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US Plots "Pirate Bay Killer" Trade Agreement

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the time-for-a-pirate-party-takeover dept.

Censorship 529

An anonymous reader sends word that Wikileaks has revealed that the United States is plotting a 'Pirate Bay killing' multi-lateral trade agreement, called 'ACTA,' with the EU, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Switzerland and New Zealand. "The proposal includes clauses designed to criminalize the non-profit facilitation of copyrighted information exchange on the Internet, which would also affect transparency sites such as Wikileaks. The Wikileaks document details provisions that would impose strict enforcement of intellectual property rights related to Internet activity and trade in information-based goods. If adopted, the treaty would impose a strong, top-down enforcement regime imposing new cooperation requirements upon Internet service providers, including perfunctory disclosure of customer information, as well as measures restricting the use of online privacy tools."

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529 comments

Can't put that genie back into the bottle (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516412)

Too late. Pass all the laws you like, crack down with all the jackbooted thuggery you can muster. Suspend habeas corpus, declare the 4th amendment null and void, force the royal family to submit to regular body cavity searches, install a camera on every corner, give police orders to use deadly force against downloaders...none of it will make any difference. You can't turn back the clock.

Remember when the RIAA shut down Napster and declared victory over the music downloaders? Remember when they started their pathetic little lawsuit harassment campaign? Tell me, is there a single person here who has trouble downloading a pirated song today? Is there anyone here who couldn't start up Limewire right this minute and find a copy of virtually any song they could want? For all their heavy-handedness, they didn't even make a DENT.

Times have changed. No law is going to change that. They're just embarrassing themselves trying.

Re:Can't put that genie back into the bottle (5, Insightful)

jeiler (1106393) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516516)

You can't turn back the clock.

True--but you can hurt a lot of people trying to do so.

It seems to me that that's what the MPAA, RIAA, and other associated organizations are trying to do. They can't stop downloading en mass ... but if they can hurt enough individuals, maybe other individuals will be to scared to continue to download.

Re:Can't put that genie back into the bottle (5, Interesting)

xpuppykickerx (1290760) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516554)

Normally the people who upload/post leaks aren't afraid of a little lawsuit action. It's the jerk-offs that don't seed after they've downloaded files that fear the RIAA. Let them be gone I say.

Re:Can't put that genie back into the bottle (5, Insightful)

jeiler (1106393) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516628)

It's the jerk-offs that don't seed after they've downloaded files that fear the RIAA. Let them be gone I say.

I would guess that a lot of the folks who don't seed wouldn't seed even if doing so was legal. Those who don't seed because they are afraid of the **AA are not "jerk-offs"--they're victims of bullying, even if they're only being "bullied" by proxy.

I have no sympathy for the folks who take and take but never give back--but I have a lot of sympathy for the victims of bullying.

Re:Can't put that genie back into the bottle (2, Insightful)

xpuppykickerx (1290760) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516670)

So, it's OK to download a file illegally, but not to have other download it from you illegally?

Re:Can't put that genie back into the bottle (0, Troll)

jeiler (1106393) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516750)

I never said it was OK to do anything illegal. Perhaps if you stop kicking puppies and actually read what I said, clarity will ensue.

Re:Can't put that genie back into the bottle (5, Insightful)

ozamosi (615254) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516840)

Actually, it was legal to download here (in Sweden) up until... I think it was July 1, 2005, as long as you didn't upload.

The music industry around here are talking about that they want to start an experiment with voluntary broadband-tax, starting this autumn, which will allow you to, for a small fee, download all the music you want from Pirate Bay or wherever. Uploading will still be illegal.

You seem to be assuming the rest of the world uses US laws. Stop it.

Re:Can't put that genie back into the bottle (2, Interesting)

Jason Earl (1894) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516926)

Actually, that's essentially the case.

In the U.S., at least, current copyright laws hinge on the distribution of copyrighted materials. Downloading songs is fine, distributing songs triggers massive fines and jail time.

This is basically a holdover from the days when bootlegging albums (or books or whatever) required extensive criminal operations with access to publishing facilities and the like. Essentially, copyright infringement on a massive scale required organized crime syndicates, and the criminal punishments reflect this.

These days anyone with a high speed Internet account can distribute copyrighted material on a magnitude that was previous unheard of, but the laws haven't really changed.

