The news you're not supposed to know...

Austrian Economics: Understand Economics, Understand the World
The Century of the Self: The Untold History of Controlling the Masses Through the Manipulation of Unconscious Desires
The Disappearing Male: From Virility to Sterility

The Obama Deception: The Mask Comes Off
Operation Gladio: The Hidden History of U.S. Sponsored False Flag Terrorism in EuropeThe New American Century: The Untold History of The Project for the New American Century
Article posted May 22 2011, 7:05 PM Category: Commentary Source: Kevin Carson Print

Intellectual Property: Some Countries Are More Equal Than Others

by Kevin Carson

For years, global digital copyright treaties and IP provisions of assorted “free trade” agreements have been drafted in secret by proprietary content industries.  Even the digital copyright laws of ostensibly independent countries have been drafted by lobbyists from those same industries, and rubber stamped by the national parliaments with most of their members never even having a chance to read them.

For example, a large batch of diplomatic cables released by Wilileaks in April include several on a massive effort by the global entertainment industry to model Canada’s copyright laws on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  Wikileaks also released hundreds of cables showing the U.S. content industries essentially wrote New Zealand’s “three-strikes” legislation — and the U.S. government even offered to fund New Zealand’s copyright-enforcement police at American taxpayer expense.  Spain’s new copyright law was also written by global entertainment industry lobbyists.

The old Spanish law, incidentally, was comparatively sane, with private file-sharing for personal use covered by the fair-use doctrine and third parties like ISPs and torrent sites treated as safe harbors.  As a result Spain, like Canada, had been on the U.S. copyright cops’ “Special 301″ list of the “worst of the worst” offenders.

In cables released by Wikileaks on the negotiation of ACTA, support for the treaty by such countries as Russia and China was treated as a gauge of “free market” friendliness of those countries, to be used as a stick in negotiations over other trade provisions desired by those countries.

Against this background of secrecy and corruption, it’s interesting that the major developed countries previously involved in drafting digital copyright treaties are squealing like stuck pigs about a proposal by developing nations to hold their own private inter-regional conferences on IP laws within the World Intellectual Property Organization framework.  In response to complaints from the developed countries, the developing countries proposed making only the first conference private and allowing the developed countries to attend a second one with non-voting “observer status.”  No dice, said the rich fat white boys.  “No meeting should be restricted to only some members” (seriously).

One law for the lion and one for the lamb is tyranny.

One common theme in most discussion of corporate globalization is the importance of the state in the global economy.  It’s commonly argued that the transnational corporation has eclipsed the nation-state as the dominant actor, and that hollowed-out states are no longer capable of restraining corporate tyranny.  But the truth is just the opposite.  Corporations can’t afford to enforce, at their  own expense, the monopolies and artificial property rights on which they collect rents and tribute.  Without the ability to enforce copyrights and patents through the laws of territorial states, and to externalize the enforcement costs on taxpayers, proprietary content companies and manufacturers would bleed themselves dry.  And without the U.S. Navy to keep the sea lanes open at general taxpayer expense, and without the World Bank and U.S. foreign aid budget to subsidize the road and utility infrastructure Western-owned factories need to be profitable in the Third World, offshoring would be a lot less popular.

In the days of gunboat diplomacy, colonial regimes depended on the puppet governments of their protectorates to enforce the extraterritorial rights of their nationals and corporations against the local population. Corporations are just as dependent today on governments to suppress competition at gunpoint and externalize their operating costs.

Likewise, the corporate world order depends for the enforcement of its centrally important “intellectual property” rights on a “DRM  Curtain,” enforced by the satellite states of the U.S. and the Washington Consensus.  If states defect from this global corporate order, or their populations simply render the law unenforceable, the global corporations will shrivel like garden slugs covered with salt.

Global corporate power, and the authoritarian information order on which it depends, cannot survive in a freed market.

C4SS Research Associate Kevin Carson is a contemporary mutualist author and individualist anarchist whose written work includes Studies in Mutualist Political Economy, Organization Theory: An Individualist Anarchist Perspective, and The Homebrew Industrial Revolution: A Low-Overhead Manifesto, all of which are freely available online. Carson has also written for such print publications as The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty and a variety of internet-based journals and blogs, including Just Things, The Art of the Possible, the P2P Foundation and his own Mutualist Blog.

