Last weekend, I posted
that I suspected the KIPR tag on U.S. diplomatic cables being released by Wikileaks represented cables involving intellectual property issues. Sure enough, the first batch of KIPR cables have been released in Spain, confirming U.S. pressure on that country to reform its copyright laws. The release – which come from El Pais
– has generated considerable commentary with BoingBoing proclaiming
that it reveals that the U.S. wrote Spain’s proposed copyright law. That headline led others to speculate what the remaining KIPR cables might reveal, particularly the 65 Canadian ones (there are also 84 WIPO tagged cables and nearly 2,500 KIPR tagged cables overall). There has been one release
on copyright law in France, with officials discussing U.S. industry support for its three-strikes approach.
While I am very interested in seeing the Canadian KIPR cables, I’d be surprised if the cables reveal anything new. The fact that the U.S. is actively lobbying in foreign countries on intellectual property issues (particularly copyright) is not a secret, it’s a open strategy. The cables don’t really show that the U.S. wrote Spain’s copyright law, because they didn’t need to. Years of relentless lobbying pressure at the highest levels of government make it as clear as possible what the U.S. is looking for (plus they release the annual Special 301 report just in case anyone is still confused) so that when a government decides to reform its laws it invariably takes the U.S. position into account.
Read more ›