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
    Chosen Reject (profile), 21 Oct 2011 @ 4:16pm


    Because they forget what business they are in. Entertainment is an action, so they are in the service business. That doesn't preclude them from offering products. Their problem is that they decided to sell infinite goods as the product. If they'd realize the services they could offer (which are extremely difficult to pirate) and then decided to sell scarce goods, they could really increase their revenues and profits. Instead, they want to continue to sell the infinite because it means their marginal costs are zero. They forget though, that anyone else can acquire those same infinite goods for the same marginal cost of zero.

    Theater is a good example of this. How many times have I seen Fiddler on the Roof? Significantly more than zero times. How much would I pay to see it live if it ever came to my city? Significantly more than zero. Sure someone could tape the theater performance and pass that around. In fact, some one made it into a movie, which I've seen lots of times. Holy angels in heaven above though, if that play came near me, I'd still by a ticket, and you put Topol in the cast, and I'd probably go to more than one showing.

    Like I said, entertainment is an action, which is a service, and services are hard to pirate. You want products to sell? That depends on the audience. Fiddler on the Roof could have signed-by-the-cast sheet music. On the other hand, Pixar's Cars sold an estimated $5 billion in merchandise. Why in the world Hasbro let Disney buy Pixar, I'll never know. They made it for $120 million, it raked in $460 million world wide in the theaters. Right there, you just got paid 4 times over for your advertisement (is this where I bring up content is advertising is content?) and we haven't even started talking about the money you get from the merchandise.

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