Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Government United States Your Rights Online

US Blocking Costa Rican Sugar Trade To Force IP Laws 441

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the if-you-can't-beat-em-squeeze-harder dept.
For the last couple of days news has been trickling in about how the US is trying to ram IP laws down Costa Rica's throat by blocking their access to the US sugar market. Techdirt has a good summary of the various commentaries and a related scoop in the Bahamas where the US is also applying IP pressure. "The first is in Costa Rica, which is included in the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). Yet like with other free trade agreements that the US has agreed to elsewhere, this one includes draconian intellectual property law requirements. I still cannot understand why intellectual monopoly protectionism — the exact opposite of 'free trade' — gets included in free trade agreements. At least in Costa Rica, a lot of people started protesting these rules, pointing out that it would be harmful for the economy, for education and for healthcare. So the Costa Rican government has not moved forward with such laws. How has the US responded? It's blocking access to the US market of Costa Rican sugar until Costa Rica approves new copyright laws."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

US Blocking Costa Rican Sugar Trade To Force IP Laws

Comments Filter:
  • "IP La" (Score:2, Funny)

    by Gothmolly (148874)

    What's "IP La"? In Central America, wouldn't it be "La IP" instead?

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by derGoldstein (1494129)
      Also, the link to TFA stops one letter short of the word "throat".
      Look, if we spent all day poking around poorly written summaries and the overall lack of proofreading on this site... then, well... never mind.
    • Apparently ScuttleMonkey is from Singapore or Hong Kong or something. Stuff Asian People Like - #87 "Lah" [asian-central.com]
  • by SOOPRcow (1279010) on Monday January 18, 2010 @02:43PM (#30810758)
    We still have corn syrup!
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 18, 2010 @02:47PM (#30810796)

      That's like saying (at the family barbeque), "we still have McDonald's".

    • Re:Never Fear!!!! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by nschubach (922175) on Monday January 18, 2010 @02:53PM (#30810858) Journal

      Kind of makes you wonder how much of the presentation the lobbyists did included the HFCS and corn production losses to the amount of sugar being imported...

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by yakumo.unr (833476)
    • by camperslo (704715)

      We still have corn syrup!

      There's also sugar production from beets (in California).

    • Re:Never Fear!!!! (Score:5, Informative)

      by DriedClexler (814907) on Monday January 18, 2010 @03:31PM (#30811318)

      You joke, but that was my reaction: "The US government is making my sugar more expensive? Oh noes! Maybe now I'll have to pay 205% of the world market price for it instead of the usual 200! And maybe 99% of the crap we eat will be infested with HFCS instead of just 98%. What EVER will we do..."

    • Re:Never Fear!!!! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by istartedi (132515) on Monday January 18, 2010 @03:52PM (#30811606) Journal

      The other day, over a Mexican Coca Cola (real sugar), I said to my companion something along the lines of "drink up, this is the ONLY benefit of Free Trade for the common man".

      The US has done everything to make real sugar more expensive, shoving all the HFCS at us. Mexican Coca Cola via NAFTA really is the only tangible benefit I can think of from all this Free Trade multinational corporate nonsense. And if you think about it, it's not really a benefit at all since before the corn lobby captured Congress, we used to mix up Coca Cola with real sugar on THIS side of the border.

      So. I stand corrected. Still no real benefit to the current Free Trade regime.

      • by Dragonslicer (991472) on Monday January 18, 2010 @05:42PM (#30812996)

        The other day, over a Mexican Coca Cola (real sugar), I said to my companion something along the lines of "drink up, this is the ONLY benefit of Free Trade for the common man".

        I've seen advertisements for Pepsi "Throwback", which is apparently regular Pepsi, but with real sugar. I almost cried at the realization that we've now come full circle.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by BoberFett (127537)

          They are also selling Mountain Dew and Dr Pepper that way. I bought a case of each and frankly I find them much better tasting than their corn syrup counterparts. It may be kind of a "no duh" thing to say, but they're not as syrupy tasting.

