New Special 301 Report Shows Spain's Kowtowing Paid Off

from the pat-on-the-head dept

Today, the USTR released its 2013 Special 301 Report (pdf and embedded below), the notorious "watchlist" of foreign countries where intellectual property is supposedly in danger (which is in fact just a self-serving diplomatic pressure tool). Ukraine has been dubbed enemy number one, with Algeria, Argentina, Chile, China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Russia, Thailand and Venezuela on the priority watchlist, so expect the diplomatic push for American-style IP laws to intensify in those countries.

One thing to note is the fact that Spain succeeded in staying off the list. As we recently noted, the Spanish government has essentially admitted that its recent copyright reform efforts were designed entirely to keep the country out of the 301 Report. Well, it looks like they got their wish, and all they had to do was sell out their country to US interests. Nobody will be able to say that they sit on a list of dirty thieves alongside backwards pirate nations like Canada and Finland, which brazenly ignore the kind US diplomats who surely have our best interests at heart. Congratulations, Spain!



Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    silverscarcat (profile), May 1st, 2013 @ 2:26pm

    Well....

    Canada considers the U.S. a terrorist nation, so, we're even.

     

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

  2.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), May 1st, 2013 @ 2:37pm

    Re: Well....

    ... yeah, that sounds about right.

     

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

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2013 @ 2:43pm

    So the Hollywood diplomatic corps have let Spain off the hook for now, but they will be back for the next round of copyright law improvements.

     

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

  4.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), May 1st, 2013 @ 2:44pm

    Congratulations Spain

    You've just demonstrated that you are willing to do just about anything to avoid the horrid fate of being on a useless list. Expect your new, US-approved laws to be sent to you shortly.

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2013 @ 2:46pm

    China, huh?

    Yeah, good luck pushing your laws on countries you owe well over a trillion dollars to without threats or the standard globalist butter-up, USTR.

     

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

  6.  
    icon
    Zakida Paul (profile), May 1st, 2013 @ 2:48pm

    This constant appeasement of America's imperialism by weak, cowardly, spineless governments make me sick.

     

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

  7.  
    icon
    Zakida Paul (profile), May 1st, 2013 @ 2:49pm

    Re: Well....

    Do do I.

    Biggest terrorist organisation in the world

     

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

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2013 @ 2:53pm

    I'm rather amused that Iceland isn't even on the Watch list.

    Just shows that standing up to the USTR is a good thing.

     

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

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2013 @ 3:32pm

    USTR supports evergreening

    The United States is concerned that the recent decision by India's Supreme Court with respect to India's prohibition on patents for certain chemical forms absent a showing of "enhanced efficacy" may have the effect of limiting the patentability of potentially beneficial innovations. Such innovations would include drugs with fewer side effects, decreased toxicity, or improved delivery systems.

     

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

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2013 @ 3:39pm

    Chutzpa

    Regarding Italy:

    The United States also looks forward to the report of the Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry on Counterfeiting and Piracy in the Commercial Field, which is an important opportunity to state the importance of strong IPR protection and enforcement in Italy and to identify solutions to address persistent concerns

    USTR is now naming exactly the time and place where the expected kow-towing is to happen.

     

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

  11.  
    icon
    gorehound (profile), May 1st, 2013 @ 4:41pm

    Re: China, huh?

    USTR can suck my dog's dirty Butt.Ron Kirk's Mouth would look great licking it clean.
    This USTR Stuff gets me pretty angry.Other Nations just cave in to my corrupt Government's Demands.
    What a bunch of Wimps.

     

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

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2013 @ 5:00pm

    The rest of the world - you are on notice ... you do not want to be put on Double Secret Probation!

     

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

  13.  
    identicon
    Androgynous Cowherd, May 1st, 2013 @ 5:04pm

    Orwellian doublespeak

    The recent Copyright Lobotomy article excellently documented some of the Orwellian doublethink in the copyright space. The Special 301 report provides some good examples of the corresponding doublespeak:

    market access by persons with IP


    "Market access", in this context, not meaning what most people would mean by "market access", namely, they can import something and put it up for sale in a storefront. Oh, no. Here, "market access" means "ability to get the government to squash your competitors" -- in other words, lack of access by anyone else. In normal, non-Orwellian language we'd call that market exclusivity.

