Seinfeld Soup Nazi Blue Shirt 300x300 US Blocking Sugar Market Access To Coerce Costa Rica Into Copyright ReformThe US, in attempt to get Costa Rica to approve the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), is “delaying market access to sugar” until the Central American country approves CAFTA in full.

The nastiest part of CAFTA from a tech perspective are some disturbingly harsh copyright reforms. From Michael Geist, these include

“DMCA-style protections, ISP liability, and copyright term extension”

That’s not to mention that some are worrying that CAFTA has the potential to “bankrupt the public health system.”

Due to lobbying in Washington DC, the US has been going nuts to insert all sorts of nasty provisions in trade agreements over the past year. For example, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement includes a section which would require ISPs to adopt a ‘Three Strikes’ system: if you are accused of copyright infringement three times (merely accused, not proven to have done so), you get cut off from the internet;

“…a whole family could be cut off from the internet if one of its members is suspected of piracy, with no right to a trial or a lawyer.”

Another element of concern in most of these trade agreements is an internet filtering policy. ISPs would be encouraged to throttle or altogether prohibit access to copyrighted material being transferred around illegally. This is fine in theory, but it usually ends up with an overzealous ISP doing something stupid like blocking access to critical medical information.