One solution that's becoming popular is promoting free and open source software. Such a solution addresses the economic reality that the price of software is a leading cause of piracy, especially in poorer countries.
In their 498 page report the IIPA urges the USTR to bully countries like Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand into discarding policies giving preference to open source software. It even goes so far as to say just promoting the use of such software "encourages a mindset that does not give due consideration to the value to intellectual creations."
It goes on to suggest that giving preference to open source software stifles innovation
A closer look reveals their true motive, which is selling software from companies belonging to the Business Software Alliance (BSA), one of seven IIPA member organizations. They claim an official policy promoting open source software for government use "amounts to a significant market access barrier for the software industry."
But does it really? Any company is free to offer their software for free or develop it with an open source model. Certainly BSA members like Microsoft, Symantec, Hewlett Packard and Adobe have all the resources they need to develop whatever sort of software they want.
In fact that's exactly what IBM, another BSA member, has done quite successfully over the last decade. They've even gone so far as to make hundreds of patents royalty free.
What those other companies lack is the will to adapt to a market where the deck isn't stacked in their favor. Microsoft, in particular, has been a leading source of open source misinformation with their repeated and vague claims that Linux infringes on as of yet unnamed Microsoft patents.
Those companies certainly don't lack the will to dictate IP enforcement policies to those same countries though.
Their recommendation to the USTR includes a suggestion that the government of Vietnam "should abandon the current approach and follow a realistic policy framework that includes adequate education and effective enforcement of IP rights and fosters non-discrimination in business choice, software development, and licensing models."
In other words, instead of saving money by going open source they should be forced to spend money investigating and prosecuting piracy.
Using the USTR as a club to force governments into adopting policies which may not be in their best interest is bad enough. Doing so in the guise of combating piracy is simply pathetic.
Pathetic is right!
Sleazy, slimy, slippery...are other words that come to mind.
These guys never give up.