The Null Device

Abuse of sovereignty

U.S. officials complain about Canada's human rights. That's right, not "human rights abuses" (which are only a bad thing if the other party has oil and isn't willing to share), but human rights. Canada has too many civil liberties to effectively pull its weight in the War On Terrorism. The U.S. has also singled out Canada's plan to decriminalise marijuana, as something that will have Serious Consequences if it goes ahead. Clearly the Canadians have abused their sovereignty, and if they continue to do so, their sovereignty may, by the rules of the Rumsfeld Doctrine, be forfeit.

On a similar theme, Little Johnny's loyalty to Washington has paid off, with Uncle George offering him a "free trade deal" between Australia and the U.S., agribusiness lobbyists permitting. Mind you, one aspect of the treaty will involve harmonisation of "intellectual property" laws, which will be bad for both sides. It's not just the matter of Australia's copyright laws being co-written by Jack Valenti and things which inconvenience Big Copyright becoming crimes in Australia; Americans stand to lose when their politicians decide to amend the DMCA and realise that they can't because international treaties prevent them. Closer to home, one effect of the "free trade" treaty's copyright provisions is likely to be a ban on multi-region DVD players and "mod chips", neatly sidestepping Alan Fels' attacks on DVD region coding.

There are 4 comments on "Abuse of sovereignty":

Posted by: Bowie Sun May 4 23:02:12 2003

re: DVD regions... we could become region 1.

Posted by: acb Mon May 5 04:45:01 2003

And dump the archaic PAL television system in favour of NTSC while we're at it. Then maybe we can "harmonise" on 110-volt electricity and driving on the right.

Posted by: Ben Mon May 5 08:50:06 2003

And start calling chips 'French Fries'.

Hang on, maybe not....

Posted by: Graham Mon May 5 08:50:58 2003

Wow. Max Barry is a prophet.