Entries Matching: Special 301

PK’s Special 301 Comments Reiterate Importance of Balance in Copyright Law

This past Friday, we filed comments in the Special 301 process, the Office of the United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) annual exercise of naming countries that do not adequately protect intellectual property interests of Americans. We believe that this process has turned into an exercise of pressuring countries to pass copyright laws that provide maximum benefits to rights holders, preventing many social, economic, and political benefits that flow from sensible limits on copyright owner rights.

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The 2012 Special 301 Report Continues to do the Bidding of the Content Industry

The “Special 301 Report” is an annual report compiled by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), supposedly identifying countries that do not provide adequate and effective protection to the intellectual property rights of US persons.

In practice, Special 301 has turned into an arm-twisting exercise forcing countries to pass laws and adopt practices favored by large copyright and patent holders and often not in the public interest.

The office of the USTR published its 2012 Special 301 Report today. We are still analyzing the report, but here are our first impressions:

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Why did we have a Special 301 hearing?

Yesterday, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), along with several other government agencies, held a hearing on its Special 301 process. This hearing was part of the process by which the USTR compiles a list of countries that do not provide “adequate and effective protection” to the intellectual property rights of U.S. persons or deny market access to them. I testified on behalf of Public Knowledge. A copy of my testimony is available here.

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ACTA: If You Write A Trade Agreement No One Will Sign, What’s The Point?

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Last summer, with the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) negotiations stalled for two years because of Hollywood insistence adding all kinds of regulate-the-internet crazy stuff, we gave the US Trade Representative and the industries pushing for ACTA some friendly advice: "Drop the crazy stuff."

Officially, the U.S. government wanted ACTA to stop people from bringing actual counterfeit goods into the country, or marketing actual counterfeit goods abroad. Thats why a lot of industry groups and companies wanted ACTA. Not because of they wanted to regulate the Internet and prop up the traditional business models of the movie and music industries, but to deal with the folks making wharehouses full of fake Louis Vitton bags and knock-off Omega watches.

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