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. icon
    Chargone (profile), 22 Oct 2011 @ 6:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    yeesh. so much anger.

    point is, the 'entertainment industry', at least in the form of the big corporations and associations and such like, are doing these things Badly in the USA (piracy's never going to be Zero as long as the tech allows it, but it's a lot lower when the customers are being served properly than when they're not).

    in many places outside the USA they're not doing it at all. they are expressly Preventing willing customers from using these services and giving them money to access content legitimately.

    and then they complain when the would-be customers pirate it instead.

    honestly, digital 'piracy' has a hell of a lot more in common with smuggling than piracy. technology has simply caught up to the point where smuggling is as viable in the digital world as it once was (is?) in the real.

    and smuggling is almost inevitably the result of either monopolies or taxation driving prices up beyond reasonable levels for what the item is compared to how much the customers need it and how much they have to spend, or of artificial barriers being put in place by outside authorities (sometimes this is legitimate, as in times of war, when it makes sense to forbid trade with the enemy. other times, it really isn't.)

    so long as there are people who find the utility/price/available resources values for a given item to be unacceptable, while still finding the product desirable, and there is an illegitimate party willing to provide the product at an acceptable price compared to it's utility and the customer's resources, you're going to have smuggling, and thus 'piracy'. (please note that a Legitimate party doing this is called a 'competitor', and the only reason these don't exist on the relevant level is because they have been made illegal when various governments took the Incredibly dubious step of granting (and then perpetually expanding) monopolies to private interests. bad enough when that's an individual human who can be held responsible for their actions, but they decided instead to grant these things just as easily to Corporations. it is impossible to meaningfully punish a corporation without destroying it. combine that with an excess of greed and a lack of good sense all around and you end up with today's fun situation.

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