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!

Filed Under: , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “New Special 301 Report Shows Spain's Kowtowing Paid Off”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:


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.

Androgynous Cowherd says:

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.

It's Ukraine (profile) says:

"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”.

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Mr. Ed says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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!

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop ยป

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...