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Adding Up the Explanations For ACTA's "Shameful Secret"

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 3 years ago | from the trying-to-pull-a-fast-one dept.

Movies 165

Several sources are reporting on a Google event this week that attempted to bring some transparency to the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) that has so far been treated like a "shameful secret." Unfortunately, not many concrete details were uncovered, so Ars tried to lay out why there has been so much secrecy, especially from an administration that has been preaching transparency. "The reason for that was obvious: there's little of substance that's known about the treaty, and those lawyers in the room and on the panel who had seen one small part of it were under a nondisclosure agreement. In most contexts, the lack of any hard information might lead to a discussion of mind-numbing generality and irrelevance, but this transparency talk was quite fascinating—in large part because one of the most influential copyright lobbyists in Washington was on the panel attempting to make his case. [...] [MPAA/RIAA Champion Steven] Metalitz took on three other panelists and a moderator, all of whom were less than sympathetic to his positions, and he made the lengthiest case for both ACTA and its secrecy that we have ever heard. It was also surprisingly unconvincing."

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Like healthcare (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30784962)

I think we can all agree that this is too important to negotiate the details in public.

Re:Like healthcare (1, Informative)

Hairy1 (180056) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785626)

It is accepted scientific fact that this is too important to negotiate the details in public.

Re:Like healthcare (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30785632)

+1 Sarcastic

??

I still don't see... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30784998)

Why the hell a trade treaty is secret. From anyone... let alone the people of the countrys involved in the agreement.

If you can't tell people what's in it. It's most likely not a good thing and we'd like to hang you for it.

Re:I still don't see... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30785512)

International security... of profits.

Because these companies have a right to make a profile. Every time someone buys a blank cd, they should be remunerated. Every time you pay your internet bill, they should get a cut.

Re:I still don't see... (3, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785686)

I'm sure at some point the RIAA/MPAA will tell us that it will compromise national security if they tell what's being negotiated. After that, they will claim it's to protect children, because a lot of kiddy porn is exchanged at these secret meetings.

Re:I still don't see... (0, Offtopic)

ChefInnocent (667809) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785872)

Fine line between Funny and Offtopic. The 'exchange' sentence crossed a whole lane.

Re:I still don't see... (1)

Shatteredstar (1722136) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785894)

Don't forget because Piracy accounts for *shakes magic eight ball..and then uses another more special eight ball* fifty hojillion in lost profits. Don't forget also that its Obama that is causing it I'm sure. For the other people in the crowd, Bush caused it too! Hmm other tried and true conspiracy reasoning...umm Major League Baseball and their steroids and gay marriage caused the LHC to not create a black hole but cause the copyrights to turn into mutants? I dunno. Figured I'd toss in a few various things for the crowd to latch onto to gnash their teeth over!

Re:I still don't see... (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 4 years ago | (#30787486)

Major League Baseball and their steroids and gay marriage caused the LHC to not create a black hole but cause the copyrights to turn into mutants?

Worst. X-Men. Retcon. Ever.

Re:I still don't see... (1)

Shatteredstar (1722136) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785826)

Because then PEOPLE might actually raise their voice and try to protect/damage the ability of the groups to get this signed sealed and delivered so they can begin the great POP Campaign as I call it (with less vulgar wording) POP Campaign=Poop On the People Campaign. Which seems what the MPAA and RIAA like to do. Welcome to the future, where rather then try to try to encourage people to buy your products because they are good you MAKE people buy your products because you're the only game in town and they will enjoy it or you get money from them otherwise.

Re:I still don't see... (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785848)

That is the problem, we won't hang them for doing it. We went back to being sheep the moment Washington succeed in putting down the Whiskey Rebellion. It really is time we organize again, stand together, refuse to comply with their New World Order crap, and violently oppose those who would make us comply.

Remember the revolution was not fought successfuly because we played by the Brits rules of battle field warfare. We hid in trees and shot first at the officers, we burned their homes and encampments on Christmas Eve.

Asymmetrical selection of targets and letting go of the rules and fighting a total war is how you win.

Re:I still don't see... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30787192)

Asymmetrical selection of targets and letting go of the rules and fighting a total war is how you win.

OK to be used by you, but...

Re:I still don't see... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30787384)

win what? a black president speaks to the success of nonviolent noncooperation.

Re:I still don't see... (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30786074)

To me, the rule is simple: I can’t adhere to something that I don’t know. Even if I would want to. Which I don’t.

So what is the goal? Either they gonna open it up, as soon as it is quietly signed into law.

Or they employ the same tactic that churches use to control people: Make everything a sin, especially what people really wanna do. Because if everybody can be a sinner, but does not know when, they all have to do exactly as you say, to not be “caught”. Basically turning it around so that you have to prove you’re not guilty, with no chance of you doing that.

Hell, remember that couple who sued people for copyright infringement, only because they talked about a photo shown on a show [techdirt.com] ? With ACTA they could get their “right” right away. No questions asked.
You could make anything up. Like “Hey, you! Do you hear me?”, “Yes!”, “Then I’ll sue you for copying my speech into your brain!”
The “sky” is the limit.