Latest Commentary
- Paul Craig Roberts Rages At The "Arrogance, Hubris, & Stupidity" Of The US Government
- Let's Talk About...The Plague
- With Mass Shootings, The State Makes Us Less Safe
- Good News: 27% Of Americans Say Government Is Their 'Enemy,' Not Their 'Friend'
- Fear Is The Name of The Game
- This Thanksgiving, Let's Say 'No Thanks' to The Tyranny of The American Police State
- Donald Trump's Presidential "Heel Turn"
- Katniss Vs. Power: The Lessons of Hunger Games

Comments 1 - 2 of 2 Add Comment Page 1 of 1
Dave Narby

Posted: May 22 2011, 10:36 PM

67250 Once again:

Do you want the indy musician's would-be breakaway hit to be instead appropriated by some large corporation, to be re-packaged with their artist singing it, and no remuneration ever given to the original artist?

Do you want the struggling artist's work appropriatied by a big ad agency, to be used in their campaigns, without any renumeration ever given to them?

Do you want the independent playwright's work to be adapted by a large Hollywood corporation to make millions, while the writer receives nothing?

Do you want the garage inventor who comes up with the next big thing, to simply have his design copied, with all the benefit going to some huge multinational?

Or would you prefer that all those I have described instead go to work for some large multinational corporation in order to work in their chosen profession, as that is the only way they are now able to be compensated for their work?

Because I assure you this *will* happen, if IP laws are repealed.

Do IP laws need reform? Hell yes!

Is the principle behind IP sound? Absolutely.

Should we follow the advice of anarchists like Mr. Carson,

Only if you're a fan of Corporatisim.

Think about it.
Emlyn O'Regan

Posted: Sep 20 2011, 10:00 PM

203122 Dave Narby: Absolutely yes, I want all those things.

Ideas are nearly useless on their own. Execution is everything. That a lone genius can have an idea worth a zillion is a nice lottery type fantasy, but it's not real, and it's not worth the damage we incur from IP laws.

In reality, the little guys rarely win based solely on legal protections. You just can't afford to fight a massive corporation on their turf. The legal system is not set up for you. This system does not do what you claim it does.

But the *real* use of the system is to lock in a status quo of massive corporatism. Little guys can't respect that system and innovate, because of massive tragedy of the anti-commons.

In area with no IP protection, and in fact little or no money to be made, creativity is breaking out all over. Don't cry for the indie musician, instead go and check out all the individuals mustering their 1000 true fans and getting along just fine, not even selling their music much of the time.

There is *so* much creativity and invention happening now, and the vast majority doesn't involve and isn't about money. That's because it never was. The money was a misdirection. What people want in general is to be able to live a dignified life and to create and have an audience. You don't need the "dream" of being signed to a label in order to achieve that.

We've got to see through the propaganda of IP laws. They are not there to protect the little guys! They are there to be a boot stamping on a human face forever. This is not ambiguous.

Add Comment


Verification *
Please Enter the Verification Code Seen Below

Please see our About Page, our Disclaimer, and our Comments Policy.

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which in some cases has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available for the purposes of news reporting, education, research, comment, and criticism, which constitutes a 'fair use' of such copyrighted material in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. It is our policy to respond to notices of alleged infringement that comply with the DMCA and other applicable intellectual property laws. It is our policy to remove material from public view that we believe in good faith to be copyrighted material that has been illegally copied and distributed by any of our members or users.

About Us - Disclaimer - Privacy Policy

Advanced Search


Remember Me
Forgot Password?

VIDEO: Off-Duty Cop Rams His SUV Into Man's Car For Trying To Hold Him Accountable For Reckless Driving - 11/30Donald Sutherland Reveals The Real Meaning Of The Hunger Games - 11/27The Mathematical Paradox That Destroys The Argument For NSA Surveillance - 11/30Police Brutality Victim Mysteriously Killed a Day Before Receiving $450k Settlement - 11/30Paul Craig Roberts Rages At The "Arrogance, Hubris, & Stupidity" Of The US Government - 11/30Two Brave Cops Under Attack For Exposing Militarization and Corruption in Their Department - 11/30Drone Pilots Have Bank Accounts and Credit Cards Frozen by Feds For Exposing US Murder - 11/27Georgia Sheriff Puts Up Sign Warning People Who Disagree With Him About God to Leave - 11/27

Man Follows Speeding Cop, Finds Out He Was Speeding To Buy PeanutsMission Creeps: Homeland Security Agents Confiscate Women's Panties For 'Copyright Infringement'Cop Shoots Couple's Dog, Threatens Jail For Trying To Save Dog's LifeSWAT Team Shoots Teen Girl & Her Dog During Pot Raid On Wrong HomeDurham, NC Cop Testifies Faking 911 Calls To Enter Homes Is "Official Policy"Indiana Sheriff Says US A "War Zone" To Justify New MRAP Military VehicleTampa Cops Surveil Pot Dealer, Catch Him Selling Pot, Raid His Home & Kill Him"You Just Shot An Unarmed Man!": Witness Says Police Shot His Friend With His Hands Up