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Google Pushes Back Against US Copyright Treaty

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the don't-upset-the-google dept.

Google 233

Hugh Pickens writes "Internet companies led by Google joined groups representing Web users to challenge the Bush administration's bid to toughen international enforcement against copyright pirates. The companies said the US courts and Congress are still working out the correct balance between protecting copyrights and the free exchange of information on the Web and a treaty could be counterproductive. 'There's this assumption that what is good for Disney is what's good for America, but that's an oversimplification,' said Jonathan Band, an intellectual property lawyer representing libraries and high-tech companies. 'There's also what's good for Yahoo and Google.' The US, Japan, Canada and other nations said last year that they would begin negotiations on an agreement aimed at cracking down on counterfeiting of such goods as watches and pharmaceuticals, and the piracy of copyrighted materials, such as software and music recordings. A leaked draft of the deal showed that the treaty could force Internet service providers to cooperate with copyright holders."

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test (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25128641)

test

Symmetric password is test (-1, Offtopic)

caluml (551744) | more than 5 years ago | (#25128667)

-----BEGIN PGP MESSAGE----- Version: GnuPG v2.0.7 (GNU/Linux) Comment: http://getfiregpg.org/ [getfiregpg.org] jA0EAgMCE1WFx3s1GhVgyXuFr5t3x71hUluDyhuwZZ9kj1HINOj02aUvQW8iHjfv fF+itWhuHnSC7hT0yQsvZMlcVwDx4030e/Ln3YmMUgyiXLLZGXK0GWAjLO46mbqN nkI6SfXwAhZxzsi3EyFkNBoJF9Tacr/FCEt2ctA9fFsq9VY+RF5LSKXERz0= =FNJz -----END PGP MESSAGE-----

Re:Symmetric password is test (1, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#25128989)

-----BEGIN PGP MESSAGE-----
Version: GnuPG v1.4.7 (MingW32)
Comment: http://getfiregpg.org/ [getfiregpg.org]

jA0EAwMCuBk5bDLsjOVgyVRczylkXHQOoLrTZ4feTOyTgnhGn5NxdGTKQJiXOzt/
HsEG6/73TJGgkRzARmFdOCSIBd/w4+UCrF7zefX031zqAurOsYcLN+mF9ft6UBM1
O9tjvqs=
=Jmbx
-----END PGP MESSAGE-----

Re:Symmetric password is test (0, Troll)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25130029)

Copyright 2008 morgan_greywolf. All rights reserved.

-----BEGIN PGP MESSAGE-----
Version: GnuPG v1.4.6 (GNU/Linux)
Comment: http://getfiregpg.org/ [getfiregpg.org]

jA0EAwMCq1d6DSlcTFBgyVbFIH21I4WaaMdk4LmIAkeqVumRhZuEShoxFVAJY/qn
VRuvT7O9xzq2ZUY4MJj2I9oBEgyfp4A8IOibt7UKCBu8rTsLt9PWHOFMJFTyqNNX
+MrnvNxDmA==
=ztJ+
-----END PGP MESSAGE-----

WTF?! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25128689)

"There's this assumption that what is good for Disney is what's good for America, but that's an oversimplification," said Jonathan Band, an intellectual property lawyer representing libraries and high-tech companies. "There's also what's good for Yahoo and Google."

What about what's good for PEOPLE????!!!!

Re:WTF?! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25128731)

What about what's good for PEOPLE????!!!!

That went straight out the window ages ago. Didn't you get the memo?

Re:WTF?! (2, Funny)

Kemanorel (127835) | more than 5 years ago | (#25128865)

Yeah, I got the memo. I'll be putting the new covers on the TPS reports next time. I just forgot.

Re:WTF?! (2, Funny)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#25129239)

Remember, as of Oct. the 1st, the blood of a virgin is the only acceptable ink.

Re:WTF?! (5, Funny)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 5 years ago | (#25129269)

Quick! Everybody hide!

:-D

Re:WTF?! (4, Informative)

Monkk (551177) | more than 5 years ago | (#25129539)

Quick! Everybody hide!

:-D

Quick! Everybody VOTE!! :)

Re:WTF?! (1)

Psion (2244) | more than 5 years ago | (#25129557)

I'm ashamed at how long it took me to get that.

Re:WTF?! (4, Funny)

superdave80 (1226592) | more than 5 years ago | (#25129601)

To get what? The joke? Or a piece of ass?

Re:WTF?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25129727)

Are there virgins anymore?

