White House Publishes Obnoxious Special 301 Report; Whines About Any Country With A More Enlightened View On IP

from the but-of-course dept

It's widely considered a complete joke in diplomatic circles and even within the US government, but every year the USTR is required to come out with its Special 301 report concerning who's been naughty and who's been nice on intellectual property issues. This year's report has just come out, and it's no different than previous years. Basically, there's no objective process at all. There's just a bunch of lobbyists whining about which countries don't treat them with enough respect (i.e., allow real competition in their home countries), and then the USTR parrots back the lobbyists' complaints, with little in the way of verification or understanding. Then, the State Department uses that report to pressure countries (see: New Zealand, Canada, Sweden and Spain as examples) to rewrite their patent and copyright laws.

The really sickening part in all of this is that the USTR makes no effort to determine what sorts of IP laws are effective or reasonable. None. It just pushes other countries to ratchet up their IP laws to more and more draconian levels. Basically, if anyone thinks they have a better idea on how intellectual property laws should be done, the US government shames them with this report. It's even more ridiculous when you realize that they even name and shame some countries (e.g., Canada) for not making their laws even worse than US laws. Notice that the Special 301 report never seems to care when other countries don't add in exceptions like fair use... they just focus on ratcheting things up.

It's a complete embarrassment, and it's time the whole thing was dropped.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    Christopher (profile), May 2nd, 2011 @ 4:17pm

    Agree on the "It's time to drop the whole Special 301" thing. That 'report' is written solely by copyright maximalists, so it is not a legitimate report at all.

     

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    Chris Brand, May 2nd, 2011 @ 4:33pm

    Fair Use

    I don't think it's true that they don't care about fair use - didn't the 2007 Special 301 report highlight Israel's plan to introduce US-style "Fair Use" as a concern ?
    See this blog post

     

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    Trerro, May 2nd, 2011 @ 4:54pm

    Senate Pokemon

    Senators - collect the full set and rule the world! Gotta pay em all!

     

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    dumdrum, May 2nd, 2011 @ 5:16pm

    Corruption from on high

    All of these corrupt officials all need to be fired and replaced by 10 year old children. Children know the difference between right and wrong better than these idiots running our quickly sinking society.

    For Shame.

     

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      Christopher (profile), May 2nd, 2011 @ 6:02pm

      Re: Corruption from on high

      Yep.... with a 10 year old, it is all about "Are you physically harming someone else without their permission? Are you stealing something PHYSICAL from them? Are you forcing someone to do or not do something that they do not or do wish to do. sexual or not? No? Then nothing wrong with it.

       

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      Miff (profile), May 2nd, 2011 @ 8:16pm

      Re: Corruption from on high

      Plus, a child would likely be less trustworthy when it comes to keeping promises to lobbyists.

      Well, also to voters, but they wouldn't be that much better then the pre-existing politicians on that front anyways.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2011 @ 9:40pm

      Re: Corruption from on high

      Monkeys would be better than our current administration, at least monkeys won't make things any worse.

       

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      The eejit (profile), May 2nd, 2011 @ 11:36pm

      Re: Corruption from on high

      Old variant Hicks joke:

      The President is swron in, and is taken to a dark room, with a number of people in chairs and a projector. The projector is switched on and it runs a grainy film of the assasssination of John F. Kennedy from a position that looks a lot like the grassy knoll.

      One of the people in the other chairs says, "Any questions?"

      The President goes, "uh, yeah' just what my agenda is!"

       

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    Thomas (profile), May 2nd, 2011 @ 6:15pm

    Just doing..

    what the entertainment industry is paying (bribing) them to do. It's not a surprse

     

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