Say That Again

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
ip, ip attache, us



US's Global IP Cops Bemoan Anti-IP Activists For Making Their Lives More Difficult

from the just-as-bad-as-pirates,-apparently dept

One of our readers, Virginia, alerted us to a report concerning a gathering of US IP Attaches (basically, the US gov't's international copyright cops that we send around the world to try to enforce draconian IP policy), in which they spend most of the time complaining about how countries around the world don't agree with the US's view on intellectual property and are quick to ignore it when possible. In fact, those countries often don't even want to invite their US counterparts to meetings because they're "too aggressively pro-IP."

Of course, rather than take this as a sign that maybe their views are too aggressively pro-IP, they instead want to blame anyone who is pointing out the dangers of being so aggressively pro-IP. The article quotes US Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue, saying that US IP cops can't just focus on pirates and counterfeiters, but need to start worrying about those of us crazy enough to point out the dangers and downsides of aggressively pro-IP policies:
"[There is a] second threat [from] a growing movement of anti-IP activists drawn from universities, foundations, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), ideologically driven interest groups, and even governments."
You see, we're not a part of the debate and the conversation -- perhaps showing how their strong belief in stronger IP is dangerous -- but we're a "threat" that needs to be dealt with. Nice to know that the US's worldwide IP enforcers have such open minds.

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  1. identicon
    knifight, 23 Jan 2009 @ 10:05am

    To Mike42:
    First off, I *am* engaging in dialog by posting. I'm not stiffling anyone by disagreeing with Mike. I am allowed to disagree with any given prevailing attitude as much as you are. If merely posting a dissenting entry here is "stiffling" to you, then it is you who don't understand that whole "freedom of speech" thingy. Please read some world news or travel a little bit to understand what it means to suppress dissent.

    To kirilian and Moderation and several others:
    Second. Ok, if the point of this article is that the policy makers are not open to a debate (as opposed to those at the lower levels who are charged with executing that policy) then Mike, may have a point. However, if you've ever led a large organization you know that it is poisinous for morale if the leader's vision and position is not clear. Personally I think the debates you all are having about IP should take place a bit higher than Mr. Donahue. It's his job to figure out a strategy (if not necessarily to execute it himself) that will further our *commercial* interest abroad and once those interests are defined (in the debate above his level), he is correct in assessing threats to pursuing those interests.

    To ChimpBush McHitlerBurton & Keill Randor:
    Lastly, I have learned something in this debate (stiffled as it may be). As someone who has a part time job dealing with REAL pirates (yo,ho,ho and here's my human cargo)... Alright: I must concede that there is a whole mess of grey area where we have infringement vs. stealing, denying the creator the origninal vs. skimming profits by copying an original, and the invention of the concept of IP as well as the idea of a "public domain" and people's rights to whatever is in it. etc. So using the word "pirate" for IP issues like this is now struck from my vocabulary. You are correct in saying it is unnecesarily inflamatory. I reserve the right to invoke something as strong as "stealing" in future posts, but I will be more judicious with it.

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