Mercury News on US IP policy

This opinion piece is well worth reading. It's actually tough to pick a few paragraphs to give you the flavour of it.

How about these:

First, browbeating our trading partners to ratchet up IP protection or face trade sanctions has alienated our friends. Adrian Cristóbal, director general of the Philippines IP office, recently wrote that U.S. insistence on draconian IP regimes breed resentment and show a lack of "respect for the sovereignty" of developing countries. This high political price measures poorly against meager gains in enforcement. While a "what's good for Disney must be good for America" approach to IP foreign policy may once have made sense, it now impedes efforts to repair our international relationships.

Third, the type of IP provisions we are forcing on our trading partners might actually harm the most innovative sectors of our economy. U.S. law includes important exceptions, such as "fair use" and limitations on secondary liability. These have been critical to the success of companies, including Internet pioneers. Many foreign countries, however, don't have these exceptions. As a result, foreign courts now threaten U.S. companies. They have penalized Google and eBay for conduct that's legal in the United States.

Our trade negotiators exacerbate this situation by insisting foreign governments adopt more stringent rules, which are now enforced against American companies, in a manner that usually advantages domestic interests in that country.