Chile Says It Does Not Recognize The Legitimacy Of The USTR's Special 301 Report

from the good-for-them dept

For many years we’ve wondered why countries bend over backwards to stay in the US’s good graces concerning the infamous “Special 301” report, put together by the USTR. The list has no objective methodology at all. Instead, companies send their complaints to the USTR, and the USTR launders rewrites those complaints and puts certain countries on the “naughty” list. Back in 2007, Canada explicitly announced that it did not recognize the legitimacy of the list, by saying:

Canada does not recognize the 301 watch list process. It basically lacks reliable and objective analysis. It’s driven entirely by U.S. industry. We have repeatedly raised this issue of the lack of objective analysis in the 301 watch list process with our U.S. counterparts.

And we’ve wondered why other countries do not do the same. When I was in Spain last week, a reporter I spoke to kept asking about the Special 301 list, as it seemed to be such a key concern for people there, and I noted that more countries should do what Canada does. I realize that there are other issues there, and Canada knows that the US isn’t likely to create a trade war over the list, but it still seemed odd how seriously some other countries take the list.

That’s why it’s good to see at least one more country follow Canada’s lead. Chile, which is on the “priority watch list,” has officially announced that it, too, does not recognize the legitimacy of the list (translated):

The Chilean government said today it does not recognize as a valid instrument rating called “301 list” that makes the United States on violation of intellectual property rights and this year again includes the country in its Priority Watch section .

“This report is conducted outside the margins of the Free Trade Agreement between our country and the U.S., and therefore not recognized by Chile as a valid instrument rating,” said a statement released this morning.

The “‘301 List’ lacks clear criteria for categorizing the different countries, but is rather a reflection of the interests of American industry selectively applying their intellectual property standards to other countries,” it added.

Good for Chile to stand up for itself against the list.

Of course, it’s no surprise that Chile got put on the list. As we noted last year, the country is actually a pioneer in strongly protecting intermediaries from liability, thus much more strongly protecting internet free expression and innovation. They’re also actively encouraging innovation by luring startups to Chile with all sorts of benefits. Basically, Chile is quickly showing itself to be a supporter of innovation, which apparently isn’t something the USTR wants to encourage.

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Comments on “Chile Says It Does Not Recognize The Legitimacy Of The USTR's Special 301 Report”

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Anonymous Coward says:

it doesn’t matter what it is, everything the USA does, it does for it’s own good and to it’s own advantage. that is understandable but it shouldn’t then condemn or complain about other countries that do the same thing and also ignore what the USA wants. it is nothing less than complete selfishness mixed with a complete lack of concern for anyone and everyone else. is it any wonder that more countries are beginning to despise the USA, how it behaves and what it stands for? freedom used to be the by word for the USA. that has fell totally off the map!

Spike (profile) says:

For Canada it didn’t matter as we sold out to US special interests anyway.

When the Harper government gained majority powers they just used the “301” report as yet another excuse to pass C-11. According to leaked cables, allegedly our government asked the USTR to be included on the priority watch list, which indeed happened.

Talk about a complete sellout.

Anonymous Coward says:

Canada-US Trade Relations

Canada knows that the US isn’t likely to create a trade war

Canada?United States trade relations from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

The United States and Canada have the largest trade relationship in the world. In 2012, US merchandise trade with Canada consisted of $324.2 billion in imports and $292.4 billion in exports.?.?.?.


(Remember, folks, to put big bucks in context: It’s a $60 trillion dollar world economony, of which the U.S. economy is about a quarter, or around $15 trillion give-or-take, and the Europeans roughly another quarter.)

(To compare Canada and the U.S.: the Canadians are about 1/10 the U.S. in both population and economy, however their land mass is larger than the U.S.)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Can other countries call theirs the 401 list?

Other more appropriate response codes:
400: Bad request
406: Not acceptable
409: Conflict
417: Expectation failed

As long as we’re renaming lists based on HTTP response codes, maybe the USTR should rename the 301 report to be the 402 report.

The Real Michael says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Not only do I not download music, movies and games, I have no desire to purchase them either.

A whopping 100% of mainstream music sucks. That’s just all there is to it. Like I really care about manufactured celebrities such as Rihanna, Bieber, etc. or dinosaurs from the 60’s/70’s, eternally stuck to their back catalogs.

All current movies are either remakes, rehashes or CG-ridden “epics” based on a bad sci-fi novel, comic book or video game. There are no good comedies anymore, no more good animations (save perhaps for Miyazaki films), all of the ‘horror’ flicks are lame, uninspired gore-fests, etc. In short, Hollywood sucks.

The video game industry isn’t about video games anymore. It’s about trying to Hollywood-ize everything, intentionally withholding content and then charging extra for it (DLC), coming out with stupid gimmicks which add nothing to the experience.

special-interesting (profile) says:

Chili along with Canada. Another wise and intelligent country that recognizes the folly of allowing the word ‘property’ to be attached to the word ‘intellectual’. The ?Special 301? list is nonsense based on special interest derived trade negotiations that benefit only a few corporations at the expense of others. Mostly for silly self destructive national protectionism reasons.

Who makes the suggestions on which countries to put on the naughty list? The MPAA? What kind of corporate favoritism is that?? Get real! How many media biased lawyers have been appointed or hired by such appointees are in the DoJ anyway?

Since copyright and trademark law is currently more like runaway protectionism than original author creative cultural works motivation its the right thing to ignore it. Its so bad that abolishing it would be better. Regaining national culture is more important than the whimpering whines of intermediary distribution firms.

Whats with this list thing anyway. Its their country! Let them decide how to encourage new original creative cultural works. Trying to homogenize the various State or Country individual efforts will only stifle and suppress true originality.

Example Analogy; Lets take the US Dept of Educations attempt to homogenize the entire American public school system into a cookie cutter based nonsensical method of learning. It does NOT work. Its failing at such a horrendous rate that many other countries have now surpassed the US. The inspiration for individual success just does not translate with this monolithic method.

The original local school district based system produced a superior learning environment. For whatever reason? Its most likely that each districts population is unique just enough that it requires an individual creative approach. When idiocy trumps wisdom and success its time to get rid of the entire Dept of Education. Save a bunch of tax dollars at the same time.

A similar concept is the attempt to force US copyright law (admittedly a special interest biased corporate favoritism/protectionism based idea) onto other countries original cultural creative processes.


Even what the USA does supposedly for itself in copyright law only benefits a few corporate concerns and will not help produce more creative works. Under the current rules even any new works will not enter into Public Domain Rights in the lifetime of anyone who purchases it.

Its only a matter of time before copyright maximalists start referring the accused as terrorists or funding terrorist organizations. The ratcheting up of rhetoric is so predictable it makes on wonder on how much reality the ‘war on terror’ is based on.

Ninja; ‘Green leprechauns’. Thats gotta be it. Yes! Watch out Ireland.

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