Up Is Down, Night Is Day, US Pretends Protectionist, Anti-Free Trade Agreements Are 'Historic Free Trade' Treaties

from the booooooooogus dept

For some time now, we've been noting that the US keeps trying to force countries around the globe to put in place protectionist policies that protect American monopolies, and hilariously pretending these are "free trade" agreements. And today is no different. The White House is tooting its own horn for signing three new anti-free trade agreements today, with South Korea, Panama and Colombia, pretending that these are free trade agreements. The reality, of course, is that they are protectionist plans that will do more harm than good to US interests.

While the White House leaves this part out of its patting itself on the back, these agreements all export the worst of US copyright law to these other countries, forcing them to put in place laws that are against their own best interests, and which serve only to falsely prop up the entertainment industry's bad business model. This is why the MPAA and the US Chamber of Commerce are cheering it on so strongly.

And, of course, this is just the beginning. The Treasury Department put out its own blog post celebrating the anti-free trade agreements as well, in which they ominously warn that things are going to get worse, as they "build on" these agreements to get the dreadful Trans-Pacific Partnership signed. As you may recall, the TPP has become the way that the US Trade Rep plans to sneak in everything that it failed to get in ACTA... and it's being even more secretive about TPP than it was about ACTA. It's nothing but a government handout to Hollywood. This is not "historic" and it's not about "free trade." It's about protectionist anti-free trade policies that will do long term harm to US innovation and economic interests. What a disaster.

Filed Under: colombia, copyright, free trade, obama administration, panama, south korea, trade agreements, ustr


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  1. identicon
    out_of_the_blue, 21 Oct 2011 @ 5:32pm

    Re: Re: @"Rekrul": re "golden age of entertainment":

    "With today's technology, there's no reason that anyone should miss an episode of a TV show ever again."

    Way back in the dark ages of 2004, I had a TV tuner card that recorded, would even power-up the computer. I may not even have been the first in my neighborhood to have such. If you don't now, it's not the cable company's fault.

    "It would be trivial for the cable companies to record each show and offer an on-demand stream for up to a week after the show airs. You'll never see this happen either, due to the same copyright mess."

    No, it's not copyright there, but /advertising/. They want to have audiences looking at advertisements and to know it. That's why Tivo tracks / reports exactly what you view.

    Next out of order, more complex:
    "With today's technology, there's no technological reason why a movie studio couldn't digitize its entire catalog of movies and offer the files for sale on the net."

    YES, BUT it's also facilitate piracy, particularly as I expect you'd want them DRM-free. Pals would get together and one buy this movie, another that, a third yet another, and so on. A gang of only ten materially reduces the income from that. -- And the movie studios ARE selling scarcity: you just don't care for the way they do it. So I don't think that it's all bad effects from copyright, it's just the "business model" that "dinosaurs" like.

    You can't really do much to change "dinosaurs", they're quite stubborn. And fact is, they not only own but control the content, you don't really have a say except by withholding money and attention.

    I commend that course to you, because... "This should be the golden age of entertainment" presumably means lying on the couch in a mental fog watching ridiculous fantasies and various propaganda while stuffing yourself with beer and food. Movies and TV are not my notion of entertainment, so can't join you in the wish for such a "golden age"...

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