Hollywood Is Hardly An Innocent Victim In Trade Disputes
from the poetic-justice dept
I certainly agree with her that the gambling ban was a bad idea, but I'm not sure it makes sense to paint Hollywood as an innocent victim here. After all, Hollywood has been pushing for decades to link trade policy and copyright law, going so far as to support free-trade agreements that include terms micro-managing other countries' copyright policies and requiring them to enact laws like the DMCA as a condition of access to American markets. Free traders rightly object when special interests try to use free trade agreements as a way to coerce countries into enacting their preferred labor and environmental policies. We should be equally incensed when Hollywood lobbies for the use of trade agreements to coerce countries into enacting their preferred copyright policies. So there's a certain amount of poetic justice in the fact that Hollywood has found its copyrights in the crosshairs of a trade dispute. James also correctly notes that retaliatory tarriffs are an insane way to impose damages on the losing country in a WTO dispute because tariffs hurt consumers in the "winning" country at the same time it hurts producers in the "losing" country. In contrast, if damages are imposed by targeting copyright law, consumers in the winning country will actually be made better off by lower prices for the copyrighted products in question. So while it would be best of Congress repealed its idiotic gambling ban, I'm not going too upset if Hollywood's attempts to link copyright law to trade policy come back to bite them.