US Continues To Whine About Other Nations Not Following Our Draconian Intellectual Property Regime

from the perhaps-because-it's-bad-for-them? dept

As expected, the US government placed a bunch of countries on a special "watch list," saying they haven't been doing enough to protect American intellectual property. This whole thing is something of a charade. As Michael Geist has noted, the whole process is "a biased analysis of foreign law supported by a well-orchestrated lobby effort." Basically, the US starts shoving other countries around telling them those countries aren't obeying US law -- even though those countries aren't subject to US law. Some will point out that these countries need to abide by these laws to live up to international treaties, but that's a red herring. Many of the treaties were pushed through by the same lobbyists who are now complaining and without the countries having much of a choice, or a realization of what those treaties actually meant. The fact is, almost all of these countries are making reasoned decisions concerning what's best for their citizens, and that doesn't have to support the views of some US industries. Of course, the more the US complains about what's happening in these countries, the more likely the complaining will backfire. It's simply going to encourage these countries to search out alternative routes that are likely to hurt the US economy even more. If the US government actually took the time to understand why these countries weren't following some of the more draconian practices of American IP law, perhaps they'd recognize that the problem may be with our laws -- not with the way others are ignoring them.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    chill, May 1st, 2007 @ 10:58pm

    digg

    you seriously need to post about the downfall of digg by its users.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    dorpus, May 2nd, 2007 @ 12:19am

    Squeeze Play

    The other countries are doing their best to hurt us anyway, selling products made out of factories with child labor, exporting cheap weapons, criminals, drugs. The US allows lobbyists to act aggressively, so trade negotiators can cut a deal later to make other countries clean up their act in exchange for punishing piracy less.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    dorpus, May 2nd, 2007 @ 1:25am

    Copycat Nation

    There is a video of an amusement park in Beijing owned by the Chinese government, which looks exactly like Disneyland. The banner at the entrance even says "Disney is too far away, let's go here!" The CEO of the amusement park says that all the characters are "original inventions".

    http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/videonews/fnn/20070502/20070502-00000905-fnn-int.html

     

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  4.  
    icon
    TechNoFear (profile), May 2nd, 2007 @ 2:03am

    US Corp seeks to patent the pig...

    If a large US corp gets it's way then it will be illegal to breed pigs.

    This corp wants a patent on the breeding method, the pig and all the offspring. There is nothing new here. The pig is not GE (yet). The 'invention' is simply a combination of existing breeding methods.

    Unfortunately most pigs in the world (over 160 countries) will be covered by this patent and most pigs contain these desirable genetic markers (for 'meatiness', growth rate ect).

    This corp also patents grains. Releases the GM grain into a country, even if the patent is not approved.
    If the grain is later exported (from a country that does not allow living organisms to be patened) to a country that does, then the importer of the grain is sued for damages.

    This has a chilling effect on grain exports from countries that do not allow living organisms to be patened (as there is no way to prove that the grain is not from GM seed but from cross pollination).

    Not to mention that this corp has tried to patent traditionally bred wheat from India and soy plants from China.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    mike allen, May 2nd, 2007 @ 2:18am

    Re: Squeeze Play

    If you beleave that you beleave the moon is made of cheese

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Tarky7, May 2nd, 2007 @ 2:32am

    OMG !

    You mean the Moon is not made out of Cheese ?

    *wanders to hill to howl at the moon*

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    dorpus, May 2nd, 2007 @ 4:36am

    Re: Re: Squeeze Play

    What, you refuse to believe the basics of international politics? If country A causes problems for country B through issue X, and country B causes problems for country A through unrelated issue Y, then politicians from both countries will work out an X-Y compromise.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    LOL, May 2nd, 2007 @ 4:39am

    Squeeze Play

    Ahhh... isn't that what we do? Out sourcing jobs to cheap labor and enough guns to arm everyone a few times over. We just like to piss and whine about anyone that doesn't do exactly what we think they should.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    dorpus, May 2nd, 2007 @ 6:01am

    Re: Squeeze Play

    Do you believe child labor factories are ethical? How do you feel about Russia being the world's largest exporter of arms? Should 10-year-olds in Africa be killing each other with Russian AK-47's?