    • Re:Never Fear!!!! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by MattSausage (940218) on Monday January 18, 2010 @04:07PM (#30811784)
      Since you brought it up. I actually saw a High Fructose Corn Syrup advertisement of all things, on the Food Network the other day. Maybe I'm behind the times, but pushing HFCS seems pretty much as irresponsible as pushing nicotine at least. And it wasn't that they were advertising, "Hey buy our stuff!" no, the ad showed one mother pouring what appeared to be Kool-Aid for a bunch of kids, then another mother coming up to say "Hey! Stop that, HFCS is bad!" the other lady goes "Why?, .......... the first lady stares like an idiot. And then kool-aid lady goes into a spiel about how it's made from CORN, which is natural, and can't be that bad, and everything is fine in moderation, and they both have a big heaping glass of High fructose corn syrup. Something seems distinctly...off... about that commercial.
      • by afidel (530433) on Monday January 18, 2010 @04:36PM (#30812182)
        Yep, it's all natural, just like Arsenic,Strychnine, and Nightshade.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ckaminski (82854)
        Yea, it's propaganda. Something that if you need, generally means you're doing bad shit (eg. Dow Chemical Green/Eco Ads that kick started the currently greenie mania circa 2004).

        The fact that they exist at all is telling.

        And OT: what is this bullshit about the Netherlands banning artifical trans-fats? WTF is an artificial trans-fat?
      • Re:Never Fear!!!! (Score:5, Informative)

        by Raptoer (984438) on Monday January 18, 2010 @05:21PM (#30812742)

        Ignoring contaminates, HFCS used in the majority of products is a mixture of about 50% glucose and 50% fructose (Both monosacharides). Sucrose (table sugar) is a disacharide made up of one glucose and one fructose bonded. Our body ends up having to break up the sucrose into glucose and fructose in order to process it, so mostly there is no difference between the two.

        There are three possible reasons that HFCS is worse than table sugar
        - HFCS doesn't require sucrase (the enzyme that breaks sucrose into the two monosacharides). This means that a person could ingest the same amounts of HFCS and sucrose, but get more energy out of the HFCS, because he doesn't have enough sucrase to break all of the sucrose up. I have no idea what the amount of sucrose we can process at once is though.

        -HFCS has to go through more chemical processing than table sugar, leading to the potentiality of additional contaminates.

        -Finally HFCS is CHEAP. That is the main difference, a food maker can easily put more in to make their product more appealing why leaving the price pretty low.

  • by bearflash (1671358) on Monday January 18, 2010 @02:44PM (#30810766)
    In America, first you get the sugar, then you get the power, then you get the women.
  • "Free" like I say (Score:4, Insightful)

    by oldhack (1037484) on Monday January 18, 2010 @02:45PM (#30810772)

    I still cannot understand why intellectual monopoly protectionism -- the exact opposite of "free trade" -- gets included in free trade agreements...

    Cuz increasingly that's all we have left. Especially now that money-printing business has hit the fan.

    • by nschubach (922175) on Monday January 18, 2010 @02:48PM (#30810802) Journal

      It's all because of a nice little corrupt procedure called lobbying. Those with the most money dictating law to the lawmakers over a nice lunch.

      • by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Monday January 18, 2010 @03:27PM (#30811250) Homepage Journal

        If it's about the money, then it's probably not directly the lobbying, it's the broken campaign finance system. Businesses can't be legally prevented from contributing to campaigns. Despite being a "virtual person" (I think the reason they're allowed to contribute), businesses don't appear to have the same contribution limit as individuals, basically it's getting the best of both sides of the equation.

      • by Phrogman (80473) on Monday January 18, 2010 @03:32PM (#30811334) Homepage

        You no longer live in a true democracy, corporations and their pet lobby groups have superceded the rights of the citizens of the US in many ways, and the IP Mafiaa can push through things like ACTA and other draconian legislation because they have effective control of the government. Its not that clear cut mind you, I am not preaching paranoia, but corporate interests have a disproportionate influence on the laws that are being enacted, and its not in the interests of the average citizen IMHO.
        I'm Canadian, so I don't have the legal option but isn't tossing out your government and replacing it with a better one a legal option down there in the US?