Re:WTF?! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25130237)

Are there virgins anymore?

Wow. You must be really new here.

Re:WTF?! (1)

GeckoAddict (1154537) | more than 5 years ago | (#25129245)

Yeah... It's just we're putting new coversheets on all the TPS reports before they go out now. So if you could go ahead and try to remember to do that from now on, that'd be great...

Re:WTF?! (4, Insightful)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | more than 5 years ago | (#25129333)

No, they just inserted the word 'rich' in front of people.

Re:WTF?! (5, Interesting)

Wildclaw (15718) | more than 5 years ago | (#25130265)

No, they just inserted the word 'rich' in front of people.

Sure. What do you expect when you elect people who are richer than average and spend their time in richer societal circles.

Politicians have a good deal of self interest just like everyone else. If you elect people who aren't "ordinary" citizens, then you won't get people who represent ordinary citizens. It is as simple as that.

That is why I support randomocracy. Select politicans by random. It is fair and ensures that no societal special interests get any priority.

Of course, there will always be protesters to the idea, claiming that the average citizen is an idiot and that elections stops those from getting elected. However, looking at some of those who actually are elected right now, you can see that that argument doesn't make a lot of sense. Intelligence is currently not a prerequisite for being elected. Charisma, advertising and connections are.

Also, if you really want to ensure some qualifications you can always have those elected perform a competency test before being allowed to serve as a politican.

Re:WTF?! (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 5 years ago | (#25130689)

How about just electing people who aren't rich? Vote for the poor guy! Also, nominate the poor guy!

And if you see someone spending money on their campaign, don't vote for them.

Re:WTF?! (3, Insightful)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 5 years ago | (#25130693)

The problem with that is numbers.

Even statisticians say you need more than a few hundred to get a good sample, and I know I certainly don't want to be represented by one random person in my state (they are likely to be as radical as me, but in a different direction).

I agree that in principal it would be better, certainly making it so being conniving was not a benefit, and probably be harder to rig too (we have already figured out how to keep things fair in the lotto for example). But do we really want thousands of representatives?, there would need to be some kind of hierarchy established, with many simply voting, and a few acting as what we have now. Perhaps that could be random too, with the power of a "bad" choice being the one higher-up from my state being able to be over-ruled by the rest of the more reasonable/radical in my direction.

Once you add the test for competency your are skewing things, and everybody is going to have a different idea of what is needed. Some may say reading, writing, 'rythmatic is enough, others will say a strong understanding of US history, and some will say strong understanding of international affairs, and history.

I do thing that modern politicians have shown themselves to not be the responsible elder states-men that the founding fathers envisioned (with the short term "dangerous" representatives being a threat that could only be checked by the long term senators), and term limits are needed, and probably senate terms shorter. I will take populist pandering over corporate/union whoring for contributions any day.

Re:WTF?! (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 5 years ago | (#25130587)

What about what's good for PEOPLE????!!!!

That went straight out the window ages ago. Didn't you get the memo?

Only one person got it, but it was copyrighted so he couldn't send copies to anyone else.

Re:WTF?! (4, Insightful)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#25128733)

Keep in mind the quote was brief and may have been taken out of context. He may have just been talking about the motivation of the pro-buisiness lobbyists.

Re:WTF?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25128769)

What about what's good for PEOPLE????!!!!

"It's a cookbook." We are lobsters, enjoy your swim in the globalization p(l)ot.

Re:WTF?! (1)

hobbit (5915) | more than 5 years ago | (#25128825)

Corporations enjoy the rights of people too now, you insensitive clod!

Re:WTF?! (1)

phoomp (1098855) | more than 5 years ago | (#25129445)

Seems to me it's become more like 'people enjoy a few of the right of corporations'.

Re:WTF?! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25128879)

Your statement...

What about what's good for PEOPLE????!!!!

Their statement...

but that's an oversimplification

Re:WTF?! (5, Funny)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 5 years ago | (#25129481)

Forget people, think of the CHILDREN! If we don't protect intellectual property rights, there could be MICKEY MOUSE PORN!

Re:WTF?! (1, Funny)

Locklin (1074657) | more than 5 years ago | (#25129625)

when rule 34 [xkcd.com] and copyright clash...

Re:WTF?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25129965)

Does this mickeymouse porn include pluto by any chance?

Re:WTF?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25130667)

http://www.google.ca/search?source=ig&hl=en&rlz=&=&q=mickey+mouse+porn&btnG=Google+Search&meta=

Re:WTF?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25130729)

"could be"? Why don't you have a seat...

