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U.S. Announces Global Intellectual Property Plan 292

Angry_Admin writes "ZDNet is running a story about how the U.S. has announced new plans to expand its crackdown on intellectual-property infringement overseas. From the article:'One program would place intellectual property experts on the ground in regions where infringement is considered a concern. There they would work with overseas U.S. businesses and native government officials to advocate improved intellectual-property rights protection, according to a department fact sheet. Another program, called the Global Intellectual Property Rights Academy, would train foreign judges, enforcement officials and other stakeholders in international intellectual property obligations and best practices.'"
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U.S. Announces Global Intellectual Property Plan

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  • That's it! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Dizzo ( 443720 ) on Friday September 23, 2005 @04:14PM (#13632633)
    Screw this, I'm moving... oh, wait.
  • by HolyCrapSCOsux ( 700114 ) on Friday September 23, 2005 @04:15PM (#13632640)
    The problem is, other countries have other laws. You can't enforce US law in china. They'll tell us just where we can stick our initiative. I hope that ALL the countries do the same....
    • by squidfood ( 149212 ) on Friday September 23, 2005 @04:21PM (#13632704)
      You can't enforce US law in china.

      Why not?? We westerners have always done this kind of thing to Asia! I want my government to promote our monopolies abroad. I offer you five words: British East India Tea Company.

      • by falconwolf ( 725481 ) <falconsoaring_2000NO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Friday September 23, 2005 @09:46PM (#13635418)

        You can't enforce US law in china.

        Why not?? We westerners have always done this kind of thing to Asia!

        Another word needs to be added, opium. Because the British imported so much tea they had a serious trade deficit so to even out the imbalance they imported into China opium [oldnewspublishing.com], thus started the Opium Wars [harvard.edu]. The Chinese emperor tried to stop the opium and when he did the British sent in troops and they roundly defeated the Chinese and forced the emperor to allow opium. Therefore the saying that the queen was a drug dealer was correct. At the same tyme Britain also forced the lease of Hong Kong.

    • In Europe their Software patents have fallen out too, ... but somehow I feel that US companies are on it again and that this law is nothing but another form of already rejected SoftPatent proposal. It would make no difference for them if they would be allowed to enforce their US patents or if they have to patent overseas, in fact it would be even cheaper.

      They could at least wait a year or two.

      Personally, I'm developing reflex against US citizens (non-intentionaly against people, I know it should be politics
    • The problem is, other countries have other laws. You can't enforce US law in china. They'll tell us just where we can stick our initiative. I hope that ALL the countries do the same....

      We're not going there to enforce our laws. We're sending people to advise businesses on local laws and stump for IP rights for businesses in those nations. Further, there are international IP rights, and the programs in question are intended to serve as training for judges and attorneys in international courts and advocat

      • Re:Yeah right... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by scsirob ( 246572 ) on Friday September 23, 2005 @05:09PM (#13633243)
        Since you think this is such a marvellous plan, how about this... Dutch / European IP law works quite well and hasn't as of yet created the mess that the USPTO has for you. I think we should send some Dutch advisors over and tell the American companies exactly how they should apply *our* IP laws as universal guidelines. This will be very beneficial, especially for European companies who have a head start. I'm sure that will be very well recived over there, right?!? No?!? What a surprise...
    • I am very glad they can not enforce US law outside the US, even though it seems idiots like BSA does not understand that. Thank heavens we said no to your genetic altered plants. Monsanto and other corporations who can afford to buy US politicians have made sure that if they find that their patented gene-altered weeds has invaded your garden then, in the US, you are responsible for that and they can sue you for damages - which is insanity - in the EU we found that if their weed has infected your garden then
    • Bingo! What authority does the US (or US corporations) have over how law is interpreted or executed in a foreign nation? None whatsoever! In fact, a copyright or patent filed in the US only has effect in the US! Any country that has a shred of independence or self respect would condemn the mere idea of this plan. Normally, in order to dictate policy and law in a country, it requires "boots on the ground." Apparently, these days it only requires "briefcases and fat wallets on the ground."
    • You're right, and that's why the next war will be to liberate a country from its oppressive IP-free laws. It's all about bringing freedom to the peoples of this earth.
  • by bazmail ( 764941 ) on Friday September 23, 2005 @04:16PM (#13632648)
    Yankee go home!
  • by Suzumushi ( 907838 ) on Friday September 23, 2005 @04:16PM (#13632649)
    The RIAA/MPAA spokespeople for the US government responded, "We just need some breathing space."
    • I'd normally shout "Godwin's Law," but I'm too busy laughing! Up next week, RIAA annexes the Sudetenland.
    • The RIAA/MPAA spokespeople for the US government responded