Re:Can't put that genie back into the bottle (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23516936)

It is NOT illegal to download a file, and it never was! The one making it avaliabe is giving it away without having the license to do so! You're just getting it from him. He gave dou the permission. How can you know if he has the rights to do so? You expect him to do nothing illegal. Would you say it's illegal if you bought a procuct, and then would find out it's stolen? Who's the wrong-doer there?

How sad is it, when even the so-called experts on slashdot don't get it anymore, and are fully controlled by the MAFIAA.

Re:Can't put that genie back into the bottle (3, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516600)

True--but you can hurt a lot of people trying to do so.

      No, you can't. See if I download stuff it costs me NOTHING. If government(s) try to police the internet, it will cost them resources. If they try to take me and everyone like me to court, it will cost them resources. If they tie up enough resources persecuting "downloaders" and letting people get away with violent crime, or let their roads collapse, etc, eventually it will be a big political nightmare.

      The only thing they can hope to do is try to catch the odd downloader and crucify him/her in a very high profile case to try and deter others. This can also backfire. How many thousands of dollars/years in jail because s/he downloaded one movie?

      But most people know they'll never get caught.

Re:Can't put that genie back into the bottle (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516886)

No, you can't. See if I download stuff it costs me NOTHING. If government(s) try to police the internet, it will cost them resources. If they try to take me and everyone like me to court, it will cost them resources. If they tie up enough resources persecuting "downloaders" and letting people get away with violent crime, or let their roads collapse, etc, eventually it will be a big political nightmare.

You realize that when you say it will cost "them" resources you really ought to be saying that it will cost us resources. Where do you think the Government gets it's funding from? I don't particularly relish the thought of my tax dollars being used for these purposes, how about you?

How many thousands of dollars/years in jail because s/he downloaded one movie?

How many thousands of dollars/years in jail because s/he got caught with marijuana?

But most people know they'll never get caught.

Indeed. And that fact hasn't deterred the Government from the 'War on Drugs' either. Maybe this will be different -- I'd guess that there are more downloaders out there than pot smokers -- but I'm not nearly that optimistic.

Re:Can't put that genie back into the bottle (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23516960)

just wait about 18 months or so.. every court in the US will be busy processing the bankruptcy cases of Ford, GM, Chrysler, American Airlines, Jet Blue, and any other U.S.-made car/airplane company. Boeing will survive, but the companies that buy their jets will not. Not to mention the UAW and any other associated unions will be squeezing very hard to get blood from the stone.

Basically, just lay low for now and wait until the situation comes to a head. The government will have to let the MAFIAA's bullshit complaints fall on deaf ears and focus on the very real and very serious problems the entire world faces dealing with *real* property and *real* losses, or they will be torn apart by the some 100+ million newly-unemployed americans when every transportation-based industry falls from underneath them.

Re:Can't put that genie back into the bottle (3, Insightful)

tietokone-olmi (26595) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516766)

Tell me. Are you frightened of being struck by lightning? Enough to stop going outside?

Because becoming the target of a downloading lawsuit is currently less likely than being struck by lightning. This state of matters would remain even if the cartels increased their efforts tenfold. Even if they could persuade all police operations to be directed into copyright enforcement, the ordinary citizen could very justifiably not give a hoot.

Re:Can't put that genie back into the bottle (2, Insightful)

rvw (755107) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516922)

The only thing I'm afraid of is being prosecuted in the US. I live in Europe, but these kind of agreements scare me. I've seen people being extradited to the US for alleged crimes commited in the US, that were in fact commited in Europe. Those crimes generally result in sentences about 1/10th of those in the US, and it involved American federal agents that tricked people into doing stuff, while this is not allowed in our justice system.

Re:Can't put that genie back into the bottle (4, Insightful)

tietokone-olmi (26595) | more than 5 years ago | (#23517044)

Then your (our, really) problem is not the agreements but your dickless administration. In my native Finland it is legally forbidden for the state to turn a finnish citizen over to a foreign state for any reason. If it's lawsuit blood they want, they can come to this country and try to make their case here... or bribe some cabinet ministers into pressing the matter and telling the courts what to do, that works pretty well too with the current openly fascist cabinet.

(The reason behind this "no turning over finnish citizens" law is, surprise surprise, those few hundred jews and communists and such that were turned over to Nazi Germany. Bit of an embarrassment to say the least.)