Re:WTF?! (4, Insightful)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 5 years ago | (#25128933)

If I had modpoints, you'd get +1 Funny from me.

If Democracy actually gave power to the people, it would have been abolished a long time ago.

Re:WTF?! (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 5 years ago | (#25129563)

Democracy is really just an optimization method to ensure that people never have to suffer through good governance.

Re:WTF?! (4, Informative)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25129587)

Contrary to widely-held belief, Democracy has never been tried on any significant scale. Neither has Communism.

Re:WTF?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25129989)

Contrary to widely-held belief, Democracy has never been tried on any significant scale. Neither has Communism.

Athens wasn't significant? Try telling the Persians that.

Re:WTF?! (4, Interesting)

fabs64 (657132) | more than 5 years ago | (#25130339)

Define "significant". Athenian democracy was fairly close so long as you ignore the historical givens.

Re:WTF?! (0)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 5 years ago | (#25130703)

And the slaves. Or was that a historical given?

Under Athenian democracy if you were rich and/or important, you got a say. Otherwise you didn't even get the illusion of political power.

Re:WTF?! (1)

fabs64 (657132) | more than 5 years ago | (#25130763)

What on earth else could I have meant by the historical givens? I was also referring to women not having the vote.

The main point was that most all decisions were able to be voted on by all "citizens".

Re:WTF?! (1)

ATMD (986401) | more than 5 years ago | (#25129771)

> If Democracy actually gave power to the people, it would have been abolished a long time ago.

Isn't that precisely what has happened?

Re:WTF?! (2, Insightful)

dwarg (1352059) | more than 5 years ago | (#25129905)

If Democracy actually gave power to the people, it would have been abolished a long time ago.

Abolished by whom? We've gotten to the place we're at today, not because a bunch of evil overlords forced us into it, but because the vast majority of citizens would rather watch TV than pay attention to what their government is doing.

Had "they" tried to abolish democracy a hundred years ago there would have been a revolution. Today there would just be a bunch of bitching on the blogs... and /. of course.

--
I'm a glass half full kind of guy

Re:WTF?! (1)

laddiebuck (868690) | more than 5 years ago | (#25130629)

You're just a cheap cynic. You think you have no power? You have far more power than you would have had 50, 100, 150, 200.... years ago. Since the inception of democracy, the people have gotten more and more empowered, free and prosperous.

Re:WTF?! (4, Insightful)

jbeach (852844) | more than 5 years ago | (#25128979)

It's a good thing there's other corporate empires the size of Disney, so that this can be fought and won. Otherwise it would be Disney vs. rights of the average US citizen- which would basically be a replay of Godzilla vs. Bambi.

Vote with your wallets... (4, Insightful)

Phizzle (1109923) | more than 5 years ago | (#25129097)

I find myself avoiding products and services from companies that try to crap on my rights. I believe I am not the only one, since over the years many of these companies have withered or died. They can blame piracy, they can make up excuses for their shrinking bottom lines, but in the end the cause of their demise is their hostility to the very people that made them great in the first place.

Re:Vote with your wallets... (2, Insightful)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 5 years ago | (#25129561)

The proble mis when they have the right to affect your rights even if you don't use their products. Like the iPod searching border guards we're all afraid ACTA might create.

Re:WTF?! (4, Insightful)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 5 years ago | (#25129305)

You submit a couple hundred grand in financing to your representative, then you'll have a voice too.

Re:WTF?! (1)

inhuman_4 (1294516) | more than 5 years ago | (#25129457)

You must be new here.

Welcome to earth.

Re:WTF?! (1)

aeoo (568706) | more than 5 years ago | (#25130073)

No shit. I noticed that right away. What a bunch of filthy scumbags. Frankly I don't think any copyrights should be respected if that's the climate we are in.

Re:WTF?! (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 5 years ago | (#25130677)

Yeah, I thought that was hilarious. I read it out loud to everyone in the room. I wonder if he realizes what he said....

Blah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25128695)

These same companies would rip you a new asshole if you infringed on anything they copyrighted. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

Re:Blah (1)

A non-mouse Coward (1103675) | more than 5 years ago | (#25129357)

Yeah, I seem to remember once ordering computer parts from an e-tailer called "GoogleGear.com", which was an infringement upon Google's name and promptly shut down.

Shame ... without such a recongizable name, my search for "motherboards" have wound up at some other e-tailer (but it wasn't "DisneyGear.com" either).