I begin to think that signing it quietly into law is the less bad way... Or maybe I’ve got too much imagination? :/

Re:I still don't see... (1)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 4 years ago | (#30787308)

Why the hell a trade treaty is secret. From anyone... let alone the people of the countrys involved in the agreement.

If you can't tell people what's in it. It's most likely not a good thing and we'd like to hang you for it.

I think a big part of the reason is accountability. Let it be public of who declares what should be done and then suddenly everyone knows to what extent that such-n-such company feels the peoples rights should be eroded away. This leads to one hell of a boycott of that company that isn't just based on guesswork and "Well they are one of the company's involved and I feel they MIGHT be doing that, but no I have no true idea or proof". When you can state and prove what each and every member is doing then action becomes much more powerful and directed with much better focus. And that would scare them and cause many to want to walk away as has been suggested would happen if this ACTA went public.

Re:I still don't see... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30787392)

Aside from dirty tricks, there are some reasons negotiations go on behind closed doors rather than in public. Among them is face saving for whatever party gives in and avoiding the ire of whatever party is most hurt by a trade off. For instance, suppose we have negotiations between two countries 1 and 2, over four items, A, B, C, and D. Suppose further that country 1 can produce A and B more efficiently and country 2 can produce C and D more efficiently. Suppose both currently impose import quotas on all four items. The quotas are meaningless for items where the country has an advantage, but prop up the industries producing the items where they are at a disadvantage. In the process of negotiation, 1 may offer to raise the quota by 10% on C in exchange for a 10% raise by 2 on B. That may be too damaging to 2's domestic B industry, so they counter with 7% B and 3% A. If this were made public, those producing A would be furious at 2 for sacrificing them instead of B, similarly, consumers of B would be irate that they got less of a discount than they could have. Instead, when the final announcement is made, both groups are happy, since they made out better than those producing B and consuming A respectively.

If you want a less theoretical example, look at labor negotiations that become public. Both sides tend to dig in because their constituents will grill them for caving.

Avoid Snake Bites (5, Insightful)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785012)

These creeps are not dead and they will try other approaches to take away freedoms that we should all have and cherish. They have redefined piracy in order to make normal and usual human activity a crime. Unless copying is blatantly commercial in nature it should be permitted. The notion that because it is easier to copy because we use computers is no excuse for the current plague of laws. This is almost as absurd as telling drinkers that they could not use a device to lift a drink to their lips because it makes getting drunk easier.

the ACTA removes due process and lets DoS attacks (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785122)

the ACTA removes due process and lets DoS attacks be very easy to do all you need to do is to say that some one is uploading something and you need no evidence to back that up.

I disagree (2, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785172)

Unless copying is blatantly commercial in nature it should be permitted.

Well then you can say goodbye to alot of creative endeavors. Why write a book when it will only sell a single copy before being copied all over the internet? I can't make a living off the time spent writing when sales drop. Can't be a very successful band without some form of digital media, whether you're signed or produce it yourself. That won't turn a profit once its all across the web.

This is almost as absurd as telling drinkers that they could not use a device to lift a drink to their lips because it makes getting drunk easier.

No, this is like telling drinkers that they cannot use a device that duplicates the beverage to give to their friends.

Re:I disagree (3, Insightful)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785190)

Man, you know that Shakespeare fellow really didn't do ANYTHING because he didn't have copyright over his work. Nor did Van Gogh, or Chopin, or Beethoven, or...

Re:I disagree (2, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785216)

The great thing about those works is that they were DIFFICULT TO DUPLICATE.

Re:I disagree (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785264)

Just like a live performance. That's how musicians traditionally made money. Bands used to be happy when people freely shared their music. That would mean more people coming out and paying for concerts.

I guess you're also against Xerox machines since they make books easy to duplicate?

Re:I disagree (3, Insightful)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785368)

But I can send a jpg of a Van Gogh around with no problem whatsoever. It costs nothing! It is totally making the original painting worth nothing!

Same with music. Same with books. Sell the scarcity. The thing that IS hard to do.

Re:I disagree (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30787286)

yet the original van gogh is worth lots of money, and your jpg is worthless.

your jpg printed and hung on the wall is still worthless compared to the original.

Re:I disagree (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 4 years ago | (#30787350)

That is almost it. The jpg is not worthless. It is not worth any money, but it is something that advertises the original.

Re:I disagree (3, Interesting)

grcumb (781340) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785536)

The great thing about those works is that they were DIFFICULT TO DUPLICATE.

You might think so, but you'd be wrong.

The editor of the Oxford University Press' complete works of Christopher Marlowe (a contemporary of Shakespeare's and author of Doctor Faustus, among other works) once told me that people in Elizabethan times had vastly better verbal recall than we have today. It was not at all unusual, she said, for someone to go and see MacBeth, for example, then to go home and repeat entire speeches verbatim to others.

The Folios, by the way, were all copies, partly from memory, unauthorised by Shakespeare's estate.

