As Developing Countries Gain More Power In Diplomatic Discussions, Will They Push Back On IP?

from the it's-possible dept

A few folks sent in Andy Oram’s recent blog post that noted how countries like India, China and Brazil were gaining more power on the international diplomatic stage, and that could mean a pushback against more draconian intellectual property attempts. Brazil, China and India have all realized that, as developing nations, they often benefit greatly from reduced intellectual property regimes:

As I understand the argument, the institutions responsible for passing new rules respond to the most powerful countries. The US and Europe are on the decline in these organizations. All the countries that benefit from looser IP regimes–China, India, Brazil–are growing in economic strength and are finding themselves in more and more seats at the tables of the world’s closed economic institutions. For just one concrete example, look at the shift of responsibility in recent years from the G-7 to the G-20. The G-7 is a familiar set of countries that were powerful from the 1950s through the 1970s. The G-20 is truly diverse, bringing in strong economies from around the world (but still just the ones with some international economic clout).

I’ll believe it when I see it. While it is true that those other countries have a seat at the table, it’s still the lobbyists from the US and Europe that seem to be dictating the agenda. In recent years, we’ve definitely pushed increasingly draconian IP laws on those countries. So until we see more serious pushback (and Brazil is really the only major country I can remember that has been proactive on that front — India and China have appeared more willing to claim that they’ll move toward US-style IP rules) it’s difficult to believe this is really happening just yet.

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Comments on “As Developing Countries Gain More Power In Diplomatic Discussions, Will They Push Back On IP?”

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11 Comments
Henry Emrich (profile) says:

Not actually that unlikely.....

A few things to notice:

1. The U.S. has spent the last decade (or more) claiming to support democracy while supporting despotic regimes, toppling democratically-elected regimes they didn’t happen to like (Mosadegh comes to mind), and demonstrating utter contempt for “international Law” in terms of use of torture, etc. So why exactly would anybody be surprised if some nations have started to view the U.S. global hegemony as “World’s only superpower” skeptically?
We’re NOT the powerhouse we think we are, folks. We can’t even get Iraq done.

2. “Developing” nations see how the U.S. “superpower” status has treated them, and they don’t like it. Given the fact that the looser IP regimes many of them advocate are not only staggeringly popular with millions of so-called “pirates” everywhere, are much closer to the sort of “copyright bargain” was originally intended (shorter copyright terms neccesarily mean a more vibrant public domain, for example), AND are a relatively low-risk way to make the U.S. look like the corporate fiefdom it really is….well, let’s just say that other nations are — justifiably — justifiably tired of U.S. hegemony (especially after the last decade of Bush & Pals.)

Doubltess, Anti-Mike will probably pop up and start accusing me of being insufficiently “patriotic” for these statements, but that’s okay, because given the fact that Iraq has turned out to be exactly the sort of pointless quagmire anti-war protesters said it was going to be, maybe the yellow ribbon & Flag crowd who rallied behind Bush & Co. were wrong, after all.

Chargone (profile) says:

Re: Not actually that unlikely.....

I pretty much agree with you. and no one can call me ‘unpatriotic’ for it, as i’m not a citizen of the USA.

As for getting screwed over by the US’s err… semi-hegemony? a place doesn’t even have to be ‘developing’ for that. Even ‘only-sort-of-first-world-standard’ countries like NZ have been on the receiving end of that suck to varying degrees.

:) says:

Don't think it will go that way.

But one never knows, for developing countries IP laws are a drag some still believe in it but I doubt the BRIC do and they are actively building up their own market outside of the sphere of the G7.

But once they develop they will enter the cycle of protection seem in other countries I just don’t think it will be now and they can push against some copyright laws but I doubt they will push hard because they still eye control like the rest of the world.

:) says:

Forced Copyright Reform.

http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/4697/125/

In the link above the story about the U.S. holding back the market until Costa Rica enacts strong copyright reform that is clearly unpopular in that country.

I think they will end up selling the sugar to China.
Developing countries should use proxies to deal with the U.S..

One thing I’m certain those countries will do, they will look elsewhere for a market the U.S. is not a good commercial partner for them and in doing so the U.S. looses more influence each year and is a process that is going on for at least 2 decades since Japan initiated the creation of the Asian Tigers to counter U.S. threats of economic sanctions.

Those things are getting old already, it worked for a long time but it is getting risk each year for the U.S. to continue in this path and I don’t think the government really appreciates the seriousness of the situation.

The Anti-Mike (profile) says:

What i find odd Mike is that you ran a story not a few days ago about Japanese companies suing Korea companies. In the 60s and 70s, japan was one of the highest IP abusers, basing their products on stolen ideas from western companies, building them “better” mostly by being cheaper.

Today, China, India, and similar countries are doing the same thing, wholesale borrowing of ideas from other countries, turning out products that are “better” mostly by being cheaper.

As China is quickly moving from 3rd world status to first world super power, that is likely to change. They will be the ones getting stolen from, and they will cry and moan when it happens to them as well. The next developing country will claim that they are being put down by the big developed countries, and so it goes.

It’s like anything: laws against certain things look terrible when you are profiting from ignoring them, and they look like your savior when you are the one being stolen from. What comes around goes around. Japan is just starting to see what it is like to have your ideas stolen wholesale.

daniel de sousa says:

legal matters

YOU’RE WATCHING THE WORLD TROUGH A MICROSCOP. The day developing countries become developed it’s the day they stard to have laws and the means to enforce them… there is no development without justice, and the countries you’re talking about have a big deficit of leggallity. I live in Portugal, so,i’m still suffering because justice is terrible and mainly because that we are one of the poorest countries in Europe.
To live in America and convince the others that fellony is the key for development is very, very strange…

Rooker (user link) says:

This is a good thing, because the situation in the US is never going to improve without some revolutionary changes. The US government is thoroughly dominated and controlled by corporations with large amounts of cash to throw at lobbyists and congressional reelection campaigns.

Just look at the perversions inflicted upon copyright law in the 20th century by the Disney corporation. The banking industry managed to convince Congress to dismantle decades-old restrictions on their practices and it led to an economic catastrophe. The health insurance and pharmaceutical industries have managed to turn health care “reform” into a massive windfall, as tens of millions of people will be required by the government to become new customers.

It’s not the government or the ambitious politicians who run it that worry me. It’s the people who fund their election campaigns that will ultimately ruin the place.

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