Disney, Google and Yahoo? (0, Redundant)

jdrugo (449803) | more than 5 years ago | (#25128705)

There's this assumption that what is good for Disney is what's good for America, but that's an oversimplification.

There's also what's good for Yahoo and Google.

Is that supposed to imply that what's good for the economy is good for Ameria? Where does that leave its citizens?

Re:Disney, Google and Yahoo? (4, Insightful)

Cathoderoytube (1088737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25128789)

"Where does that leave its citizens?" $700 billion in the hole

Re:Disney, Google and Yahoo? (3, Insightful)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#25128799)

Is that supposed to imply that what's good for the economy is good for Ameria? Where does that leave its citizens?

He may have been talking about international copyright violations. International in relation to american copyrights. So presumably, americans would not be included in that because they're not international, they're nationals falling under national copyright.

His interests wouldn't be in copyrights held by people or groups in other countries enforcing their copyrights on american pirates. It's something that would of course be a part of any treaty, but the quote is blurby, maybe he adresses it more later on but it didn't make it into the article.

Anyway, I think the point of his statment was about how american companies enforce their copyrights overseas and was looking at it from a buisness standpoint. American citizens weren't mentioned because that wasn't what he was talking about maybe?

Re:Disney, Google and Yahoo? (2, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#25128997)

Is that supposed to imply that what's good for the economy is good for America?

No, its supposed to imply that there are powerful interests supporting the side of less draconian copyright laws offsetting those supporting more draconian laws; its speaking, with a very thin covering of "common interest", to narrowly self-interested politicians that only look to where powerful interests are in the language they understand.

If you aren't that kind of politician, they were talking past you, not to you.

This treaty is being done behind closed doors... (5, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#25128711)

That's all the information I need.

They know it won't get passed if it's done publicly.

Re:This treaty is being done behind closed doors.. (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25128941)

Do they ever?

Re:This treaty is being done behind closed doors.. (4, Insightful)

aeoo (568706) | more than 5 years ago | (#25130129)

They can pass their little secret treaties, but how long and how seriously do they think people who are not privy to these secret meetings will honor these treaties?

If our rights as common people are being so openly snubbed, then this means the end of the copyright, because no one is going to respect it.

This is already happening, but I am surprised these copyright idiots don't see that what they are doing, these secret meetings and taking into consideration only "powerful" interests is destroying what they want to accomplish. They forget that without people getting on board of this train it is going nowhere fast.

Just ask Walt Disney (0, Offtopic)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25128743)

Copyright works need protection! Just ask the disembodied computer-hosted soul of Walt Disney [today.com] , who was decanted to a computer in 1966 to avoid being declared legally dead, so that copyright in his works would never, ever run out.

Re:Just ask Walt Disney (1)

aplusjimages (939458) | more than 5 years ago | (#25128985)

With copyright being such a big deal these days, maybe it should be something we teach in middle school next to math and science. Especially since the RIAA is going after these kids anyways.

Re:Just ask Walt Disney (4, Funny)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25129107)

Don't Copy That Floppy!

Re:Just ask Walt Disney (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25129383)

Don't Copy That Floppy!

Nope. Don't copy that Intelligent Design.

Re:Just ask Walt Disney (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25129129)

+1 funny / tragic

Re:Just ask Walt Disney (0, Flamebait)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#25129645)

Just ask the disembodied computer-hosted soul of Walt Disney.
.

Disney copyrights its unique interpretation of the story. In all media would you care to guess how many alternative versions exist of:

Snow White
Pinocchio
The Wind in the Willows
The Legend of Ichabod Crane
Peter Pan
Cinderella
Sleeping Beauty
The Jungle Book
Robin Hood
Beauty and the Beast
Aladdin

Not to mention 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, Treasure Island and Zorro.

The geek whines on endlessly about Disney's copyrights. If you are Rogers & Hammerstein or the puppeteer Jim Henson you make the stories your own.

One of the few bright spots of DMCA... (4, Informative)

voss (52565) | more than 5 years ago | (#25128771)

was the "safe harbor" provision. It basically kept the ISP's and websites for the most part out of the net-cop business.

btw: When one of the few very profitable American companies in this current economy makes a statement like

"It really could be used as a way of restricting the growth of U.S. Internet companies overseas"

perhaps the US government should listen

Re:One of the few bright spots of DMCA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25129441)

Sure, if you define "bright" as "not completely black, but still 99% without any light"

The safe-harbor provisions are still stacked 100% in favour of big-media, and against ISPs and websites (to say nothing of the American people, whom (according to the constitution) copyright is *supposed* to benefit.)