Re:Can't put that genie back into the bottle (4, Insightful)

WilyCoder (736280) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516808)

"Maybe other individuals will be to scared to continue to download."

Now that's what I call terrorism.

Re:Can't put that genie back into the bottle (5, Interesting)

ParanoiaBOTS (903635) | more than 5 years ago | (#23517038)

... but if they can hurt enough individuals, maybe other individuals will be to scared to continue to download.

Its scary to me how close this tactic is to the ideal of terrorism

Re:Can't put that genie back into the bottle (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23516568)

Actually I'm having trouble finding an album by Max-A-Million. They had hits songs like fat-boy and covered Marvin Gaye's Sexual Healing. Little help?

Re:Can't put that genie back into the bottle (5, Insightful)

Tom (822) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516584)

Times have changed. No law is going to change that. They're just embarrassing themselves trying.
Except that, like in the "war on drugs" they can ruin thousands upon thousands of lives while they do.

This is serious, even if you're sure that in the end they will fail. You could be one of the victims steamed over on their way to embarrassment.

Re:Can't put that genie back into the bottle (4, Insightful)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516790)

I think it's particularly serious because it will fail. It will just justify a potential snowball of draconian bullshit legislation and heavy-handed enforcement.

=Smidge=

Re:Can't put that genie back into the bottle (4, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516854)

There is a small portion of this equation that seems to have been left out. This law seems to be ostensibly aimed at protecting the **AA and associated groups and their business models.

What happens to their business models when artists won't sign with them in protest of what they are doing to consumers? What happens to their businesses when barely anyone is buying their products?

In this one point, a good boycott of **AA et al and their products, say something lasting 2-6 months, the industry would get the message. When you make ZERO or vastly negative income for a quarter, investors go somewhere else with their dollars, your stock drops to penny range, and people laugh when you complain to the media. In fact, after 6 months, buying products from the **AA et al might become passe' and forever cause even further declines in their revenues.

When they begin prosecuting every tiny detail they can, imprisoning people for downloading etc. then you will see plenty of people ready to boycott and demonstrate. You might even see people who own guns get angry.

The truth of this is closer to the argument that bad laws should not be followed nor enforced. These are bad laws. Drug laws are bad laws. When your law criminalizes a huge percentage of your population, it's a bad law, and quite obviously not on par with community standards of conduct.

A federal law should only be enacted to protect the people. Who do laws like this protect? Directly, they protect the **AA et al. Indirectly, who do they protect? IMHO, nobody! I believe that this is the definition of 'bad law'. YMMV

Re:Can't put that genie back into the bottle (5, Insightful)

bertilow (218923) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516616)

elrous0 wrote:

is there a single person here who has trouble downloading a pirated song today?

Trouble finding songs I want to download? Absolutely. There are hundres of songs that I'd like to download but can't find anywhere. The torrent sites have a very thin and boring choice of music. Only the most popular stuff is easy to find.

Re:Can't put that genie back into the bottle (2, Informative)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516902)

I've had great success finding obscure music on Rapidshare.

Re:Can't put that genie back into the bottle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23517060)

Torrent. Hah. Try a real file-sharing network like a donkey/mule-client or something gnutella-based. Torrent is good for what it was invented for: Fast old-style downloads.
Seriously. No search-functionality included? No simple automatic sharing functionality? Don't tell me that you can automaically creae torrents. You still have to mess with trackers/websites and tee whole 90s-style shit sourrounding it. Just poor.

And get off my lawn! :P

Re:Can't put that genie back into the bottle (2, Insightful)

rumith (983060) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516632)

We still haven't seen them act to the full extend of their ability. If they imprison a thousand people (preferably worldwide) for copyright infringement, TPB usage will plummet. If they imprison a thousand more nobody in their mind would touch bittorrent with a ten foot pole. After that, they will only need to jail a couple of people per month and heavily advertise these cases (and the sentences imposed) to keep interest in file sharing low.

You're completely correct, it's impossible to kill file sharing by targeting the middleman. However, I think it will not be hard to do if they target the consumers engaged in file sharing.

Re:Can't put that genie back into the bottle (1, Flamebait)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516636)

Suspend habeas corpus, declare the 4th amendment null and void,...

Never mattered to Bush in the first place, so what's the problem?

