US Tells Russia To Change Laws So It Can Say Allofmp3 Was Always Illegal

from the what-a-waste-of-diplomatic-time dept

We recently wrote about how the US gov't has been saying repeatedly that it won't let Russia into the WTO if Allofmp3 comes back to life. This does seem rather ridiculous for a variety of reasons. After all, within Russia, the company has been found to be legal. And, secondly, it's not as if the US is in the WTO's good graces after ignoring the WTO's ruling on online gambling. If the WTO really wanted to punish the US for ignoring that issue, why not ignore the US's pleas to keep Russia out of the WTO itself? In the meantime, there's a bizarre statement in an article discussing Rep. Howard Berman once again saying that Russia needs to stop Allofmp3.com if it wants into the WTO. The article discusses how Russia has been slowly changing its laws following all this pressure from the US, and under the new laws, Allofmp3 may now be considered illegal. Yet, rather than focus on how it was the change of laws that made a previously legal service suddenly illegal, the article notes that "those legal changes could confirm what record companies have believed all along--that the Russian music stores are illegal." That seems rather bizarre, doesn't it? If the law gets changed, that doesn't confirm what's been said all along at all. It actually confirms the opposite. That the services were perfectly legal until a bunch of protectionist politicians who represent districts where the entertainment industry is based, bullied a foreign country into changing its laws to protect outdated business models.

Filed Under: russia, us, wto
Companies: allofmp3, alltunes, riaa


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  1. identicon
    Michael Guy, 21 Oct 2007 @ 9:41pm

    the crucible of global law != IP regulation

    it's actions like this that make globalism more difficult to provide any traction with reasonable people, if this exemplifies what globalism appears to be, strongarming and intimidating other nations into stupidly unified, one-sided policy.

    while IP is a soft issue on the scale of things, i believe IP is being utilised as a leverage issue used by a few entrepreneurs and brokers to set up eminent domains in an international digital marketplace. it's ridiculous to try and hold millions of people's rights to their entertainment hostage to the whims of so few with so much money and power.

    the kinds of things that occur at the behest of media barons like sony, emi, warner bros, fox under the guise of free association and IP are immoral at best. these companies have far too much money to be safely appreciated, and with money comes the need to flex those incorporeal muscles over institutions and governments that get in the way, as seen by companies like enron, MPAA, RIAA, etc. any company that decides to regulate their industry and then appeal to the government to change things, with money, and power, have some serious social issues to deal with, that they are wholly incapable of reasonsing out or recognising.

    it all smacks of a conspiracy to commit all U.S. fearing nations to a unilateral, U.S. dominated IP domain, where other dehumanising forces such as narcotics, pharmaceuticals, arms, military and guerilla/terrorist actions, immigration, labour markets and human smuggling is so tacitly ignored as are other more pressing, real international issues.

    if the relationship wasn't so monogamous with american and british artists having a lot more presence than say indian, african, chinese, russian, korean artists in this new order, people might be understandably more considerate. but this smacks of bullying, especially when put next to other examples of US legislation trying to operate in foreign countries i.e. the piratebay.org raids.

    it also seems implausible to make IP laws found in the free trade agreements signed by various nations, the tipping point for a globalist, international set of unified international law.

    and it is always thoroughly alienating to censor and restrict any group of people. once the behaviour of following the U.S. government's desires is set into place, it will be enormously difficult to move people away from draconian ideas, punishments and IP owners losing rights to foreign-owned corporations declaring ownership of entire nations of artist's work and the rights to legally, economically and proactively punish those who don't agree.

    i still believe it would be easier to unify global law with humanitarian rights over various nations than to try to rule the behaviour of the few people who listen to music or movies, locally and internationally. but apparently bureuacrats have other ideas.

    the obvious thing would be to have patents, royalties and globally spanning digital technology be something governed by a non-profit international cartel assigning indivual owner's and author's rights rather than ownership by corporations and domains, rather than a for-profit bank of divisional intellectual property.

    by having the people from hundreds of nations invest their ideas and intellectual capital in a global IP bank, there would be a single domain and font of IP from which to make spurious claims to authorship and propiety, partial authorship and franking of rights to third party users as royalties, etc.

    it would obviously have to be equally ubiqutous, globally spanning and accessible for useful international trading rights, and it makes for an easier method of regulating and governing resources between sovereign rights holders, an author's sponsor, contractor or patron and those arguing that their design holds a sovereign international identity by deign of this IP bank's records.

    i think artists and managers would be equally at home exploiting one another under this system as the current one, but quite arguably an imperfect-world solution that won't happen.

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