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Aargh, Ukraine Top Pirate

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Ukraine is the Blackbeard of copyright violators:

    The United States on Thursday issued its annual list of countries with the worst record of protecting copyright material and other intellectual property, again identifying Ukraine as the worst culprit. [worse than the 98% music CD piracy rate of Peru?]

    The U.S. Trade Representative’s Office said $75 million in U.S. sanctions on Ukraine would remain in effect because of that country’s failure to adopt and enforce adequate protections against the illegal copying of optical media products such as music CDs, movie DVDs and computer software.

    The sanctions were first imposed in January 2002.

    Protection of intellectual property rights is an increasingly important component of U.S. trade policy.

    The International Intellectual Property Alliance, a consortium of publishing, film, software and recording industry groups, estimates that global piracy costs U.S. copyright industries more than $22 billion annually.

    The 50 countries listed in the USTR annual report accounted for $9.8 billion of those annual losses, the group said.

    “Open markets and rules that guarantee the protection of intellectual property are critical to the continued health of the creative sectors of our economy,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick said in a statement.

    ….Ukraine was the only country put on the Priority Foreign Country list, the most serious designation.

    China and Paraguay remain subject to special monitoring under U.S. trade laws.

    Both countries have negotiated bilateral agreements with the United States to address long-standing piracy concerns, and failure to comply with those commitments could lead to U.S. sanctions.

    Placed on the Priority Watch List, the next highest category of concern, were Argentina, the Bahamas, Brazil, the 15-nation European Union, India, Indonesia, Lebanon, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, and Taiwan. [Reuters]

Piracy for profit bad, copyright good, just not excessive copyright.

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About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: Twitter@amhaunted, Facebook.com/amhaunted, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.
  • AntFreeze

    I’m pretty crusty so I wasn’t raised thinking that anything I could pilfer with my computer is fair game. I also rue the day when creative people can no longer make a living at it. However I’m not so naive as to think this will all just go away. Where we seem to be heading is to a world where all the output devices, monitors, speakers, etc. will be connected to a database that will determine the legitamacy of the media. This means that everything anyone creates will have to be registered somewhere with some new giant govt. beaurocracy in order to avoid piracy and that of course will just shove Washington’s hands deeper into our pockets and make any anonymous contributions impossible.

  • Mestephaian

    HArry Arzouman writting a book about piracy thats a laugh! He possibly the most inept businessman on the planet. He raised 7 million dollars and pissed it away on a huge warehouse that housed nothing!!!Harry is still trying to sell the sizzle on a steak thats been cold a long long time.

  • Dear M Estephanian,

    I only wish you had bothered to read my book before you made your comment. I signed a movie deal recently and in about two years, I hope you will go see the movie that will be made from my book.

    Harry H. Arzouman

  • Mestephanian

    I have read your book. I must comment I didnt know whether to laugh or cry at the same time. I also invested in your company thats no longer around. My 10k invested at age 24 is now worth slightly less than a bowl of steam. I am now 48! LAst time I looked sAfetjack raised 7.2 million dollars. How many jacks did you sell? Why didnt you start smaller and work you way up. Not you….get the big warehouse…spend a fortune getting it ready…and then…nothing! Remember I brought down the famous Dr Richard Feynmen to evaluate your facility…his comment was that you were no where near ready to bring anything to market. Well he died 18 years ago and he was right on the money…too bad I wasnt. How about the fact that you never had a sharholders meeting? Not one single event.

    As far as your movie is concerned…you should give all the money to the people who bankrolled your high flying lifestyle…namely your shareholders who got left holding the bag! Of course the chances of that happening are slim and none.

  • Dear Mark Estephanian:

    Your comments indicate to me that there is no way that you have read my book unless you read it and did not fully comprehend what it was all about. Since it is possible that you did not comprehend what you were reading, prehaps the following will help you.

    Although they are mentioned, my book has nothing to do with the stockholders of my old company. This is a story about my life and my experience with the American legal system over a grueling twenty year period. Its a story about certain European individuals,who after realizing the value of my patents, used the American legal system and some very unscrupulous American attorneys in an attempt to steal them from me. Hence, we get the title of my book, “Patent Piracy.” My publishers came up with this title. I think it fits very well. I don’t know what the title of the movie will be.

    My book is a true story about me and my ability to survive three lawsuits while battling one of the largest and most powerful law firms in the United States. These lawsuits covered a period of over thirteen years, plus six more years of residual fallout, for a total of twenty years. They put me on my knees and ran me out of money to defend myself three times. My house went into foreclosure one time. They thought that they won their case all three times, twice by default, but at the eleventh hour, I was able to survive by using survival skills I learned as a young boy during the Geart Depression and as a soldier in the Korean War. I also leaned heavily on my Armenian heritage to survive. Since you are an Armenian American yourself, you most certainly know that to be an Armenian, is to have the inherited ability to survive. In the end, these people did not completely destroy me and they were not able to take my patents.

