Brazil Moves Forward With Plan To Ignore US Patents And Copyrights After US Refuses To Abide By WTO Ruling

from the ip-retaliation dept

Two years ago, we noted that Brazil had asked the WTO for permission to ignore certain US patents and copyrights as a retaliation against the US's refusal to abide by a WTO ruling. This is, of course, typical of the US. When the WTO sides with the US on certain issues, you see the US and industry lobbyists go nuts about how those countries need to capitulate due to "international obligations." But when the WTO rules against the US, the USTR has a long history of ignoring the ruling or even pretending (falsely) that it "won." Given that most countries can't do much if the US just ignores the WTO, there's been a new push to allow countries to ignore US copyrights and patents up to a certain dollar amount. In Antigua, for example, the WTO said it could ignore up to $21 million worth of US IP.

Brazil is now moving forward with a plan to actually ignore US patents and copyrights. It's putting forth a retaliation plan to the WTO that includes various tariffs and other sanctions -- but most interestingly, a plan to ignore $238 million annually in US copyrights and patents -- expected to cover both pharmaceutical patents and entertainment copyrights. As is typical in such situations, the USTR is wagging its finger and warning, "don't do that," but doesn't seem willing to admit that the WTO already ruled against the US.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2010 @ 8:28pm

    the wto needs to die.

     

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    •  
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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2010 @ 8:52pm

      Re:

      Do you say that because you're against globalism or because you are against this ruling and rulings similar to it?

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2010 @ 8:49pm

    Impact to US citizens

    So here is a question... would downloading US copyrighted material from Brazil be illegal then? (some strait HTTP/FTP/ETC not p2p) because if its not illegal over there... and your not "sharing" here, does "receiving" count as anything illegal?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2010 @ 9:00pm

      Re: Impact to US citizens

      "Receiving" in the US represents the making of a copy that is one of the exclusive rights reserved under US to holders of copyright.

      PS - I wonder how many people are aware that this whole matter centers around what is claimed by Brazil to be a federal subsidy under US law for cotton exporters?

      It seems likely that this matter will be settled by the US granting certain concessions to the the import into the US of various Brazilian agricultural products.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2010 @ 9:55pm

        Re: Re: Impact to US citizens

        "Receiving" in the US represents the making of a copy that is one of the exclusive rights reserved under US to holders of copyright.

        I thought it was "sharing". So sharing is not infringing in the US, huh? But on the other hand, if "receiving" is "making a copy", then just visiting a web site with infringing elements would be infringement on the part of the visitor. How could one make sure that a website doesn't include any infringing elements before visiting it?

        Now, are you just making stuff up or can you cite references?

         

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        Dementia (profile), Mar 12th, 2010 @ 3:17am

        Re: Re: Impact to US citizens

        Are you certain about that? Seems the court cases that RIAA has actually won have all been about "making available", not about receiving.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2010 @ 6:14am

          Re: Re: Re: Impact to US citizens

          Yes, a download that is not authorized by the copyright holder is deemed an infringement of the right to duplicate the work. Actual uploads to others are deemed an infringement of the right to distribute the work.

          In the two most visible cases to date, JRT and T, each were held liable for infringement of both these rights. However, it was the distribution right that was the real issue in each suit.

          As for a file sitting in a folder just waiting for upload, so-called "making available", there is not to my knowledge binding precedent answering the question one way or the other. Importantly, under US law binding precedent can only be created by virtue of decisions by either the federal appellate courts or the Supreme Court. District court opinion are not deemed binding, though they do serve to inform trial court judges about how one or more of their colleagues have analyzed statutory provisions and case law.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2010 @ 9:23am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Impact to US citizens

            Yes, a download that is not authorized by the copyright holder is deemed an infringement of the right to duplicate the work.

            Every time you visit a website you download files. So how is a person supposed to verify the copyright status of those files beforehand? I know I've read of many cases where websites removed supposedly infringing material from their pages. So I guess the copyright holders could demand the weblogs and then go sue everyone that had visited the site?