Re:Can't put that genie back into the bottle (1)

wattrlz (1162603) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516852)

Problem is now they won't matter to a lot more people and you won't be able to sue once Bush gets out of office.

Oh, that's just great! (4, Interesting)

SaDan (81097) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516444)

And we (the US) are pissed at China for what, now? Sounds like this is taking a page out of their playbook for censorship.

Information wants to be free!

A shift in the way we think about copyright has to happen, or this is going to get out of control in a hurry.

Re:Oh, that's just great! (2, Informative)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516598)

What?
This is trying to restrict distributing copyrighted material. This had nothing to do with free speech.
If you want to say that you think GW Bush likes to have tea parties with stuffed animals nobody is going to stop you.

Those evil laws are the same laws that keep me from taking GIMP, making a few changes, closing the source, slapping DRM on it, changing the name to Uber PhotoMax 6000, and selling it at Best Buy for $85 a copy.

If you want people to respect the GPL then you must respect copyright law in general.
Are there currently abuses with copyright law? Things like DMCA and other attacks on fair use and time shifting? Yes there is. But not allowing people to distribute copyrighted material that they don't have a right to? Well how good an idea this law is should be up to debate. Is it an attack on free speech or censorship? I don't think so.

Re:Oh, that's just great! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23516684)

Criminalizing wikileaks is b censorship?!

Re:Oh, that's just great! (5, Insightful)

Amouth (879122) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516686)

it isnt' just for the stop downloading copyrighted shit - this can be used and twisted in many diffrent ways..

just the fact that it allows them to get customer info without a court order is sickening..

also the idea that the US would write something that would effect the rights and privicy of people from another nation is also sicking..

there is more than one way for them to get what they want.. and this is the easisest for them and the wrost for us and our rights.

everyday moving onto a sailboat and just live sailing sounds more and more like a reality for me..

Re:Oh, that's just great! (1)

geckipede (1261408) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516724)

Take note of that "restrictions of online privacy tools" part of the summary. This isn't just trying to make assisting in copyright violation a crime, it is trying to make it enforceable as well.

Granted, taking away anonymity online is not the same thing as directly limiting free speech but it is coming uncomfortably close.

Re:Oh, that's just great! (4, Insightful)

cube135 (1231528) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516742)

The way copyright law is right now? Yes, it is an attack on free speech. All any influential(i.e. rich) company or person needs to do is state that they have a copyright over something they don't want distributed, and they can stop anything from being put up on the 'net.

Re:Oh, that's just great! (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516942)

All any influential(i.e. rich) company or person needs to do is state that they have a copyright over something they don't want distributed, and they can stop anything from being put up on the 'net.

That would never happen..... oh wait [slashdot.org]....

Re:Oh, that's just great! (5, Insightful)

zotz (3951) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516748)

"If you want people to respect the GPL then you must respect copyright law in general."

This does not actually follow, or at best is a mis-stated point...

The GPL is an attempt at copyright-jitsu. It is perhaps an attempt to use copyright laws, which you may or may not agree with, but which you have to live with until they change, to undo some or all of the percieved ill effects of said laws.

So, it may actually boil down to this for some:

"I don't respect copyright laws, but if you want me to respect your copyrights, you need to respect the GPL..."

(I am not trying to accurately portray my personal take in the above.)

all the best,

drew
http://packet-in.org/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page [packet-in.org]

Re:Oh, that's just great! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23516920)

I think you are correct with regards to the original idea of the GPL. But these days, not too few individuals have adopted the point of view that copyright is a good thing because it is what makes the GPL possible. These people actually have referred to "First sale" doctrine as a possible loophole to circumvent the GPL and which should be stamped out, they want a wider take on derivative works so that the GPL works are better protected, EULAs are good because it allows GPL v3 further reach etc.etc.
They no longer wants reductions of copyright; quite the opposite, sadly.
"Battle not with monsters lest you become a monster..."

Re:Oh, that's just great! (2, Insightful)

esme (17526) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516810)

This had nothing to do with free speech.

This has everything to do with free speech. The only way to prevent non-commercial filesharing is to impose a police state and inspect all electronic communications. That would have a huge chilling effect on political and other protected speech.

