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Speaker: ACTA: Don't sell us down the river

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  • ScottY,

    An interesting post, although as I work in the the IP law are I have a different perspective on the "evils" of copyright.

    However, a couple of things I had to mention:

    It's no accident that pharmaceuticals are more expensive in the US than almost anywhere else.

    I agree entirely. It also has nothing to do with copyright law, or the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. If you must blame an IP right on the cost of pharmaceuticals, blame patents. Or better still, blame the enormous costs and vast regulatory framework associated with the development and sale of new drugs.

    The last government passed S92A and paid for it, although I doubt that was the only reason for its demise.

    I doubt s92A had anything at all to do with the demise of the last government. I'd be surprised if most Labour MPs had even heard of s92A before it became a hot issue earlier this year.

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    . Dear Mr Prime Minister: Do you want an educated population or an entertained one?

    I thought he wanted one that hung on his every word.
    Oh no thats the pope, Same diff.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    I share your anger that such negotiations are hidden from both the public, and our representatives the Members of Parliament.

    It would be a simple matter to have all treaties and agreements our Government makes to be voted on by Parliament, and something that the Greens have been calling for vocally for a long time. It is an idea that both National and Labour treat with absolute disdain.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Or better still, blame the enormous costs and vast regulatory framework associated with the development and sale of new drugs.

    Or, even better yet, blame the PR. These are the same drug companies that spend mere hundreds-of-millions on R&D, and complain how much it's costing them, as they spend billions on lobbying and marketing.
    No, I don't think it's the cost of getting drugs to market that's to blame for their expense in the US.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    I'm not counting on National doing anything beyond ensuring adequate application of lubricant prior to bowing before the might of the entertainment lobby. If they were going to show leadership on this, they could've ordered our negotiators to withdraw. We have no clout on these matters, all we can do is swallow what's offered to us by the benevolent overlords running the United States of Corporations. At least if we withdraw we can determine our own path, and potentially others would be similarly encouraged. Can't have a treaty if nobody's signing.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    "A 20-minute, must-see lecture on the ACTA", according to boing boing (I haven't watched it yet.)

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I'm not counting on National doing anything beyond ensuring adequate application of lubricant prior to bowing before the might of the entertainment lobby.

    There isn't any room up Labour's arse for more corporate cock -- or did I miss some proof they understood or cared about the issue while they were in government?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Zippy Gonzales,

    "A 20-minute, must-see lecture on the ACTA", according to boing boing (I haven't watched it yet.)

    It's a very good presentation which highlights at the end that this is very much John Key's problem this term. Countries are anticipated to start signing on in 2011.

    On a completely different subject, the push for an NZ US Free Trade Agreement continues apace.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 186 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Craig, Labour aren't in government now. I said the same things when Labour were selling us out on s92, too, but Labour ain't the ones running the show. Therefore, it's what National will or won't do that matters.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    I'm not counting on National doing anything beyond ensuring adequate application of lubricant prior to bowing before the might of the entertainment lobby.
    There isn't any room up Labour's arse for more corporate cock -

    Is there a political equivalent of DP?
    Could this be it.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    These are the same drug companies that spend mere hundreds-of-millions on R&D

    Not so. R&D spending last year in the US alone was US$65.2 billion.

    R&D spending calculations often don't include patenting costs (add another few billion) and some don't include regulatory costs (which would add several more billion).

    I suspect you'll find the amount spent by "evil Big Pharma" on PR and lobbying is miniscule by comparison, though I admit I don't have those figures.

    No, I don't think it's the cost of getting drugs to market that's to blame for their expense in the US.

    It is a fact that it is enormously expensive to introduce new drugs to market. The US and Europe are the biggest markets, so it would make sense that the pharmaceutical companies would look to recoup most of their costs in those markets.

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    On a completely different subject, the push for an NZ US Free Trade Agreement continues apace.

    Heh.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Craig, Labour aren't in government now. I said the same things when Labour were selling us out on s92, too, but Labour ain't the ones running the show. Therefore, it's what National will or won't do that matters.

    Unless I'm very much mistaken, legislation would have to be passed to implement ACTA. Based on previous form, I have roughly zero confidence that Labour would put up a coherent, informed -- let alone effective -- opposition. Assuming that they actually do oppose it -- which might well be a dodgy one to make.

    After all, Matthew, we have very recently seen National AND Labour joining hands and deciding that reversing the burden of proof, and voiding the civil rights of people who haven't even been charged with a crime, is no biggie.

    That's everyone's problem, Matthew.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    On a completely different subject, the push for an NZ US Free Trade Agreement continues apace.

    The only good thing for NZ that might come from any such deal, based on past US negotiation SOP, possibly, would be "encouragement" to clean up our act on environmental issues. We will gain nothing, if history is any indicator. We're in a weaker position than Australia, and as it stands our FTA with China was fairer, and completes sooner, than the FTA between the US and Australia - an FTA that is widely considered to be the benchmark for all future bilateral FTAs to which the US is a party.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Craig, did you miss the point where I said "If they were going to show leadership on this, they could've ordered our negotiators to withdraw"?

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    And it can be the only explanation for those who show contempt for ordinary Internet users - most New Zealanders - by tolerating a process aimed at legislating away their rights.