        • by wagnerrp (1305589) on Monday January 18, 2010 @03:46PM (#30811540)
          Only if you succeed.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by rotide (1015173)

            Tossing out the government will end up requiring the use of arms. Those with the power will not just walk away. Our country is very polarized and you would find just as many people for as for against the "replacing" of government. You simply won't see "the people" all stand up and tell the current leaders to go.

            We're talking about tearing down what we have, not just changing figureheads. All the laws that "we" "don't like" would have to be removed as well.

            At the beginning those fighting the powers that

            • Re:"Free" like I say (Score:5, Informative)

              by afidel (530433) on Monday January 18, 2010 @04:47PM (#30812356)
              This is why a standing army is a bad thing mkay. There's a reason the founding fathers didn't make any structure for it in the constitution and in fact wrote quite strongly against it. It's a lot harder to suppress the populace if you have to raise your army from their ranks.
    • by camperslo (704715)

      Cuz increasingly that's all we have left. Especially now that money-printing business has hit the fan.

      Yes, with so many of the other things the U.S. has exported having been replaced by goods from China, it really shouldn't be unexpected to see heavy protection of an industry that generates major export income.

      It's interesting to note that the Chinese appear to be suppressing Avatar which, while extremely popular, is effectively being ordered off the screens after a short run to make way for a local product

    • by cpghost (719344) on Monday January 18, 2010 @03:57PM (#30811668) Homepage

      Cuz increasingly that's all we have left. Especially now that money-printing business has hit the fan.

      Just copyright money. It should make it artificially scarce again.

  • Sugar middlemen... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nschubach (922175) on Monday January 18, 2010 @02:46PM (#30810786) Journal

    Makes me want to setup shop on an island to buy sugar from Costa Rica solely for the purpose of reselling it to the US so Costa Rica can maintain their dignity.

    And any other resource for that matter... maybe some type of ship exchange like you do with Propane. Hell, I could corner the market on all sugar imports so they won't be able to tell how much of it is Costa Rica sugar...

  • by pushing-robot (1037830) on Monday January 18, 2010 @02:48PM (#30810806)

    I can't think of many countries that don't use tariffs or trade restrictions to promote their own national interests in some way. It may be stupid and benefit no one in the end, but it's still within a nation's rights to take their ball and go home.

  • Seeing as how well it worked for Cuba, this could be a win-win!

  • Legality (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Uranium-238 (1586465)
    I was going to say "is that even legal?" but since it's part of their trade agreement I suppose it was to be expected, but that's still pretty low of the US to block access to the sugar market. Pro tip: sell your sugar to to Europe!
  • by acomj (20611) on Monday January 18, 2010 @02:51PM (#30810834) Homepage

    US produces IP and wants to protect it.
    Sugar being a tangible item is what Costa Rica produces.
    You want to trade with the US you should play by US rules. The US want to trade with Costa Rica we play by Costa Rican rules, thus the trade agreement.

    I see nothing wrong here.

    Why these trade rules aren't being used to enforce environmental agreements and not IP ones is somewhat beyond me.

     

    • by xs650 (741277) on Monday January 18, 2010 @03:01PM (#30810954)
      "Why these trade rules aren't being used to enforce environmental agreements and not IP ones is somewhat beyond me."

      Because the US doesn't want to upgrade to Costa Rican environmental standards.
    • by neoform (551705) <djneoform@gmail.com> on Monday January 18, 2010 @03:05PM (#30811006) Homepage
      The problem occurs when you disagree with American IP laws.. US Patents are ridiculous, Copyright terms are way too long.. and punishments for infringement are far too severe.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yeah, I suppose if you look at it that way, there's nothing wrong with it. Just like there's nothing wrong with, say, schoolyard bullying - if you don't want to be bullied, just suck up to the bully and play by his rules, so what's the problem?