             

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    Paul (profile), Mar 11th, 2010 @ 8:49pm

    This is just one crack in the system, more to come...

    I personally think this is great! Because if a country this size ignores US IP laws for a long enough time, we will be able to quantify the supposed negative impact on the production of IP that results. If we cannot detect any, either here in the US or in Brazil, what does that say about the effectiveness of strong IP laws?

    Clearly it will be easier to just use US IP rather than develop your own. Will content and engineering suffer in Brazil as a result? Income will be lost in the US. Will IBM and Microsoft and Google and Apple and Hollywood suffer measurable losses in their desires to innovate?

    I can't wait to see how this will play out!

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2010 @ 9:00pm

      Re: This is just one crack in the system, more to come...

      I think you're forgetting the ease with which data can be made up by lobbyists and blindly accepted by politicians (and the media, usually).

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2010 @ 10:39pm

        Re: Re: This is just one crack in the system, more to come...

        You mean like the data that shows that piracy undermines the humanitarian efforts in Haiti?

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2010 @ 6:53am

      Re: This is just one crack in the system, more to come...

      What is your point here? How would there be a "negative impact on the production of IP"? Brazil has a robust patent system (unsure of their copyright system, but presume they have one of those as well). Just because they are not honoring certain (the article points out that only some IP would be targeted) IP, how would that affect IP in general?

      Consider also that Brazil already has in place some draconian rules about repatriation of income earned in Brazil. Manufacturing companies have to show that they have intellectual property investment in Brazil to be able to export profits. Those rules are unlikely to change.

      In other words, the real impact from a patent perspective is likely to be nil. Not able to talk about copyrights.

       

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        Paul (profile), Mar 12th, 2010 @ 7:35am

        Re: Re: This is just one crack in the system, more to come...

        Even if the IP impacted is just a few things, such as the patents on certain medications, we will still be afforded with a before and after picture around such IP.

        For example, the article says that U.S. pharmaceutical patents would be ignored. If that means all U.S. pharmaceutical patents (the article isn't that specific) then certainly that is a big enough domain of IP to study. And if Brazil has strong IP laws of their own in pharmaceutical products, you should within the same country be able to compare activities (manufacture/sales/research) largely protected by Brazil's system with activities (manufacture/sales/research) now largely unprotected where the key IP happens to be held in the U.S.

        Some of these activities would be in Brazil and some would be in the U.S.

        The basic point remains, that anytime you poke at a system and make changes that can be measured in terms of dollars, you should be able to study the effects as such changes move through the system. Strong IP proponents go beyond just saying certain companies would be hurt. They claim that productivity and GDP would be hurt (i.e. they assume no other economic activity will step in and "file the gap" as it were).

        With changes in copyright, I think you have the same question. Will the ability to use U.S. copyrighted works freely, and to reproduce them freely, actually reduce sales of such works? Or will it act like advertising, increasing demand for "official" products and similar products?

        Again we will have a before and after picture, if they really go through with this. And again, poke at the system, and we get the opportunity to study what happens.

         

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2010 @ 8:11am

          Re: Re: Re: This is just one crack in the system, more to come...

          I think the impact will be immeasurable. According to the linked article, about $591 million will be in the form of higher tariffs across a broad array of industries. There will be a separate list of $238 million in retaliation against intellectual property rights and services. The effect on patents and copyrights is going to be so small as to be lost in the noise.

           

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    OHHHHH CANADA, Mar 11th, 2010 @ 8:59pm

    and this is what canada could have done

    had stephen harper not signed away the billion dollars tha the USA stole form the NATFA softwood lumber dispute WHICH btw the day after our imperious leader allowed the Americans to steal this money we won for the third time in court and we had already won at the WTO level , nafta level and then this appeal.