Re:One of the few bright spots of DMCA... (3, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25129613)

Sure, if you define "bright" as "not completely black, but still 99% without any light"

The safe-harbor provisions are still stacked 100% in favour of big-media, and against ISPs and websites (to say nothing of the American people, whom (according to the constitution) copyright is *supposed* to benefit.)

I think you meant, required to benefit. That's why it's in the Constitution. That's why all such laws are completely and irrevocably unConstitutional.

Treaties now ... can any lawyers out there enlighten us as to how the Constitution can be overridden in the case of treaties with other countries?

Re:One of the few bright spots of DMCA... (3, Interesting)

davester666 (731373) | more than 5 years ago | (#25129851)

Well, depending on the specific way your state joined the union, and the state and federal laws and the constitution, it could possibly need an amendment to the constitution for it to be legally binding. I think that happened with NAFTA (that it was 'passed' by the Senate and Congress). And that also had some powerful, well established businesses fighting it so the US could retain their protectionist policies for various industries.

For this fight, I would say more it is more lopsided, that there are more 'important' businesses pushing for increased copyright protections and penalties than for there are pushing for less protection. And this is an issue that is unlikely to galvanize the population of any country into action to fight against it. Just look at history. When has IP "protection" ever been reduced? I would say never. From when it was invented a couple of centuries ago, it has only increased, with longer terms, higher penalties, covering a wider variety of "thought".

Look how many things your current administration has done and is still doing, in blatant violation of the law. Hell, I read that somebody in either Congress or the Senate had put forth a proposal to make it illegal for the White house to not retain all their emails. Even though it already is law that they retain all their emails. Will anybody even be charged because of these lost emails? Will anybody be charged with using non-gov't email addresses for gov't business, which is also illegal [which both the current administration and your possible future VP have been doing for a while, and quite openly, like govt_palin@yahoo.com...]?

Re:One of the few bright spots of DMCA... (2, Interesting)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 5 years ago | (#25129943)

Ah, you have now discovered that there is something known as 'separation of powers' within the US Government. The Executive Branch is charge with enforcing laws. If it doesn't like certain laws it doesn't have to enforce them very hard. It also doesn't have to tell Congress about everything it thinks or does. There is no Congressional oversight of the Executive.

A law that requires the President to retain his emails is very likely to be considered unconstitutional should it be taken to the Supreme Court.

There is a long history of this going right back to the admistration of George Washington who refused to turn some documents associated with a treaty negotiation over to the House of Representatives.

Re:One of the few bright spots of DMCA... (1)

Cassius Corodes (1084513) | more than 5 years ago | (#25130365)

Dunno about Washington, but Nixon tried that argument and it didn't go down very well with the courts.

Re:One of the few bright spots of DMCA... (2, Interesting)

penix1 (722987) | more than 5 years ago | (#25130551)

If it doesn't like certain laws it doesn't have to enforce them very hard. It also doesn't have to tell Congress about everything it thinks or does. There is no Congressional oversight of the Executive.

Untrue. The Senate has right of confirmation of appointees. Even in the military, officers are confirmed by the Senate. Congress can also regulate Executive agencies such as the FCC, FTC, SEC and other 3 letter agencies. They are Constitutionally mandated to do so as part of the "power of the purse". How long do you think the Executive can do things without funding? It has happend more than a few times when Congress failed to pass the budgets. The only thing keeping the Executive running was continuing resolutions...

A law that requires the President to retain his emails is very likely to be considered unconstitutional should it be taken to the Supreme Court.

It has already been there and the Presidential Records Act has been upheld. This is fallout from administrations such as Nixon's where destruction of documents has caused the downfall of the Executive.

Re:One of the few bright spots of DMCA... (1)

aeoo (568706) | more than 5 years ago | (#25130147)

This is a huge deal. I'm definitely paying attention to this.

And we thought the ISPs were bad enough already. (2)

isBandGeek() (1369017) | more than 5 years ago | (#25128803)

A leaked draft of the deal showed that the treaty could force Internet service providers to cooperate with copyright holders.

We don't need another RIAA or MPAA.

Many countries have happily ignored... (5, Informative)

puppetman (131489) | more than 5 years ago | (#25128823)

copyrights and patents.

Germany used to be quite famous for making fakes of machines used in the British textile manufacturing effort (right down to copying the name of the manufacturer). Many European countries didn't bother with patent protection as it interferred with their ability to make cheap knock offs.

