War On Piracy Is Not A Kids Game
For those who believe that the war on piracy has shifted primarily to suing college students and placing bogus Madonna files on p2p systems, you're missing the global aspect, replete with its own Axis-of-Evil (Taiwan/Russia/Poland), threats of sanctions, dire warnings for the global economy, and fence-mending among reluctant allies.
The Motion Picture Association, among others, welcomed the placing of Taiwan, Russia, and Poland on the "Priority Watch List" by the US Trade Representative following its annual review under Special 301 of the 1988 Trade Act. The decision will open the countries to possible retaliation from the US unless they improve copyright standards & enforcement. "It is critical that the U.S. Government uses every resource in its power to persuade these countries to confront piracy or ensure that they face the consequences of trade sanctions," said Jack Valenti, MPA's Chairman and CEO.
Nor are the Europeans taking the issue of piracy sitting down. In its first report on the implementation of Directive 98/84/EC, meant to provide legal protection to electronic pay services within the EU, the European Commission warned that "piracy will have the same detrimental effects in the knowledge society as white-collar crime and counterfeiting of goods in the 20th century." Illustrating the disunity that so often characterizes the Union, the report also warns of "safe havens" for pirates being established unless the Directive is fully implemented by all member states.
And of course, there is the usual fence-mending between reluctant allies as the tech and recording industry put a good face on their efforts to seek "new and exciting ways to deliver secure digital content in a manner that meets, or exceeds, consumer expectations." But most of all, the joint statement issued was a strong reminder to Congress that, while they appreciate the powers under Special 301 of the 1988 Trade Act, "how companies satisfy consumer expectations is a business decision that should be driven by the marketplace, not by government dictated technology mandates or other regulations."
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