Sunday, November 21, 2004

Vested interests...

Found this article on http://news.com.au/ :
http://finance.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,11444980%255E462,00.html

Hidden in the middle of the article is this little gem:
"The International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition, an industry body formed to lobby for better copyright protection, has even warned terrorists may be using fake goods in order to raise untraceable funds."

These guys must use the same advisors as the US Government. Put the spin on terrorism without any evidence and try and get some sympathy for your cause. To use a Slashotism (http://www.slashdot.org/), here is a possible business plan:
  1. Use terrorist spin to garner sympathy
  2. ???
  3. Profit!!!
I did some looking around the Internation AntiCounterfeiting Coalition website (http://www.iacc.org/), damn it is ugly, and found a document they titled 'Facts on Fakes' (http://www.iacc.org/teampublish/uploads/factsupdated.pdf). Here are some 'facts' they put forward:
  • The Business Software Alliance estimates the cost of software piracy alone to be
    about $12 billion a year.
    - Figures like thses always cause some concern. They seem to count every single copy of software made, when in most cases the people using the copied software would not have actually paid for the software anyway.
  • Counterfeit automobile parts, like brake pads, cost the auto industry alone over
    $12 billion dollars in lost sales. If these losses were eliminated the auto industry could
    hire 200,000 additional workers.
    - They could hire those 200,000 workers, or they could hire 50,000 more workers, pay them less and force them to work more hours. Alterntively, those 200,000 workers could already be in jobs making the counterfeit items. Plus I bet the $12 billion is calculated on Toyota OEM pricing structures.
Have a look at the member website list (http://www.iacc.org/relatedlinks/list_sites.cfm?CategoryID=15), they are mostly companies you have never heard of with the notable exception of Novell. But if you look into some of the companies in the list you that there are some big companies backing this Coalition. For example, 'The Imaging Supplies Coalition' is a coalition on Canon, Brother, Lexmark, Oki, Xerox, Epson and Sharp. Lexmark don't just go after counterfeit printer cartridges, they go after refilled printer cartridges too (http://news.com.com/Lexmark+invokes+DMCA+in+toner+suit/2100-1023_3-979791.html). This was done under the DMCA, something Australia could be getting under the US Free Trade Agreement that we have been dropped into by our mate Jackboot Johnny.

1 comment:

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