-Esme

Re:Oh, that's just great! (3, Insightful)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516812)

"If you want people to respect the GPL then you must respect copyright law in general"

I don't believe this is the case at all, copyright law has been extended and abused by corporations in ways that in no way should be tolerated by any sane society. But because most people are uneducated and are not very tech savvy/overloaded with other issues that absorb their time. Corporations get away with murder in giving themselves special privledges to endlessly protect 'copyrighted works', when's the last time something became public domain?

Next is the issue of NON SCARCITY, in the age of the internet 'consumer socialism' is quite possible because of the non-scarcity.

We use laws and scarcity based economic systems only because of scarcity, when non-scarcity occurs the society reacts with old outmoded ways of thinking (scarciy based thinking).

If food somehow became non-scarce tomorrow and as easily acquired as digital goods, we'd see anyone who tried to protect their special hold over it a dictator. The funny part is we don't see these corporations as political entities they really are.

There is no economy that is not political, all transactions are political transactions, whether one is aware of it or not.

Re:Oh, that's just great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23516858)

Troll. I call troll.

You are obviously an issue troll trying to get people worked up. How can I tell? A series of provocative questions with a tangential link to the main issue, a reference to the GPL to get people inflamed...

Re:Oh, that's just great! (3, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516976)

But it will be. Just like the DMCA has been mostly used to shut down what is arguably only free speech.

There is no bright line (2, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#23517008)

This is trying to restrict distributing copyrighted material. This had nothing to do with free speech.
When one criticizes a copyrighted work, how can anybody who is not one of the nine Supreme Court justices tell where free speech ends and copyright infringement begins? Apart from the obvious cases, there is a gray area where whoever can spend more on legal representation wins.

If you want people to respect the GPL then you must respect copyright law in general.
If there were no copyright, there would be less need for copyleft because it would become lawful to disassemble proprietary software, comment it heavily, and throw it on Usenet.

Re:Oh, that's just great! (3, Insightful)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516716)

Go ahead and post your name/address/SSN/DOB and mothers maiden name. Since information wants to be free and all..

Information doesn't know or care if it's free or not.

Re:Oh, that's just great! (2, Interesting)

Holi (250190) | more than 5 years ago | (#23517004)

The day I see copyrighted material fall into the public domain is the day I will respect copyright.

And you wonder why world hates U.S. (3, Informative)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516454)

you vote SHIT like these into power, just because they ranted about conservative values, and they make a total crap out of everything.

thats why world hates you. nothing else.

Re:And you wonder why world hates U.S. (2, Informative)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516572)

While I don't wonder or care what the rest of the world thinks about the US, we do have shit in power.

Sadly, the democrats voted are are of the same coin, just a different side. They are equally worthless.

Re:And you wonder why world hates U.S. (3, Funny)

PawNtheSandman (1238854) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516620)

Yeah it sucks when politicians are voted into office because people base their vote off of religious beliefs instead of what the candidate actually stands for. Another reason I hate the South.

Re:And you wonder why world hates U.S. (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516782)

you vote SHIT like these into power, just because they ranted about conservative values, and they make a total crap out of everything.

Because the people paying for these laws wouldn't ever think to donate to both sides would they? No matter who you vote for, you get best government money can buy. Remember "No representation without compensation," and these people can buy a lot of representation.

That's not good. That's not good at all. (4, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516458)

Whilst I can understand and to some extent sympathise with the desire to take down the PyratByran, Wikileaks is in no way part of the same phenomenon. It's a site exposing what we, the great unwashed, are not supposed to know.

Fuck this!

Re:That's not good. That's not good at all. (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516906)

Not just the Pirate Bay. This law could criminalize services like Freenet or TOR, as they can facilitate copyright infringement. Or hell, even google.

Dear Susan Schwab: (1, Troll)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516460)

Dear Susan Schwab:

- Rep. Mary Bono (R-CA)
- Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)
- Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA)
- Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA)
- Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
Thanks much for the list of people to shoot^H^H^H^H^Hwrite nasty letters to!

Love ya!
MG

Re:Dear Susan Schwab: (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516606)

Isn't the main outcome of a nasty letter usually just the wasting of the writers time?

Re:Dear Susan Schwab: (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516732)

Isn't the main outcome of a nasty letter usually just the wasting of the writers time?
That depends greatly on the selection of high order explosi...errr...words.

