Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Bulletin from civil-war-torn Damascus: Syria leads the way signing on to the BTAP


Who would have thought Syria would lead the world on BTAP?

by Ken

I know that last night I promised a "for instance" of the abuse of basic rights of an LGBT citizen so outrageous that, as I wrote, it "had me punching the walls." You may recall that AZ GOP Rep. Matt Salmon, whose gay son Matt's "It Gets Better" video we looked at last night, doesn't believe that LGBT rights are a "legal issue," and so -- as much as he professes to love his son -- apparently doesn't believe that young Matt is entitled to any of these rights so absolutely fundamental that most straight people never give them a thought.

I'm not puching the walls anymore, just at this moment, but I'm still pretty hot about it. I thought, though, that I'd let that cool another day in order to make sure you've caught this breaking news from the Middle East's most dangerous battleground, courtesy of our Washington Post "In the Loop" pal Al Kamen.

Syria and its weird priorities

By Al Kamen, Published: April 1

Rebels may be moving on Aleppo, Syria's largest city, but who says the Assad regime is in disarray?

Last month, the Syrian Arab Republic's minister of foreign affairs informed the World Intellectual Property Organization (the United Nations agency headquartered in Geneva) that the regime had ratified the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances.

The treaty was negotiated in Beijing last June, and Syria on March 18 became the first -- the very first! -- nation to formally join it.

The treaty does not come into force until 30 countries have notified the WIPO that they have ratified it. Given how long it took to get one country to ratify the accord, what are the odds that the current regime will still be in power in Damascus when the 30th signs on?

The BTAP (as its friends call it) deals with required copyright protections for movie stars and other performers in "audio-visual works."

So Syria may be in heightening chaos, with tens of thousands dead and refugees flooding out of the country by the millions, but at least Damascus is taking care of such vital business -- far faster than governments that aren't devoting so much time and attention to slaughtering their own citizens.

Okay, it's not exactly breaking news, having happened back on March 18. And it may not be the breakthrough we've been hoping for in the Middle East's most dangerous tinderbox. But now anyone who tries to say that Syrian President Assad isn't a visionary leader, well, they'll just have to eat those words, won't they?



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