    Along the way, I learned of the inequities, the ineptness and the corruption that exists in our legal system and most painfully, I learned that I could buy as much justice as I could afford to pay. The flip side to my experience are case’s like the O.J. Simpson case where a guilty man is able to spend six million dollars and walk out of a court house a free man. The overall message of my book is that we, as a nation, must abolish capital punishment. Not because justice does not dictate this but because our legal system is not mature enough nor exacting enough to mete out such a final decsion. I make that point very clear, and with confidence in my book, backed up by my documented twenty years experience with our legal system. All the incidents in my book had to be confirmed before the movie makers would agree to make a film from my book. To confirm further, pick any newspaper over the past few years and do some research, and you will find, time after time where Americans who were convicted, without a shadow of a doubt, and sent to death row, are now being released through the use of DNA. These people were already innocent before DNA was applied. How many innocent people have we executed in the past? The use of DNA does not solve all our problems because in 75% of all capital crimes there is no evidence where the science of DNA can be applied to determine guilt or innocence. The State of Illinois abolished capital punishment when it was discovered that fifty percent of their inmates were in fact innocent. DNA has proven that our system is broken and has been broken all along and is in desperate need of reform. That is what my book is all about. There is more so I suggest that you read it again. You may get a different slant on its message. All of the readers from around the world who have read my book and have contacted me, have understood the message and its meaning perfectly. My book is being used by some organizations as reference material to point out the inequities in our legal system while calling for the abolishment of Capital punishment.

    Some comments on your other points.

    1. When you invested in my company, you signed a Subscription Agreement which clearly stated that we were a start-up, high risk venture with no production and no sales. Although we explicitly gave no guarantees that we would acheive production and sales, we did in fact accomplish all this after we moved our production to Taiwan. The one thing that I did not count on was 20 years of litigation that destroyed my old company and nearly destroyed me.

    2. During the twenty years of litigation, right or wrong, my attorneys advised me to only communicate through stockholders letters. So, there were no stockholders meetings.

    3. I did forget his name but I do remember when you brought Dr. Feynmen to see our facility. At that time, most of our industry was moving to Taiwan because of the high cost of production here in the States. In order to remain competitve in the market-place, we were forced to do the same thing. We were half moved when you brought Dr. Feynmen to see our facility. As I recall, I explained all this to him and he understood very clearly what we were doing and why were doing it. This move was also announced in our stockholders letters as well. After setting up production in Taiwan and we started shipping our products to Japan and other areas in the world, was at that time that I was hit with the second lawsuit. We had just barely recoverd from the first lawsuit. This second lawsuit began taking up all my time and eating up huge amounts of money to pay our attorneys. I could not do both, fight the lawsuit and keep our factory going. I had to fight to save my patents because without patents, I had no company. My company died in litigation but I did save my my patents and I did survive as I stated previously.

    I make no guarantees as before, but I now have a chance at bringing my project back to life. Hopefully, and again with no guarantees, we may have a very happy ending to this story and the movie.

    Thank you and good night.

  • Mestephanian

    Dear Harry,

    IMHO your book reads allot like your post here…rambling and disjointed. A regular person like me may have difficulties in “comprehending” the true meaning. Hopefully you will get a good screen writer to sharpen up your story telling skills so the rest of us regular folk can get it. As for you movie may I suggest the title: “ALL JACKED UP”.

    As for your comments regarding SAFE-T-JACK. I would say that as the captain of the ship and leader, you had the responsibility to steer clear of litigation and patent issues. What ever form they may take. I do take full responsibility in investing in your company. I was young and dumb and motivated by others who fed me information that was over zealous. I learned a great lesson. That being said you continue to blame the failure of the company on others and take no responsibility for your inability to execute your business plan and keep your ship afloat. You may have survived along with your patents but so do many other great ideas that are never brought to market. I personally don’t see the value of a patented product which is never executed. Do you? The best defense against patent piracy is market penetration.

    This post is the only opportunity I as a shareholder of your now defunct company has ever had to voice an opinion or concern. While you did send shareholders letters they were largely geared to raising additional capital. Very little information or feedback was afforded to the people who invested in SAFE-T-JACK.

    Your factory/warehouse was never occupied beyond a small proto line and offices so your contention that you were moving overseas has little validity. It was a bad move from a business standpoint and you simply have difficulty in accepting that your overhead was disproportionately high to the tasks at hand. Again this is a management issue which was not handled correctly. In a public company the BOD would have held the CEO responsible. Unfortunately for us shareholders there was no such control mechanism. Such is life…I accept my missteps as you should too. I have said my peace

  • Adrienne

    Mark…And what exactly is it that you do for a living. It’s obvious from your disjointed ramblings and misspelled words that you certainly aren’t a writer.


    Ahhh…a question is followed by one of these “?”

  • I suppose it comes as no surprise that the government of the Ukraine indulge in copyright infringement as well. The Ministry of Science and Education of Ukraine offers a textbook for learning German called ‘Viel Spaß’ for which they used my copyrighted poem ‘Kinderlied’ (‘Eltern, welche nur verbieten, müssten längst verboten sein…’) from my collection at http://franklludwig.com/kinder.html (last poem on that page) without my permission and knowledge and without even crediting me as the author. They also provide an online version of that course [PDF] which includes the stolen poem on top of page 38. All my copyright takedown notices since January 2010 have been ignored, and even the Ukranian Agency of Copyright and Related Rights as well as all Ukranian solicitors I have contacted refuse to answer my queries.