Wednesday, April 30, 2008

PIJIP 301 Watch

The Programme on Information Justice and Intellectual Property (PIJIP) at American Univerisity is "creating a new project to analyze US bilateral trade pressures against countries perceived to have inadequate intellectual property protection." They have produced a Snapshot of Industry Influence on the 2008 Special 301 Report (pdf).

The degree of apparent influence is unsurprising since the US Trade Representative's office, tasked with producing the section 301 report, has no resources to do the necessary empirical research and has since the beginning relied on outside sources - mainly the IP industries - to supply data. Peter Drahos and John Braitwaite outline the story of the mutual interdependence of the USTR and the IIPA in particular in their terrific book, Information Feudalism: Who Owns the Knowledge Economy.

The PIJIP folks in looking at the 2008 report note:

" Most of the countries which the industry groups USTR to place in the
Special 301 Report are in it.
- 86% of the nations IIPA singled out are in the USTR report.[2]
- 75% of the nations PhRMA singled out are in the USTR report. [3]"

The tables summarising the comparisons are available at the PIJIP wewbsite.

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