    YUP this is another example of how Americans GO WAAAAA to often when it dont go there way and why we ned to all start at looking at dropping the ip term rates so to better keep them in line. WATCH brazil PROPEL into the future as the rest of us get ramme dup the butt by ACTA

     

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    •  
      icon
      Anonymous Coward (profile), Mar 12th, 2010 @ 7:17am

      Yes Please Please Free Us from our Government

      The current attitude of my friends and myself is yes please please free us from these chains we have allowed to be placed on us. They burdensome, we are weary of our Big Brother Corporate Government. But because of apathetic non involvement we have fulfilled the quote. Leo Tolstoy "War and Peace" All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing” http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Edmund_Burke#Probable_misattribution

       

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    NAMELESS.ONE, Mar 11th, 2010 @ 9:06pm

    @6 no this is already settled

    if you read the article Brazil is now setting up to ignore copyrights and patents....and you can try to get it solved now but your relations and damage done is kaput. Get over it now.

    @7 go ahead lobbyists can blah blah all they want now
    once a govt say no it becomes a lot harder unless they get enough of there bribery going on to get new politicians and the anger is starting to grow world wide and ill be politicians are taking notes that if they want to ever be politicians again this issue they better stay off of the bribe money.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2010 @ 3:53am

    Go Brazil!
    Fuck the US!

     

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    Ima Fish (profile), Mar 12th, 2010 @ 4:22am

    "WTO said it could ignore up to $21 million worth of US IP."

    According to the RIAA that's equivalent to downloading about 100 crappy songs.

     

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    identicon
    Marcos, Mar 12th, 2010 @ 4:33am

    On a side note, Brazilian Ministry of Culture expects to publish in april its project of a new copyright law. The project has been subject of debates in the last four years and it shall be much more flexible than the current law (from 1998). Eg, mashups and sampling will be allowed.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2010 @ 5:27am

    Brazil, land of the hot babes and politicians with balls of steel.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2010 @ 6:57am

    F.U...S.A.!

     

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    ant anti mike, Mar 12th, 2010 @ 7:11am

    @stupid dead R.E.T.A.R.D fish ( #12 )

    hi tam ya know hes at work cause he made you think that this was about brazil cause he left off the country

    In Antigua, for example, the WTO said it could ignore up to $21 million worth of US IP.

    NOTE antigua NOT brazil
    brazil is owed a lot more some 238 or more million

    and what of that softwood lumber ONE BILLION
    what wold that be like for a country of canada.

    YA take your acta and shove it TAM

     

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    chris (profile), Mar 12th, 2010 @ 7:47am

    great, when do we invade?

    cory doctorow wrote a short story about a small country that gets invaded over intellectual property issues. you can read it here.

    the idea isn't quite as far-fetched as it may seem, after all,
    intellectual property is the oil of the 21st century.

     

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  •  
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    JerryAtrick (profile), Mar 12th, 2010 @ 9:43am

    MPAA

    What are the legalities regarding the movie picture association trying to convince the FCC to allow them to release first run movies directly to the consumer instead of releasing the material to theaters? Is that even legal?

     

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    identicon
    Kevin, Mar 12th, 2010 @ 11:28am

    Americans Crying again

    Like I said in the Canadian Booksellers comments...

    Americans rarely ever abide by WTO when they lose.

    But most countries can't afford to have the US ban their exports. So the US wins even when they lose because they are a bully.

     

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    identicon
    George Riddick, Mar 12th, 2010 @ 4:18pm

    IP theft and counterfeiting

    Hi Mike,

    On occasion, I will stop in to see what you are up to and say "hi".

    I, for one, am in favor of healthy debate in this country.

    Sometimes I simply cannot believe what I read on here, however. Are you publishng these comments and/or pouring fuel on this fire, with a straight face? Do you really think foreign governments should allow their citizens and companies to willfully steal American property and sometimes even endanger the lives of American children ... all without recourse?

    Really, Mike? I don't think you really do.

    If we could collect from all of the peoiple around the globe who routinely, systematically, and willfully steal our intellectual property (and in some cases our trademarks, tradenames, trade secrets, and physical goods), we would not have a deficit problem, or a job problem, in this country at all.

