Remember the "free trade" agreement the US and South Korea were signing that, rather than promoting free trade, seemed to promote intellectual monopolies by extending draconian intellectual property laws to South Korea? Over at Against Monopoly they're discussing some of the other clauses in the agreement that include a promise from South Korea that it will help shut down any internet site that permits the unauthorized reproduction, distribution or transmission of copyrighted works. It isn't too surprising that the US government would push for such a law, given its active involvement in trying to take down the websites of foreign companies like The Pirate Bay and AllofMP3.com. However, it does seem a bit ridiculous to suggest that South Korea needs to force any site that permits such things to shut down. The list of sites that permit the unauthorized reproduction, distribution and transmission of copyrighted works is quite long and includes Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and many others. In fact, the internet itself allows for the unauthorized reproduction, distribution and transmission of copyrighted works -- so perhaps we should just have the US government ask South Korea to turn off the internet. Unfortunately, as is noted at Against Monopoly, you can now expect to see similar clauses appear in lots of other "free trade" agreements that have little to do with free trade and everything to do with protecting American content businesses.
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