Re:Dear Susan Schwab: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23516944)

Anyone else noting the distinct concentration of California representatives? I'm just interested to wonder where these districts they come from are and perhaps what companies are located there or nearby since so many Tech companies are in Silicon Valley or elsewhere in the state.

Time for Tea? (3, Interesting)

hanshotfirst (851936) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516480)

When do we head to Boston and Ctrl-Alt-Delete this out-of-control government?

Re:Time for Tea? (5, Funny)

SaDan (81097) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516496)

Right after you head to Washington D.C. and find them in the right town. ;-)

Re:Time for Tea? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23516776)

Tea parties are a Boston thing. (Just in case you didn't read the subject.)

Re:Time for Tea? (1)

jockeys (753885) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516622)

You'll prolly get modded as funny for this, but more and more I'm starting to think that it really will take the citizens rising up to change things. Well said.

Re:Time for Tea? (2, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516820)

When do we head to Boston and Ctrl-Alt-Delete this out-of-control government?
Now would be good.

Re:Time for Tea? (0)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516994)

Somehow, I think the idea of a bunch of people too lazy to even pay for their entertainment rising up from their chairs, never mind against the gov't, is ridiculous.

Maybe it's just me.

Re:Time for Tea? (0, Flamebait)

edbob (960004) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516882)

You know, we tried to get people to listen and understand what is truly wrong with this country. In the end, the citizens voted like sheep for Obama, Clinton, and McCain. If people would take as much time learning about the elections and candidates as they do with American Idol, this country would be a lot better off.

My problems with ACTA run far deeper than just this issue. As I see it, this is just another "managed trade" agreement like NAFTA and CAFTA. Basically, the U.S. taxpayer is on the hook to raise the standard of living in countries like Albania, Bosnia, and Slovakia while our own standard of living is brought down even further to match those countries. We need to put an end to this now.

Do it for the children of Terrorists (3, Insightful)

narrowhouse (1949) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516498)

Next step is to tie the passing of this legislation to fighting terrorism or child pornography thus removing the stink of corporate favouritism. Maybe throw in some sort of muttering about intellectual property protecting American workers from having their jobs shipped over seas and this will fly through with barely a comment from most people.

Re:Do it for the children of Terrorists (4, Insightful)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516714)

Most legislation flies through with barely a comment from most people. Unless it is something HUGE that the media can make a sensation out of -- PATRIOT ACT, assault weapons, etc -- there is no coverage except maybe on CSPAN.

The media is not going to raise awareness of a bill that benefits the media. No one will know about this except people who go out of their way to care, if you try and bring it up, most people won't want to hear it, etc. Maybe, if you're really lucky, you'll get called a "conspiracy nut," like when people try and raise awareness of plans for the "North American Union" and things like that.

Sad thing is, most people don't give a shit and don't want to hear anything that makes them feel more discomfort than they can reasonably handle based on the limits which they have received from the programming received from TV and school.

Re:Do it for the children of Terrorists (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516734)

saddly i could see them doing the "think of the children".. and some might favor it.. they would say "protect the children from the net.. don't let them get caught in this gateway crim of downloading" - an in my mind i would say "good riddence.. now if i could also keep that crap they keep producing off the raido.. i want my kid to not be influinced by this gateway to crap music/movies"

i find it easier to just read an old book

Well done! (5, Interesting)

LockeOnLogic (723968) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516562)

You just outlawed every search engine!

Re:Well done! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23516692)

Then we have little to fear I think, after all, Google is a mighty power not to be messed with.

Re:Well done! (1)

anticlimate (1093749) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516892)

You just outlawed every search engine!
Only the smaller ones i'm afraid. The major established internet search co.-s would have the financial power to make an exeption for themselves in those would-be laws.

So, they will move to Norway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23516588)

So, they will move to Norway. Oh wait, the Norwegian police obey US Laws - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Lech_Johansen

The End... (2, Interesting)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516612)

Finally we'll have the end of government spin merchants putting their garbage on Youtube http://uk.youtube.com/10DowningStreet [youtube.com]

As for the other stuff, politicians still don't seem to "get" the internet, whatever law they come up with, there's a way around it. It shows you how dangerously uneducated all those English/Latin/law/history/politics/art degree holding politicians are.

Big Gov: Piss off (1, Interesting)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516624)

Hey, how about the government screw off instead. I'm not for piracy myself. In fact, I think you're scum if you pirate. But to have the government enforce laws via gun-point is going way too far.