If Einstein had been a chemist, he wouldn't have been working in the Swiss patent office, because at the time, the Swiss believed that you couldn't patent anything chemical. Canada didn't recongize drug patents until the 1960s (if memory serves).

This rich-country enforcement of patents and copyright is "kicking away the ladder" - most first-world countries conveniently ignored patents during their development, when it was to their economic benefit to be able to rip technology off from more well-to-do nations.

Re:Many countries have happily ignored... (1)

michaelmuffin (1149499) | more than 5 years ago | (#25129203)

also try s/(copyright|patent)/tariffs/g

the "intellectual property" policies of well-to-do nations is awfully similar to their tariff policies

thanks for enlightening me as to the protectionist nature of the copyright at patent systems. i never realized it until you worded it the way you did

Re:Many countries have happily ignored... (1, Interesting)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 5 years ago | (#25129281)

The proper response to your comment is "so the fuck what?". First world countries also used to work children into the grave. They also didn't have unions, or pensions, or health insurance (private or public), or any number of things.

Re:Many countries have happily ignored... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25129373)

Lemme know when you get to the part of your argument where the fact that "first world countries did it!" suddenly makes any of that the right thing to do.

Re:Many countries have happily ignored... (4, Insightful)

puppetman (131489) | more than 5 years ago | (#25130095)

The point was that patents benefit rich, developed countries. Ignoring patents and copyright benefits poor countries (who, by the way, rarely have unions, pensions, or all that other first-world stuff you mentioned).

The World Bank and IMF have made up a fairy tale that the developed countries of the world became rich thanks to free trade and patents, which is crap. They became rich thanks to trade barriers, tariffs and turning a blind eye.

Re:Many countries have happily ignored... (2, Informative)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 5 years ago | (#25129429)

Germany used to be quite famous for making fakes of machines used in the British textile manufacturing effort (right down to copying the name of the manufacturer). Many European countries didn't bother with patent protection as it interferred with their ability to make cheap knock offs.

Great Britain was the first country in the world to go through an industrial revolution. This was caused by their adoption of a patent system which rewarded innovators and led to the greatest economic empire the world has ever seen. The fact that other countries did not adopt a patent system until later doomed them to trail Great Britain in development of the institutions needed to support this industrial revolution. The fact that these countries had to copy the British inventions to compete shows how their own (patent less) systems failed to promote innovation within their own societies.

If Einstein had been a chemist, he wouldn't have been working in the Swiss patent office, because at the time, the Swiss believed that you couldn't patent anything chemical. Canada didn't recongize drug patents until the 1960s (if memory serves).

The Swiss did NOT believe that "you could not patent anything chemical". That is ridiculous. What happened in this case is that the Swiss chemical industry wanted to freely use the innovations of the far larger and more successful German chemical industry (operating under a strong patent system), and successfully delayed the introduction of chemical patents until 1907. And by the way Einstein was a very good theoretical chemist (his work on Brownian motion is often taken to be the first absolute proof of atomic theory) AND Einstein worked in the Swiss patent office until 1909, so there is a pretty good chance he DID examine chemical patent applications.

As far as Canada not recognizing drug patents until the 1960's that is poppycock. In fact as far back as 1923 Canada was wrangling with legislation that dealt with the compulsory licensing of drug patents where the active ingredients were made in Canada.

Re:Many countries have happily ignored... (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 5 years ago | (#25129617)

The fact that other countries did not adopt a patent system until later doomed them to trail Great Britain in development of the institutions needed to support this industrial revolution. The fact that these countries had to copy the British inventions to compete shows how their own (patent less) systems failed to promote innovation within their own societies.

Umm, no it means that they were able to save a huge amount of money on R&D while still getting the same products. Meaning they could be made for less and probably only a bit later on.

Just because you want to interpret it in such a bizarre fashion doesn't mean it's correct. It's always cheaper to copy off of somebody else in the absence of legal consequences. The only reason why it's no longer cheaper is that most countries have patents and there are frequently huge fines/tariffs involved to keep that sort of thing to a minimum.

Re:Many countries have happily ignored... (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 5 years ago | (#25129759)

Bizarre fashion? If Germany saved so much by copying British ideas, why didn't they gain an economic advantage and supplant the British as the super power of the time?

Yes, it is cheaper to copy the inventions of others than to develop the exact same inventions yourself. But if you are like Germany and did not have the raw materials (i.e. sources of cotton that England had)? Those inventions are worthless. You need inventions that appropriate to the economic needs within your own economy.

