Explaining The Harmonization Trap
If one thing has become clear over the past few years, it’s that the broadcast entertainment industry will try every possible route to get rules put in place that favor them at the expense of consumers. Even when struck down in one area, they’ll try to sneak them in somewhere else.
“A favorite move has been the ‘international treaty.’ It’s pretty sneaky how this works. What happens is they play a geopolitical game of leapfrog. The industry gets its diplomats to claim that a treaty is needed to ‘harmonize’ international laws on things like copyright, because one country has less stringent laws than another. Of course, the treaty always focuses on bringing the less stringent rules up to the level of the nation with the more stringent rules. Then, the industry works on getting local laws made stronger again… and then claims that the international partners all have to boost the levels of protection again to ‘harmonize things.
What happens is you get an escalating system where the laws keep getting more stringent as each side tries to “catch up” with the other, while leapfrogging them each time they do.
TechDirt. Big Content Goes Back To Sneaking Bad Rules In Through Treaties. May 2, 2006.
K. Matthew Dames. Doublespeak, Pt. 2. CopyCense. Nov. 22, 2005.
CopyCense™: K. Matthew Dames on the law, business, and technology of digital content. A business venture of Seso Digital LLC.