What Does USTR Have Against The Public Domain? Opposing TPP Provision In Support Of Public Domain

from the for-what-possible-reason? dept

Earlier, we wrote about some of the sections of the leaked IP chapter that KEI leaked yesterday. With the rest of the sections released today, there are some oddities worth calling out. For example, why is the USTR arguing against the public domain? In the section on Internet Service Providers (ISPs), there’s a part that lists out what the “parties recognize” the need for, including “promoting innovation and creativity,” “facilitating the diffusion of information, knowledge, technology, culture and the arts” and “foster competition and open and efficient markets.” Right after that, a few countries suggest “acknowledging the importance of the public domain,” and the US and Japan oppose this suggestion:

Is that really something worth objecting to? And if so, why? Does the USTR not believe in the importance of the public domain? Is Michael Froman and the USTR negotiators really that out of touch with the importance of the public domain? Or is it yet another favor for their future employers in the entertainment industry?

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Comments on “What Does USTR Have Against The Public Domain? Opposing TPP Provision In Support Of Public Domain”

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29 Comments
David says:

Re: Re: Re: Descriptions matter

The “public domain” is just as little or much intellectual property of its creators and/or the public as copyrighted matter is.

And copies of public domain material don’t just magically fall from the trees, either.

“public domain” just like “copyright” is a national concept of what kind of uses are permitted and prohibited for physically tangible copies of some content. “Ownership” only concerns physical copies. “Public domain” is not “owned by everybody”. It is just a list of content I can put on my own media regardless of its origin without becoming liable to prosecution if someone finds out, for example because he buys some media off me.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I have a question for you. While you don’t care about the rights of authors (you only care about the privileges and profits of distributors) what have you got against democracy? After all, the current state of IP laws was mostly undemocratically passed and these negotiations are being done in undemocratic secrecy.

and I really find it insulting that you would use the ‘rights of authors’ as a pretext to support your real agenda in favor of the privileges and profits of distributors both at the expense of authors and the public. You don’t really care about authors at all and you don’t care about democracy and it’s of no benefit to your cause to use authors as the poster child for your selfish agenda. No one is fooled as evidence by the fact that you must subvert democracy, through secrecy and buying politicians, to get what you want because these laws would never pass in a more democratic environment. The only thing you’re doing is showing everyone how little shame you have and how low you would stoop in your very obvious dishonesty to get what you want. It would be much better for you to just be honest about the fact that you only care about the distributors and have their interests in mind. It’s also dishonest of you to keep calling a privilege a ‘right’. Again, that only make you look dishonest and foolish. Dishonest because you know better and foolish for thinking that anyone else would confuse the two just because you purposely conflate them. You also look foolish for thinking anyone believes you actually care about authors. Being honest is a much better strategy for you. At least, from there, the roles of distributors and a more appropriate business model for them could be more openly discussed. But claiming that you care about authors is a non-starter because no one is fooled.

Anonymous Coward says:

i would have thought it was reasonably obvious. if something can be made to make money, it’s good, if it cant, it either has to be bought by private companies/individuals or disbanded, demolished or otherwise destroyed! the ultimate bottom line is no one outside of business deserves to be able to use, let alone have, anything!!
and unless people are really so blind, what is going on everywhere? public companies, public owned and run companies are being sold off, even though the people have the biggest stake in something, the governments are ignoring them and selling it anyway. on top of that, ‘Police States’ are developing everywhere as well, so that they will be able to quell the uprising that will someday happen! and certainly in the USA, officers are not bothered about who, how many or why they shoot and shoot to kill!!

limbodog (profile) says:

Can't we make a Mickey Mouse law?

So the Mouse House is the prime mover behind a lot of the efforts to make Copyright eternal starting from the birth of Walt Disney onward.

Can’t we change the law to expand trademarks to include mascots, so that Mickey and company never enter the public domain so long as disney is operational, but that the rest of copyright actually has an expiration date?

David says:

Re: Can't we make a Mickey Mouse law?

Can’t we change the law to expand trademarks to include mascots, so that Mickey and company never enter the public domain so long as disney is operational, but that the rest of copyright actually has an expiration date?

There will be no rest because Disney would pick up everything at bargain price shortly before it would slip into the Public Domain.

You are falling into the Nobel fallacy of presuming there are things people will not do for money and/or power.

Groaker (profile) says:

The USTR is laying the ground work for saying that you don’t own what you create. Right now they are saying that you have no right to give away what you develop. Which means that you don’t really own it.

The next step will be the loss of the ability to sell what you create when a company with a larger legal army claims that it can make a greater profit than you can.

After that it will take the equivalent of a DMCA take down notice to declare that you have no right to what you created.

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