Re:I disagree (1)

wtbname (926051) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785698)

Say chap, I just read this slash dot post the other day, I think you might like it, allow me to repeat it to you verbatim !

This guy, he was important or something, or i think he was, im not sure, i can't remember what he did.... anyways this guy, he wrote a play... or was it a book? Shit. Uh. well, he was old, and he sounded like he knew stuff. So he told me that...uhh...that... shit. He said that Elizabeth had a great set of... breasts. Or memories. Or something. I don't know who Elizabeth was though, I assumed he was talking about his wife but i dunno. So she went home and yelled at her kids, cause they were making unauthorized copies of some The Folios, the band, and letting people download it on the internet. She had got this letter from the RIAA, being sued for like upteen bajillion dollars. So yeah. It was bad.

Re:I disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30785726)

Exactly the opposite - the great thing about his works were how much they added to our culture. How many traveling theater groups were borne solely to perform his plays across the country - and they weren't sending fucking royalties back to him, they were paying him and his works homage by playing and sharing them with as many as possible. There is no greater honour to an artist*.

*Definition - Someone who creates for a multitude of reasons, many of which are not money. This seems hard to understand for many on this site, but artists will not disappear when/if they money goes. Only the dollar-hunting, bubble-chasing, opportunistic snakes on the bottom rung of quality will. Those of us who create for our own purposes will continue regardless of all - even if no fuck watches anymore :P

Re:I disagree (2, Interesting)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 4 years ago | (#30786434)

Man, you know that Shakespeare fellow really didn't do ANYTHING because he didn't have copyright over his work. Nor did Van Gogh, or Chopin, or Beethoven, or...

The great thing about those works is that they were DIFFICULT TO DUPLICATE.

No, none of their works were difficult to duplicate. For example, there were plenty of pirated copies and unauthorized performances of Shakespeare during his career. And given that Shakespeare based most of his plays on preexisting works (he would've had a hard time if he had to live with our rules) and, as an actor, probably performed other people's plays without paying them, it was fair enough.

Further, while works have generally become easier to duplicate over time -- in Shakespeare's day, writing was laboriously done with quill and ink, printing with lead type -- pirates have never had the advantage over authors. At most, authors and pirates were able to duplicate works equally easily. More usually, authors and authorized publishers have had the advantage; working from better copies, working openly, being the first mover, working in bulk, etc.

Even today, authors have the advantage. A DVD factory can make discs that cost less to produce per unit than if individuals were to rip and burn their own at home. A press can make higher quality books, with good bindings, for a far lower price than you or I could by printing them out at home (especially given how overpriced ink and toner are). And even for electronic distribution, it isn't as though an author cannot distribute a pdf of a book, or mp3s of music, or an avi of a movie. He can even spare himself much of the cost by using P2P networks, where his audience distributes the work at their own expense. There's no pirate-only technology, no issue of difficulty.

And anyway, why should we stop the progress of reproduction technologies just for authors? Painters suffered greatly from the invention of photography; do you think we should've suppressed it, just to protect their livelihood? The live theater (particularly vaudeville) is a mere shadow of what it used to be, to the extent it isn't dead, due to movies and television.

Personally, I think I have more faith in authors than you do. I think they'll find a way to adapt. And to the extent that they don't, we may nevertheless be better off with fewer new works, but more freedom as to what we can do with them.

Re:I disagree (3, Informative)

Btarlinian (922732) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785244)

Man, you know that Shakespeare fellow really didn't do ANYTHING because he didn't have copyright over his work. Nor did Van Gogh, or Chopin, or Beethoven, or...

Yeah, and because of that Shakespeare, while alive, refused to actually publish his plays. There's a reason that some of his plays are lost for good. A lack of copyright has a lot to do with that. As for classical composers, they were basically paid by the government to do their work, which amounts to the same thing, copyright just makes your subsidy of a public good more direct and lets you (instead of some government official, for those who like to continually complain about anything the government does) decide who's worthy of getting money.

Re:I disagree (4, Insightful)

cstdenis (1118589) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785300)

At the other extreme we are moving towards, technologies like restrictive DRM will also make literary and artistic works become lost in the future.

Re:I disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30787488)

Not really, the studio/publisher will always have the original which is unlikely to be in an encumbered format. An even simpler one in that regard would be to mandate that copies going to the Library of Congress are not DRM encumbered. More of an issue than that is probably decaying media - either film for movies or enough hard drives dying simultaneously to lose something.

Re:I disagree (1)

solferino (100959) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785454)

Yeah, and because of that Shakespeare, while alive, refused to actually publish his plays. There's a reason that some of his plays are lost for good. A lack of copyright has a lot to do with that.

Sorry, I think you are making that up. Would you like to provide a reference? Details of Shakespeare's life are very scant, so much so that there has been speculation for centuries about his true identity. There is no documentation of his personal views or position on anything. It's arrogant of you to put words into the great bard's mouth.

...copyright just makes your subsidy of a public good more direct and lets you [...] decide who's worthy of getting money.