    (2) widespread (and admitted) use of illegal software by Ukrainian government agencies;


    "Illegal software", here, apparently means "integer the nonrivalrous use of which said integer's 'owner' hasn't been paid for", as opposed to, say, hacking tools or some such thing that it might conceivably actually make sense to criminalize.

    and (3) failure to implement an effective means to combat the widespread online infringement of copyright and related rights in Ukraine, including the lack of transparent and predictable provisions on intermediary liability and liability for third parties that facilitate
    piracy, limitations on such liability for Internet Service Providers (ISPs), and enforcement of takedown notices for infringing online content.


    Another country matching that description is ... the United States of America. The DMCA safe harbors remove third party liability for copyright infringement done by other people, and takedown notices are not enforced by the government. A notice sender has to sue and seek an injunction to get something taken down if a DMCA notice isn't sufficient. The DMCA notice doesn't carry the force of such a court-issued injunction itself, nor should it. But apparently the hypocritical USTR won't be happy with Ukraine unless they enact a much stricter rule than the US's own DMCA, giving copyright holders direct censorship power over websites and not granting safe harbors for third parties.

    Also notable: all of the BRIC group of emerging economies are on the "naughty list", India of course for its stance on access to life-saving generic medicines (shame on the US again here!) ...

    Prediction: with Italy and Greece both on the "naughty list", expect someone to start spreading FUD about how failure to respect IP enough leads inevitably to economic disaster, and to point to Italy and Greece, perennial 301 listees that are undergoing economic woes of late, as the "proof". After all, with some countries brazenly ignoring the largely-toothless Special 301 list, something more is needed to, if not force, then frighten countries into toeing the line. If the same argument can be used to further promulgate the myth that IPR is necessary to have a thriving and innovative economy, so much the better. Frankly I'm surprised not to have seen maximalists floating such an argument, citing Italy and Greece as "proof", somewhere already.

     

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

  14.  
    identicon
    It's Ukraine, May 1st, 2013 @ 5:20pm

    "The Ukraine" is offensive, don't use it!

    "The Ukraine" refers to the bad old days when the country was subservient to the USSR. "Ukraine" refers to the independent country of today. The people of Ukraine take offense when their country is referred to with the old term. It's as if somebody referred to the United States as "England's subservient colonies".

     

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

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2013 @ 5:29pm

    Don't worry like any extortionists the US government will put Spain back in that report soon enough.

    Next year Spain will be there for one reason or another.

    Vikings did that to the UK, "you pay us and we don't attack you", that didn't last long and Vikings invaded anyways conquering everything. Of note is the fact that to be a "Viking" was to be a "pirate", when Nordic people told others they would go Viking they meant to go on a rampage pillaging everything in sight.

    The 301 report doesn't need to be accurate as long as others accept it the way it is, maybe it is time for other countries to start making their own 301 report thing and put crazy demands on it and start acting on it as if they were all correct and justified.

    You see if you just want to justify shit you want to be done why bother with the truth? is not the intent, of the damn thing, just make shit up and sell it as so and those who buy are the suckers like Spain, although it may be that Spain has no choice, because it has no leverage on the matter and so it has to bend over and just take it all.

     

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

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2013 @ 5:53pm

    Re: "The Ukraine" is offensive, don't use it!

    *gasp!* I was just going to say that, since my Ukie hub is also very sensitive to that usage.

    Another of his favorite reminders: Don't fuck with the Ukranians.

    ;)

     

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

  17.  
    icon
    Leigh Beadon (profile), May 1st, 2013 @ 6:15pm

    Re: "The Ukraine" is offensive, don't use it!

    interesting -- i had no idea. changed it!

