miwahni (miwahni) wrote,

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The Mouse That Roared

...or how the Free Trade Agreement between the USA and Australia took the mickey out of Howard. Who would have thought a cartoon character could wield such power? The USA wanted the Intellectual Property copyright stretched from 50 years to 70, due to intense lobbying from their creative artists, led by Disney because Mickey Mouse's copyright was about to expire. Mickey, it seems, is a billion dollar business. The US government agreed, and tabled the extension in the FTA. Australia didn't agree, but was willing to negotiate in order to win more concessions in the highly protected US agriculture industry. So what did we get? 70 years copyright (although Disney pushed for 95), higher priced drugs, and no further agricultural concessions. Not so much as a cup of sugar - although that's understandable, considering that the USA's largest sugar-producing region is the area which came closest to sinking George W Bush's election result.
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