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
    Rekrul, 25 Oct 2011 @ 11:49am

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

    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.

    Sure, people can set up such a system, but it's not guaranteed to record everything you want. Even recorders that rely on downloaded guides, can't account for things like time-delayed programming, or wrong listings. They also can't cope with the power going out (unless you have a backup generator. Just a short time ago, many people on the East coast lost power due to hurricane Irene. Sure, many of them had bigger concerns than missed TV shows, but for a lot of people, the only real problem they suffered was a lost of power. I only lost power for a day, but other than that, I was fine.

    Also, you can't record a show if you didn't know it was on. What if the guide doesn't list a show, or it lists it as a repeat, but it's new? What if you don't normally watch Leno, but the next day someone tells you that your favorite actor was on, talking about his new movie? How do you retroactively record it?

    Besides, with today's technology, people shouldn't have to jump through hoops to watch TV shows. They should be able to download them to their phone or tablet to watch on the bus or subway, or maybe during their lunch break at work. Whoops, can't do that (legally) because the entertainment industry insists that all video be locked down tight.

    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.

    And how would offering the network TV shows on demand be any different? They'd have the same ads in them and could be tracked. In fact, they'd get more viewers because of people who missed the show and/or forgot to record it. Not to mention the people who watched the show "live" and then decided that they wanted to see it again.

    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 overlook one very important point; At the moment they're making exactly $0.00 from the downloadable digital market. Pirates are encoding and distributing the movies for free without any help from the studios. Yes, the films would get pirated, but that's happening already and the studio isn't getting squat from it. There's a market for downloadable digital copies of films and the studios are ignoring it. Instead of getting some money from it, they're not getting anything.

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