      The fact that someone can write this of as a joke makes it sad. (But yeah, I'm chuckling as well.)

    • by antiMStroll ( 664213 ) on Friday September 23, 2005 @04:29PM (#13632804)
      That's backwards. The US government now proves itself a wholly owned subsidiary of entertainment cartels. Future historians will have a field day with our era, endlessly arguing, picking apart and tracing precisely where and how it was decided to relinquish fundamental rights for the benefit of a tiny minority of business interests specializing in trivialities.
      • too bad you'll never get to watch it. The media companies will declare it subversive and refuse to sell media to print it on, and your tivo will be directed not to record the static that is broadcast in its place because the jamming satellites will be irradiating the homes of the historians.
  • By this, of course they mean representatives from the RIAA/MPAA. So you know that all sides of the discussion on intellectual property will be treated fairly.
  • > One program would place intellectual property experts on the ground in regions where infringement is considered a concern.

    ...being a mercenary for Blackwater seems positively ethical by comparison!

  • by garcia ( 6573 ) on Friday September 23, 2005 @04:19PM (#13632685)
    Experts will be sent to Brazil, India, Russia, Thailand, China and the Middle East and serve a five-year tour of duty, the fact sheet said.

    You just *have* love quotes like that. Yay! The War on Drugs and now the War on Software Piracy! Tours of duty, lol!
  • "Train" (Score:4, Insightful)

    by grub ( 11606 ) <slashdot@grub.net> on Friday September 23, 2005 @04:19PM (#13632688) Homepage Journal

    would train foreign judges

    Yeah, all those years of school and working as lawyers in the field couldn't prepare them enough.
    • Re:"Train" (Score:3, Informative)

      by garcia ( 6573 )
      Yeah, all those years of school and working as lawyers in the field couldn't prepare them enough.

      They have to be "retrained" to start taking money from the "right" people.
      • Uh, why is this a troll?

        If we're sending people to teach their judges how to judge, then that's what we're doing. We're saying that they don't know what they're doing, and that we, because we're a SUPERPOWER and we're RIGHT, ought to show them how its supposed to be done.
    • Isn't it ironic... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Enlarged to Show Tex ( 911413 ) on Friday September 23, 2005 @04:33PM (#13632845)
      ...that the US wants foreign judges to consider US law as it judges things in its own jurisdiction, yet doesn't want US judges to consider foreign law as it judges matters here in the US?

      • by Ungrounded Lightning ( 62228 ) on Friday September 23, 2005 @06:56PM (#13634172) Journal
        Isn't it ironic...that the US wants foreign judges to consider US law as it judges things in its own jurisdiction, yet doesn't want US judges to consider foreign law as it judges matters here in the US?

        That's an issue with the Supremes - and the appointment and confirmation process - right now.

        Some of the "Consititution is a Living Document" crowd - who want to bend the protections into any convenient shape so they can be conveniently ignored - DO want the Supremes to "consider foreign law" when they make their decisions.

        The problem is: that's ILLEGAL. The US government has ONLY the power granted it by the Constitution, and the whole POINT of the Supreme Court (in the current operation of the country) is to hold it to those limits. All US law derives from the Constitution. Giving foreign law ANY input into the decision-making at the judicial level risks breaking the single defense of citizens' rights (short of violent anti-government action.) Then you get to knuckle under or fight a war, probably lose, and end up broke and exhausted even if you DO win.

        Foreign law properly gets incorporated through legislation to fulfill treaty obligations. Then the judiciary determines whether the chosen implementation is within the government's limits and sends it back for a rehack if not. Citizens and lawyers only have to deal with the law of the US.

