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Hollywood wants the rest of the world to follow U.S. copyright law

The Hollywood sign in Hollywood, California.

Hollywood doesn’t want free trade to mean free, illegal downloads of movies. Or bootleg sales. Anissa Brennan, vice president for International Affairs and Trade Policy at the Motion Picture Association of America, wants the treaty to follow U.S. law, which doesn’t allow movie goers to film what’s on the screen, then sell illegal copies.

She explains, “If you go into a theater and you record a film without the permission of the theater owner, that is a criminal act.”

Brennan also wants the trade deal to extend copyrights to the life of the author plus 70 years. Bill Watson is a trade policy analyst at the libertarian Cato Institute, who advocates free trade. He says U.S. negotiators have taken Hollywood’s position, which isn’t very popular.

"To the extent that other countries are unwilling to take on these obligations, it threatens the viability of the agreement," he says

Watson doesn’t think the movie protections the U.S. is pushing for will derail the trade negotiations. But he says it’s putting stress on a very fragile deal.

About the author

Nancy Marshall-Genzer is a senior reporter for Marketplace based in Washington, D.C. covering daily news.
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