No, it forces me to pay money to the rights holder who more often than not is a bloodless corporation or estate. Letting me decide who's worthy of getting my money is letting me actively volunteer to give them money or pay them for their live performances.

Re:I disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30785568)

Chopin and Beethoven and almost all composers after them did not receive government money. They published music, gave concerts and taught lessons.

Re:I disagree (3, Informative)

solferino (100959) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785600)

Yeah, and because of that Shakespeare, while alive, refused to actually publish his plays.

Direct refutation [wikipedia.org] of this assertion. 18 plays were published (and republished) before the death of William Shakespeare in 1616. Mostly the more popular plays including Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, King Lear, Othello and A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Re:I disagree (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785712)

Yeah, and because of that Shakespeare, while alive, refused to actually publish his plays.

And yet, with the most expansive copyright protections ever implemented in the history of mankind, other than the occasional compilation, usually in the form of a textbook, most movie scripts go unpublished today too.

copyright just makes your subsidy of a public good more direct

It's not a public good if you can't copy it freely. That's kind of by definition.
They would be public goods if they weren't artificially constrained by copyright.

Re:I disagree (5, Funny)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785210)

No, this is like telling drinkers that they cannot use a device that duplicates the beverage to give to their friends.

For most American beers, this process is referred to as "pissing."

Re:I disagree (1)

ravenshrike (808508) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785766)

To be fair, by measure of type this is no longer true. Now if you measure by pure quantity of beer produced it still is.

Re:I disagree (3, Informative)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#30786014)

I resent the implication that American Beer tastes like warm piss! Everybody knows that we Americans prefer our beer chilled, so in fact it always tastes like _cold_ piss!

Re:I disagree (3, Interesting)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785414)

Every frikkin page of Questionable Content and Girl Genius is on the web.

The QC recently bought a house, travels to conventions, and has a pretty damn good life. People buy tons of merchandise which they could make free themselves for a couple bucks less!

Phil and Kaja seem to be doing okay as well. (For some reason people keep buying the damn books which they could get perfectly free from the Foglio's web site).

Why do these seemingly intelligent people keep giving their work away for free???

Re:I disagree (2, Informative)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785522)

www.questionablecontent.net

www.girlgeniusonline.com/

---

People don't mind paying a reasonable price for content.
People do have a limited amount of money they CAN spend.

With absolutely perfect DRM, it will become abundantly clear that people grossing $46k per year are not going to be filling IPODS at $10,000 out of their net salary. They'll just move on to other cheaper forms of entertainment.

If I *want* to charge $100,000 a song, I don't lose a dime (much less $900,000) if 9 people pirate the song.
I only really lose money if my audience would still purchase my product given absolutely perfect DRM.

People are getting tired of paying yet another $1 for the same song they've bought 3 times already.

There is a huge glut of entertainment. I do not even sample dozens of television shows and hundreds of songs every year. I don't read hundreds of books a year. I don't read dozens of magazines a year. I don't watch many movies (even for FREE and even tho I'd probably like them at least a little). There is so much entertainment I can't keep up.

If nothing else, by waiting 6-9 months, the movies and television shows are often 50% cheaper. Once you have a 12 month backlog built up, you just take the next item on the stack at pennies on the dollar.

Re:I disagree (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785418)

Why write a book when it will only sell a single copy before being copied all over the internet? Can't be a very successful band without some form of digital media, whether you're signed or produce it yourself.

"Successful author" means talentless infantile hacks like Stephenie Meyer. "Successful band" means a bunch of hand-picked-by-studio-executive androgynous pretty boys playing candy-ass tunes they didn't even write.

You want to be "successful"? Invent a time machine, go back in time, and give away your childhood dancing for the Mickey Mouse Club. Then let me borrow your time machine so I can go back to the '60's when real music was being made.

Um, no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30786950)

60's music sucks cock, and so do you.

Re:I disagree (2, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785438)

Why write a book when it will only sell a single copy before being copied all over the internet?

Because it won't.

I can't make a living off the time spent writing when sales drop.

Alas, those who can't write popular enough books will have to make a living doing something else but that's no different from the current situation.

The biggest pirates I know are also the biggest consumers of legitimate material. You can make a profit even with rampant piracy. Maybe it's not as easy as it was. Why should that matter? The point of copyright is to make it possible to make a living by being creative. Not to make it absolutely certain. It never has done and it never will. Technology sometimes makes it easier and sometimes makes it harder, as does society.

Re:I disagree (1)

grcumb (781340) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785460)

This is almost as absurd as telling drinkers that they could not use a device to lift a drink to their lips because it makes getting drunk easier.

No, this is like telling drinkers that they cannot use a device that duplicates the beverage to give to their friends.

So you would be against replicators, then? Kindly hand in your geek card to security as you leave.

Okay. seriously: I know that example is a little absurd, but it's useful inasmuch as it casts the whole debate in a new light. If nourishment were universally replicable, would we not consider this a good thing? Why should intellectual nourishment be any different?

