaded, what I saw was typical for a WordPress upgrade, a description of the version’s new features. Then I saw a tab prominently named “Freedom.” I clicked on it, and boom: right there were the four freedoms of free software, starting with Freedom 0. Take a look for yourself.

  • Business

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Public Services/Government

    • Swiss checklist to procuring open source

      A fifteen-point checklist to help public administrations to procure open source software solutions and services was published in August by Swiss open source procurement experts. The list helps to determine which procurement specifications take this type of software into account, and which criteria exclude open source.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • UK Cabinet Office Says “Hello, You Must be Going” to ODF

      Technological evolution is famous for obsoleting wonders created just a few years before. Sometimes new developments moot the fiercest battles between competitors as well. That seemed to be the case last week, when Microsoft announced its Azure Cloud Switch (ACS), a cross-platform modular operating system for data center networking built on…(wait for it)…Linux, the open source software assailed by the company’s prior CEO as a communist cancer.

      It also saw the UK Cabinet Office announce its detailed plans for transitioning to the support of the OpenDocument Format (ODF), a document format that was just as fiercely opposed by Microsoft in the most hard-fought standards war in decades. But at the same time, the Cabinet Office announced its commitment to work towards making document formats as close to obsolete as possible.

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Uruguay: Governing Coalition Rejects TISA Negotiations

      The executive branch will still make a final decision over the matter, to be presented in October.

      The ruling progressivist coalition Broad Front overwhelmingly decided to withdraw Uruguay from the negotiations on the supra-national trade-deal TISA (Trade in Services Agreement) in a vote on Saturday.

      With a 117 to 139 vote, the decision was backed by the Movement of Popular Participation (of former President Jose “Pepe” Mujica), the Communist Party, the 711 list (of Vice President Raul Sendic), the Party for the Victory of the People (PVP), the Great House (Casa Grande), the Federal League, and the Socialist Party (of current President Tabare Vazquez).

    • ‘Lesson 1: The enemy is always within’

      When YANIS VAROUFAKIS appeared at TUC Congress, he said the ‘magnificent’ Greek people were ready for the struggle with financiers — only to be betrayed by his own party. And he warned that fearful leaders could one day be the downfall of Britain’s people too. Joe Gill reports

      GREEK ex-finance minister Yanis Varoufakis brought some rock star glamour to the opening of the TUC Congress on Sunday in Brighton. He smiled for selfie shots with delegates at a 1,000-plus meeting. Delegates were high on the back of Jeremy Corbyn’s stunning victory in the Labour leadership battle the day before.

    • EU Proposes New Corporate Sovereignty Court For TAFTA/TTIP; US Not Interested

      As we have reported, the most problematic aspect of the proposed TAFTA/TTIP trade agreement between the US and the EU has been the proposed corporate sovereignty chapter, formally known as investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). The outcry over this was so great in Europe last year that the European Commission put negotiations of this topic on hold, while it carried out a public consultation on the matter — presumably assuming that the extremely technical questions about this complex issue would kill off any further interest by the public. Instead, an unprecedented 150,000 submissions were received, 145,000 of which said get rid of ISDS completely. In response, the European Commission merely promised to try to address the many concerns raised with a new and “improved” version.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • The BBC is Irredeemable

      The extent of BBC bias during the referendum campaign was breathtaking. I have worked, and specifically reported on the media, in dictatorships which had a less insidious and complete bias than the BBC has against Scottish independence. The relentless anti-Corbyn propaganda shows that the BBC exists to reinforce the neo-liberal narrative at all costs, both at home and abroad. Laura Kuenssberg achieved levels of disdain and ridicule in her report on Shadow Cabinet appointments this evening that ought to disqualify her forever from employment anywhere but Fox News. This was followed by ‘Reporting Scotland’ and a long propaganda piece against the idea of a second referendum, replete with lies about pledges of ‘once in a lifetime’.

    • Fox & Friends Sunday Is Very Concerned Stephen Colbert Wore A Black Lives Matter Wristband
    • Jack Straw and Malcolm Rifkind are cleared over “cash-for-access” allegations

      Former Foreign Secretaries Sir Malcolm Rifkind and Jack Straw were today cleared over lobbying allegations.

      The pair, who both stood down at May’s general election, were apparently caught offering their services for cash in separate hidden camera stings by Channel 4’s Dispatches and the Telegraph.

      Standards watchdog Kathryn Hudson investigated claims they had broken strict lobbying rules.

    • Congress Is a Confederacy of Dunces

      Already we’re deep into September and Congress has reconvened in Washington, prompting many commentators to compare its return after summer’s recess to that of fresh-faced students coming back to school, sharpening their pencils, ready to learn, be cooperative and prepared for something new.

  • Censorship

    • Heightened Trade Secrets Restrictions Could Chill Global Speech

      Trade secrets are seeing a resurgence of attention by policymakers at home and around the world. While there can be legitimate reasons to keep commercially valuable information secret, particularly amongst those with whom it has been shared in confidence, the latest trade secrets push goes further, potentially entangling whistleblowers and journalists.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Moral Obligation = Conscience, Trump

      Further, what does it say about the GOP that their front-runner for candidacy has no conscience? This latest gaffe is not the only indicator. Trump also thinks it would be a good idea to just round up ~11million “illegal immigrants”. How many Jews/communists/opponents did the Nazis have to round up before they committed a crime against humanity? Trump also holds that being born in USA should not convey citizenship… Trump is insane and the GOP is either insane or about to fragment to avoid schizophrenia. That a huge fraction of USAian citizens might vote for this guy is frightening. It’s like 1930s Germany/Italy all over again. Whether Trump could make political deals or get the trains to run on time, he should be shunned in the political arena. If, in our worst nightmare, Trump should be elected, the world should immediately sever all relations with USA to keep him in check.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Presidential candidate Lawrence Lessig goes one on one with Ars

        Lessig: The question isn’t just what policies a candidate supports. If that were the question, we’d have climate change, a public option for health care, immigration reform, background checks on guns, etc., etc., etc. The question instead is also: What is the plan to get that policy enacted?

        What every presidency since Clinton teaches us is that presidents promise reform, and then fail to act on it. That’s not weakness. It’s structural. A regular president cannot take on Congress. It will take a president with a super-mandate. That’s what the referendum presidency is meant to achieve.

        Ars: Campaign finance reform clearly is not a bipartisan issue. How are you going to get the GOP interested in this issue? And is this why you are running as a Democrat? In fact, given your platform, why have you chosen a party?

        Lessig: Two words: Donald Trump. Until Donald Trump, it’s true that among GOP insiders in DC, corruption wasn’t an issue. After Donald Trump, it is as much a question for Republicans as Democrats: How can we have a Congress free to lead?

        I wish there were a way to run as an independent. But the two parties have made that essentially impossible—at least to win. No doubt I could split the vote of the Democratic Party, but I have no desire to Nader this election.

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