        In the absense of adherence to that set of limits the President can do anything he pleases and the Congress can pass any law they can get the President to enforce. Tyranny with a capital-T.

        The Supreme Court puts the brakes on that by knocking down laws, regulations, and executive excesses when they exceed the constitutional bounds. (It keeps working over a significant time because the main source of their power is knocking down improper laws - and being seen as reasonably consistent and true to the meaning of the constitution when doing so.)

        But recently a supreme court justice mentioned foreign law in a decision - in a way that makes it appear that it influenced that decision. Now whether new appointees are going to stick to the constitution or "legislate from the bench" by ad-libbing and/or giving foreign law some standing above portions of the Constitution itself is a big issue.
    • ... of die fijne Amerikanen dan ook van ons verlangen dat we alles in het Engels doen, of zouden ze dan zelf alle wereldtalen gaan leren?

      Ik voel me steeds veiliger met Bush en consorte in het zadel... NOT!
    • Re:"Train" (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Kaorimoch ( 858523 )
      I believe most of the "training" for these foreign judges will involve special items such as:

      * How to discreetly obtain brown paper bags full of cash from record companies.
      * How one might use their position to obtain larger brown paper bags.
      * How to use, ahem, "contributions" to improve your lifestyle without being detected.
      * How to overcome areas such as "legislation" and "due process" to punish intellectual property violaters.
  • by kc32 ( 879357 )
    We're basically invading China with nothing but lawyers.
    • Why do you think we have so many lawyers? As everyone is quick to point out, war is bad. Diplomacy goes both ways. But drop 100,000 lawyers on some poor country, and you quickly overwhelm them. No legal system can endure. Not a drop of blood spilled and a country is brought to its knees. Plus the lawyers bill the victim.

      Still, it is rather expensive to feed and house a standing army of lawyers.
  • by hackstraw ( 262471 ) * on Friday September 23, 2005 @04:21PM (#13632711)
    From TFA:

    Another programme, called the Global Intellectual Property Rights Academy, would train foreign judges, enforcement officials and other stakeholders in international intellectual property "obligations" and best practices. The academy, overseen by the US Patent and Trademark Office, plans to convene in 24 sessions in 2006, paying all travel expenses for the foreign participants, who will come from many of the same areas where experts will be working.

    I don't know what to even say to that.

    The US Patent and Trademark Office has their own special issues. We are going to "train" people about their laws concerning intellectual property "obligations" and "best practices"?

    Put me in charge of this damn thing. I'll use napalm to train these guys.

    I'm speechless. I don't think I really want to live in this country (USA) any more.
    • by garcia ( 6573 ) on Friday September 23, 2005 @04:28PM (#13632789)
      I'm speechless. I don't think I really want to live in this country (USA) any more.

      That's the worst possible solution -- being speechless I mean.
    • It's funny, I often think the same thing. I don't want to live in this country anymore. Sure, a lot of the things that get to me are little things, but when you put them all together they make something big. The other thing that gets me is that it often seems that the priorities in the US are all fucked up. We're worried about the rights of an industry built around entertainment. Yes, it's a lot of money, yes, it's a huge export, but it's fucking entertainment. There are places in the world, in the US
  • by wlvdc ( 842653 ) on Friday September 23, 2005 @04:22PM (#13632724) Homepage Journal
    Hmm, this sounds more like a world domination plan. So the US-government and US-businesses have agreed that all intellectual-property shall be theirs, and their agents ("... train foreign judges") will do the field administration to assure US interests secured. Why is the US so convinced of it's own legal system. Why should it work for the rest of the world?
    • by Yaa 101 ( 664725 ) on Friday September 23, 2005 @04:34PM (#13632860) Journal
      It doesn't... look at the world trade center...

      It is exactly these kind of arrogant things that form a magnet for negativity...
    • Next invasion of a country will be to protect intellectually property rights. The marines will go in, followed shortly thereafter by the lawyers. Come to think of it, sending in the lawyers inot the beach would solve a lot of problems for both sides - the enemy military gets in some worthwhile target practice - and our side ends up with less lawyers.
    • Because that's what the corporations tell them to do?
    • Why is the US so convinced of it's own legal system. Why should it work for the rest of the world?

