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Copyfight: The Global Politics of Digital Copyright Reform

Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 400
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  • Book Info
    Book Description:

    Blayne Haggart follows the WIPO treaties from negotiation to implementation from the perspective of three countries: the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-6622-1
    Subjects: Law, Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-2)
    Blayne Haggart
  4. 1 A Most Unlikely Debate
    (pp. 3-32)

    Historically, copyright had been thought of – by those who could be bothered to consider such an obscure subject at all – as a dry, technical area of interest primarily to professional creators, copyright lawyers, and the companies – the recording, motion picture, publishing, and software industries, collectively referred to here as the content industries – that employed them. Copyright was not the type of issue to inflame the general public. That was almost certainly the point of view of Canadaʹs Conservative government in November 2007 as it prepared to introduce a bill that would reform the countryʹs copyright law...

  5. 2 A Historical-Institutionalist Framework for Analysing Copyright Policymaking
    (pp. 33-48)

    Copyright law is the outcome of historically contingent processes and cannot be understood outside of the political forces that shape it. Because copyright is perpetuated by the exercise of power, understanding the power relations of copyright – who makes the rules, how they do so, and who wins and loses – is essential to our understanding of what IP is, how it is perpetuated, and even if it is necessary. Providing a complete picture of the linkages among copyright-reform efforts in three countries is complicated by the fact that a countryʹs copyright law is embedded within domestic political institutions, regional...

  6. 3 The Political Economy of Copyright
    (pp. 49-92)

    Although it has only recently emerged into the mainstream of political debate, copyright has long been a controversial subject. The law tends to depoliticize issues so that they seem technical and settled, even as they remain contested.² However, underneath the seemingly solid surface of settled law lies an ongoing battle among various business and social groups to expand copyright in some cases and in the service of some interests, and to restrict it in others. In this battle, the United States and its content industries are the primary actors behind the global expansion of copyright since the mid-1980s, as well...

  7. 4 The United States, the Internet Treaties, and the Setting of the Digital-Copyright Agenda
    (pp. 93-108)

    The United States – its government and agencies, its industries and other interested groups – is the key player in global copyright reform, occupying a unique niche in the copyright policymaking world. Its outsized effect on global copyright policies and trends makes understanding how US copyright policy is developed a key task for any copyright scholar. An analysis of its copyright policymaking process as it relates to the WIPO Internet treaties reveals a country whose own policies are almost completely a function of domestic ideas, institutions, and interests, rather than of regional or international institutions. While the configuration of US...

  8. 5 1993–1996: US Copyright Reform and the WIPO Internet Treaties
    (pp. 109-129)

    As the preceding chapter discussed, the central rule in US copyright policymaking since 1909 has been inter-industry consensus. There may be a bias towards the content industries in the resulting legislation, but each industryʹs interests have to be represented. No consensus, no legislation. Based purely on precedent, we would expect that digital-copyright reform in the area of TPMs and ISP liability would primarily address the concerns of the content industries and other large players, with exceptions for other groups depending on their political and economic clout. True to form, and despite an eventful detour to Geneva for the Internet treaties,...

  9. 6 1997–1998: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act
    (pp. 130-148)

    The conclusion of the Internet treaties marked the beginning, not the end, of the battle over digital copyright in the United States, as in Canada, Mexico, and the rest of the world. The Internet treaties, highly influenced by the United States, set the parameters for global digital-copyright reform, but decisions on whether and how to implement the treaties were left to the discretion of member countries. In the case of the United States, this meant that the ongoing copyright negotiations could continue in the same vein that they had since the early 1900s. While this phase of the domestic US...

  10. 7 Canada and the Internet Treaties: Aborted Implementations
    (pp. 149-198)

    The twenty-ninth of June, 2012, marked the end of one of the stranger legislative journeys in Canadian history. When Bill C-11, the Copyright Modernization Act, received royal assent two days before Canadaʹs 145th birthday celebrations,¹ it capped a decade of debate that witnessed three failed attempts to pass a copyright-reform bill, the mass, grassroots politicization of copyright via the first-ever successful Canadian political use of social media (and one of the first in the world), and a rare retreat by a never-retreat, never-apologize Conservative government on an issue of great interest to the US administration.² While copyright is an increasingly...

  11. 8 Mexico and the Internet Treaties, 1996–2010: International Pressure, Domestic Politics
    (pp. 199-241)

    To get a sense of the extent to which copyright has been politicized since the Internet treaties were signed in December 1996, we should consider the events, oceans apart, of 11 February 2012 and 20 July 2011. The former date witnessed a scene that would have been unthinkable a decade earlier: massive European protests against anintellectual property treaty. Throughout Europe, tens of thousands of people – organizers put the number at more than 100,000¹ – took to the streets to protest the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), the US-led treaty discussed in chapter 6.The Guardiannewspaper put the number...

  12. Conclusion: The New Politics of Copyright and the Potential for Variation
    (pp. 242-258)

    The battle over the negotiation and implementation of the Internet treaties, the opening salvo in the global digital copyfight, set the pattern for what to expect from the new politics of copyright. Some aspects of the debate were hardy perennials: copyright has always been a brittle law. It suffers from fundamental and irreconcilable internal contradictions – the protection/dissemination paradox. It requires continual reform every time someone popularizes a new communications technology, be it the piano roll, the photocopier, or the Internet.

    Seen in this light, the Internet treaties were merely one more skirmish in the unending global copyright wars. Stopping...

  13. Notes
    (pp. 259-318)
  14. References
    (pp. 319-348)
  15. Index
    (pp. 349-370)
  16. Back Matter
    (pp. 371-373)