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Leaked Cable Shows Heavy US Influence On Swedish Copyright Policy

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the pass-a-copyright-law-rover-good-boy dept.

Piracy 171

Debuting on Slashdot, seezer writes with a piece by Rick Falkvinge about a recently release diplomatic cable. From the article: "Among the treasure troves of recently released WikiLeaks cables, we find one whose significance has bypassed Swedish media. In short: every law proposal, every ordinance, and every governmental report hostile to the net, youth, and civil liberties here in Sweden in recent years have been commissioned by the U.S. government and industry interests." This is from a Pirate Party founder and so might be slightly exaggerated, but there is certainly evidence in the cable that the U.S. exerted quite a bit of influence of Swedish copyright law. The U.S. government appears particularly vexed that the Swedish public doesn't seem to think anything is wrong with copying protected works, and (not unexpectedly) was quite concerned that Pirate Party members might actually be elected.

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171 comments

U.S. government has its hands in Sweden and everyw (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37327198)

When Julian Assange was recently accused of sexual assault in Sweden, I maintained that this had "CIA discrediting campaign" written all over it. One of the main responses to this was "But the U.S. government doesn't have any control over Sweden or what they do."

I think people really underestimate the power and sweep of the U.S. government and its wealthy corporate allies. The IMF, the UN, the World Bank, unrest in virtually every oil-producing country that doesn't support U.S. policy, attacks on anyone who criticizes or threatens the U.S. dollar, and in a million other places--you'll find the hand of the U.S. government and its most powerful corporations either calling the shots outright or at least having a significant influence on events.

Just look at the WIPO copyright treaty (the treaty that brought the DMCA and DMCA-like laws to almost every first-world country in the world). Hollywood and the U.S. music/publishing industry pretty much DICTATED that treaty, with the U.S. government then pressuring countries to implement it with a multitude of carrots and sticks.

Some may accuse me of hyperbole here. And, believe me, I wish I were exaggerating. But you never have to dig very far.

Re:U.S. government has its hands in Sweden and eve (1)

SlippyToad (240532) | more than 2 years ago | (#37327240)

Yea, I remember having several totally aggravating arguments with tools who didn't seem to understand that the fake rape charges being drummed up against assange were not at all related to what he was being sought for by all the world's governments.

There are tools who are so completely controlled that this notion simply sailed right over their heads.

Re:U.S. government has its hands in Sweden and eve (1)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 2 years ago | (#37327316)

Some people cant see beyond their nose.

We call them politicians.

Re:U.S. government has its hands in Sweden and eve (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 2 years ago | (#37328442)

This is just a trivial translation error. The statement, "...The U.S. government appears particularly vexed...". I can not find a single documented case of any American government staffer losing sleep about what Sweden, as a population, or culture, or government, or Web Master thinks about Copy Write laws, anywhere. Now if the parent had written, "...The Lawyers representing the Copy Write Ranting Corporations that use the staff of the U.S. government as tools appear particularly vexed..." The translation would have been more accurate. Why? Because Lawyers, and Corporations use the U.S. government staffers as tools; as an off topic thought, it appears that U.S. government staffers repeatedly demonstrate themselves as tools. American English, when translated by people that only write American English, into American English can sometimes make small mistakes; like what other people can write for themselves.

Re:U.S. government has its hands in Sweden and eve (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37328248)

This is why corporations should be destroyed. The use of WMDs should be allowed to do so.

Re:U.S. government has its hands in Sweden and eve (1)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#37328692)

This is why corporations should be destroyed. The use of WMDs should be allowed to do so.

That would take out innocents. I think a huge amount of targeted wet work would be more appropriate.

Re:U.S. government has its hands in Sweden and eve (1)

JockTroll (996521) | more than 2 years ago | (#37328836)

You have a point there: poison gas is classified as a weapon of mass destruction, and it's a cheap and efficient way to eliminate the occupants of a building. Some home-made chemical weapons which would be woefully inadequate on the battlefield can easily kill dozens and even hundreds when used indoors. Imagine the carnage you could wreak in an office building, for instance. Corporate offices can be targeted quite easily with improvised chemical weaponry, and taking out a number of their key personnel would hurt them a lot.

Re:U.S. government has its hands in Sweden and eve (1)

pewterbot9 (1559933) | more than 2 years ago | (#37330054)

"Geeks are so full of shit that "beating the crap out of them" takes a whole new meaning."

Wow, pointless hostility towards one's own. Grow up.

Re:U.S. government has its hands in Sweden and eve (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37327572)

Funny how "friendly" countries bully each other. Globalization brings and end to the sovereignty of nations?

Re:U.S. government has its hands in Sweden and eve (2)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37327742)

The more power global corporations gain, the more pressure there is to homogenize every country into a "corporation friendly" environment.

Re:U.S. government has its hands in Sweden and eve (1)

kanguro (1237830) | more than 2 years ago | (#37328150)

"Funny how the US bullies everybody.." There. Corrected for you.

Re:U.S. government has its hands in Sweden and eve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37328950)

US is not a world police force. It is reach ranchers' hired gunslingers pack. Local city sheriffs, judges and mayors wither in fear and obey.

Re:U.S. government has its hands in Sweden and eve (1)

cyn1c77 (928549) | more than 2 years ago | (#37330132)

"Funny how the US bullies everybody.."

There. Corrected for you.

It's even more amusing how everyone caves to US bullying so easily. Pussies.

Re:U.S. government has its hands in Sweden and eve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37328140)

There have been recent leaks similar to this showing how the US has had a strong hand in shaping the Canadian DMCA laws.

The states have been using their influence in other countries' business like this for a loooong time.

Re:U.S. government has its hands in Sweden and eve (2)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#37328742)

There have been recent leaks similar to this showing how the US has had a strong hand in shaping the Canadian DMCA laws.

Those laws have failed to pass, so far.

Re:U.S. government has its hands in Sweden and eve (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37328784)

Because until recently there has always been a pro-Canada party either in charge or with enough power to force a change. With the most pro-USA, anti-Canada party every elected to a majority now in charge, a DMCA copyright bill will be passed shortly.

Re:U.S. government has its hands in Sweden and eve (1)

Taty'sEyes (2373326) | more than 2 years ago | (#37328632)

Sorry, off-topic: I've seen your signature before and wondered then as I do now, is that tongue in cheek or do you really want to remove ALL CO2 from the atmosphere?

Re:U.S. government has its hands in Sweden and eve (1)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#37328770)

Sorry, off-topic: I've seen your signature before and wondered then as I do now, is that tongue in cheek or do you really want to remove ALL CO2 from the atmosphere?

I got caught up on that one. It's sarcasm. Hard to say if he is trolling and what he means by it.

Re:U.S. government has its hands in Sweden and eve (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37330086)

Don't you realize how green this planet would be if we could eliminate all the CO2?

Re:U.S. government has its hands in Sweden and eve (3, Insightful)

bzipitidoo (647217) | more than 2 years ago | (#37328710)

The US Government is as much victim as perpetrator. Haven't you been listening to the US right's hatred and contempt for government? And their proclivity for blanket statements and oversimplifications? It's expressed so well in this Reagan quote: "Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem." Our scientists and researchers do their jobs and come up with answers, and the right ignores them or makes ridiculous accusations of bias and incompetence. We pay for this attitude in many ways, not least being the low morale among bureaucrats. These hypocrites who profess such hatred for government are not shy about abusing and expanding government power when they are in control. The only parts of the government they like unconditionally, and like entirely too much, are the parts to do with security and force.

Re:U.S. government has its hands in Sweden and eve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37329160)

To be fair, it's not really US policy. It's the policy of big multinational money. US is just a victim just as well as any other country.

Re:U.S. government has its hands in Sweden and eve (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37329476)

I might be more inclined to agree with you but for two things. 1) Assange really just does seem like the type. 2) If the accusations are false, it's more likely that the accuser is trying to profit somehow.

Seriously though, if we were that powerful, don't you think we would have conquered China by now? I'd rather have them than Iraq.

Re:U.S. government has its hands in Sweden and eve (2)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37330122)

don't you think we would have conquered China by now?

We would, but Walmart won't let us.

And don't forget the Fed and Carl Bildt... (1)

sgt_doom (655561) | more than 2 years ago | (#37329794)

...the Swedish Central Bank was also a recipient of some of that $16.1 trillion spewed forth from the Fed (thanks to GAO audit), and Carl Bildt was a director at Lundin Petroleum when those massacres were taking place in Sudan (moving people off of the oil-rich lands they lived on, etc.). Plenty of reasons, not even counting DoD contracts to Swedish defense firms, for pressure from the USA.

Re:U.S. government has its hands in Sweden and eve (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37330044)

Since the end of WW2 the US had an airport on okinawa (japan) right within a large city. It's incredible they manage to keep it despite the enormous strain on local residents and the public outry for well over 60 years.
If you fail to grasp this example: Imagine central park being a german/british/whatever airforce base with planes starting/landing every 5 minutes 24/7/365.

The US does dictate decisions world wide, just look at ACTA as the next big thing. African/Indian interests (as far as manufacturing and buying cheap pharmaceuticals goes) don't matter at all. Copying of Software/etc becoming a crime (the first time criminal punishment is part of a trade agreement).
All of this is very sad considering how it will hinder the growth of second/third world countries and ensure the continued dominance of established megacorps vs. middle class competition.

correction (1)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 2 years ago | (#37327284)

....the cartel/mafia/cabal with the U.S. government in its pockets appears particularly vexed that the Swedish public....

Tone the hyberbole down (1, Informative)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#37327400)

Exaggerating slightly? The Pirate Party "translates" this:

Adopt the copyright law amendments on injunctive relief against ISPs and a âoeright of informationâ to permit rights holders to obtain the identity of suspected infringers from ISPs in civil cases.

into

Adopt "Three Strikes" making it possible to disconnect prople from the internet without a trial ("injunctive relief"), and implement the IPRED directive in a way that the copyright industry can get internet subscriber identities behind IP addresses (which was not mandatory, my note).

Which simply doesn't translate. The US here is asking for something like the DMCA (which is required by treaty), not for "three strikes" legislation. Also injunctive relief does not mean "without a trial", nor is any disconnection from the internet being demanded here. It's bad enough without making stuff up. Further:

Prosecute to the fullest extent the owners of The Pirate Bay. (This doesnâ(TM)t really need translation, except that itâ(TM)s very noteworthy that the executive branch is ordered to interfere with the work of the judicial one, which is illegal in Sweden too.)

I don't know about Sweden, but in the US, prosecution is an executive function.

Re:Tone the hyberbole down (2)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 2 years ago | (#37327468)

No... prosecution is the judicial branch. It is separated for a reason.

Re:Tone the hyberbole down (5, Informative)

The Moof (859402) | more than 2 years ago | (#37327684)

The Department of Justice does the prosecuting, which is under the executive branch. They bring their cases before the judicial branch who renders the decisions on the cases.

Re:Tone the hyberbole down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37327694)

No, prosecution is an executive function. The trial itself takes place in the judicial branch.

Re:Tone the hyberbole down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37327696)

No... prosecution is the judicial branch. It is separated for a reason.

In the US the Department of Justice under the President (ie Eric Holder) prosecutes for crimes and handles other legal matter for the government. Attorney Generals have that role in the states, and District Attorneys do it for local jurisdictions. None of these positions fall under the judicial branch of the government. They are Executive branch. The courts have no prosecuting power themselves. There is no case or trial until someone files for it. The judicial branch has power to judge and preside over legal matters not initiate them.

Re:Tone the hyberbole down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37327788)

No... prosecution is the judicial branch. It is separated for a reason.

yea ummm prosecution is NOT the judicial, I think that's what you meant. Its definitely the executive branch...remember the executive branch ENFORCES the laws that Congress passes, and the judicial branch APPLIES those laws to specific cases (through judges and juries).

3rd grade civics, anyone? ..anyone?

Re:Tone the hyberbole down (2)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#37328838)

remember the executive branch ENFORCES the laws that Congress passes

I was under the impression that the executive branch ignored the laws that Congress passes. That and the constitution.

Re:Tone the hyberbole down (2)

jimbolauski (882977) | more than 2 years ago | (#37329426)

remember the executive branch ENFORCES the laws that Congress passes

I was under the impression that the executive branch ignored the laws that Congress passes. That and the constitution.

It's not just the executive branch that ignores the constitution, the constitution takes a beating from all 3 branches. The executive branch is allowed to ignore laws (not enforce) that is the reason so many dumb laws stay on the books they simply are not enforced as is the right of the executive branch.

Re:Tone the hyberbole down (2)

NoSig (1919688) | more than 2 years ago | (#37327740)

I don't know about Sweden, but in the US, prosecution is an executive function.

You don't think it would be the least bit scary if the police were simultaneously responsible for finding suspects, collecting evidence and directly prosecuting you? That is, you believe that it's fine that the people whose job it is to impartially and accurately record the evidence against you are also the same people whose job the next day is to argue as pointedly as possible that you are guilty? That's quite a conflict of interest.

Re:Tone the hyberbole down (0)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#37328052)

So you are suggesting that for every possible function we need a compeltely indepedant branch of government?

Back in reality, the police do that evidence collection and they come under the Executive branch. And the prosecutors do the prosecution part, and they also come under the Executive branch.

You think it would be better if the people arguing that you guilty and the people deciding if you are guilty were under the same branch?

Re:Tone the hyberbole down (1, Insightful)

microbox (704317) | more than 2 years ago | (#37328510)

The separation of powers and trial by jury are perhaps the single biggest reason for the ascendency of Western civilization. It cut down on violence, vendettas, and corruption. In other parts of the world, when someone gets an official job, they sack all the old employees, and bring in their own people -- usually blood relatives.

Back in reality,

You are so funny.

Re:Tone the hyberbole down (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#37328974)

The separation of powers and trial by jury are perhaps the single biggest reason for the ascendency of Western civilization. It cut down on violence, vendettas, and corruption. In other parts of the world, when someone gets an official job, they sack all the old employees, and bring in their own people -- usually blood relatives.

Which has exactly nothing to do with the fact that the police and the prosecution both come under the executive branch. And nothing to do with whether that is a sane choice. Or if we need 50,000 branches to keep every possible government function under a different one.

Re:Tone the hyberbole down (1)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 2 years ago | (#37328062)

What is your point? You don't believe that the prosecutor and police are both executive functions? They are. The FBI is part of the Department of Justice, which is run by the Attorney General, who does the prosecutions.

The Supreme Court, on the other hand, is the judiciary. It neither investigates nor prosecutes, it adjudicates.

Re:Tone the hyberbole down (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37328076)

It works a bit differently in Sweden. Politicians are not considered competent to meddle in spedific cases and decide who is to be prosecuted and who isn't. The job of the elected politicians is to make policy, while the decision to prosecute is in the domain of prosecutors who are bound by the law as written down and not by the whims of politicians. The reasoning behind this is that it is believed to reduce corruption.

Now, of course politicians - enjoying power as they do - sometimes put pressure on prosecutors and other public servants to do their bidding. Like in this case. But it's illegal, and not how it's supposed to be done.

Note that the quoted explanation mentioning the executive branch interfering with the judicial is a bit fuzzy, and not directly applicable to a corresponding situation in the US, for the reasons stated above.

Re:Tone the hyberbole down (4, Informative)

saihung (19097) | more than 2 years ago | (#37328306)

If you don't know about Sweden, then why are you talking about it? The Åklagarmyndigheten is an independent authority, not attached to any ministry or branch of government. Unlike the USA, where the US attorneys are part of the Department of Justice and subject to direct political interference, the Åklagarmyndigheten is not a part of the Ministry of Justice.

Riiiiigggghhhttt.... (2)

sgt_doom (655561) | more than 2 years ago | (#37329824)

....and so many of those characters involved in attempting to extradite Assange are financially connected to the Bonnier family??? (And the Brits should be focusing on extraditing the Murdoch family, given everything coming out about their knowledge and collusion with all that cellphone spying!)

Wrong. (5, Informative)

chrb (1083577) | more than 2 years ago | (#37328584)

Which simply doesn't translate. The US here is asking for something like the DMCA (which is required by treaty), not for "three strikes" legislation.

Wrong. The "injunctive relief" legislation that is being pushed is indeed ISP disconnection. From the PDF that TFA links to:

Injunctive relief in civil cases -- EU Copyright Directive: The law implementing Sweden’s obligations under the EU Copyright Directive entered into force on July 1, 2005 (Law 2005:360 amending the Act on Copyright in Literary and Artistic Works, Law 1960:729). Particularly disappointing has been the lack of a specific injunctive relief remedy against ISPs as required under Article 8.3 of the Copyright Directive (and Article 11 of the Enforcement Directive). Proposed legislation to provide such a remedy is now pending in the Swedish Parliament.(3) If adopted by the Parliament, the amendment would go into one of the major deficiencies that rights holders have faced and which IIPA highlighted in its 2008 submission. (3)(http://www.iipa.com/rbc/2008/2008SPEC301SWEDEN.pdf)

And if you follow the link to the 2008 IIPA paper on the proposed legislation...

civil litigation, without preliminary injunctive relief, is just too slow to act as a deterrent.... Unfortunately, we have also heard that the present draft proposal does not contain a right to injunctive relief in a civil case against ISPs, and that it therefore fails to cure Sweden’s inconsistency with Article 11 of the Enforcement Directive and Article 8(3) of the Copyright Directive. In September 2007, a report was issued by Swedish Chief Judge, Cecilia Renfors (“Renfors Report”), recommending that the upcoming legislation contain provisions requiring ISPs to take action to terminate the contracts of certain users who repeatedly use the Internet to infringe copyright.... While this report and, in particular, the suggestions regarding disconnection of repeat infringers is welcome, it does not go far enough to bring Sweden’s legal and enforcement regime into harmony with international trends even assuming that the proposed legislation is adopted in its present form

So, not only do they want ISP disconnections, they actually want even stronger laws.

Re:Tone the hyberbole down (2)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 2 years ago | (#37328750)

Aren't you the one who are "slightly exaggerating" PP's "slight exaggeration"?

You wrote:

"Which simply doesn't translate"

While in the original text it says:

"Translated into ordinary language, this says:"

Re:Tone the hyberbole down (3, Informative)

jbr439 (214107) | more than 2 years ago | (#37328850)

... The US here is asking for something like the DMCA (which is required by treaty), ...

DMCA-like legislation is not required for treaty (are we talking WIPO here?) compliance. Canda's Dr. Michael Geist has gone to great lengths to explain why.

However, the US likes the DMCA and is hell-bent on ramming it down every other country's throat. And, sadly, the governments of most countries (including Canada's) are willing accomplices in this farce.

Re:Tone the hyberbole down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37329844)

Sweden already has DMCA-like legislation since they have implemented the EU copyright directive.

Title vs Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37327404)

The title says "heavy US influence on Swedish copyright policy" yet the summary states "the US exerted quite a bit of influence of (sic) Swedish copyright law."

So either we have an overstatement in the title or an understatement (plus typo) in the summary.

Annoying (4, Insightful)

tsa (15680) | more than 2 years ago | (#37327570)

It's pretty annoying that the US think they can and should govern the whole world.

Re:Annoying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37327750)

Apparently they don't just think so. They do. Because they can.

That's the way things go. The biggest bully shows the ropes.

Re:Annoying (2)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#37328210)

We can't even govern ourselves. Watch our House of Representatives in action for a real clown show.

Re:Annoying (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37328272)

Hey now, be fair. The Senate is completely dysfunctional, too.

Re:Annoying (2)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#37329072)

We can't even govern ourselves. Watch our House of Representatives in action for a real clown show.

Not true, the "persons" that elect the government are very well represented.
Remember that judicial precedence has created a situation where corporations are "persons" and must be treated equally under the law.
"Persons" can donate as much money as they want to political parties.
So... Corporations can donate as much as they want, anonymously, to political parties.
Corporations have billions of dollars.
"People" do not.
So, in a true and just society, corporations should be allowed to do anything people can, as a result, corporations own ALL the parties, and are very well represented.
It's not their fault we aren't all billionaires.

This situation will not change as long as people are influenced to the degree they are now by corporate owned "big media".

Or they are all starving and dying from toothaches. I'll give it three or four years at most.

Re:Annoying (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#37329158)

Or they are all starving and dying from toothaches. I'll give it three or four years at most.

Why toothaches?

Re:Annoying (1)

brit74 (831798) | more than 2 years ago | (#37328616)

It's pretty annoying that the Pirate Party and the Pirate Bay are working to make Piracy the de-facto standard around the world by giving everyone access to pirated stuff (damn be the creators who worked their asses off creating it), and then to have the Pirate Bay send insulting letters to creators when they want their work removed. I'd consider the US to be a pathetic lapdog if it sat around doing nothing to protect creators from thieves.

Re:Annoying (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#37329176)

I don't have a problem with the US doing stuff to prevent piracy in the US. It annoys me when the US decides to lean on the rest of the world and make them do the same. I happen to be an American citizen myself, and I don't want to be seen by the rest of the world as a bully who makes everyone else follow what I do.

Re:Annoying (2)

tsa (15680) | more than 2 years ago | (#37329296)

It's indeed annoying and I agree that the Pirate Party Bay should be stopped. However, since the Pirate Party is Swedish, this is a Swedish problem and the US has nothing to do with it.

Re:Annoying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37328728)

It's pretty annoying that the US government (aka. the industry interests council) think they can and should govern the whole world.

FTFY.
And that includes the US. ;)

P.S.: While it is "annoying" it certainly isn't unexpected from people who are at the positions they are in, because of all people, they want to control and lead the most, and were the best in getting in the right position to do so.

Re:Annoying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37328908)

The US can and should attempt to influence other nations to align with US policies. It's very annoying that US corporations can and do govern the US.

Democracy (5, Interesting)

geoffaus (623283) | more than 2 years ago | (#37327700)

Yep the U.S. are all for promoting democracy around the world except when people might vote for someone they dont like

Re:Democracy (1)

compucomp2 (1776668) | more than 2 years ago | (#37328612)

Hell, when free elections in Palestine bring Hamas into power, or free elections in Lebanon bring Hezbollah to a parliamentary majority, the US calls them terrorists and imposes economic sanctions. This is just within the last 10 years, the US did this routinely during the Cold War. I wonder what will happen if free elections in Libya bring an Islamist government into power. Perhaps Libya will need to get "freedom" crammed down its throat like Iraq did.

Or more correctly. (3, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#37327732)

United States tries to protects its own interest.

It's not PC but it happens, the US also bends to allow other nations interests to go threw too. It is called Diplomacy. These stints of making a compromise that prevents issues from building up and becoming a major issue.

The reason why it is not made public because the average Joe doesn't understand the concept of a good compromise where at the end both sides are equally unhappy. So they will make these small viewed complaints (Swedish make copyright policy just so we can get the latest American Blue Rays films) While the complexity of international trade is ignored, not realizing this effects shipment of more then just Films, but software, books, and other sources of information. If a company doesn't see your country as a profitable place to sell goods they won't sell to you. And you end up with loosing out on receiving goods and services that make that company unique. This isn't just about a monopoly every company has something that gives it a competitive advantage over someone else. Blocking trade has probably been considered more costly then the Copyright Policy.

Re:Or more correctly. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37328188)

United States tries to protect its corporate interests.

Fixed for you.

Re:Or more correctly. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37329364)

United States tries to protect ALL its interests including the corporate ones.

Fixed it back for you.

PS: just like any other country. Why is it so bad? When Russia strong arms its interest its called frugal, when US does, somehow its supposed to be bad.

Re:Or more correctly. (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#37330112)

Umm, when Russian strong-arms its interest, people attack it in quite harsh terms. Europe was pretty pissed off about that cutting-off-the-gas-in-the-winter fiasco last year, for example.

Re:Or more correctly. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37328270)

>loosing

Re:Or more correctly. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37329638)

Yet liberty, and freedom, which is in our god damned pledge of allegiance is a right each citizen deserves and we have the right and freedom to understand these bullshit compromises however we wish. There is no right for a fascist elite few to decide what we find diplomatically acceptable. Go to hell.

Re:Or more correctly. (1)

sgt_doom (655561) | more than 2 years ago | (#37329842)

United States tries to protects its own interest.

Negative, douchebagger, although I realize you are repeating what you have read, with your bot filter always on.

The point being, the government works on behalf of its owners, the bankster/oil cartel, and not in ITS interests!

You ain't heard nothing yet... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37327808)

Wait until you hear about what the IRS are making foreign banks do to all their customers in order to weed out US citizens living abroad...

Re:You ain't heard nothing yet... (3, Interesting)

polar red (215081) | more than 2 years ago | (#37328736)

The IRS making US citizens pay their taxes ? the nerve !

Re:You ain't heard nothing yet... (2)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#37329220)

Well that begs the question, if you're a US citizen, but living abroad, you don't really benefit from the army, social security, government maintained roads, parks, or other public services that taxes go to pay. So should you really have to pay taxes?

Unless your assets are in a US bank, then I can see paying tax on interest or investment income.

Re:You ain't heard nothing yet... (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 2 years ago | (#37329508)

You are benefiting from services someone back in the US would never need but still pay for. Someone back in the states really doesn't need the diplomatic corp and even abroad you're getting the benefit of US military power (see Maersk Alabama).

Re:You ain't heard nothing yet... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37329732)

you mean the the IRS taxing income earned in another country that has already been taxed by that country? damn right the nerve

The unelected government (1)

mbone (558574) | more than 2 years ago | (#37327916)

Who elected these people ? What claim do they have to represent the people of the United States ? I sure don't remember anyone touting their kowtowing to foreign special interests at election time.

Re:The unelected government (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37328324)

You did. Diplomats fall under the Executive branch, which makes this the responsibility of, yet again, Obama.

How's that hope and change? Hope you're willing to change your copyright laws, or the US might decide you support terrorists!

No, seriously. The US has claimed that "pirating movies" "supports terrorism." I'm not quite sure how, but apparently every time you start up a BitTorrent client, Obama says that the terrorists win.

Re:The unelected government (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#37329238)

Citation? I've not heard about this (though I don't really pay much attention to the news).

Another drop in the barrel (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#37327968)

The US government seeks to support US business interests in other sovereign nations. In my view, this goes beyond the constitutional basis for the US government. Some may (and will) disagree with this, but each nation needs to be respected as this nations needs to be respected. If you cannot persuade honestly and openly, then you are going too far where international relations are concerned.

In fact, I see this as government interference with business... the very same interference that these businesses claim to be against! So what they are actually saying is "it's okay when we get help from government, just don't tell us what we can't do or what we must do." That's crap.

