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The Big Mean IP Machine

September 15, 2009

The World Economic Forum released a list of countries ranked by how strong their IP protection is. The U.S. was number 19, with a ranking of 5.4 (where 7 was strongest and 1 was weakest). The rankings were determined by business leaders polled by the WEF in their respective countries. Its no surprise that business leaders/content owners/the like all want stronger IP protection in the US — and abroad — because hey, the Internet/new media (which they all use to their advertising advantages) is (allegedly) destroying the value of content by distributing it all over the universe for free. If the US is ranked weak, well then doesn’t that present the idea of stronger IP here in a much more favorable light? Also interesting to note is that the UK, with its copyright term now at life of the author + 90 years (20 years longer than US copyright term), ranks below the US at #21, with a score of 5.3. So it looks like we’re about equal in the ranking there — but the UK has 20 years of copyright protection on us? It seems to boil down to the general ideas of a society; in other words, the US and the EU have different philosophies on what is strong protection. Look at the #2 country on the list: Sweden – home of the defunct-go-not-defunct Pirate Bay torrent hosting service. They think they have the strongest protection there? Something, somehow, somewhere, is skewing the minds of these American business leaders…

Thanks to Ars, as always. The List is here, on IP Watch
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