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DMCA Goes Global
By Eric de Fontenay (Founder & Publisher)
(more articles from this author)
2003-01-29
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I had the opportunity to attend a conference at the French National Assembly (equivalent to the House of Representative) on the implementation of the European Union Copyright Directive (EUCD) in France and its impact on its version of fair use, 'la copie privee' (personal or private copy). What drew my attention, among other things, was a remark made by Michel Vivant, a leading professor on intellectual property issues at the University of Montpellier. Mr. Vivant commented that the present draft bill being considered in the Assembly "reflected more US priorities found in DMCA than European principles & values." The point has been somewhat of a rallying cry for groups opposing the present version of the draft bill that warn French legislators to first consider the multiple negative consequences that have resulted since the passage of DMCA. "This [American experience] should allow for a debate that is anchored in facts, concrete experiences and pending litigation, with some being appealed to the US Supreme Court." - EUCD.info

The French aren't alone in complaining of undue pressure from US government representatives on the EU to mold an EU copyrights directive, and therefore ensuing national laws, in the image of DMCA. The Australian Internet sector is up in arms over the possibility that ISPs could be held liable for the transmission of copyright material in the name of 'harmonizing' the Australian Copyright Act with DMCA. US Trade Representative Robert Zoellick has, in fact, been trekking the four corners of the world, strong-arming nations, as diverse as Canada, Singapore and Chile, into adopting DMCA 'copycat' laws that do not reflect national traditions or laws. While some may argue (though not this editor) that DMCA reflects rules and principles necessary to protect copyright in the digital age, it is hard to argue that rules that are appropriate for the world's largest market and exporter of entertainment should be blindly emulated, in say, Latin America or here in Europe.

Related News from Mi2N:
» Conférence A L'assemblée Nationale Sur La Copie Privée
» Statement By Jack Valenti On The US-Singapore Free Trade Agreement
» Statement By Jack Valenti, Chairman And CEO, Motion Picture Association, On The Free Trade Agreement Between The US And Chile


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