Wednesday, 23 April 2014


Though fears over diluted environmental, finance, labour and consumer safety standards are in the forefront of the highly unsymmetrical and covert bargaining going on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which aims to promote business by removing certain bothersome obstacles, there are subtler concerns that are not being addressed in any public forum, I believe:  many bad things for Europe, without the possibility for reciprocation by making US regulations more stringent according to a continental model, are coming down the sluice and I suspect that the floodgates will be thrown open for the American entertainment cartel with ruinous consequences for local culture.
Neither the airwaves nor the cinema certainly are closed to American productions presently and there are quotas in place to ensure that domestic pieces are given air-time.  There is a different attitude towards film and literature in America, however, as opposed to Europe, where such institutions are enshrined and supported by governments and not treated like any other commodity.  The landscape for publishing houses (though Verlag are not altruistic over here either, exactly), labels and other stakeholders is something smooth-shod, flattened out by sure sales and reflective of the top-twenty and blockbusters and big chain stores—that all sell the same thing—and could also infiltrate the educational system with over-priced pulp-non-fiction.  Opponents have already cried foul that TTIP was a backhanded route to the provisions of ACTA, ultimately rejected by the European Union, and although the same propriety language is not present in the newest incarnation, TTIP is looking like an even more sinister and sneaky delivery system to put culture and colloquy in the hands of a few industry giants and sadly a more effective way to destroy competition and alternatives, since the stress on potential profits might play a bigger role in what gets imagined.