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September 10, 2004
Hasta La Vista, Balance
One way that movie and music industry groups work to tip the copyright balance in their favor is by sending reps to tech standards groups and WIPO negotiations, where they push for "modernization," "harmonization," or "unification" of copyright law. Below, a snippet from the latest Greplaw interview, in which Professor Thomas Hoeren of Germany lifts the lid of these euphemistic terms to reveal the true nature of the negotiations:
Greplaw: Why do you think the Europeans are so non-visible in the international debate on digital copyright and other Internet regulation issues?
Dr. Thomas Hoeren: First, US lawyers are very powerful in fighting for their copyright model in the world. They often tend to believe that US law has "of course" and "naturally" to be applied in all parts of the world. Europe does not have this "terminator feeling." We have a tendency to stress the differences in legal systems, the incompatibilty of different cultural values in regulating i.e. the Internet. And we are too self-referential, focusing mainly on European or even national problems. Thus, we are not trained as US lawyers are to enforce EU ideas on an international level. If you attend to a WIPO meeting, you regularly see a lot of well-prepared top experts representing the USA - and a few EU representatives who always complain about being badly informed and prepared.
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