Leaked State Department Cable Shows 'Behind The Scenes' US Embassy Involvement In Swedish Copyright Issues

from the no-surprise-there dept

It's long been common knowledge that US diplomats have had a heavy hand in other country's copyright laws but, with the Wikileaks release of State Department cables, we're finally seeing some actually confirmation of that. We've already covered the US's involvement in Spain's proposed copyright changes and now a Swedish television station claims to have a cable (not yet released by Wikileaks) that shows heavy "behind the scenes" involvement by the US Embassy in Swedish copyright law.
The key points are that the US diplomat admits that public perception is (quite accurately) that the raid and subsequent trial of The Pirate Bay was due to pressure from the US government and that public perception was in favor of The Pirate Bay and against the US government's position on copyright law. Thus, "this delicate situation made it difficult, if not counter-productive, for the Embassy to play a public role on IPR issues. Behind the scenes, the Embassy has worked well with all stakeholders."

Why do I get the feeling that "all stakeholders" seemed to leave out the public and actual content consumers who were (as stated) very much against the US government's position on copyright laws. However, the cable also lays out six specific items that the US Embassy hoped the Swedish government would follow through on with regards to copyright law... and apparently five of the six have since been implemented. So despite the public being very much against these ideas, the US government (at the urging of the US entertainment industry) directly meddled in Swedish copyright policy.

Filed Under: copyright, sweden, the pirate bay, us embassy, wikileaks
Companies: the pirate bay, wikileaks

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2010 @ 5:12pm

    A) This doesn't explicitly say the government pressured Sweden to shut down Pirate Bay

    B) If it did, I don't understand how you all think that what the State Department was trying to accomplish here was somehow wrong. One of the things the American people have going for them is that the society draws many intelligent people from around the world and becomes a bastion of ideas. The only way to monetize those ideas is through copyright laws. America stands to benefit from the protection of intellectual property rights and the government is simply using it's influence toward that end. How is that wrong? That is EXACTLY what I pay taxes for.

    C) I'm not going to say that I've never illegally downloaded music but how anyone can make the case that taking someone else's creation without compensating them for it should be legal is beyond me. Intellectual property rights are one of the bases of our civilization. Do you want to see film and music go the way of "citizen" journalism? A plethora of underfinanced people doing something in their spare time that's really a full time job?

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