      It doesn't have to work for the rest of the world, it only has to work for the US. The trick is to convince these governments that it's in their interests to go along with it, similar to the concept of being "a team player". Those who support the US in their overseas business philosophy will surely reap some rewards for imposing their Brahmin will upon their native peoples.

      The key concept seems to be to get fo
  • by myowntrueself ( 607117 ) on Friday September 23, 2005 @04:23PM (#13632726)
    From the article:'One program would place intellectual property experts on the ground in regions where infringement is considered a concern. There they would work with overseas U.S. businesses and native government officials to advocate improved intellectual-property rights protection

    *native* government officials?

    Lord Blimey, we can't have those nig-nogs and fuzzy-wuzzies running about without proper supervision! They might *violate* our intellectual property!

    Send the colonial administrators in to pick out a few of the more obedient and docile wogs and turn them into loyal colonial servants.

    (and if you can't spot the sarcasm in that, you'd better bloody well mod me down, hadn't you?)
  • I find it outrageous that these countries not only violate federal law, but they also refuse to obey the causes in our constituition dealing with copyright!
  • by Haiku 4 U ( 580059 ) on Friday September 23, 2005 @04:26PM (#13632758)
    When all you make is
    crappy IP, you damn well
    gonna do just this.

    I miss the old days
    when we could point to something
    tangible we made.

    Now, all we export
    is bad movies, music, and
    pain and suffering.

  • Join the EFF now! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by StefanJ ( 88986 ) on Friday September 23, 2005 @04:32PM (#13632841) Homepage Journal
    It may not help in the end, but at least you'll feel like you did something while Homeland Security is dragging you away to have a NeuroDongle(tm) installed in your parietal lobe to keep your brain from processing non-DRM equipped media.
  • by Grendel Drago ( 41496 ) on Friday September 23, 2005 @04:36PM (#13632878) Homepage
    I'm surprised they didn't mention Canada. See, Canada currently has Life+50 copyright (while Europe, for instance, has Life+70); unless someone leans on them, the complete works of A. A. Milne (d. 1956) will become public domain there on January 1, 2007. So, given that Winnie the Pooh is a particularly large cash cow for Disney, who wants to bet that Canada mysteriously chooses to extend their copyrights to "harmonize" (or whatever the bullshit phrase is) their copyrights with ours, or with Europe's?
  • by metoc ( 224422 ) on Friday September 23, 2005 @04:37PM (#13632890)
    At this rate American's won't be welcome anywhere.
  • by LordMyren ( 15499 ) on Friday September 23, 2005 @04:38PM (#13632905) Homepage
    I'll repeat it again;
    Way to legislate special interest!

    What fuck-asses. I cant wait to see the nepharious two-fisted bullshit these content-holder hitmen are going to try to pull on the rest of the world. Once you get past the sickening reality, it should be downright fucking hilarious. They wont exactly have all that much leverage, they're just some random joe show shows up claiming to be defending some other nations interests. Surreee, we'll listen to you.

    The US remains the only place in the world where law enforcement considers 100% enforcement their duty. Less barberic civilization seems to have realized that the purpose of laws is for the general goodwill and fortune of the populous, and laws should be enforced or not enforced as such. Its called humanity you nincompoops.

    Its kind of scary to think nations might willingly forfeit the sovereignty of letting someone else come in and demand that they start enforcing their laws better. There's cases of defunct government where such aid is needed, but its pathetic that hte only place the US is going to start leveraging such direct extra-national influence is to the cock-sucking lobbyists that've completely monopolized the entertainment sector. Its even more terrifying to think that any self respecting international body would let agents of a single nation impose this policy.

    Little more ire than usual, but whatever. "Sometimes you know, I get so pissed off,"


  • So... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Evil Butters ( 772669 ) on Friday September 23, 2005 @04:38PM (#13632910)

    Well, now that we've captured Bin Laden, resolved all of the problems from hurricanes Katrina and Rita, finally got out of Iraq and solved our crime and unemployment problems locally, I'm glad to see that our country is putting our over abundance of tax dollars to good use!