    It would be in our national interest to support such a treaty.

    There is now no cost to distributing information. That's not rhetoric - it's an indisputable fact.

    Globally speaking rich folks are getting together to put costs on distributing information. It benefits the rich to make everyone pay a flat marginal fee on neccessary goods. Its like a poll tax or a VAT, equally applied to everyone it disadvantages those who can least afford it and benefits those who can most afford it. Net affect of this in a global treaty is the poor world pays the rich world. NZ is part of the rich world, NZ would benefit and the economy is of highest importance.

    How dare they take more notice of secret overseas treaty negotiations and industry lobbyists than they do of their constituents?

    Because it benefits our rich world selves, to do so. Next thing you know our self same plutocracies could be getting together and asking the world to pay a flat fee on the right to breathe. Which they are in Copenhagen, right now.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Craig, did you miss the point where I said "If they were going to show leadership on this, they could've ordered our negotiators to withdraw"?

    No, Matthew, but it's just not good enough to say "it's National's problem". No it isn't -- just as the bloody farce that was s92 wasn't just "Labour's problem". No disrespect to Russell intended, but it would have been nice if the Opposition rather than him was pointing out that the responsible Minister not only didn't seem to have a particularly firm grip on her own legislation, but was fronting up to stakeholders and saying things ithat were not only demonstrably untrue but utterly nonsensical.

    And while I'm not a copyright/internet law geek, even a rank amateur like me had to despair at the low quality of informed debate among the people who have to craft, debate and pass legislation. That's the whole Parliament NOT just the Government.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Not so. R&D spending last year in the US alone was US$65.2 billion.

    From that article: PhRMA-member companies alone spent an estimated $50.3 billion on pharmaceutical R&D last year

    For a group with 29 members, that's actually not very much on R&D when you consider that they're meant to be the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world.
    Also, the large advertising expenditure and out-of-kilter R&D-to-marketing ratios are thoroughly documented. That last link gives an average across the six top-spending pharma marketers (all of whom are PhRMA members) of $1.525b, against an average R&D spend of $1.73b. Those numbers are very, very close together for an industry that claims that R&D is clearly its largest cost.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    And while I'm not a copyright/internet law geek, even a rank amateur like me had to despair at the low quality of informed debate among the people who have to craft, debate and pass legislation. That's the whole Parliament NOT just the Government.

    Experts? Evidence? What the hell kind of traitorous commie are you? :P
    Copyright's particularly obvious, because it's so far outside the understanding of most of the electorate, but it's hardly the only field where our elected overlords eschew the knowledgeable for the vocal - or the "interested", as we see with the breaks that are going to agriculture and industry with the emissions legislation.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I doubt s92A had anything at all to do with the demise of the last government. I'd be surprised if most Labour MPs had even heard of s92A before it became a hot issue earlier this year

    Correct.

    Copyright is hugely important to the "geek community" who form maybe 1% of the electorate, but exist in an echo chamber that amplifies their views. For everyone else, it's a side issue.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    a pedant's peeve...

    ...the very existence of recorded music would cause human vocal chords to atrophy

    Much like Wanganui, vocal cords are sans-an-h
    - or as Sousa said in the link...

    The vocal cord will be eliminated by a process of evolution, as was the tail of man when he came from the ape.

    Great site too - who knew Sousa was a Freemason, with his time crucial performance of his Transit of Venus Working... Magick!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7889 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Withers,

    We need to make it clear to our governments - any government - that negotiating treaties like this - in secret - simply isn't acceptable. Particularly if the treaty can't be easily un-done once it is done. That amounts to a constitutional imposition without any real consultation. The hasty, too-late-anyway, pro-forma version consultation we have seen so much of in recent years from National and Labour doesn't count.

    Can you imagine how this would play out if we didn't have MMP? the daily STFU to voters from pollies in the pocket of whichever lobby would be unbearable.....just as it used to be.

    Most politicians aren't in the pocket of any lobby group.....but some key ones clearly are: like Steven Joyce and Infratil and the trucking industry. Roads over rail - utterly braindead - even as the oil production of the world has already peaked (2008).

    No surprise our government may well line up with foreign interests over our own...they have done it over and over - Labour or National - hoping ti win trade concession they never got in the end.

    You'd think they'd stop being played for suckers.

    Apparently not.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 312 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Holloway,

    I doubt s92A had anything at all to do with the demise of the last government.

    Probably true for wider Labour but for Tizard there was a lot of criticism in her Auckland central seat. One chain email that I've seen about her and Section 92A/C leading up to the 2008 election picked up nearly one thousand email addresses, so it probably went much further.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Mar 2009 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    Matthew, I'm not denying Pharmas spend a lot on advertising and marketing. All businesses do. But the PR and lobbying part of that spend is probably quiite small, I'm guessing.

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Scott, when I said PR, I was meaning marketing in general not just that specific sub-set of "getting the message to the people."
    They cry about how much they spend on R&D, and how the nasty FDA regulations cost them $squillions, and then voluntarily spend, according to the second article I linked, twice as much on their marketing. Excuse me if I find it very hard to trust anything they claim about their R&D expenditure beyond the bottom line figures.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

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