      The problem, of course, is that this sort of behavior, while perfectly understandable if you consider states (and people) to be entirely sociopathic egoists, driven only by the desire to get the biggest slice of cake for themselves at the expense of everyone else, sim

  • And so (Score:5, Funny)

    by sconeu (64226) on Monday January 18, 2010 @02:52PM (#30810842) Homepage Journal

    That government of the corporations
    By the corporations
    For the corporations
    Shall not perish from the Earth

  • by demonlapin (527802) on Monday January 18, 2010 @02:53PM (#30810852) Homepage Journal
    US pushes around Central American country and gets away with it because we are their biggest market. Gee, that's only been the story of, what, the past 150 years?
    • Except now China is the biggest market, and like other imports we've blocked the Chinese market will absorb the surplus. Also like a poster above mentioned, what is keeping China from importing Costa Rican sugar and re-branding it as Chinese sugar? China doesn't care about IP law; it looks like a match made in heaven.
      • what is keeping China from importing Costa Rican sugar and re-branding it as Chinese sugar?

        Because transporting it across the Pacific, twice, eliminates any price advantage?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by BitZtream (692029)

      No, its been that way since the dawn of recorded time. You know why? Because thats the way it works, the big guy sets the rules. This is nothing new. This is nothing unique to America. It will continue long after America is no longer of any importance at all.

      Just figuring this out now ... did you bother to go to your high school history class?

    • by dkleinsc (563838) on Monday January 18, 2010 @04:00PM (#30811700) Homepage

      Quite a bit longer than 150 years, and usually we push them around by military means as much as economic. Hence our repeated invasions of most of the countries in Latin America, as well as not infrequent support of coup attempts.

      As Maj Gen Smedley Butler put it back in the 1930's, when this sort of thing was in full swing:

      I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class thug for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

      It's history like that, by the way, that makes accusations that the US supported the coup against Hugo Chavez carry significant weight (whether true or not).

  • by bughunter (10093) <<ten.knilhtrae> <ta> <retnuhgub>> on Monday January 18, 2010 @02:53PM (#30810860) Journal

    ... doesn't mean they were wrong.

    Congratulations, the West was so focused on preventing communist totalitarians from taking over the world we've let capitalists move in and fill the niche.

    The One World Government is here. But it's not a communist state, it's a kleptocracy.

    (Hey, but at least we have Avatar and deep fried butter to distract us.)

  • Free trade (Score:5, Interesting)

    by krou (1027572) on Monday January 18, 2010 @02:54PM (#30810870)

    I still cannot understand why intellectual monopoly protectionism — the exact opposite of "free trade" — gets included in free trade agreements.

    You misunderstand the meaning of free trade/the free market. It's free as in free for the more advanced economies, but not for the rest. Historically, countries like Europe and America (and others) have strengthened their economies by violating free market principles, and enforcing them on others.

  • actually read and thought about the damn agreement before signing it.

  • by forand (530402) on Monday January 18, 2010 @02:58PM (#30810912) Homepage
    While I believe I agree with you in general sentiment, that is that US IP laws are so long term and non permissive as to be more a hinderance to development than an incentive; the statement in the summary, quoted below makes no sense.

    I still cannot understand why intellectual monopoly protectionism — the exact opposite of "free trade" — gets included in free trade agreements.

    Intellectual property laws being uniform across a free trade so is REQUIRED for free trade of intellectual property and clearly not 'the exact opposite of free trade.' If laws differed between member nations then one nation would be able to use intellectual property to manufacture their goods which was prohibited by other members thus creating an unfair advantage. This would be most dramatic if the intellectual property was produced in one nation under its laws then used without license by another nation to effectively eliminate the benefits of the intellectual property protects. These protections are for the creators not for the nations (thus not protectionist in the traditional sense). Free trade is to stop nations from creating safe havens for their producers by erecting unfair barriers to trade not to allow anyone to take whatever IP they want and use it as they see fit.

    • by 0123456 (636235) on Monday January 18, 2010 @03:04PM (#30810992)

      Free trade is to stop nations from creating safe havens for their producers by erecting unfair barriers to trade not to allow anyone to take whatever IP they want and use it as they see fit.

