Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 1st May 2012 21:17 UTC
Legal The US Trade Representative has released its Special 301 Report again, the document the US government uses to mafia poor countries (and Canada) into enacting stricter IP laws. "Perhaps the most shameful inclusion in this year's report are a series of countries whose primarily fault is being poor. [...] Moreover, with repeated complaints against countries seeking to ensure adequate access to medicines for their citizens or access to books in schools, this year's report hits a new low. It demonstrates the failure of the enforcement agenda and stands as an embarrassment for one of the world's richest countries to prioritize its IP rights over human and economic rights in the developing world." Infuriating. And people wonder why I consider the current IP legislation and lobby entirely unethical and strictly evil.
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Besides that it is factually incorrect. There are only 10 countries on the list (out of 40) that have a per capita GDP below $5000 US, which puts them in the bottom 50% of all countries:


The other 30 countries are all in the top 50%. If their goal was to make a list of poor countries they did a rotten job.

It also ignores the fact that the US gives all of these countries significant foreign aid. The idea that the US is prioritizing our IP rights over the financial plight of these countries could not be further from the truth.

US Financial Aid for the 10 poorest countries on the list in millions of dollars US (2010):

Uzbekistan 30
Paraguay 36
Vietnam 106
Guatemala 159
Philippines 208
Ukraine 287
Indonesia 312
Tajikistan 379
Egypt 397
Pakistan 1,939.6

An no, Pakistan is not a typo. Pakistan is in fact the 2nd largest recipient of money from the US, only trailing Afghanistan. For most of these countries, US foreign aid represents between 1% and 3% of the countries GDP.

Anyone who reads what I write on here knows I am no fan of the approach that the US takes towards intellectual property... But this article is rubbish - facts simply don't back it up.

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