To all the software and media content providers: Use dongles or create "white list" serial numbers to activate your products.

To the US federal gov: Fuck off! I've left my Republican party these past years because they're no different than the Democrats. So until my *trust* is earned, every politician is guilty until they prove otherwise to me.

Kindly, your local Texan.

Too little, too late (5, Insightful)

tietokone-olmi (26595) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516626)

The copyright cartels are already broken. Musicians, moviemakers and other participants of creative industries are already exploiting the Internet as a means of distribution. This genie certainly won't go back into the bottle unless another "trade agreement" enacts a system of strong guilds such as that found in Mussolini's Italy.

Besides, one international agreement does not make enforcement any easier. Millions of people just in northern europe have come to accept torrent downloading etc. as an everyday thing; international agreement or not, no country is going to toss even one percent of their population in jail for something that was not previously a crime. Not to mention actually catching and prosecuting etc. those people... matter of scale, really.

Also, trade agreements such as these don't have the power to override national legislation. Even if the EU signs and ratifies this, it will only be at the level of the EU -- i.e. they can pass a directive which EU member nations are perfectly free to implement as laxly as they please. Remember, the EU is not a federation. Not to mention how this would meet rather stiff resistance in the euro parliament, members of which have lately been strongly turning pro-privacy and pro-free culture.

Re:Too little, too late (2, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516864)

Also, trade agreements such as these don't have the power to override national legislation.
In the U.S., they do. Treaty law is the only thing that supercedes the Constitution.

Re:Too little, too late (1)

tietokone-olmi (26595) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516934)

Yet even in the US, no one is sentenced according to an international trade agreement. That's what I meant.

Not to mention the multitude of international agreements which the US has signed but not ratified. Such as the conventions against torture.

Re:Too little, too late (1)

samos69 (977266) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516938)

While I agree with your comments, the US government has a way of forcing their views on it's economic partners. It doesn't take many sanctions or even the threat of souring relations between countries for the law-makers to decide that they'll only piss off a small portion of the population by passing laws like these - especially when you can paint the affected portion of the population as sword toting, parrot wearing pirates. Yar.

Broad (2, Insightful)

esocid (946821) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516690)

criminalize the non-profit facilitation of copyrighted information exchange on the internet
seems like a very broad description of what should be criminalized here. So if I start a website with just text that describes how one can obtain copyrighted information on the internet, that makes me a criminal who deserves to rot in prison?

Government stupidity . . . (5, Insightful)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516720)

First, they killed Napster. So we moved to Limewire. Then we moved to Kazaa. Then, after a bunch of **AA lawsuits, we moved to bittorrent. Now, what in God's name makes them think that we won't move someplace else? They're never going to kill filesharing. What the fracking industry has to do is come up with content that has value and that we actually want to pay for. Piracy will never go away; it's been around in one way, shape, or form since the age of exploration. But, if content is good enough, the majority of people WILL spend money on it. The problem with radio, television, movies, and music today is that they've been feeding us crap since the early 90s, and no one but a select handful of zombies and drones wants to throw their good, hard-earned money at it.

Re:Government stupidity . . . (3, Insightful)

drspliff (652992) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516874)

Have you also noticed a trend in growing numbers with each new technology adoption.

  • First it was Napster, fairly popular, but still restricted to a smallish number of users.
  • Then Limewire whos user base is slowly growing, although still relatively small.
  • Then it was Kazaa, limited to Windows computers and spammed with viruses, but still got quite a few users and was very widespread.
  • And now it's BitTorrent which is easy to use, available for every platform imaginable and has a massive user base.

Because of this I can't see the **AA, associated industries and local/non-us counterparts adopting it widespread until the next tech move comes along which will no doubt help them bounce back from slowing sales trends.

While at the same time they're lobbying the governments to restrict P2P, tighten up copyright laws and and generally make it difficult for anybody involved. Isn't this counterproductive?

Surely they should be encouraging new services, new ways of distributing and using content to get the ball rolling - then jump in afterwards after they've seen different techniques tried & tested and use their financial might, industry and marketing experience?

Oh sorry, what have I been smoking, I'm obviously not thinking like an estoric PHB.