I say this as a writer, photographer and software developer, by the way. So yes, I do have some skin in this game.

Re:I disagree (1)

crazy_monkey (708922) | more than 4 years ago | (#30786042)

If nourishment were universally replicable, would we not consider this a good thing? Why should intellectual nourishment be any different?

Well, the argument I've heard most often is basically
Replicable --> Lower Price --> Lower motivation to create more

I think the main difference in the analogy is the level of which we expect 'more' to mean 'new'. i.e. 'more'/replicated food is good, and if that means less creation, so be it, as most don't usually expect something new;
vs. 'more'/replicated software/art/'IP' is good, but most expect 'progress' in these areas, which would be faster with limited/controlled replication to create motivation to make 'new'.

I'm open to critiques of this idea, though.

Re:I disagree (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785494)

I own a few books that are published for free on the internet already. Hell, I found some of them because they were published for free on the internet by the original author.

Re:I disagree (4, Interesting)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785502)

Can't be a very successful band without some form of digital media, whether you're signed or produce it yourself.

Bands earn money by performing and touring.

99.9% of the world gets by on getting money for continuing to work, not by forcing everyone to pay them for something they did 20 years ago. The entertainment industry will soon realize their draconian "get rich quick!" schemes are dead. Their creativity-killing "sell-a-single-never-work-again" methods are finally dying. It's tragic that if someone actually releases 3 albums in a year, they are viewed as a hack. That's how bad it's gotten, and it can and will change -- soon.

"But that will kill the creative industry and entertainment industry!" you might say. Hooty tooty. If I ask you to name the most brilliant English writer of all time, and then the greatest, most creative influence on music of all time, and you are over the age of 12, you will name two people who did not operate under a "publish today without having to perform tomorrow, and you will still eat" creed. They will be people who starved if they tried to sit back and watch money roll in for Romeo and Juliet or Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.

Copyright is ruined. It was ruined by those who thought they could get away by expanding it to infinity. Their greed has turned on them, and when the camel realized he doesn't have the carry the straw anymore, he won't sit and wait for one more to break his back.

Does this mean that small development houses are going to have to change the way they operate? Most likely. They'll still have many years until the laws change -- but those who change earlier will be the ones who make insane amounts of money on lifeboats while the great ships are all sinking.

Re:I disagree (2, Insightful)

kindbud (90044) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785564)

Well then you can say goodbye to alot of creative endeavors.

Goodbye American Idol.

Goodbye John and Kate Plus Eight.

Goodbye I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.

Goodbye and good riddance.

Re:I disagree (1)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785602)

Well then you can say goodbye to alot of creative endeavors. Why write a book when it will only sell a single copy before being copied all over the internet? I can't make a living off the time spent writing when sales drop. Can't be a very successful band without some form of digital media, whether you're signed or produce it yourself. That won't turn a profit once its all across the web.

Tell that the open source movement and bands that encourage fans to download their music. Also, the people who make icons, wallpapers and gui themes and then release them for free online. Worried about movies? The only movie I can think of from last year that was worth getting was Ink. Did I mention that the creators are happy about how frequently torrented it is? Maybe we'll lose some Hannah Montana and generic comedy movies but that's what makes it win-win.

Re:I disagree (2, Insightful)

Chosen Reject (842143) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785728)

If you can create something that a lot of people want and yet can't figure out a way to get people to pay you money then hire someone who can come up with a decent business model for you. If you can't do it, and no one else can do it, then whatever you created wasn't going to net you any money whether piracy is rampant or not. Lots of people are finding ways to make money with music, movies, books, and other copyrightable things despite their works being freely available. In fact, many of them are also making money while encouraging the copying of their stuff. It can be done. It is being done. And those who can't do it will not last long.

Re:I disagree (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785838)

Unless copying is blatantly commercial in nature it should be permitted.

Well then you can say goodbye to alot of creative endeavors. Why write a book when it will only sell a single copy before being copied all over the internet? I can't make a living off the time spent writing when sales drop. Can't be a very successful band without some form of digital media, whether you're signed or produce it yourself. That won't turn a profit once its all across the web.

Tell that to Baen Books. http://www.baen.com/library/ [baen.com]

Re:I disagree (1)

the_olo (160789) | more than 4 years ago | (#30785920)

No, this is like telling drinkers that they cannot use a device that duplicates the beverage to give to their friends.

Now that's a basis for an interesting thought experiment. Suppose that "physical property" can be as easily copied as (I hate that term) "intellectual property".

How would that influence the beer market? Would people still buy beer from those who produce it, who research and develop new varieties? Or would those people just take some present samples from the moment and go on with duplicating them till the end of the world, which would quickly put all breweries out of business?

But then, maybe before the end of the world everyone would manage to get bored to death, having the same types of beer to choose from, and they'd become eager to pay for beer if someone would provide some new flavour?

That would of course create a small market for some innovative breweries.

I think that in such a scenario, some equilibrium would eventually be reached, a middle ground between free copies completely eliminating brewery businesses and beer duplication being completely restricted using legislative means.

