[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Thursday, 2010-02-25

Digital Rights Mafia condemns open source

Filed under: Entertainment,Intellectual Property,Software — bblackmoor @ 23:38

Never content to twist US law into pretzels, the media robber barons also attempt to use their power to make other nation’s laws as bad as those we have here….

In accordance with US trade law, the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) is required to conduct an annual review of the status of foreign intellectual property laws. This review, which is referred to as Special 301, is typically used to denounce countries that have less restrictive copyright policies than the United States.

The review process is increasingly dominated by content industry lobbyists who want to subvert US trade policy and make it more favorable to their own interests. […] One of the organizations that plays a key role in influencing the Special 301 review is the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA), a powerful coalition that includes the RIAA, the MPAA, and the Business Software Alliance (BSA). The IIPA, which recently published its official recommendations to the USTR for the 2010 edition of the 301 review, has managed to achieve a whole new level of absurdity.

University of Edinburgh law lecturer Andres Guadamuz wrote a blog entry this week highlighting some particularly troubling aspects of the IIPA’s 301 recommendations. The organization has condemned Indonesia and several other countries for encouraging government adoption of open source software. According to the IIPA, official government endorsements of open source software create “trade barriers” and restrict “equitable market access” for software companies.


The Indonesian government issued a statement in 2009 informing municipal governments that they had to stop using pirated software. The statement said that government agencies must either purchase legally licensed commercial software or switch to free and open source alternatives in order to comply with copyright law. This attempt by Indonesia to promote legal software procurement processes by endorsing the viability of open source software has apparently angered the IIPA.

In its 301 recommendations for Indonesia, the IIPA demands that the government rescind its 2009 statement. According to the IIPA, Indonesia’s policy “weakens the software industry and undermines its long-term competitiveness” because open source software “encourages a mindset that does not give due consideration to the value to intellectual creations [and] fails to build respect for intellectual property rights.”

The number of ways in which the IIPA’s statements regarding open source software are egregiously misleading and dishonest are too numerous to count.

(from Big Content condemns foreign governments that endorse FOSS, Ars Technica)

“The IIPA — destroying your cultural future to line our pockets today!”