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    America is da debil!!!!, May 2nd, 2007 @ 7:04am

    America is da debil!!!!

    Can we agree America has been priced out of being a production economy?

    Can we agree that America is then left with intellectual property to export?

    If we can agree on this how exactly is insisting other nations do a better job protecting our companies rights to not have its exports stolen a bad thing? For that matter how is it any different from Korea complaining if America decided to impose a 10% tariff on all Korean imports?

    Actually if you look at trademark and patent infringement in China that tariff would actually need to be around 60%.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Sanguine Dream, May 2nd, 2007 @ 7:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Squeeze Play

    Oh but the US is much more sinister than that. If countries A through D are causing problems for country E then E will do the following:

    Impose the level one solution on A.
    Impose the level two solution on B.
    Impose the level three solution C.
    E will go back to A to impose the level three solution on it in order to catch them up to C.
    Impose the level four solution on D.
    E will then back to impose the level 5 solution on A-C in order to catch them up.
    And so on and so on...

    Its a vicious game of coproate leapfrog.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Tintin, May 2nd, 2007 @ 7:29am

    Try it here

    Whoa, there. I'd really like to see an American corp trying to bust it's way into an Indian kid's home and sue him for violating copyrights and intellectual licenses. I dont care much for official figures, but I know for a fact that "almost" all PC's bought here have some software or the other which is pirated. And I'm not even going to mention all the music and hollywood movies in all the hard disks. Buying anything original is a joke. Sometime before, in a previous comment, I'd mentioned that India still hasn't seen any real broadband yet. When it does, the piracy watchdogs will have a hell lot of howling to do. They better save their breath.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Dorfus, May 2nd, 2007 @ 7:31am

    Re: Re: Squeeze Play

    Da. Child labor factories are ethical. I feel proud to be in lead exporting arms. Better cost ratio's and lack of export controls mean ist 20% cheaper per 10 year old to keel each other.

    Maybe it would be "better" (ethical) if 10 year old african children killed each other with M-16's?

    Sorry for troll feeding everyone.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Wicked, May 2nd, 2007 @ 7:52am

    I think the point is...

    The point isn't about protecting Intellectual Property so much as how we choose to do it and IF we should.

    Our patent system is screwed up. Period.

    Look at the Verizon case, where they have patents for VOIP that they CLEARLY should never have gotten, yet they did. So not only do they have what should be an invalid patent but we should make sure that it is protected overseas?

    I'm not saying that there we shouldn't protect our intellectual property, as we should. We need to make sure that the things we are protecting are right, though.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Wizard Prang, May 2nd, 2007 @ 8:15am

    Irrelevant

    What do IP laws have to do with "cheap weapons, criminals, drugs"?

    Nothing.

    The IP-mavens do NOT have altruistic motives; they are simply concerned with the bottom-lines of their constituents...

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Terence Stern, May 2nd, 2007 @ 8:47am

    Time to develop a competitive advantage

    Its about time that the US stopped whining and got off their collective fat butt and developed some competitive advantage. Their greatest innovations and exports of the last 10 years appear to be Wal-Mart and McDonalds, or shopping and, er, shopping?

    Diddling around patenting business methods and the blindingly obvious just skirts around the fact that the US no longer designs, develops or manufactures anything that the rest of the world wants to buy, and its economy is currently propped up by Asians lending them money to buy stuff they either can no longer make or don't need from, well, Asians, meaning that America is predominantly a nation of shop assistants.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Chris Brand, May 2nd, 2007 @ 9:35am

    Pots and kettles

    Let's not forget that the WTO has actually ruled that the USA is in breach of it's actual international copyright obligations :
    http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/dispu_e/cases_e/ds160_e.htm
    and has shown no sign of planning to fix that.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    SailorRipley, May 2nd, 2007 @ 10:22am

    Re: Re: Squeeze Play

    Right...

    like a whole bunch of products sold in the United States (including products from American companies) are not at least partially made by children...

