Armenia Decides It Needs Incredibly Strict Copyright Laws

from the copy-and-go-to-jail dept

Over the years, tons of studies have suggested that strong intellectual property rights are especially damaging in poorer and developing nations. So it's always a bit of a surprise when we see such countries willing to adopt draconian copyright and patent laws. Via Michael Scott we learn that Armenia -- currently ranked 135th in the world in per capita income, is apparently preparing to put in place quite draconian copyright laws. A first offense for copyright infringement would get you fined $2,500. This in a country where the per capita GDP is somewhere between $3,350 and $5,900 depending on who you believe. Oh, and for your second copyright violation? You're facing twelve months in jail. I'd hate to find out what the "third strike" is. Of course, the BSA has estimated that 93% of software in Armenia infringes on copyrights, so basically everyone in the country who uses a computer may be close to facing a year in jail.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    Jay (profile), Jun 11th, 2010 @ 8:22am

    It boggles the mind...

    So how is putting everyone in jail going to work?

    Do we need another witch hunt?

     

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    identicon
    BATMAN strikes again, Jun 11th, 2010 @ 8:34am

    cool

    smirks obama we'll now never have to worry about pesky armenians getting wealthy
    only 133 other nations to go...

    ACTA RULES , ACTA FOREVER
    BATMAN nanananananana
    BATMAN

     

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    Channa (profile), Jun 11th, 2010 @ 8:44am

    remind me not to copy anything from Armenia

     

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      zaven (profile), Jun 11th, 2010 @ 8:57am

      Re:

      Not much to copy. Unless you want some children's songs (anyone remember the children's singer Raffi)

      Not the news I like hearing from my home country.

       

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        Vic, Jun 11th, 2010 @ 10:22am

        Re: Re: "not much to copy"?

        There is also a very original language with it's own very original writing system. What is the authorities decide to copyright the Armenian alphabet? 8^)

         

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    Andrew (profile), Jun 11th, 2010 @ 9:02am

    Excellent.

    This report suggests that only 11.5% of Armenians owned a personal computer in 2006, so that's just 329,000 people facing jail time. Unfortunately these people tend to be young, educated and from higher socioeconomic groups, but never let a country's progress stand in the way of copyright reform.

    (Yes, I know I've assumed 93% of computer users infringe, rather than 93% of software infringes, but they're probably not too different.)

     

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    AJ, Jun 11th, 2010 @ 9:12am

    Excellent

    If they do put these laws into place, perhaps the rest of the world will watch the collapse and think twice before doing something that stupid here..... or am i giving our leaders too much credit....

     

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    WammerJammer (profile), Jun 11th, 2010 @ 9:16am

    Bait and Switch

    Pretty soon you won't know what the law is because it changes depending on the mood of the politicians (liars). Kinda restricts the travel thing because if you make a mix cd or a copy of your favorite movie to travel with, you may be busted at the border. So no more personal stuff if you want to travel and you better carry the phone number of a reputable attorney with you if you travel to any of these weird countries. In the case of Amanda Knox who was tried in some strange place in Italy, that put Italy on our family's personal no-fly list. So watch where the hell you go. Gone are the days of having your mix with you as you freely travel down the road.

     

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      btr1701 (profile), Jun 11th, 2010 @ 10:21am

      Re: Bait and Switch

      > In the case of Amanda Knox who was tried in some
      > strange place in Italy, that put Italy on our
      > family's personal no-fly list

      As long as you and your family don't like to engage in drug-fueled sex and murder orgies, I think you'll be safe in Italy.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2010 @ 10:27am

      Re: Bait and Switch

      you could just buy music and movies

       

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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Jun 11th, 2010 @ 9:34am

    A law adopted

    Armenia adopts a law to appease foreign countries and content industry pressure. I would guess that we won't see much enforcement. It will probably only be selectively enforced against government opponents similar to the tax code here in the U.S.

     

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      Vic, Jun 11th, 2010 @ 10:28am

      Re: A law adopted

      It will probably only be selectively enforced against government opponents

      Just like it's been done in lots of other former Soviet Union republics - Russia, Belarus, all other "Carjackistans".

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2010 @ 9:36am

    If more countries would adopt such measures Linux and open source music will be dominate the world.

     

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    NAMELESS ONE, Jun 11th, 2010 @ 9:40am

    @11

    no
    they will add secretly or covertly laws that restrict the use of such software like canada's new copyright bill

    the anti circumvention rules are so draconian as to cause you HUGE grief in using open source.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2010 @ 9:44am

    "I'd hate to find out what the "third strike" is."

    Jail time with the TV set to constantly play "The View".

     

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      btr1701 (profile), Jun 11th, 2010 @ 10:22am

      Re: Penalties

      > Jail time with the TV set to constantly play
      > "The View".

      No, they bring Joy Behar personally to your cell and lock her in with you.

       

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    Hephaestus (profile), Jun 11th, 2010 @ 10:06am

    Hmmm 5300 people in prison now

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Jun 11th, 2010 @ 10:12am

    Hmmm 5300 people in prison now

    THE NORWEGIAN HELSINKI COMMITTEE, Prison Conditions in Armenia

    Okay there are 5300 people in prison in Armenia.

    93% of software in armenia infringes.

    From the CIA Factbook the population of Armenia is 2,966,802

    I dont think their prisons can handle this. Its bound to be an epic failure.

     

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    Michael Lockyear (profile), Jun 11th, 2010 @ 10:13am

    Sadly the study you cite (having followed the links) is "available to subscribers only"...ironic.

     

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    Berenerd (profile), Jun 11th, 2010 @ 10:34am

    What the article doesn't say....

    ...is that the laws were written on a pirated copy of Office 97 loaded on a machine that is running on a hacked copy of windows ME.

    On a more serious note, making the law is one thing, enforcing it is the other. Once one bigwig is named as having pirated software the law will be changed.

     

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    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Jun 11th, 2010 @ 11:57am

    Gotta wonder

    You gotta wonder who bribed the government officials that voted this bill into law...

     

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