§ A recent blog posting at The Guardian about the US “Special 301” rules has generated deep concern around the global open source community. It points (via a blog posting by Edinburgh University law lecturer Andres Guadamuz) to this year’s recommendations from the controversially-named International Intellectual Property Alliance, which describes itself as “a private sector coalition… of trade associations representing U.S. copyright-based industries” – namely
“the Association of American Publishers (AAP), the Business Software Alliance (BSA), the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA), the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)”.
As well as representing a group of organisations with dreadful reputations for disregarding citizen liberty and victimising customers, the organisation’s activities involve engagement with WIPO, activity over TRIPS and ACTA and this “Special 301” review. That is certainly enough to make each of their statements subject to scrutiny. IIPA provides a vehicle that allows companies who are members of its member organisations – that’s a double-opaque arrangement – to exercise influence without accountability and with deniability. Continue reading