      Free trade is where I say 'hey, I've got this widget, you want to buy it?' and you say 'sure, here's $10' and we exchange cash for widget, without the government interfering at any point.

      You don't need huge treaties for free trade, you just need governments to get out of the way.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by robo45h (660508)

        Free trade is where I say 'hey, I've got this widget, you want to buy it?' and you say 'sure, here's $10' and we exchange cash for widget, without the government interfering at any point.

        You don't need huge treaties for free trade, you just need governments to get out of the way.

        Sounds nice but is completely incorrect. A huge percentage of the present US economy is based on intellectual property: computer software, television shows, movies, music, the designs of complex things (computer chips, etc.).

        The only way to generate money from IP is to use governments to create and enforce laws. Otherwise, people will just make free copies of things.

        Now, note that if you want to say that this is OK, that is fine, but it's a completely different argument. You would be destroying the pres

        • by Stormwatch (703920) <rodrigogirao AT hotmail DOT com> on Monday January 18, 2010 @03:30PM (#30811302) Homepage

          The only way to generate money from IP is to use governments to create and enforce laws.

          Meaning: before IP was invented, just a few hundred years ago, writers made no money. Which is, of course, absurd. IP is a scam, as much as religions or the war on drug.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by BhaKi (1316335)

            I agree that IP is a scam.

            However, the concept that your example is talking about is Copyright, which is just one kind of IP. I don't think the Costa Rican government (or any other government, for that matter) would have a problem with that. The problem here is really about the other kind - the Patents. Many governments across the world are unwilling or reluctant to extend US patent laws into their own countries, for atleast three reasons. Firstly, patents are a stupid concept. They feel meaningful to many

      • by BitZtream (692029)

        What about when a company in country A spends 5 or 6 billion dollars developing something, then country B ignores the investment and costs involved and just lets anyone who wants to copy it with no restriction?

        What do you think happens when next time around the company says 'fuck it, the rest of the world will just copy what we did and we'll never make back what we put into developing it' and then they just stop making new things. Now everyone suffers, because of 'free trade' as you put it.

        Contrary the th

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by 2obvious4u (871996)
          Company in country A then sells its products in country A; where its laws are there to protect it. Another company in country B which doesn't have copyright/patent laws then produces an identical product at a reduced price, which the people in country B can afford. The government of country A blocks import of the protected product from country B. Both A and B benefit. Company A has a monopoly in Country A. Company B sells a product to the citizens of country B at a rate they can afford.

          The rub is tha
    • by cpt kangarooski (3773) on Monday January 18, 2010 @03:11PM (#30811068) Homepage

      If laws differed between member nations then one nation would be able to use intellectual property to manufacture their goods which was prohibited by other members thus creating an unfair advantage.

      That's only unfair if the other nations' laws are themselves fair. And of course, what's fair can vary quite a lot depending on one's circumstances. You're essentially suggesting the equivalent of a flat tax, where everyone is taxed the same amount in currency, regardless of ability to pay or the ratio of one's overall income or wealth to the amount of the tax. It's generally accepted that progressive taxes are more fair, where the amount you pay is proportional to the amount you have and can afford. Why shouldn't we try a similar model here? Given that copyright laws govern importation already, which avoids the problem of arbitrage, what's so bad about this? Further, shouldn't each nation strive to enact laws that best serve its own people? I'd be happy to have Costa Rica decide for itself what sorts of copyright laws would best serve Costa Ricans, so long as the US was similarly free of pernicious influences that result in a law that isn't as good for its people as possible, whether those influences are from without or within.

    • by 2obvious4u (871996) on Monday January 18, 2010 @03:24PM (#30811208)
      IP laws are a construct of the state. They artificially create a good that otherwise wouldn't exist. Free markets work great when you need to distribute a limited resource. They don't work so well when an artificial rule is used to keep an otherwise free and plentiful resource arbitrarily scarce to line the pockets of those with power.
  • by wowbagger (69688) on Monday January 18, 2010 @03:06PM (#30811012) Homepage Journal

    And the sad thing is that if Costa Rica tells us to go fsck ourselves, while it will hurt Costa Rica's economy, all it will do here is help sell even more High Fructose Corn Syrup and help the corn lobby here.

