Australia Pushes South Korea Into Life-Plus-70 Copyright Terms As Part Of Free Trade Agreement
from the finally!-now-south-korea's-creators-will-have-a-reason-to-create! dept
When it comes to free trade agreements, the concessions to incumbent copyright industries always seem to be a foregone conclusion. Australia has made some bold steps towards fair use to be implemented in its copyright reform efforts (and in the face of heavy criticism), but on other fronts, it seems more than willing to take several steps back to compensate for any forward momentum. While copyright reform hums away in the background, legislators in the foreground are laying the path for more of the same stuff that hasn't worked anywhere else, like "three strikes" programs and web filtering.
Australia has just put the finishing touches on a free trade deal with South Korea, and hidden amongst the pages of legal wording is a 20-year gift to the copyright industries:
The Australian government today released the final negotiated terms of the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA), which is intended to give Australian businesses increased access to the South Korean market, and likewise for businesses from the Republic of Korea conducting business in Australia.This puts yet another country on the Bono/Disney gold standard and helps ensure South Korea's public domain will be as impoverished as Australia's and the United States'. This must be the "level playing field" corporate copyright holders envision when they speak grandly about the tech industry "pitching in" to make sure the incumbents are still around to collect these royalties a half-century from now.
Under the terms of the agreement, Korea will extend its current copyright laws by 20 years to harmonise its copyright laws with Australia, so that both nations will have a copyright term of "not less than the life of the author and 70 years after the author's death", or 70 years after the first performance, recording, or publication of a work. The transition arrangements give South Korea two years to implement the copyright changes.