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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galvanash
Member since:
2006-01-25

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:

Ukraine
Paraguay
Indonesia
Guatemala
Egypt
Philippines
Uzbekistan
Vietnam
Pakistan
Tajikistan

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.

Reply Parent Score: 4

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Since these countries continues to be poor I can't help but wonder if you couldn't do a better job with distributing this aid. It sure doesn't seem to do much for the actually poor. Maybe it goes to financing all the luxury condos that are inexplicably shooting up like mushrooms here (I live in Manila).

Reply Parent Score: 4

allanregistos Member since:
2011-02-10

Since these countries continues to be poor I can't help but wonder if you couldn't do a better job with distributing this aid. It sure doesn't seem to do much for the actually poor. Maybe it goes to financing all the luxury condos that are inexplicably shooting up like mushrooms here (I live in Manila).

I think I agree. Me, living in Davao.

Reply Parent Score: 1

avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

[quote]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
[/quote]

30 million? That is what you call significant?
I hope you realize that is about 10 cent per person in the US. If you think that donating 10 cent is significant than I hope you are proud of how well you are sharing the wealth!
Even the countries that are receiving 300 million are only receiving 1 dollar per US person. Thanks for sharing

Reply Parent Score: 1

Rugxulo Member since:
2007-10-09


30 million? That is what you call significant?
I hope you realize that is about 10 cent per person in the US. If you think that donating 10 cent is significant than I hope you are proud of how well you are sharing the wealth!
Even the countries that are receiving 300 million are only receiving 1 dollar per US person. Thanks for sharing


It's not like average Americans can do anything to fix that. The bureaucracy / red tape is staggering, and it's clear that %0.0001 of people get to call the shots (usually in secret, they don't like asking for permission). I'm trying not to be cynical, but when as much as 20% of GDP goes towards military / defense, it's hard not to be confused. I would indeed rather such money went towards helping people rather than building "yet another" stealth bomber or whatever useless dreck. (But who knows, maybe not all defense is useless, maybe "accidentally" it actually helps someone somewhere. Hopefully.)

Reply Parent Score: 2

UglyKidBill Member since:
2005-07-27

Too many times USA´s "charity" resembles more of an investment, many of those countries surely don´t have too much to be thankful to the US.

Edited 2012-05-02 21:00 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

I didn't say it was charity... Its financial aid. Much of it is explicitly asked for the the recipient country, some of it is even loans and/or debt forgiveness. I excluded military aid because for the most part I feel military aid benefits our strategic interests more than the recipients - if I had included that the numbers would have been far higher for a few of these countries (Pakistan, Egypt, etc.)

My only point was that the US does offer financial aid to these countries regardless of policy disagreements when it comes to intellectual property.

Also, I realize this is a touchy subject... Financial Aid is given to the government of these countries. While there are often strings attached to direct the use of the funds, governments can get quite "creative" with how they report these things. It is often misspent - there is little the US can actually do about it unfortunately...

Edited 2012-05-02 22:08 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2