Bill Patry – Israel Fighting IIPA Over WIPO

Bill Patry from Google has an interesting post regarding the tension between the country and the International Intellectual Property Association over not implementing the WIPO treaties.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

He notes that Israel is fighting the US based organization despite “bullying” tactics.

If there is anything to take away from the post, it’s the fact that the copyright industry isn’t necessarily targeting any single country in particular, but much rather, a large list of countries (if the special 301 report doesn’t give that away already)

Patry notes that more than one scholar has wondered whether or not the Special 301 report is a violation of the TRIPS agreement. He goes further with the following:

One needs to actually pore through the IIPA country reports to fully grasp what I mean: the nitpicking attacks on (translated versions) of foreign statutes which are held up to the light of U.S. law to decipher the slightest deviation if only semantic supports the view of the rest of the world that the IIPA is not only insensitive to the rest of the world, but has as its goal the remaking of the world in the U.S. image. This actually not quite right it is a remaking of the world that contains only those parts of U.S. law that the corporate content owners who are members of the IIPA favor.

He then highlights an example from last year where the IIPA issued the following statement:

At the outset, we note that Section 19(a) attempts to adopt the U.S. ‘fair use’ test by stating that ‘fair dealing with the creation is allowed, among others, for the following purposes: self study, research….” Section 19(b) includes a list of factors that are similar to those in place in the United States and the explanatory notes clarify the intention to enact a non-exclusive list of purposes, which would allow enough flexibility to the courts in determining whether a particular use is ‘fair.’

By contrast, in markets like the U.S., which employs very similar factors to those set out in proposed Section 19(b), many years of jurisprudence have provided society with considerable clarity on the boundaries of ‘fair use.’ There is a significant risk that in Israel the adoption of these factors at this time might be viewed by the community as a free ticket to copy. This would have disastrous consequences, and thus we urge the Israeli government to re-examine the introduction

source (PDF)
original posting

In short, the IIPA lobbied USTR last year to prevent Fair Use to be imported into Israel.

Patry mentions Canada as being pressured and threatened if they don’t implement the WIPO treaties. Indeed, there has been threats in the past where the movie industry threatened to stop pre-screenings in Canada if Canada doesn’t implement anti-camcording laws. The camcording laws were ultimately passed, but when two people were arrested for camming a movie, as noted by Michael Geist, they were being charged under the copyright bill – the same allegedly antiquated law that copyright industry lobbyists have been lobbying tooth and nail to change how they see fit.

While discussing a fight over implementing Technical Protection Measures, Patry also lists the other countries in the list Israel and Canada are in: Austria, Bolivia, Denmark, Estonia, the European Community, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Luxembourg, Namibia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

So, do you feel alone when the US copyright industry is saying your country is either falling behind or completely disproportionate to the rest of the world by not protecting DRM or TPMs among other things related to Intellectual Property Rights? Join the club.

Bill Patry’s original post. Bill Patry is the “Senior Copyright Counsel, Google Inc.” (though he makes special note that his postings on his blog are not representing that of Google’s opinions, just his own personal comments) Wikipedia’s Page of him.

Hat tip: Howard Knopf

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.



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