  • Over here in the UK, 50 year copyright terms mean that early Elvis recordings etc are entering the public domain. That's about the earliest recordings that USA companies still profit immensely from. Our slightly more sensible copyright laws are now affecting USA company profits, and thus must be "fixed", as every year that passes, the extent to which USA companies can leech off long-dead artists is reduced.

    I really can't take any politician seriously when they suggest longer terms for copyright. If t

  • Proudhon

    Too much gin on a Friday night.
  • I am a foreign judge who urgently requires training in intellectual property laws. Unfortunately I need to bribe dishonest officials to obtain exit visa so I can attend Harvard Business School. Five million dollars in unmarked gold bullion should pay for it nicely. Any laws you want made on my return, just ask.
  • Train judges in best practises?!!!

    I think not!

    Best practise for a judge is to follow the law and avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest!!

  • by Kphrak ( 230261 ) on Friday September 23, 2005 @04:48PM (#13632991) Homepage

    I've already seen hundreds of "The US is a dictatorship based on world domination, RIAA MPAA Microsoft Bush corporations hate hate hate" comments as a result of this article. Before everyone starts screaming about the same thing in a frenzy of knee-jerk reactions, keep in mind that many developing nations run factories dedicated to producing illegal copies of software, mostly American, Japanese, and European. In Indonesia one used to be able to find whole software stores with not one legitimate copy of a product in them (probably still can; I was there about six months ago). Lawmakers and judges in these countries officially support intellectual property, but wink at it in practice.

    I don't know, let me put this question up to Slashdot's tender mercies: Do we advocate illegal copying of commercial software, and if so, why? Although I know we're supposed to be for the "little guy", and against the corporations, these guys aren't Johnny Downloader; they're companies that make their living solely from copying the products of other people's labor. Is it because "information wants to be free", and that the very idea of exchanging money for software is evil? Is it because Microsoft or Redhat or Oracle are evil, and they should be punished for their crimes by the piracy of their software?

    The United States has a big software business. It has copyright laws that are, on paper, agreed to by other countries by international agreement. So why the big fuss when they want them to be enforced?

    A quick side note: The availability of illegal proprietary software hinders the adoption of open source in developing nations because Windows is so readily available (about $3 in USD per copy). In addition, the GPL is an intellectual property agreement. If we stand for the violation of commercial intellectual property, we must allow for the violation of open-source intellectual property. Legally, they are no different.

  • Good place for US Laywers, Chines Prisons, Russian Gulags... perfect disposal areas for the US waste....
  • by Simonetta ( 207550 ) on Friday September 23, 2005 @04:49PM (#13633020)
    'Intellectual Property' is nothing more than a big American fantasy invented to compensate for the fact that they don't make anything anymore except ultra-high-tech death machines and recycled entertainment products.
          And frankly, killing can be done, when needed, with the tried-and-true low-tech methods and the recycled entertainment product can all be easily copied by anyone with a $100 PC.

        IP is what you use to try and convince people that you are still relevant in the world when you don't make anything anymore, your people are buffoons living on borrowed money from everyone, and you still have enough hydrogen bombs to make it awkward for anyone to point out the obvious fact that you are nowhere near as important as you were fifty years ago.

        So all this effort to metamorphize a concept like 'intellectual property' into the legal equivalent of actual physical items that have intrinsic value is bound to fail internationally. In more ways than one, people just aren't going to buy it. They'll give you lots of lip service, sign your treaties, stay in expensive hotels for endless international conferences (as long as you pick up the tab), and then, just ignore whatever it was that you were getting so upset about.

        The Americans thought they were so smart by trashing their industrial base, shipping all of their manufacturing jobs overseas, and laying off (or never hiring in the first place) all the people that comprised the only real asset that they ever had...smart people willing to come to termperate North America from all over the world in order to get away from the assholes that were making it impossible to make a good life in the old country. Now the Americans have fucked up their physical country, their economy, their good name, and their middle class.

        So what's left? Intellectual Property! And just what exactly is that? One more illiterate, psychopathic 'rapper'? One more $100,000,000 buddy-cop movie?

