There was a time when third world countries would rip off any Western product they wanted to. Because how much time were US companies really willing to invest wading through dusty Asian market stalls looking for bootlegs of their precious brand names? But things have changed! As China and India have grown into serious global economic powerhouses over the past decade, they've been forced to respect intellectual property laws in order to maintain good business relations with the West. Which makes this whole "Hari Puttar" thing a bit of a stretch. Warner Bros. sued an Indian film company for making a movie called "Hari Puttar," claiming that it was a ripoff of Harry Potter. They just lost the case in an Indian court. Home team advantage? Actually, when you hear the facts it seems more like sheer bullying or paranoia on Warner Bros. part:
Antigua has fired a salvo against the United States in a long-simmering dispute over trade regulations, promising to give free reign to intellectual property piracy if the US doesn't allow Americans to access Antigua's lucrative online gambling businesses. The World Trade Organization awarded the tiny island nation the right to ignore American copyright laws last December if negotations fail. Antigua's hope is that the Motion Picture Association of America and software companies like Microsoft will pressure the US government to come to terms — after all, The Pirate Bay has been looking for an island paradise. Why doesn't Antigua threaten to publish details of the local tax shelters used by studio and tech executives and their financiers? That seems easier. (Photo by AP/Johnny Jno-Baptiste)
Why let your abandonment of this mortal coil prevent you from continuing to be a self-impressed techno-utopian schmuck? Now you can alert the world that you read BoingBoing ever after death with the "Public Domain Donor" sticker. Put it on your license today so that when you die your Twitter will revert to the Public Domain where fellow Twitterers may build upon it with further Twittering. [Public Domain Donor via Kottke]
Someday Vanity Fair will hire feature writers who don't feel compelled to frontload their articles with 1,000-word ledes. In the meantime, The Pirate Bay — the Swedish-based torrent tracker that's currently sponsoring a collection of Oscar-film download links — gets a longform VF spotlight. Interesting timing, given today's decision by a Belgian court to punish Google for linking to copyrighted material. Despite the successes of the Swedish pirates, the rest of Fortress Europe may be closing their portcullises on intellectual property.