Inappropriately Serious Stuff

Typical. Just as we finally get uncapped Internet in South Africa, this happens. That may sound overly pessimistic, but the bills and provisions Doctrow mentions in his article are scary as hell, particularly the threat to enforce the bill in developing countries as a “condition of trade”.

This strategy of imposing “conditions of trade” was used very effectively by the World Bank and WTO in order to impose Milton Friedman-style market economies on nations who were either not ready or not willing to institute such systems.  Now ACTA is threatening to do the same with copyright laws. Want an  example of how certain copyright laws may not be suited to developing nations? Look at the valiant battle our government fought against the pharmaceutical companies in order to be able to provide cheaper HIV medication to the public (not that they actually provided the medication once they had won the legal right to, but still).

South Africa’s previously limited bandwidth has kept us off the radar of the global anti-piracy cabal, but I fear that that may be about to change. On the other hand, the increase in bandwidth may also mean South Africans will be exposed to new ways of consuming media. I think I will end on that note, since this post is already way too heavy for a Friday afternoon.

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