    And unless those AK-47's are made by children, they're not even relevant, nor is whether Russia is the world's largest exporter of arms (btw, how did you Americans manage to loose that title?)

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    That Guy, May 2nd, 2007 @ 12:35pm

    Separating copyright from patents

    I think a point should be made to separate a patent from a copyright in discussions like this. Patents try to put a box around "ideas." When the patent holder has the "boxed" idea they can they go around selling, licensing or executing said idea.

    Copyrights however mostly deal with finished original products that are intellectual assets.

    If a company or individual creates a book, movie, song, computer program and spends the money to develop it, create it, and sell it via some form of media I think they have the right to be the sole company or individual to sell it.

    I don't know if its the lobbyists or the politicians who clump these concepts together, but its rather clear that these are two battles that need to be fought separately.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Charles Griswold, May 2nd, 2007 @ 3:13pm

    Arms Export

    Russia is not the world leader in arms export. The United States is. In 2005 (no official data for 2006 yet) the U.S. exported $11.55bn worth of arms. In the same period, Russia exported $6.226bn worth of arms.

    Not that this has anything to do with IP.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Charles Griswold, May 2nd, 2007 @ 3:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Squeeze Play

    like a whole bunch of products sold in the United States (including products from American companies) are not at least partially made by children...

    My brother and I worked in fish processing when we were teen-agers. I believe that my brother was 14 at the time. We did it for the spending cash. No one was forcing us to. Now, thanks to child labor laws, we would not be allowed to do that. IMHO, there is nothing wrong with kids working to earn money as long as they are not being abused or forced to work.

    And unless those AK-47's are made by children, they're not even relevant, nor is whether Russia is the world's largest exporter of arms (btw, how did you Americans manage to loose that title?)

    As far as I know, we haven't. That's kind of weird when you consider the fact that the AK-47 is, in many ways, superior to the M-16. If I had to go into a war zone with limited support, I know which one I would choose.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    John, May 2nd, 2007 @ 5:23pm

    IP laws and online gambling

    If the US wants to enforce its IP laws on other countries, can Antigua ask the World Trade Organization to enforce its online gambling laws on the US?
    In an article on Slate.com, Henry Lanman argues that Antigua has as much right to enforce their laws on us as we do on them. And if Antigua is not allowed to enforce their online gambling laws on the US, then Antigua can ask the WTO to let them disregard US laws... including IP. And if Antigua doesn't recognize US IP laws, then would mean you could legally purchase Windows, or any other software, or DVD's, or movies.
    http://www.slate.com/id/2153352/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Charles Griswold, May 2nd, 2007 @ 10:54pm

    Re: IP laws and online gambling

    If the US wants to enforce its IP laws on other countries, can Antigua ask the World Trade Organization to enforce its online gambling laws on the US?

    Sure, why not? That would be kind of funny to watch. It would be even funnier if Antigua won.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Phil Schreiber, May 3rd, 2007 @ 12:22pm

    US Continues To Whine About Other Nations Not Foll

    Just one more example of America's international bullying that is so entrenched within the George Bush administration.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Jesse, Jun 3rd, 2007 @ 11:30pm

    So tired of US Government working against it's own

    These ridiculous IP laws the US is exporting to other countries actually hurt Americans. They stifle innovation for us, and put unnecessary burdens on foreign people and governments. We need to make IP law a major issue when we elect officials in both state and federal levels. It's time the USA it's own peoples interests above corporate lobbyists.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    nijet99, May 31st, 2008 @ 3:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Squeeze Play

    Or country X just brings their "democracy" to country Y: http://humor.beecy.net/funny-pictures/american-democracy/bumper-sticker.jpg

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    nijet00, May 31st, 2008 @ 3:17am

    Re: Re: Squeeze Play

    It would be much better if the US would be the world's largest exporter of arms, right? Oh wait, the US give arms to (now called) terroristic groups...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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