14 February 2007

Sinning Against the Holy God of American IP

Even for the field of intellectual monopolies, which is strewn with examples of hypocrisy and bullying, this "301 report" from the International Intellectual Property Alliance in the US really takes the biscuit. Here's what Michael Geist, one of the world's leading legal scholars has to say of its truly paranoid listing of most countries of the world for their transgressions against the holy god of American IP:

each invariably criticized for not adopting the DMCA, not extending the term of copyright, not throwing enough people in jail, or creating too many exceptions to support education and other societal goals. In fact, the majority of the world's population finds itself on the list, with 23 of the world's 30 most populous countries targeted for criticism (the exceptions are Germany, Ethiopia, Iran, France, the UK, Congo, and Myanmar).

The U.S. approach is quite clearly one of "do what I say, not what I do" (fair use is good for the U.S., but no one else), advising country after country that it does not meet international TPM [Trusted Platform Module] standards (perhaps it is the U.S. that is not meeting emerging international standards), and criticizing national attempts to improve education or culture through exceptions or funding programs. Moreover, it is very clear that the U.S. lobby groups are never satisfied as even those countries that have ratified the WIPO treaties or entered into detailed free trade agreements with the U.S. that include IP provisions still find themselves criticized for not doing enough.

I'm really quite ashamed that the UK isn't on the list, too: the fault of Tony "the poodle" Blair, I suppose.

No comments: