This is the same group that attempts to push the US copyright agenda around the world through different trade agreements and this special list called the “Special 301 Report”. They do this by perpetuating the myth that piracy has a massive financial impact and hurts jobs and the economy. The very special math they use for this has been shown to be false multiple times, but law makers do no seem to be listening. Instead they allow this body to push for controls and options that are in violation of many standing laws. The consequences of being on the 301 Report are varied, but according to some reports can include more difficult trade options with the US.
This year’s report had some interesting changes. One of the most interesting is that the Anti-Piracy Caucus is no more, instead they opted for a more “PC” name and are now calling themselves the International Creativity and Theft-Prevention Caucus. This is despite the fact that it is a US based group that is only interested in pushing the US Copyright agenda.
Outside of the new name they also marked that two countries have made it off the watch list. The Philippines and Italy are now upstanding global citizens as far as the copyright guys are concerned. Italy even created a new administrative body that can order the blocking of suspected pirate sites without any legal action needed. That’s right, there is no need for a court order or any other legal hassle now, just submit the site to that body and access to them is blocked.
The Swiss, on the other hand, are not upstanding global citizens simply because they like the idea of protecting people’s privacy. In 2010 hey enacted a law that prohibits the mass collection of file sharer’s IP addresses. The stated that an IP address is private information and is therefore protected. This puts them firmly on the 301 Report’s watch list despite the fact that the law is a good thing for people, just bad for the Copyright Industry.
In the end we have to wonder what special power the Copyright Industry has and why in the world they were given that level of power. Copyright was never intended to be the monster that it is today. It was always meant to protect an artist and their creation for enough time to allow them to profit from their hard work. Now it is a monster and only protects large companies and their business models. When someone tries to get into the same business you are sure to see the law suits fly all over the place claiming grievous harm and financial damages.
This group can call themselves whatever they want, but in the end they are nothing more than a cartel that has massive political influence on US policy and is intent on pushing their vision of copyright around the globe. Even if this effort has to stomp all over your privacy or violate pre-existing laws. This effort does not foster creativity, it kills it. All in the name of making a money off of what in the end is really someone else’s work.
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