  • Stop using it.

    When the sugar companies start bitching, the congress critters will whine at obamanator to stop the embargo.

  • Ok US complainers (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ifwm (687373) on Monday January 18, 2010 @03:07PM (#30811026) Journal

    How many of you know, specifically, your elected representatives' views on international trade?

    And how many of you plan to claim you did, but really didn't,and had to look it up when I called you on it?

  • by Anonymous Coward
    This is just wrong... US its just a Bully... President Chavez is right. Cant wait to see all the stupid replies to my comment.
  • So, on /. we complain about China because they ignore copyright and patent law on everything, but the it's "let poor Costa Rica be!" when they violate the terms of their treaty and the US doesn't just roll over and ignore it?

    I would be more sympathetic if they refused the treaty, and were then being pressured to accept it "or else". But here, they're just opting to comply with the parts of the treaty they like, and completely ignore the parts they don't. I fail to see how this could possibly be spun as a

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by 2obvious4u (871996)
      Isn't part of it because we don't enforce the same rules on China? Where is the blocking of all the Chinese goods because they don't respect IP laws? If we held all countries to the same standard it probably wouldn't be news.
  • I like how any program you can imagine is available in Mexico City for $5. I'm sure it is no different in the islands.... This just means more corn syrup for US ! Yea !
  • IP Laws (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The Government of the United States of America is a whore to corporate interests.

  • by ral (93840) on Monday January 18, 2010 @03:33PM (#30811344)
    If you want to see a real free trade agreement, you need look no further than our own constitution:

    Article I, Section 9. No tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any state. No preference shall be given by any regulation of commerce or revenue to the ports of one state over those of another: nor shall vessels bound to, or from, one state, be obliged to enter, clear or pay duties in another.

    That's it. In contrast CAFTA is 3700 pages long. NAFTA is 2000 pages long. These agreements do not give freedom, they take it away.

  • Both have a cost to produce, Both are available for sale. Complaining that the US doesn't give Costa Rica the IP for free is the same as complaining that Costa Rica charges the US for sugar. It really is that simple.
  • ip law is defunct (Score:5, Interesting)

    by circletimessquare (444983) <circletimessquare&gmail,com> on Monday January 18, 2010 @03:40PM (#30811442) Homepage Journal

    its a direct, unavoidable consequence of the rise of the internet

    ip laws only make sense when they are a gentleman's agreement among a handful of publishers. they are completely unenforceable when every teenager in his basement is a publisher to anyone else at zero cost, for anything you want

    the wise thing for costa rica to do is simply agree to whatever the usa demands ip law wise. and then its business as usual. which is: everything is available with no ip restrictions to anyone remotely familiar with a computer console

    enforcement is impossible, even for the usa within its own borders, so who fucking cares what the lawyers and bureaucrats and corporations say? they've already been routed around

    i'm not saying you shouldn't get upset at the arrogance and the audacity of the american demands, i'm saying a bully making demands without any actual ability to follow through on his threats is nothing you have to pay any respect to

    you simply pay the asshole lip service, put a big smile on your face, say "yes" to whatever the asshole wants, and then its business as usual, which is: ip laws mean nothing. all of the posturing and threats and demands mean nothing. there's NO ENFORCEMENT POSSIBLE

      let all the corporate lawyers, midlevel bureaucrats amd other pointless yammering meat popsicles create all the ip laws and agreements they want

    WHO FUCKING CARES. they can't enforce any of it. its the internet age. this is not vhs copy machines in a warehouse or cd duplicators in the closet. you can't shut down the internet

    people: stop getting upset at these retards trying to enforce laws from a previous technological era and just igore them and their petty demands without any muscle behind them. they can't stop technological change. they are defunct, they just don't know it

  • Why Sugar you said? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mr. Daemon (11643) on Monday January 18, 2010 @07:20PM (#30814130) Homepage

    Why is the US using sugar instead of a bigger product for Costa Rica, like coffee or bananas?