        Grow up, fools!
  • ... isn't. Its mostly an amoral concept.
  • "which the department claims costs US businesses $250bn (£138bn) and 750,000 jobs per year"
    I wonder where they got those numbers from. I've seen estimates claiming that they lose 2%-12% a year because of "piracy". That would put their worth at between 2 and 12500 trillion, for some reason I don't think they're worth that much. But lets not forget 42% of stats are made up on the spot. And 750000 jobs a year? I wonder how many of those were "lost" from outsourcing their CD production so they only have t
  • This is ridiculous! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by WidescreenFreak ( 830043 ) on Friday September 23, 2005 @04:52PM (#13633053) Homepage Journal
    Karma be damned!!

    Look, W. I voted for you not once, but twice! What the hell are you trying to prove with this latest shenanigan? The U.S. already has a reputation for being a global bully who pushes its views on others. I don't agree with that across the board, but now you're doing nothing more than adding really flammable fuel to that particular fire.

    Let me get this straight. We're going to train foreign individuals who are not in any way U.S. citizens or have any direct link to the U.S. in order to protect U.S. media corporation interests?? And exactly WHY are *MY* tax dollars (as well as the tax dollars of those who already hate you) going to protect the intellectual property of corporations that have enough money to do this on their own?

    The simple fact is that if those other countries gave a rat's rear end about the IP rights of U.S. corporations, they would already be doing more to protect those rights or they would have come to us by now asking for help in accomplishing that task. It doesn't take a brain surgeon, which you are proving more and more that you are not, to realize that they most likely don't care. The only reason why they might care is that they wanted to avoid what you're now doing, thus making this whole thing out to be quite disingenuous.

    We already look like selfish bullies to the rest of the world. This is just going to make it worse. Thanks a lot. I really hope that those other countries tell you to piss off with respect to this particular issue.
  • Go out and win one for the G.I.P.R.A. !
  • is that it trades one set of riches (financial) for another (cultural)

    it is a fallacy to believe that all works of art are unique and independent. what is true is that for every idea you can conceive of, someone has already thought of something very similar.

    so in an ideal world, the artist would have free reign to throw superman and mickey mouse, for example, into their plot or their illustration, and there would be no corporate lawyer pestering them saying "you owe us money".

    but the problem is that art is

  • I read some semi-amusing examples of euphemism examples some time ago:
    - Refuse collection engineer.....Garbage man. Bin man in the UK.
    - Sanitory Landfill.....Garbage dump.
    - etc,etc

    So from the article,

    Hmmmm, lets see, being the US that could be a euphemism for....
    - Threaten
    - Mobilise military
    - Sanction
    - Strike preemptively

  • American taxpayers pay to send paid corporate representatives overseas to lobby foreign governments. Like Microsoft, Adobe, Oracle, et. al. aren't strong enough to do their own fuggin' lobbying?

    We're already spending ourselves into a gigantic hole.

    The tax breaks Dubya gave to the wealthy haven't demonstrably had any effect on the economy.

    We're going to throw vast sums of money at Katrina cleanup, likely in the most backwards fashion imaginable, if our infrastructure rebuilding in Iraq is any indicator

  • Another program, called the Global Intellectual Property Rights Academy, would train foreign judges, enforcement officials and other stakeholders

    Yes... that's just what we crave, in the rest of the benighted world: for Americans to come over here and tell our judges and police how to enforce American corporations' interests in our countries.

    Hmm... let's see... what would be an appropriate response?

    Ah, I have it!


  • Lots of panic on this thread. Let me try to add a little insight into what OTHER nations will think of this....

    They won't.

    Thank you. You all have been great. See ya next time.
  • Ain't that a great acronym?
  • a dictator state that can freely meddle in other countries internal affairs? last time someone wanted to do that with regards to Americans, USA looked more like a kid in the sandbox creaming because someone ELSE wanted their toy. International Court anyone? Kyoto anyone?

