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Leaked Cable Shows Heavy US Influence On Swedish Copyright Policy 171

Debuting on Slashdot, seezer writes with a piece by Rick Falkvinge about a recently release diplomatic cable. From the article: "Among the treasure troves of recently released WikiLeaks cables, we find one whose significance has bypassed Swedish media. In short: every law proposal, every ordinance, and every governmental report hostile to the net, youth, and civil liberties here in Sweden in recent years have been commissioned by the U.S. government and industry interests." This is from a Pirate Party founder and so might be slightly exaggerated, but there is certainly evidence in the cable that the U.S. exerted quite a bit of influence of Swedish copyright law. The U.S. government appears particularly vexed that the Swedish public doesn't seem to think anything is wrong with copying protected works, and (not unexpectedly) was quite concerned that Pirate Party members might actually be elected.
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Leaked Cable Shows Heavy US Influence On Swedish Copyright Policy

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  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Wednesday September 07, 2011 @11:02AM (#37327198)

    When Julian Assange was recently accused of sexual assault in Sweden, I maintained that this had "CIA discrediting campaign" written all over it. One of the main responses to this was "But the U.S. government doesn't have any control over Sweden or what they do."

    I think people really underestimate the power and sweep of the U.S. government and its wealthy corporate allies. The IMF, the UN, the World Bank, unrest in virtually every oil-producing country that doesn't support U.S. policy, attacks on anyone who criticizes or threatens the U.S. dollar, and in a million other places--you'll find the hand of the U.S. government and its most powerful corporations either calling the shots outright or at least having a significant influence on events.

    Just look at the WIPO copyright treaty (the treaty that brought the DMCA and DMCA-like laws to almost every first-world country in the world). Hollywood and the U.S. music/publishing industry pretty much DICTATED that treaty, with the U.S. government then pressuring countries to implement it with a multitude of carrots and sticks.

    Some may accuse me of hyperbole here. And, believe me, I wish I were exaggerating. But you never have to dig very far.

  • Annoying (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tsa ( 15680 ) on Wednesday September 07, 2011 @11:22AM (#37327570) Homepage

    It's pretty annoying that the US think they can and should govern the whole world.

  • Re:Annoying (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Exitar ( 809068 ) on Wednesday September 07, 2011 @11:26AM (#37327652)

    It's even worse that the western governments agree.

  • Or more correctly. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Wednesday September 07, 2011 @11:31AM (#37327732)

    United States tries to protects its own interest.

    It's not PC but it happens, the US also bends to allow other nations interests to go threw too. It is called Diplomacy. These stints of making a compromise that prevents issues from building up and becoming a major issue.

    The reason why it is not made public because the average Joe doesn't understand the concept of a good compromise where at the end both sides are equally unhappy. So they will make these small viewed complaints (Swedish make copyright policy just so we can get the latest American Blue Rays films) While the complexity of international trade is ignored, not realizing this effects shipment of more then just Films, but software, books, and other sources of information. If a company doesn't see your country as a profitable place to sell goods they won't sell to you. And you end up with loosing out on receiving goods and services that make that company unique. This isn't just about a monopoly every company has something that gives it a competitive advantage over someone else. Blocking trade has probably been considered more costly then the Copyright Policy.

  • by sirwired ( 27582 ) on Wednesday September 07, 2011 @11:48AM (#37328008)

    This is what diplomats DO all day. They try to influence policy in foreign countries to promote the interests of the government of their own country. (Which is separate from consular services, the other part of an embassy that handles visas, citizen services, etc.) Sometimes they succeed, sometimes they don't. The country they are operating in is more than welcome to tell them to go jump in a metaphorical lake.

  • by microbox ( 704317 ) on Wednesday September 07, 2011 @12:17PM (#37328510)
    The separation of powers and trial by jury are perhaps the single biggest reason for the ascendency of Western civilization. It cut down on violence, vendettas, and corruption. In other parts of the world, when someone gets an official job, they sack all the old employees, and bring in their own people -- usually blood relatives.

    Back in reality,

    You are so funny.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 07, 2011 @12:29PM (#37328678)

    Diplomats may do this all day and Americans may even benefit from this. The article, however, is written by a Swede who finally has clear evidence that a foreign power is manipulating his government into acting illegally. From my understanding, the negative public opinion that the diplomat is worried about is the strong belief Swedes have that they should run their own country.

    You are right that sometimes they succeed and sometimes they fail. But the price of that failure when it becomes general knowledge is that the people of the country become outraged. Push too hard or fail enough times and the people will choose new politicians that are antagonistic to the US's interests.

  • by bzipitidoo ( 647217 ) <bzipitidoo@yahoo.com> on Wednesday September 07, 2011 @12:31PM (#37328710) Journal

    The US Government is as much victim as perpetrator. Haven't you been listening to the US right's hatred and contempt for government? And their proclivity for blanket statements and oversimplifications? It's expressed so well in this Reagan quote: "Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem." Our scientists and researchers do their jobs and come up with answers, and the right ignores them or makes ridiculous accusations of bias and incompetence. We pay for this attitude in many ways, not least being the low morale among bureaucrats. These hypocrites who profess such hatred for government are not shy about abusing and expanding government power when they are in control. The only parts of the government they like unconditionally, and like entirely too much, are the parts to do with security and force.

  • Re:... and? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by king neckbeard ( 1801738 ) on Wednesday September 07, 2011 @12:57PM (#37329146)
    What Sweden does with their copyright laws is none of the US's business, and pressuring other countries to change their laws completely disrespects their sovereignty.

"Oh my! An `inflammatory attitude' in alt.flame? Never heard of such a thing..." -- Allen Gwinn, allen@sulaco.Sigma.COM