Just How Out Of Touch Is The Copyright Lobby?

from the try-that-again? dept

One of the worst tricks of the entertainment industry to get the laws pushed even further in its own favor is to pull out the “international treaties” card. The industry uses this claim to say that various international treaties require that the laws over intellectual property be equivalent in different countries — and, of course, they always mean bringing them to the level of the most draconian laws, rather than moving them more in favor of things like fair use. The really sneaky part in this is that each time these different laws are written in different countries, they’re not exactly the same. In fact, parts of them may be even more draconian — which again gives the entertainment industry an opening to whine that other countries need to change their laws to match those other laws. It’s a game of leapfrog that the industry has used repeatedly. However, it looks like some folks may finally be calling them on these issues. Following the latest report from an entertainment industry lobbying group that calls out a bunch of countries for laws that are too lax on copyright, Michael Geist has explained why it’s the industry, not these countries, that are out of touch and out of date. In fact, what becomes very clear is that most of the complaints aren’t (as the industry claims) to bring foreign laws in line with US laws, but to make them even more in favor of the entertainment industry beyond what US law requires (sometimes way beyond). At some point, will politicians wake up and realize these types of laws aren’t for the general good, but simply to protect the failing business policies of a single industry?


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