E.g. you could legally duplicate some beer (that you've purchased or had already owned) on a party for your friends, but you'd be punished if you had placed a beer-dispensing machine outside your home for all passers by.

Does this provide an answer to today's copyright problems? I dunno, I just like imagining the idea of not having to go out to a 24h shop in the middle of the night just because there's no more beer in the fridge ;)

Re:I disagree (2, Interesting)

bfree (113420) | more than 4 years ago | (#30786030)

Well then you can say goodbye to alot of creative endeavors. Why write a book when it will only sell a single copy before being copied all over the internet?

I've bought hundreds of books where I could as easily have borrowed them from a friend or a library, I also prefer to read from paper then a screen. Also you can't copy a performance so comedians, musicians and actors would all have their place (as would cinema's).

Think of it this way, you download and read a book from a current author (films and albums are just the same) and enjoy it, you can just hope they keep producing works or maybe you'll think that you'd like to encourage them so you send then a contribution in thanks (or buy some product they sell). Crowd-patronage for those who can inspire their audience to show their appreciation for them. Yes it changes the balance of power, but I think it's clear that the current system is horribly broken with corporations owning "moral rights", buying their legal perpetual extension and now trying to force extra legal protections in via secret treaties.

Re:I disagree (2, Interesting)

RocketRabbit (830691) | more than 4 years ago | (#30787214)

You're full of shit.

People will just go back to publishing their novels and books in serial format in monthly publications. This is how many of the classic books of the last 300 years were published.

What ACTA Proponents Really Want (1)

KwKSilver (857599) | more than 4 years ago | (#30786286)

they will try other approaches to take away freedoms that we should all have and cherish

I think you've hit the nail of the head. To see what they really want, 1) download ;-) and print a copy of your nation's Constitution and/or Bill of Rights. Then run it through a paper shredder. That's what they seem to want for starters. 2) Next get a REAAAAALLY BIG jar of petroleum jelly and a telephone pole ... bend waaaay over.... 3) Finally, send the RIAA and MPAA an extra copy of all your credit cards and tell them to charge whatever they want. Beyond that it probably gets ugly.

Metalitz (3, Funny)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785044)

Any relation to Metallica??

The most disturbing point (5, Informative)

jwinster (1620555) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785088)

The most disturbing point in this article, for me, is that the US may be the sticking point on allowing the discussions to be more transparent (link contained in TFA) http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/4693/125/ [michaelgeist.ca] I find this to be disgusting as we have yet another example that transparency TRULY being brought to Washington to be a farce.

Re:The most disturbing point (2, Insightful)

IndigoDarkwolf (752210) | more than 4 years ago | (#30786086)

Well, wtf were *you* thinking, voting a senator from the most famously corrupt state in the union into the office of the President?

Makes me wish I'd owned land in Utah for that election. I would have made a killing selling "oceanfront property".

Re:The most disturbing point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30787118)

I'm not so sure one could infer that from the US position. It might also be a requirement of another, undisclosed party as there was the classification of "Foreign Government Information". The secrecy requirement could also follow from the interaction of some regulations concerning the handling of information in the US government and the type of information in question, that is, information disclosed by a foreign government.
  From TFA: "No one argues that every moment of the negotiating sessions needs to go on YouTube, or that there is never a place for an off-the-record exchange of views". Somebody might argue that every moment of the negotiations concerning the "environment of a consumer" should go to YouTube and that there is never a place for an off-the-record exchange of views any more than there should be one for the negotiations concerning the natural environment. The parties themselves would of course prepare their views openly or secretly, what ever suits them best.

Industry lobbyists hint at the truth of ACTA? (5, Insightful)

NimbleSquirrel (587564) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785158)

This only goes to prove that ACTA is utterly driven by lobbyists for the entertainment inductry (MPAA, RIAA and such). Politicians aren't doing this for the people, just big business, and keeping this secret is really about hiding their shame. If people knew what was really going on, talks would probably break down from public outcry alone.

...it's clear that many governments don't actually want their own people to see the proposals being made and to shape their outcome.

It goes to show that it really pays to be a lobbyist:

Keeping negotiations secret is how "you get big fees to be a lobbyist," since only the "insiders" have access to the process.

Re:Industry lobbyists hint at the truth of ACTA? (5, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785354)

This only goes to prove that ACTA is utterly driven by lobbyists for the entertainment inductry (MPAA, RIAA and such).

It also demonstrates that transnational corporations have been more powerful than any government(s) on earth for some time now.

Really, it's too late to expect government to help us when it comes to standing up to corporate power, because money trumps votes every single time. Any time someone who might pose a threat to corporatist hegemony even comes close to running for national office, they are immediately painted as being nutty, fringe, dangerous (pick your negative smear of choice).

It happened to Dennis Kucinich most recently, and Howard Dean a few years back. If you bring up his name, lots of people will immediately start to say that stuff about him, but if you ask them for an example of a fringe or weird policy he has advocated, at most you'll get "his wife is a hippie" or something equally inane. Howard Dean had his candidacy destroyed because he hollered. Remember how that one noise he made was used by every mainstream media outlet to indicate he was crazy?