    I'll tell you why, there's a controlling elite in Costa Rica that has managed the country for a few years already, and the head of this elite is the current President and his brother, Oscar and Rodrigo Arias, which in turn own the biggest sugar cane fields in the country. So the attack is directly to their pockets and so they move all their influence to enforce the IP law, that includes stupid rules as that every restaurant or public place will have to pay royalty to the RIAA equivalent in our country if they play the radio to keep their customers entertained!

    The worst case is that the oposition in our country is not well organized nor has the intellectual strength to fight this kind of laws, plus the elite has majority in congress, so the IP laws have some resistance, but they have not been approved because congress is to darn slow to do anything, so we'll get them eventually.

  • OLD NEWS DAY (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Crypto Gnome (651401) on Monday January 18, 2010 @10:06PM (#30815354) Homepage Journal
    Why this is even a headline these days is absolutely beyond me.

    Exactly the same thing was done to Australia a couple of years ago, we are now bound by American Copyright laws in return for some not-100%-royally-screwing-australia "free trade" agreements.

    The irony of the thing is that America was founded on "no taxation without representation" and now they want to shove their laws down my throat but without *also* giving me the rights/priviledges of "being an american".

    Welcome to the modern methods of empire-building.
  • by b4upoo (166390) on Monday January 18, 2010 @11:42PM (#30815876)

    I'm not certain whether I should be called a language loonie, a logic loonie or a political radical but here goes my rant: Free trade means free of all laws, all rules, all taxes, all regulations. The blithering about free markets and capitalism is a right wing conspiracy in and of itself. No nation, not even a tribe of primitives, has ever tried free trade for even one solitary moment. The notion of free trade compares to pregnancy. One absolutely is or is not pregnant. There are no stages or shades of grey.
                    By letting people absorb the false facts about free trade it becomes easy to further manipulate their lives. Obviously it follows as the night the day that if free trade has never existed then nothing really is known about free trade at all. It is false theoretical dribble designed to enslave under educated populations.
                      I cringe in horror at the supposedly logical, supposedly educated types who spout off about free trade.

  • by Fnord666 (889225) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @01:00AM (#30816220) Journal

    While Michael Geist states that they are [michaelgeist.ca] and that the US is deliberately blocking exports

    The response from the U.S. is important as well. It is delaying market access to sugar from the developing country until the copyright reforms are in place. Until that time, Costa Rican sugar producers will not be able to sell their product in the U.S.

    a technollama article [technollama.co.uk] that Geist cited does not seem to have the same opinion. They were not able to confirm a connection between the issues and in fact found information to the contrary.

    I was able to track down some more information about this other than the poorly-reference Tico Times article. La Nación reported that the problem was first highlighted by sugar cane exporters in Costa Rica earlier this week. The exporters complained that they have 11.880 metric tonnes of sugar in storage, which has already been sold to American importers, but that cannot be sent because of CAFTA restrictions. The American embassy is quoted in that same article as stating that this has nothing to do with CAFTA, and that it is simply a matter of the country having reached its allocated sugar export quotas. This seems like an accurate appraisal of the situations, as I was unable to find a single reference outside of the Tico Times stating that the United States had threatened Costa Rica at all. In fact, raw cane sugar quotas for 2010 were announced by the U.S. Trade Representative back in September 2009, and are "based on the countries' historical shipments to the United States".

    For reference, the ticotimes.net article [ticotimes.net] simply stated

    Yet, until the final piece is approved, the United States is delaying market access to sugar. Costa Rican sugar producers will not be able to sell their product in the U.S. unless legislators approve the last part, known as the 14th amendment.

    but as the technollama article indicates, no one else has said this and it could not be confirmed.

"Mach was the greatest intellectual fraud in the last ten years." "What about X?" "I said `intellectual'." ;login, 9/1990

Working...