Re:Another drop in the barrel (1)

brit74 (831798) | more than 2 years ago | (#37328528)

> "In fact, I see this as government interference with business... the very same interference that these businesses claim to be against!"

I'm pretty sure that the "no government interference with business" group of people still support government laws against theft. I don't think there's any contradiction in that. (Similarly, people who want to live in a free society still want laws against theft, murder, etc. - and that's also not a contradiction.)

Re:Another drop in the barrel (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#37328852)

"theft" you say?

This is talking about definitions of "theft" and copyright infringement is not theft. Please remove your head from between your buttocks and observe the facts. It may be convenient to call infringement theft, but it is not. That's why there is a different name for the offense.

The problem is actually, not that there are "lawless nations out there allowing people to steal" it's that their laws are different and respect intellectual property differently. This boils down to one government seeing and doing things differently than another. And frankly, it is not our government's place to tell another how to run itself.

If a US business interest doesn't like it, it shouldn't do business in those nations. PERIOD.

FFS, this is what diplomats DO! (1, Insightful)

sirwired (27582) | more than 2 years ago | (#37328008)

This is what diplomats DO all day. They try to influence policy in foreign countries to promote the interests of the government of their own country. (Which is separate from consular services, the other part of an embassy that handles visas, citizen services, etc.) Sometimes they succeed, sometimes they don't. The country they are operating in is more than welcome to tell them to go jump in a metaphorical lake.

Re:FFS, this is what diplomats DO! (1)

mbone (558574) | more than 2 years ago | (#37328320)

You are correct, this is what diplomats do.

Now, how much do I have to pay to get them to do things for me ?

Good news, we now have a lobbyist! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37328654)

American People Hire High-Powered Lobbyist To Push Interests In Congress

02.18.10 WASHINGTON—Citing a desire to gain influence in Washington, the American people confirmed Friday that they have hired high-powered D.C. lobbyist Jack Weldon of the firm Patton Boggs to help advance their agenda in Congress.

Known among Beltway insiders for his ability to sway public policy on behalf of massive corporations such as Johnson & Johnson, Monsanto, and AT&T, Weldon, 53, is expected to use his vast network of political connections to give his new client a voice in the legislative process.

Weldon is reportedly charging the American people $795 an hour.

"Unlike R.J. Reynolds, Pfizer, or Bank of America, the U.S. populace lacks the access to public officials required to further its legislative goals," a statement from the nation read in part. "Jack Weldon gives us that access."

"His daily presence in the Capitol will ensure the American people finally get a seat at the table," the statement continued. "And it will allow him to advance our message that everyone, including Americans, deserves to be represented in Washington."

Weldon says he hopes to spin the American public, above, as a group worth Congress' time.
The 310-million-member group said it will rely on Weldon's considerable clout to ensure its concerns are taken into account when Congress addresses issues such as education, immigration, national security, health care, transportation, the economy, affordable college tuition, infrastructure, jobs, equal rights, taxes, Social Security, the environment, housing, the national debt, agriculture, energy, alternative energy, nutrition, imports, exports, foreign relations, the arts, and crime.

Sources confirmed that Weldon is already scheduled to have drinks Monday with several members of the Senate Appropriations Committee to discuss saving the middle class.

"If you have a problem, say, with America's atrocious treatment of its veterans, you can't just pick up a phone and call your local congressman," Weldon told reporters from his office on K Street Monday. "You need someone on the inside who understands how democracy works; someone who knows how to grease the wheels a little."

Weldon said that after successfully advocating on behalf of Goldman Sachs and BP, he is relishing the opportunity to lobby for the American people, calling it the "challenge of a lifetime." The veteran D.C. power player admitted that his new client is at a disadvantage because it lacks the money and power of other groups.

"The goal is to make it seem politically advantageous for legislators to keep the American people in mind when making laws," Weldon said. "Lawmakers are going to ask me, 'Why should I care about the American people? What's in it for me?' And it will be up to me and my team to find some reason why they should consider putting poverty and medical care for children on the legislative docket."

"To be honest," Weldon added, "the American people have always been perceived as a little naïve when it comes to their representative government. But having me on their side sends a clear message that they're finally serious and want to play ball."

According to Washington heavyweights, hiring Weldon is an immediate game changer and should force politicians to take citizens' concerns seriously for the first time in decades. Moreover, sources said, Weldon will be able to help lawmakers see the American people as more than just a low-priority fringe group.

"Jack is very good at what he does," said Joseph Pearlman, a headhunter for the McCormick Group who specializes in placing lobbyists. "He can take an issue that is nowhere on the congressional radar, like the pursuit of happiness, for example, and make it politically relevant. The next time Congress passes a bill dealing with civil rights or taxes, I wouldn't be surprised if the U.S. populace is mentioned somewhere in the final language."