There are others: Ralph Nader, even Ross Perot, who, while a businessman himself, had a distinctly populist approach to the balance of government and big business. The press had a field day tearing him up.

In Europe, the situation is just as bad. If you can't demonstrate that you're going to be very friendly to the transnationals, you'll never get near a national election.

Any international trade agreement is going to be a disaster, just as NAFTA, CAFTA, and all the others have been. Poor countries will stay poor and the citizens of rich countries will get poorer.

It almost makes me a little optimistic about the teabagger movement in the US. If you can get these people to come out and express their anger at "big government", all you have to do now is fill them in on who the real enemy is and then you've got something. Once they figure out that nobody in government so much as scratches their ass without the corporate elites giving them the OK, and no amount of partisan politics is going to change their situation until there is a big thick wall put up between corporate power and government. There is something very transgressive about going out into the street with a sign and hollering, and it's a waypoint on a continuum that ends up with lighting a torch and a molotov cocktail. The trick now is to dissuade them from their hatred of educated people and their racism, and you've got a group that could be a great ally in what will ultimately be a fight by the working class against transnational corporations who are the real "New World Order".

Re:Industry lobbyists hint at the truth of ACTA? (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#30787360)

It also demonstrates that transnational corporations have been more powerful than any government(s) on earth for some time now.

Wholly unrealistic. Who controls the process? Who decides who gets to contribute and how much they have to bribe to contribute? The government does. It's like saying the toll payer is more powerful than the toll taker. What is ignored is that the toll payer has to pay, if they want to use whatever the toll taker controls.

Re:Industry lobbyists hint at the truth of ACTA? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785824)

If people knew what was really going on, talks would probably break down from public outcry alone.

I don't know, it's hard for me to imagine something that could be in a draft of ACTA that would penetrate the average citizen's consciousness, let alone outrage them enough to do something about it.

Killing FOSS? No

Extradition and jail times for copying, not just sharing music? Maybe, I'm not hopeful it would

Searching hard drives and MP3 players at the border? Only after ACTA was already ratified once everyone going overseas was getting their MP3 players and computer hard drives destroyed.

Mandatory minimum jail times for people caught trying to rip and upload screeners of movies at the theaters? Probably not

Force itunes and other digital distribution to sell only albums and not singles? Probably not.

Worldwide mandatory internet filtering to keep people from finding pirated warez? Honestly, no, I don't think that would.

The things that I think -would- cause an outrage for the average citizen are things that the MPAA has little interest in and would have to be creationism-level stupid to try anyway:

Banning MP3 players? Yes

Worldwide mandatory internet censorship to block porn? Yes

Maybe I'm just being cynical about the intelligence of the average citizen.

Re:Industry lobbyists hint at the truth of ACTA? (1)

NimbleSquirrel (587564) | more than 4 years ago | (#30786914)

Public outcry doesn't mean an entire citizen revolt, but usually enough of a public statement to get media attention. It worked down here in NZ when the government tried to push a three strikes ammendment into law. Organisations like the Creative Freedom Foundation [creativefreedom.org.nz] started up, and the government quickly withdrew the ammendment when it was apparent there was a growing public outcry against it. Many of those very same people down here will not hesitate to do the same thing again for ACTA (if only people knew what was really in it).

Re:Industry lobbyists hint at the truth of ACTA? (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 4 years ago | (#30786004)

If people knew what was really going on, talks would probably break down from public outcry alone.

They might if they weren't too busy making the rent, finding a job, and worrying about how they are going to pay for it all when they get sick. This doesn't make secrecy a good thing for treaty negotiations, but I doubt that there would be much public outcry, even if they did know; sad though it may be.

Re:Industry lobbyists hint at the truth of ACTA? (1)

IndigoDarkwolf (752210) | more than 4 years ago | (#30786176)

If people knew what was really going on, talks would probably break down from public outcry alone.

Why do you think that? It didn't work for health care reform in the U.S. The politicians just became more blatant about their secrecy.

draft on wikileaks (5, Informative)

H4x0r Jim Duggan (757476) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785184)

For handy access:

Of course, this draft is from last year.

Yo dawg, I hear you like transparency in your ACTA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30785220)

Well you ain't gonna get it, so #### off!!!

*Surprisingly* unconvincing? (3, Insightful)

gzearfoss (829360) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785228)

From the summary...

[MPAA/RIAA Champion Steven] Metalitz took on three other panelists and a moderator, all of whom were less than sympathetic to his positions, and he made the lengthiest case for both ACTA and its secrecy that we have ever heard. It was also surprisingly unconvincing.

I'd find it more surprising if he could make a convincing argument for all the secrecy.

Re:*Surprisingly* unconvincing? (1)

burnetd (90848) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785342)

It probably went something like this...

"If anyone finds up what we're up to they'll have us by the balls!!!!"

That would convince me.

Expect no help from Hope and Change! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30785294)

Take a look at which political party [opensecrets.org] the MAFIAA has bought.