Germany didn't save anything. And by copying they did nothing to generate the inventions appropriate to their own needs.

As a result they ended up a second rate power until they got their own technologies going.

Re:Many countries have happily ignored... (3, Interesting)

TheDugong (701481) | more than 5 years ago | (#25130149)

"If Germany saved so much by copying British ideas, why didn't they gain an economic advantage and supplant the British as the super power of the time?" The British, French, Dutch, Belgians, Japanese, Russians and US (Hawaii, the Philipines etc) had already baggsied most of the world. The Royal Navy could pretty much landlock (other than the Baltic Sea) the Germans at will, if they so chose. This lead to an arms/battleship/dreadnought race.... So, they tried, and that lead to WW1 and then WW2. Finally they succeeded in surpassing Britain in the 1960s, thanks to said wars.

Re:Many countries have happily ignored... (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#25130165)

Yeah... nevermind everything else Germany had going on at
that time. It's problems were all about lacking a draconian
patent regime.

Sure...

This crap boggles the mind.

Re:Many countries have happily ignored... (4, Informative)

puppetman (131489) | more than 5 years ago | (#25130251)

The fact that these countries had to copy the British inventions to compete shows how their own (patent less) systems failed to promote innovation within their own societies.

Right - because it's much harder to innovate than copy.

From Intellectual Property in Free Trade Agreements, by Sanya Reid Smith:

"If developing countries broaden and lengthen their intellectual property protection beyond their current treaty obligations while they still have reduced capacity to generate their own intellectual property, they can expect to see their royalty outflow increase. For example, according to the Malaysian Governmentâ(TM)s 9th Malaysia Plan, in 2005 there was already estimated to be a net outflow of royalties of US $1.7 billion."

Patents cost developing countries (who rarely have much patented) yet benefit countries where a large number of valuable patents reside.

The Swiss did NOT believe that "you could not patent anything chemical". That is ridiculous

From Intellectual Property in Free Trade Agreements, by Sanya Reid Smith:

"Prior to TRIPS, countries were able to tailor their level of IP protection to suit their level of development. Many of todayâ(TM)s industrialised countries such as the USA, Europe,5 Japan, South Korea and Taiwan did not have high levels of IP protection until it suited them. For example Switzerland did not allow patents on chemicals until 1978; Italy, Sweden and Switzerland did not allow patents on medicines until 1978 and Spain did not allow patents on chemicals or medicines until 1992 because it said it could not afford the higher medicine prices as a result of patents."

I am not sure what planet you live on, but it's not earth, Bizarro Slashdot Poster.

Re:Many countries have happily ignored... (5, Informative)

schon (31600) | more than 5 years ago | (#25129503)

Your examples neglect the most prominent example of this - namely the Hollywood movie industry.

You know why California is the center of the major studios' world? Because they we getting hammered by enforcement of patents when they were on the east coast.

Hollywood owes it's existence to it's deliberate evasion of "intellectual property" laws.

Re:Many countries have happily ignored... (3, Insightful)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 5 years ago | (#25129521)

To play MAFIAA's advocate, America is more and more producing ideas rather than tangible goods. If we want to maintain our trade surplus* we need to protect the value of what we produce. Of course, I don't agree with HOW we're doing it, but I can at least see the reasoning. Imagine if piracy actually hurt the producers, this would be an issue.

*by which I mean prevent further increase to the trade deficit.

Tougher copyrights will improve the web..... (1)

3seas (184403) | more than 5 years ago | (#25129047)

....hardon and breast size....

as the only thing that will be allowed is spam.

Reduction in spam? (2, Funny)

Levocmk1 (1363901) | more than 5 years ago | (#25129241)

"...cracking down on counterfeiting of such goods as watches and pharmaceuticals..."

Does that mean I will stop receiving spam messages for an awesome replica Rolex that will make my penis larger? I mean, it came from a guy called Norman Ledbetter. It just has to be legit.

People just don't understand (1)

aceofspades1217 (1267996) | more than 5 years ago | (#25129321)

This isn't about copyright anymore this is about our basic privacy and freedom being taken away if we will have our laptops and ipods searched at border crossing or seized. What about if its your corporate with sensitive files that are NDA. But no the bush administration doesn't care about the ramifications of their actions.

And yah...what about the american people. I love how they say "it's not all about you google" when google is standing up for us!

