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Robin Hoods or thieves? A Foucauldian analysis of international trade policies regarding software piracy
Unformatted Document Text:  Foucauldian analysis of international trade policies 28 “Although software piracy is too bad for the rich individuals who would get even richer if there were less of it, it should be obvious that most of the people buying pirated software would simply do without it if it weren’t available, rather than paying the full price” says Roger Kovaciny, a U.S. citizen living in Ternopil (Kovaciny, 2002, Feb 7). Somewhat ironically, though, U.S. corporations employ many citizens from other nations, contributing to an intellectual drain in those countries. Once these international human talents are used for U.S. corporate interests, they become proprietary commodities. This creates the rather interesting situation, practically if not legally speaking, that these workers provide a boost to U.S. companies who now “protect” the work of those “alien” workers who are often then, essentially, buying back (or in the dominant definition “pirating”) their own work. The international trade policies discussed here, from the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 to GATT and ITO in the 1940s, to WTO and NAFTA in the 1990s, have not worked to meet their stated purposes. There is no compelling reason to think that the newest incarnation (TRO) will be different. As the U.S. aggressively pursues “rights” on behalf of its corporations at the expense of other countries in the short-sighted way of the past and present (specifically in light of recent sanctions against Ukraine; ??update before conference), the U.S. appears to be losing rather than gaining ground not only on economic, but other international fronts. We do not believe, in light of this analysis, that definitive answers about piracy issues exist, and particularly no answers that would serve universally, i.e., well in every situation. Perhaps the goal of “global copyright law” is not possible to achieve; perhaps

Authors: Malyshev, Yuri. and Hamilton, Ann.
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Foucauldian analysis of international trade policies 28
“Although software piracy is too bad for the rich individuals who would get even
richer if there were less of it, it should be obvious that most of the people buying pirated
software would simply do without it if it weren’t available, rather than paying the full
price” says Roger Kovaciny, a U.S. citizen living in Ternopil (Kovaciny, 2002, Feb 7).
Somewhat ironically, though, U.S. corporations employ many citizens from other nations,
contributing to an intellectual drain in those countries. Once these international human
talents are used for U.S. corporate interests, they become proprietary commodities. This
creates the rather interesting situation, practically if not legally speaking, that these
workers provide a boost to U.S. companies who now “protect” the work of those “alien”
workers who are often then, essentially, buying back (or in the dominant definition
“pirating”) their own work.
The international trade policies discussed here, from the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act
of 1930 to GATT and ITO in the 1940s, to WTO and NAFTA in the 1990s, have not
worked to meet their stated purposes. There is no compelling reason to think that the
newest incarnation (TRO) will be different. As the U.S. aggressively pursues “rights” on
behalf of its corporations at the expense of other countries in the short-sighted way of the
past and present (specifically in light of recent sanctions against Ukraine; ??update before
conference), the U.S. appears to be losing rather than gaining ground not only on
economic, but other international fronts.
We do not believe, in light of this analysis, that definitive answers about piracy
issues exist, and particularly no answers that would serve universally, i.e., well in every
situation. Perhaps the goal of “global copyright law” is not possible to achieve; perhaps


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