Though Weldon has only been on the job for three days, legislators have already seemed to take notice.

"Before today, I'd actually never heard of this group," Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) told reporters. "But if Jack says they're worth my time, I'll take a look and see if maybe there are some areas where our interests overlap."

"But I'm not making any promises," he added. "I'm a very busy man."

Re:FFS, this is what diplomats DO! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37328678)

Diplomats may do this all day and Americans may even benefit from this. The article, however, is written by a Swede who finally has clear evidence that a foreign power is manipulating his government into acting illegally. From my understanding, the negative public opinion that the diplomat is worried about is the strong belief Swedes have that they should run their own country.

You are right that sometimes they succeed and sometimes they fail. But the price of that failure when it becomes general knowledge is that the people of the country become outraged. Push too hard or fail enough times and the people will choose new politicians that are antagonistic to the US's interests.

The Empire never ended (0)

Atmanman (1651259) | more than 2 years ago | (#37328152)

Apollonius of Tyana, writing as Hermes Trismegistos, said 'That which is above is that which is below.' By this he meant to tell us that our universe is a hologram, but he lacked the terminology. I say, the Empire never ended.

Is there now any doubt on Assange ? (4, Interesting)

mbone (558574) | more than 2 years ago | (#37328304)

After reading this, does anyone doubt that the indictment on Julian Assange was motivated by US interests ?

Re:Is there now any doubt on Assange ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37328812)

After reading this, does anyone doubt that the indictment on Julian Assange was motivated by US interests ?

Yes.

... and? (0)

brit74 (831798) | more than 2 years ago | (#37328458)

So what? The US position defending copyright is the correct position. Falkvinge and the Pirate Party are motivated by what benefits themselves - who cares about the creators when they get all the free pirated stuff they want? Since when did the interests of thieves become the correct position? Oh sorry - there are a lot of pirates on Slashdot who want the Pirate Party and the Pirate Bay to succeed for their own selfish reasons, so people are going to attack the US' actions as "foreign meddling".

Re:... and? (3, Insightful)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#37329146)

What Sweden does with their copyright laws is none of the US's business, and pressuring other countries to change their laws completely disrespects their sovereignty.

Re:... and? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37329920)

If you don't want the US government to mess with you don't steal from US companies. Seriously, how many governments has the US has overthrown to protect its interests(that is to say for money), and you think you can enable millions of others around the world to steal from US companies (that is the US sees it) and the US will still respect your sovereignty? These pirate party fools are playing with fire.

Re:... and? (1)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | more than 2 years ago | (#37330148)

pressuring other countries to change their laws completely disrespects their sovereignty.

No it doesn't, not in the least. Especially when your dealing with international issues, such as respecting international copyright laws. Like it or not, countries are connected. Diplomats are going to argue for their countries point of view, and if a country wants to keep any connections to the outside world (even America) they are going to have to compromise on some of the things they want.

If I'm a citizen of X and the diplomat of Y says "we're not going to help you with problem 2 if you don't deal with problem 1" my sovereignty is not being disrespected. I'm simply given a choice as to whether I value the help with problem 2 over my personal stance on problem 1. In fact, I'd say it's an affront to nation Y's sovereignty to demand that they provide help with problem 2 irregardless of any of their wants or needs.

Define "defending copyright" (3, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37329162)

The US position defending copyright is the correct position.

By "defending copyright" do you mean to include "defending repeated extensions to the term of copyright" and "defending the narrowing of fair use, first sale, and other limitations on the scope of copyright" and "defending copyright even when the owner of copyright in a particular work cannot be determined with reasonable research"?

Dear Media Companies (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37328634)

The spirit of copyright was to protect the authors for a limited amount of time in return for the works to fall into public domain after a fixed, limited amount of time.

You screwed everyone by effectively removing the public domain part of the copyright idea, so we're screwing you out of the protected part.

Consolidated List (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37329696)

It has been shown that the US & its lobbies have strong-armed (off the top of my head):

- NZ
- Australia
- Spain
- Sweden

successfully to re-write their copyright laws.

There have been efforts in Canada, but thankfully the government has thus far been ineffectual.

Has anyone compiled a consolidated listing for each country of:

- evidence of strong-arming
- resultant legislation/negotiation

It would be interesting to compile this information to show to policy makers and journalists, so that they cannot hide behind banners, such as "Canadian made copyright reform", and other analogous euphemisms.

At least call it what it is.

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