    And we could build better schools for our children, pay our firefighters and teachers more money, fed the hungry, care for the elderly and the sick, honor our veterans, and eliminate half of the diseases that impact our society today.

    Are you really advocating THEFT. Mike?

    The 365 digital artists, designers, cartoonists, graphic programmers, digitizers, and animators we have employed over the years here at Imageline would really like for you to answer this question DIRECTLY.

    We are eagerly awaiting your reply!

    George Riddick
    Chairman/CEO
    Imageline, Inc.

     

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 12th, 2010 @ 4:55pm

      Re: IP theft and counterfeiting

      Sometimes I simply cannot believe what I read on here, however. Are you publishng these comments and/or pouring fuel on this fire, with a straight face? Do you really think foreign governments should allow their citizens and companies to willfully steal American property and sometimes even endanger the lives of American children ... all without recourse?

      George, as you well know, this has nothing to do with stealing, nothing to do with property and nothing to do with endangering the lives of children.

      Please, for the sake of reasoned discourse, stop making such false and inflammatory statements.

      If we could collect from all of the peoiple around the globe who routinely, systematically, and willfully steal our intellectual property (and in some cases our trademarks, tradenames, trade secrets, and physical goods), we would not have a deficit problem, or a job problem, in this country at all.

      If you can't understand the difference between infringement and "stealing" it's difficult to have a reasonable conversation with you, because you are only showing your ignorance of the subject.

      And we could build better schools for our children, pay our firefighters and teachers more money, fed the hungry, care for the elderly and the sick, honor our veterans, and eliminate half of the diseases that impact our society today.

      You are making huge and grossly false assumptions: that those who are infringing would have or could have paid otherwise. That's usually not the case. Furthermore, you seem to be (falsely) assuming that the infringement is always commercial in nature, when (again) that's rarely the case. Finally, you seem to be falsely assuming that the money flow only goes in one direction and totally ignore the economic impact of allowing FREE EXPRESSION and open innovation.

      Studies have shown, repeatedly, that the economic impact of such monopolies is NEGATIVE, not positive. In other words, if we really did what you said the economy would be smaller, not greater.

      Are you really advocating THEFT. Mike?


      No, George. I'm not advocating that at all. And you know it.

      The 365 digital artists, designers, cartoonists, graphic programmers, digitizers, and animators we have employed over the years here at Imageline would really like for you to answer this question DIRECTLY.

      I have answered it repeatedly. You, unfortunately, seem to not understand the difference between infringement and theft, or the economics of information. Instead, you appear to believe that the gov't owes you a monopoly.

      Sorry, George, I believe in capitalism, not the gov't propping up your business because you couldn't adapt to the marketplace.

       

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2010 @ 6:51pm

      Re: IP theft and counterfeiting

      Awesome website you have there. I can see all that IP doesn't seem to include any of the "I" part.

       

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    identicon
    HARVEY ANDERSON, Mar 12th, 2010 @ 9:25pm

    AD VIOLATION

    I try 2 creat a CREAT AD on facebook in the got this Message on the bottom about my account . but i never created a ad untill now. i like 2 know wie facebook continual 2 FUNK WITH PEOPLES ACCOUNT LIKE THEY DO ITS BULLSHIT..>>>>>>>

    Your account has been disabled. All of your ads have been stopped and should not be run again on the site under any circumstances. Generally, we disable an account if too many of its ads violate our Terms of Use or Advertising Guidelines. Unfortunately we cannot provide you with the specific violations that have been deemed abusive. Please review our Terms of Use and Advertising Guidelines if you have further questions

     

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    identicon
    Sam, Mar 17th, 2010 @ 7:21am

    Re: Re: IP theft and counterfeiting

    George just does not get it. Awesome response Mike!

     

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    harshit.p, Apr 19th, 2010 @ 9:41am

    metta.........

    better write in a understandable way.......i mean use appropraiate language......thamk u.

     

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