     

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

  18.  
    icon
    Alana (profile), May 1st, 2013 @ 6:24pm

    How does this not create outrage?

    I guess when you sprinkle everything with fine tuned words it comes off as less bitchy.

     

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

  19.  
    icon
    Akari Mizunashi (profile), May 1st, 2013 @ 6:53pm

    Hey... how come the US isn't on the list, nor is #1?

    If this is about protection, shouldn't the biggest offender point fingers at itself before others?

    Figures.

    So, yeah, congratulations Spain! See you on the list next time because you didn't do enough.

     

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

  20.  
    icon
    Rikuo (profile), May 1st, 2013 @ 8:01pm

    Re: "The Ukraine" is offensive, don't use it!

    Umm...given that that country doesn't have English for it's primary language, why would they give a damn? It would be like if I got mad at French people calling my country l'Irlande instead of Irlande.

     

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

  21.  
    icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), May 1st, 2013 @ 8:56pm

    Re: Re: "The Ukraine" is offensive, don't use it!

    l'Irlande wasn't a Soviet republic.

     

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

  22. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    horse with no name, May 1st, 2013 @ 10:39pm

    Spain figured it out

    They are starting to realize that they don't want to be a piracy haven. They might even be realizing that part of their massive unemployment is because of the huge black market of free goods. Time to make changes.

     

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

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2013 @ 11:33pm

    Re: Spain figured it out

    ...Or it could be down to the rampant corruption of politicians in the ruling parties, and the massive embezzlement by everyone and anyone in the ruling Úlite.

     

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

  24.  
    identicon
    horse with no name, May 1st, 2013 @ 11:45pm

    Re: Re: Spain figured it out

    What part of 'part of' are you not understanding?

     

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

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2013 @ 12:14am

    Re: Spain figured it out

    So your solution for the unemployed is to pay for more media? Really? Why not let them eat cake while you're at it?

     

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

  26.  
    identicon
    Mr. Ed, May 2nd, 2013 @ 12:16am

    Re: Spain figured it out

    Sadly this massive unemployment means very little income for a lot of families. As a direct result, the black market will most likely thrive unfortunately.

    The solution is obvious of course. We need to force all of these people back to work as soon as possible so they can pay us for our IP instead of stealing it all. The fact that their children are starving is no excuse for the wholesale rape of our IP!

    If you take it, you have a moral obligation to pay for it one way or another. If you don't pay, that is theft. It's as simple as that. It's not our problem you're all too poor to make ends meet; it's your problem for being too damn lazy to work, just like all filthy pirates are.

    Hopefully your government will take the necessary steps that are so clearly needed to make sure anyone who doesn't pay gets the severe punishment they deserve for their unacceptable criminal behavior.

     

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

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2013 @ 1:37am

    Re: Spain figured it out

    It is actually broader than IP. The problem is a far too high prize on a lot of different products, including food. It doesn't exactly reflect well on the 301 list that the problem hasn't been touched!

     

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

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2013 @ 1:54am

    Huge respect to Finland! Scandinavia represent! Without Finland, a lot of nordic people would have to pay several times the current prize because of the lack of alternatives to the formerly patented products (licensed companies are far cheaper than the original product, but far more expensive than legal generics)!

    Generics are apparently the devil for the 301 list (several countries are there for being generic producers!), which should be quite a self-destructive policy given that it is completely legal in all countries!

     

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

  29.  
    identicon
    relghuar, May 2nd, 2013 @ 3:24am

    "Naughty" list???

    I really yearn for the day when most countries recognize being on US 301 List as a source of national pride.

     

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

  30.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), May 2nd, 2013 @ 4:05am

    Re: Congratulations Spain

    I'm amused Brazil isn't there (or is it?) considering file sharing is legal here ;)

     

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

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2013 @ 9:14am

    Re:

    You don't understand how many of these other nations work. About the worst thing these new laws will be used for in those nations is (dramatic pause) censorship/oppression against opposition to the government.

     

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This