Aussies unhappy with US style IP "free trade"
An interesting article recently appeared on the Australian sites The Age and SMH, titled Intellectual property rights out of tune with public interest (you can skip past the page that asks you to register).
In the article Ross Gittens argues that it is not in Australia's interests to join "free trade" agreements with the US that force them to adopt American IP law.
First, it's quite a contradiction to be including an increase in the protection given to the owners of IP in an agreement that's claimed to be about free trade. It's about restricting trade, not freeing it up.
About the "Yanks," Gittens notes:
They weren't much interested in protecting other countries' IP rights in the 19th century when they were using a lot of European IP to develop their economy but now they're hot against the evil of pinching other people's IP. Now being a poor developing country is no excuse.
...tricks such as regional coding and prohibitions on parallel imports simply permit IP owners to engage in price discrimination - charging more in some markets than others. And there's a long and sorry history of firms manipulating IP protections so as to stifle the creativity of their rivals. How's that in [Australia's] public interest?
It's an interesting article and a quick read, go check it out.