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Intellectual Property Rights and Free Trade: Second Question to Enrique Armijo

setembro 13, 2012

Second Question: Coming to the point of international/global public policies related to the Internet, we can see that there have been a series of negotiations to implement or strengthen laws concerning enforcement of IPR. Those laws allow countries to promote the enforcement of IPR by means of trade sanctions.
-Firstly, in general, how can those international/global polices can affect the use of Internet and why this matters?
-Secondly, talking specifically about the Anti-Counterfeit Trade Agreement (ACTA), how can ACTA affect the use of the Internet, and why this matters?

EA: I will speak generally, because I am not expert enactor of TRIPS or anything like that, but I think that the reason that countries have moved to the international stage in protecting intellectual property is because (of) the rise of digital files. I mean the digitisation of songs, of movies, of videos, what it has removed from counterfeiting is degredation. So in other words in analogue days if I made a tape of a song and you made a tape of my tape, and gave that to someone, and someone made a copy of your tape, eventually what would happen is that the sound would degrade. A digital copy of a song is the same as the original, and the digital copy of a digital copy is the same as the original. So these recreate the formal creative industry, by that I mean the motion picture association, the association of recording artists, probably with some justification, think that conterfeiting of digital content and then importation of that content into the united states presents a real threat to their business. So that’s why I think you see more attempts at co-operation on the global scale for protecting intellectual property.

TB: Would you have any suggestion of how to deal with these new structures of (the) internet, and to intellectual property being respected that dont affect somehow the innovation or creativity? The second question is, due to the different features and to the difference between states, how can one law, specifically one law international, global, be differently implemented, depending on the different needs of different countries?
EA: The second question is exactly what is difficult about this because generally in treaties, sometimes what happens is that the treaty adopts the rule of the most restrictive country. So if your country has a copyright term of 10 years, and my country has a copyright term of 18 years, I am not going to agree to reduce my term to go down to your 10, so you will come up to my 18. So that’s really difficult, and the internet goes to the point I made earlier about digitisation of content and distribution of counterfeit content. There are so many potential copyright infringers now, in the wake of the internet, everyone is an infringer, because everyone has a laptop, everyone has bandwidth, and it is so easy to stream content, or to take it. I think what is happening is apart from the state work that you have been focussing on, the international stuff, there is also a kind of user driven enforcement of copyright. On You tube there is an entire procedure where you can flag content, a video that uses copyrighted content. One of the reasons You Tube does that is because it is impossible for them to police whether content is copyright; they don’t want to assume the resposibility for videos that get posted; thousands of videos every minute, for copyrighted content. What you have seen on the internet is ways for copyright holders to try to self help in trying to protect their content as it is used online.


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