Re:Government stupidity . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23517010)

Amazing that a declining world power can try to hold other countries by the proverbials. I wonder what China and India will do when they take over...

Open Source Planning (2, Interesting)

camperdave (969942) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516804)

I believe that most people are willing to pay *something* for the content that they download. It's time we put together an "open source" business plan for downloading. I'm sure with the collective knowledge available on this and other sites, a workable plan can be developped. After all, they're going to be spending millions of dollars to shut down millions of users in the vain hope that those millions will buy their product at current rates... and we all know that ain't gonna work.

I propose that the service will have to:
  • be cheap for the consumer
  • provide ad-free content
  • be producer neutral (ie not restricted to a particular label/cartel)
  • be country agnostic (in the sense of nationality, not music genre. (although...))
  • classify content, and provide easy parental controls for those that want it
  • be otherwise unrestricted
  • pay content providers based on both the number of hits, but for the volume of material they provide (so as to encourage them to post more stuff)
  • provide both streamable and downloadable versions

There's 5 congressman on there ... (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516830)

That deserve to be unelected. Two are Republicans, three are Democrats, so, supporting the opposite on all five cases would really be a nearly even deal.

liars (4, Interesting)

nguy (1207026) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516832)

"Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement"?

These people are dishonest even in naming their legislation. This is the "Anti-Copying Trade Agreement", or perhaps more aptly, the "Anti Fair-Use Trade Agreement".

If there is a want, there will be a way (1)

Sparty104 (1031478) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516856)

Even if somehow this ACTA(weird name)destroys pirate bay, something else will move into the vacuum TPB will leave behind, and even if all Torrents and Limewire usage was banned tomorrow, people would still use them, and if they disappeared, something else would take their place.

Pirate Bay Killler? (3, Insightful)

AmonEzhno (1276076) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516868)

Doesn't it seem kind of absurd that there is a multinational effort to shut down 1 website?

Really?

Maybe instead of protecting us private media interest we could start protecting private citizen interest; a la leave us the hell alone. There have been few bigger wastes of time this decade.

Looks like it's about time... (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516876)

...we got to work on some really, really good "cover your tracks" software. The implications of this bullshit from a privacy and freedom point of view are genuinely frightening. You can bet your bottom dollar that's what is really on the table: the right of a government to demand all the personal information an ISP has in its possession at any time, and for any reason.

Re:Looks like it's about time... (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#23517064)

We already have that, its called freenet.

And this is not just about demanding personal info from an ISP, its much farther reaching then that. Its about basic human rights and freedoms and who gets to decide what is right or wrong. It is allowing people from completely different countries to negate your laws and morals.

Too much power (4, Insightful)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 5 years ago | (#23516948)

This is exactly the problem with the world today, corporations have way too much power. Even when they lose under the law, they simply create new laws to suit their needs. They never lose. Thus there is no balance between any power citizens may have and corporations have.

Let's face it, if piracy is as rampant as the content industry claims, then it necessarily follows that the vast majority of citizens do not want such draconian laws protecting copyrights. Why should corporations, who cannot even vote, have more rights to create laws than the citizens governments are supposed to protect?!

Australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23517000)

This is what Australia signed, the resulting extraditions have been reported here before.

Summary is exaggerating. (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 5 years ago | (#23517062)

criminalize the non-profit facilitation of copyrighted information exchange on the Internet
Wouldn't that basically make the majority of open-source software distribution illegal? The only reason the GPL et al have teeth is because of copyright law.

Oh wait, that's not what it actually says. It only talks about infringing material. I'm shocked and surprised that the submitter chose to use such an inflammatory statement in the summary...

new cooperation requirements upon Internet service providers
Document says "Procedures enabling rights holders ... to obtain information regarding the alleged infringer". It doesn't mention ISPs.

.. impose strict enforcement of intellectual property rights related to Internet activity and trade in information-based goods.
The document says that they'd like to remove any liability from ISPs to encourage them to cooperate with copyright holders in the removal of infringing material. Hardly "strict enforcement".

... measures restricting the use of online privacy tools
It says "remedies against circumvention of .. protection .. and the trafficking of circumvention devices". It says NOTHING about restricting your ability to use privacy measures online (which would be dumb, because all e-commerce depends on it).

In short, I find you to be exaggerating. A lot. Unless you have another document up your sleeve to back up your assertions, which I doubt.
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