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Against Monopoly

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Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.





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WTO Backs Zookz

From ReadWriteWeb:

As reported in the LA Times' technology blog, the launch of Antigua-based media download site Zookz has raised the ire of the US trade commission as well as the RIAA and MPAA. However, according to the company, Zookz is permitted by the World Trade Organization under a loophole copyright sanction. You read that correctly. The US trade commission and the RIAA / MPAA is challenging Zookz the pirate with the WTO in its corner. Imagine the cage match.

Zookz is offering unlimited movie or music downloads for $10 per month (or $18 for both). The company's low prices can be attributed to the fact that it is not paying licensing fees to copyright owners. The justification as to why Zookz can ignore US claims to intellectual copyrights is a long and complicated one.

It seems the WTO ruled with Antigua after a long series of battles over the fact that US restrictions on online gambling were found to violate free trade agreements. Despite the decision, no new forms of offshore online betting were allowed in the US. In retaliation, Antigua received permission from the WTO to suspend US copyright obligations up to a value of $21 million dollars annually.

The rest is here.

Comments

This is actually a good illustration of the point that I have tried to make with politically conservative (and strongly "pro-IP") friends in the pas: that in a digital world, any effective enforcement of draconian copyright regimes would have to also necessarily coincide with strongly embracing the concept of international law (something that these same friends are loathe to do).

They still haven't recognized the contradiction or cognitive dissonance in their beliefs.

The Zookz site appears to be down. It was up when this post was published. Another battle lost.

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