Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Suggestion for Obama Foreign Policy on IP

Here's a provocative op-ed in the Mercury suggesting that the new US Obama administration should be less aggressive on IP in US foreign and trade relations.

Here's the conclusion:

Whoever becomes Obama's U.S. trade representative must re-evaluate our IP foreign policy and reassess how much foreign infringement affects U.S. interests. The USTR should examine whether protecting Hollywood and some established companies is handicapping innovative industries.

Hollywood should direct movies — not trade policy. The USTR shouldn't be pressured to adopt extreme views on copyright, including harsh unbalanced IP enforcement rules in trade agreements, particularly since these policy preferences find little support in economic data.

We need a balanced IP agenda that shows other nations what's good about American culture, yet respects theirs, and that doesn't discriminate against the Internet. We won't have a 21st century IP policy until we question why national security and foreign trade interests are taking a back seat to securing profits for some well-connected companies.

The author is Ed Black, who s president and CEO of the Computer & Communications Industry Association.


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