I miss SCO (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25129379)

When Darl spoke we just knew it was evil. When he walked it was with an evil swagger. SCO is an acronym where the S stood SATAN and the rest just didn't matter.

Now here we are with Google who when they do evil it's with good intent and can be rectified by changing the EULA or TOS. When they do good it might just have a little evil intent but they are largely forgiven because it's just a little evil and they still give us monster uber email storage. When they do good it's good and we're supposed to fawn over the company unless someone with a low /. ID says they're evil and then we're supposed to block cookies, advertisements, java script and strawberries.

I miss those simple days where I knew where I stood because /. has taught me to think like everyone else.

There's a new poll suggestion here somewhere.

Re:I miss SCO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25130229)

Aww, how cute.

Already way off balance (5, Insightful)

slashqwerty (1099091) | more than 5 years ago | (#25129407)

The companies said the US courts and Congress are still working out the correct balance between protecting copyrights and the free exchange of information on the Web

The correct balance would cut copyrights back to 14 years, require disclosure of source code to receive copyright on software, ban business method patents, and ban the use of technologies that prevent a work from entering the public domain. The government is going the opposite direction it should if it's interesting in establishing a proper balance.

Three Strikes, you're out (3, Interesting)

Tiger4 (840741) | more than 5 years ago | (#25129667)

My suggestion: One Copyright of 25 years, with two renewals of 25 years each. Then its OVER.

Really, the I would only let Natural Persons have renewal rights. Corporations would just have to live with expirations as a price of doing business. Just like replacing old equipment after a few years, you write it off like a depreciation.

Re:Three Strikes, you're out (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 5 years ago | (#25129871)

Why do we have these ideas that corporations must be treated in some discriminatory fashion? The economic advantages (you can argue about these if you want) that accrue as the result of copyright law apply to corporations just as much as to individuals. By not treating corps the same as individuals you reduce the economic value here.

Re:Three Strikes, you're out (2, Insightful)

McGiraf (196030) | more than 5 years ago | (#25130051)

"Why do we have these ideas that corporations must be treated in some discriminatory fashion?"

Corporations can not be put in prison.
Corporations can not die.

Re:Three Strikes, you're out (1)

californication (1145791) | more than 5 years ago | (#25130175)

You reduce the economic value for corporations but you increase the economic value for individuals. Doing so would encourage more patents to be owned by individuals instead of corporations. My question for the parent's parent would be, why is it better for an individual to own a patent rather than a corporation?

Re:Three Strikes, you're out (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 5 years ago | (#25130731)

Corporations have no morality, don't need to eat and can accrue much more power than a person.

Why do we need to treat street gangs in such a discriminatory manner?

Re:Three Strikes, you're out (1)

wisty (1335733) | more than 5 years ago | (#25129875)

Or how about 25 years, flat? If you do the net-present-value calculations on the money that is likely to be received from a work, it's going to be basically zero after 25 years. All long copyright terms do is prevent our culture from properly assimilating works that should be on the public domain - artists cannot quote or adapt any work made since Mickey Mouse, without getting a license or risking a lawsuit. Mozart copied his predecessors, often to an outrageous extent. Great authors used to quote other authors. Now satire is the only defense against imitation.

My counter (4, Interesting)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#25130383)

My suggestion: One Copyright of 25 years, with two renewals of 25 years each. Then its OVER.

And my counter offer would be 10 years, once and no more.

As an alternative: first year is free, second year is $100. Doubling every year thereafter.

Treaties = Constitution (2, Interesting)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 5 years ago | (#25130277)

That's what I see here, and that's what's so dangerous about treaties (it's why we never ratified the Treaty of Versailles):

Treaties are given equal status with the Constitution. Which makes this line:

the US courts and Congress are still working out the correct balance between protecting copyrights and the free exchange of information on the Web and a treaty could be counterproductive.

very interesting.
If a treaty spelled this all out, it'd be like passing an amendment and not even the Supreme Court could do anything.

This is why treaties are usually an uncomfortable topic. Passing a bad treaty is a big fuckup similar to a bad amendment.

Once again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25130513)

Congress will likely kick back and let the President invent laws by signing "Agreements" (Treaties) that he has no authority to sign.

Pharmaceuticals (1)

ProzacPatient (915544) | more than 5 years ago | (#25130707)

"The US, Japan, Canada and other nations said last year that they would begin negotiations on an agreement aimed at cracking down on counterfeiting of such goods as watches and pharmaceuticals"

How dare those sickly peasants get the medicine they need at an affordable price!
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