Note: This column represents the opinions
of the writer and as such, is not purported as fact|
Right now, the USA is gearing up to launch a major military offensive against
Iraq and oust Saddam Hussein.
If they engage in such an action, it will probably be in defiance of
world opinion which has largely swung behind the option of taking a more
The USA however, is determined to go it alone if necessary -- believing
it knows best and that it has a responsibility to protect the world
Check Out The Aardvark PC-Based Digital
Entertainment Centre Project
So what does this have to do with the Internet?
Well this "we're going to protect you from evil" attitude also appears
to be affecting the USA's attitude to the issue of copyright.
It was with some concern that I read
on the Australian IT website today.
Now we all know that in the USA, the recording industry wields some incredible
clout with government and its legislators. America is a nation where
money talks and, like politicians everywhere, its lawmakers are always
keen to lend an ear to the pleas of well-funded lobby groups.
As a result, the USA's copyright laws are becoming some of the most draconian
in the world.
But it seems that the lobbyists are not happy to just have US copyright law
enforced just within the borders of their own nation -- they want the
rest of the world to toe the same line.
In order to force other countries to adopt or enforce these US laws, they
appear to be quite willing to play dirty.
The Australian IT story indicates that the USA will attempt to blackmail
Australia into adopting US copyright laws before a long-awaited free trade
agreement will be put in place.
Is this just an example of the legitimate bargaining and negotiations that
surround any international trade agreement -- or is, as I'm sure some will
allege, another move towards "global domination" by the USA?
Here in New Zealand, we're also keen to strengthen trading relationships
with the USA due to its massive size as a market for our exports. But will
our government yield to this type of blackmail?
Will the DMCA become a part of New Zealand's copyright law and will the
citizens of this country soon fall under US jurisdiction -- as a matter
of economic expediency?
It would appear that Iraq may not be the only country about to feel the full
weight of the USA's battle against evil things such as weapons of mass
destruction and the piracy of intellectual property.
Let's hope that our government remembers just who they're elected to serve
when it comes time to make such a decision.
Yes, You Can Donate
Although the very kind folks at iHug continue to generously sponsor the
publication of Aardvark, the bills still exceed the income by a fairly
significant amount. It is with this in mind therefore that I'm once
again soliciting donations from anyone who feels they're getting some
value from this daily column and news index. I've gone the PayPal
way of accepting donations because the time involved in processing a bunch
of little credit-card billings sometimes exceeds the monetary value they
represent. Just click on the button to donate whatever you can afford.
NOTE: PayPal bills in US dollars so don't accidentally donate twice
what you were intending :-)
As always, readers are invited to submit their comments on material covered
in this column. If you'd like your comments published here then please
be sure to use this form and select For Publication.
Other media organisations seeking more information or republication rights
are also invited to contact me.
Add Aardvark To Your Own Website!
Got a moment? Want a little extra fresh content for your own website or
Just add a
to your pages and you can get
a free summary of Aardvark's daily commentary -- automatically updated
each and every week-day.
Aardvark also makes a summary of this daily column available via XML using
the RSS format. More details can be found
Contact me if you decide to use either of these feeds and
have any problems.
Want to link to this site? Check out Aardvark's
Did you tell someone else about Aardvark today? If not then do it