Yes, new boss, old boss same thing only worse. New boss has mental capacity, potential to be much more disappointing as what can we hope for after this.
Anyway, OF COURSE it's national security - this is the only card the US economy has left to play. If IP fails them, it's lights out. Why isn't this clear to everyone?
I think this is a good thing. These countries will profit handsomely and these people will have a better life. What does a bible-thumping nation intent on squeezing a profit out of everything that moves and much that doesn't need with science anyway? Math? Please, what if they understood mortgage contracts? Science? What if they asked Monsanto why they don't research the safety and effects of their products. The last thing we need is math and science. It's (become) anti-American. Let other people do it. Good riddance I say.
No more surprising that a recent report in EU observer on the President of China's recent visit to the EU where the topics discussed were: online piracy, climate change and the world financial crisis (in that order). These RIAA/MPAA people are like tapeworms in the gut of democracy (corny, yes?).
Just a detail, but you don't 'write and copyright'. As soon as an idea is in fixed form, it is automatically subject to copyright. The US, alone in the world, requires registration before you can start an infringement action, but this does not 'create the copyright', it just gives you documentation necessary to file an action. Come on guys, this is basic.
So sorry for the grammar mistakes - I was hasty. Let's watch what President Obama does - his secretary of agriculture is rumored to have strong Monsanto ties (see films 'World According to Monsanto', 'The Future of Food' , and 'Patent for a Pig' - all on google video) and the copyright people are lobbying for all they're worth. OK, it is war.
It's not a war. They think they've won. It's an insidious and highly successful on the part of US and to a lesser degree the EU IP (patent, trademark, copyright) rights holders to secure a hold on a world economy filled with things it no longer makes or consumes. This is particularly important now that their banking hold has tanked. It's being done through, get this, the World Customs Organization, because it's so little known that the other countries, who have managed to assert themselves first through WIPO and then through WTO, were taken by surprise. And even if they hear of it "it's secret". The gist: to make customs officials around the world responsible for searching travellers for allegedly infringing items, from downloads to handbags. For an insight into the mentality and to see what's next, here's an interesting quote from a recent article in IP Watch (US IP Attachés Take Hard-Line Position On Overseas IP Enforcement, Posted by William New):
In October, US Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue announced that the GIPC, which had previously been focused on counterfeiters, would rise to the challenge of what the chamber characterised as a “second threat [from] a growing movement of anti-IP activists drawn from universities, foundations, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), ideologically driven interest groups, and even governments.” Maybe it is a war after all...
While it may be a (shallow) victory for due process, the effect is that it is more important to protect trade secrets than to prosecute drunk drivers. Isn't there a public policy problem here somewhere? IP is climbing to the top of the legal hierarchy by leaps and bounds. Are we aware of this?
The US is one of the only countries in the world not to protect design in general, and fashion in particular. It's left over from the time when the US as a developing country felt entitle to copy everything from everybody. The lack of protection may be good or it may be bad (if you can call Ralph Lauren, who basically copies designs from day camp, a designer, then it is definitely not a positive thing), but it should at least be known by readers of techdirt. As for the US in WWII, if you you have to rely on statements about 'saving the French' to make yourselves feel superior, we have all lost much more than we think. Have a little dignity.
Maybe one reason ISPs are not biting is that this arrangement, unlike that proposed in EU (which requires a law binding ISPs to perform this function) could well prove to be illegal (theories of privacy, public airways? I don't know -anything is possible in the Common Law if you have a brainy lawyer at the helm) and at best contractually unenforceable. And then there's the (previously mentioned on this site) issue of competition among ISPs. A promise that one won't play ball with RIAA could be a very competitive tool.
Ironically, IP has become about clinging to the past and avoiding innovation. This is true across the IP board, but particularly in entertainment. Look at Broadway - nothing but revivals. Look at Hollywood - nothing but sequels and well worn stars playing themselves (there are obvious exceptions but I think this hold true in terms of numbers). Look at mainstream popular music - very little aside from what crusty rich old record execs thinks 'will sell' to the lowest comdenom. The originality (and the reasonable admission price) was paramount in making American entertainment its ambassador to the world. No wonder we have to rely on militarism to make our influence felt. It's all that's left.
As for saving jobs through the protectionism particular to the IP sector, it has never held up against even the most basic research. Jobs go where cheap labor lives. IP concentrates money in old ideas far beyond their use and prohibits young ideas from growing up out of the topsoil.
Re: A fine line between protecting your rights and catching criminals
When all this surveillance started, it was about 'terrorism', then crime was added, then property interests. Then more actions were determined to be criminal. Frankly, I prefer my privacy to omnipotence of states that have given no indication of giving a tinkers damn about me.
Yes, the Europeans rejected it, but not before Sarkozy tried to sneak his pillow-talk legislation back in in what he hoped to be unread pockets of the seemingly unrelated telecoms package (the Europeans are still wondering what interest Business Software Alliance had in lobbying hard for the telecoms package...), a scheme thwarted only by a curious UK academic who discovered it. Is anyone beginning to notice the overlap between IP worldwide policing and the decline in so-called personal data protection (non-existent in the US but historically important for Europe) in the name of the War on Terror? IP is what's left of the western economy, especially now that finance has tanked. This is not conspiracy, it is industrial policy, let lose in a world where we have gone from being citizens to consumers to data subjects, with our rights diminishing accordingly. Running along side is the content lobby's relentless efforts to criminalize all perceived IP infringement (search IPRED2) in Europe, pursuing the secret ACTA which would leave IP enforcement in the hands of customs officials worldwide, while trying to get the US government to pursue its civil actions on the home front (the homeland? whatever) among other things. See legislative history of Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act 2008
The same Burnham who can't distinguish between straight copyright (rewarding creators for their efforts) related or neighboring rights (rewarding broadcasters and record companies for their investments and performers for their renditions (in the old sense of the word) and moral rights (rewarding nothing, but protecting the reputation of the creators from misuse of their creation). Help us, o supernatural forces from the Burnhams of this world.
It's not so much that the 'trademark remains'. The trademark appeared when the copyright ran out (50 years, as it then was, from 1929), and if anyone had had the money, time and inclination, it probably never would have survived a challenge. Mickey shouldn't be a trademark - he did not make the T-shirts, etc. on which he appears. He does not distinguish his goods from those of others. He is a character who should inhabit the public domain, just like Betty Boop. This is where big money comes in - who would bother, against the Disney phalanx, to point this out in court? So don't hold your breath. He's incarcerated in IP for the duration.