    It seems to be OK as long as it is making money for Americans, once it requires some responsibility and decency from USA, it's thrown out as not in USA's interest. Well, most of the world think USA is not in the worlds interest and this is
    • by swordgeek ( 112599 ) on Friday September 23, 2005 @07:40PM (#13634565) Journal
      Well, the current administration really formalised their plans to build a world-wide empire in 1997, when they founded the Project for a New American Century. [newamericancentury.org] Here's their policy statement:

      Our aim is to remind Americans of these lessons and to draw their consequences for today. Here are four consequences:

                we need to increase defense spending significantly if we are to carry out our global
              responsibilities today and modernize our armed forces for the future;

                we need to strengthen our ties to democratic allies and to challenge regimes hostile to our interests and values;

                we need to promote the cause of political and economic freedom abroad;

                we need to accept responsibility for America's unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles.

      If it sounds like a bunch of nutbars running the organisation, take a look at their founders and board of directors. I'm sure you'll find some familiar names.
  • Japanese/Brazillian/Chinese/etc... Prime Minister:

    "International law, you say? Tell you what, since America is our economic bitch^W^W friend and all, here's a deal: Accept the rulings of international law on your "War on Terror," and we'll protect Mickey Mouse."

    Somehow, I doubt it'll happen tho.
  • The Global Intellectual Property Rights (or GIPR) is pronounced "Jih-Per"
  • Radicalism (Score:3, Insightful)

    by A beautiful mind ( 821714 ) on Friday September 23, 2005 @05:39PM (#13633537)
    Since the USPTO is playing the honest, I'll be frank too.

    I don't observe anyone's intellectual property (the shortening of my constitutional rights (I'm Non-USA before someone cites the USA's constitution for me)), period. I would like to encourage others to protect their own rights too.

    The best thing that could have been done to the patent system is to scrap the whole thing. Those who created it didn't go past modern economy 101, because, well, it was created 200-300 years ago (in a much more applicable form than it is in today, if i may add).

    It's one thing that the intellectual property system reduces my right for freedom of speech (why can't i "say" data sequences on the net?), but it is also bad for the economy. It is a forced, artificial restriction much like prohibition was. Society can be interpreted as a continuation of evolution on some level. This means, that societies which made murder a "crime", survived better, for example. As a general rule of thumb, while respecting a few basic things, the less restrictive a society is, the better. Creating artificial restrictions is making a society function less optimal. Applying restrictions on computers, which eventually boil down to mathematics are:

    a.) Not precise. (I demand to know the sequence of those base two numbers which you hold the copyright/patent on. If you can't reproduce those numbers, your copyright doesn't stand.)

    b.) Because of a.), defining a copyrighted work is ambigous. Since what we define those copyrights on are very precise, creating a relation between the two sets are almost impossible. (Could you point me to the database where i can look up a copyrighted set of base two numbers, please, so that i can verify that i can make sure i don't infringe upon someone's copyright?)

    Apart from these natural necessities, even if i were to accept the unfair artificial restriction placed upon me by society, i flatly refuse to accept to believe in the pack of _lies_ copyright and patent holders spread in order to protect their own selfish interests against society as a whole.

    The dreaded day when someone copyrighted a mathematical expression happened decades ago, when someone decided that people should pay someone for copying specific binary bits apart from the ISP. There is a huge difference between paying for someone to create the knowledge about a sequence of specific bits (writing source code, translating that into binary executable) and for paying someone for the reversal of the artificial restriction of being denied the right to copy already known binary bits from one storage to another.

    The paying for copying part is gravely vague too. What constitutes as copying? Installing an operating system is surely copying? Am i not allowed to copy then or not?

    Modern communications require freedom of information. On communications i mean digital communication which is starting to gain strength lately, and will hopefully cleanse the world of this medieval copyright nonsense.
  • Ahhh, the irony... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Hosiah ( 849792 ) on Friday September 23, 2005 @07:46PM (#13634625)
    We can't stop a rag-tag band of thugs from high-jacking our planes. We're helpless as kittens for two weeks dealing with the aftermath of a hurricane. We can do nothing to generate energy but burn more dead dinosaurs. But rest assured that if you try to hide in a hole in the Antarctic ice and play 1 $14.99 CD illegally on your Linux box, our Goon Squad will be all over you like ants on a donut.

Each honest calling, each walk of life, has its own elite, its own aristocracy based on excellence of performance. -- James Bryant Conant