Re:Expect no help from Hope and Change! (2, Informative)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785548)

Looks like they bought both parties, but the republicans sold out for less.

Re:Expect no help from Hope and Change! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30786152)

Looks like they bought both parties, but the republicans sold out for less.

Nice try. Did you even convince yourself?

If it weren't for commercial TV and radio STATIONS (which gave a LOT at about 50/50), the skew would be about 90% Dem:

http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/indus.php?ind=C2400 [opensecrets.org]

That money is buying things. There's a reason why you can't spell DMCA without that big fat fucking D.

Re:Expect no help from Hope and Change! (3, Insightful)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#30786206)

Digital?

You do realize that the democrats and the republicans were both called the democratic-republicans at one point. They are the same party, they represent nearly identical interests and have nearly identical policies. The only differences are cosmetic for the purpose of cornering the market on the votes of the ignorant.

America is a one party nation with two corrupt and necrotic faces taking turns at pretending to represent the people.

Re:Expect no help from Hope and Change! (1)

speedlaw (878924) | more than 4 years ago | (#30786826)

Possibly the best description of the American political system I've ever seen. I always thought of it as a "corporate party" (R) and another "corporate party" (D) which pays occasional lip service to the people. Other than social policy differences there are no economic ones. You can go nuts about pro choice or right to life, or gay marriage, but the hand on the controls of the machine is the same-and the social policy stuff does not run that machine.

Re:Expect no help from Hope and Change! (1)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 4 years ago | (#30787174)

You do realize that the democrats and the republicans were both called the democratic-republicans at one point

Yeah, between 1800 and 1824, when they were a collection of Jeffersonian states-rights folks opposing the federalists. The origin of our two big parties is little more than an exercise in trivia. What they stand for changes every 30 years or so. Once upon a time, Democrats were the pro-slavery party to the Republican abolitionists. It's all just history now.

Thing is, it's all moot anyway. Both parties are seemingly in a competition to see who can bend over backwards to the most business interests, preferably while spending more federal money at the same time. Once upon a time, one party could claim to be more smaller government centric, and another could claim to be a champion of individual freedom, and their assertions would have some merit. Now? They just bicker over whose turn it is to fuck us all in the ass and give Goldman-Sachs* more cash.

* Interesting Goldman-Sachs fact: they were a key player in the "investment trust" bubble in the 20's that led to the crash of 1929. They formed more subsidiary investment trust companies than any other entity, and were quite fortunate that they chose to divest themselves of their majority shareholdings in those trusts at the top of the market.... basically they walked away with everyone's money in 1929, leaving everyone else holding the (empty) bag. Nice to see that the more things change, the more things stay the same.

Re:Expect no help from Hope and Change! (1)

base3 (539820) | more than 4 years ago | (#30786976)

You do know the DMCA passed unanimously in the Senate, right?

Re:Expect no help from Hope and Change! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30786224)

And God only knows what the libtard mods were smoking when you were modded "informative". Talk about shoving your head so far up your ass you can see your tonsils from the backside...

Take a look at the 98% Dem skew in 2002 for TV production:

http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/indus.php?ind=C2300 [opensecrets.org]

Your snark may get you mod points, but you're still a tool. Although I suppose you might be termed "useful". And with snark like that, if you have good teleprompter skills you might even win a Nobel Prize for the time BEFORE you get to be President.

98% of all 2002 political donations from the TV production industry went to Democrats. Hell, that'd be a good Dem vote total in some inner-city Philadelphia precinct that had 100% turnout. Why that preposterous skew? Do you really think people throwing that much money around don't expect to get something in return?

Re:Expect no help from Hope and Change! (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#30786370)

Of course they get something out of it. The only difference between the democrats and republicans are which industries hold the purse strings.

Re:Expect no help from Hope and Change! (1)

BronsCon (927697) | more than 4 years ago | (#30787354)

has libtard reached version 1.0 yet?

I heard it's supposed to be the most successful open source AI library

Interesting Bits for those that won't RTFA (4, Interesting)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785334)

This particular bit made me snicker and reminded me of, "Thank You For Smoking:"

"Steve's embarrassed by the content of the negotiation or he would be more supportive of transparency," said Love, not one to hold back in his rhetoric. Keeping negotiations secret is how "you get big fees to be a lobbyist," since only the "insiders" have access to the process.

That came from one of the panel members calling for more transparency to the ACTA negotiations.

However, I must say that this next part struck me as extremely interesting:

But he also made the fair point that he's not the one doing the negotiating. The US Trade Representative, which handles ACTA, is ultimately responsible. Though it has repeatedly pledged transparency, none has been forthcoming

The he referred to is the MPAA/RIAA lobbyist: Steven Metalitz. Now, it's important to remember that he is just a lobbyist, so shifting blame away from those he represents is his job. That being said, I figure we should all still cheerfully hate on the IP MAFIAA's. However, he did bring up the fact that the USTR [wikipedia.org] is the one handling the negotiations. Currently, that position is held by Ron Kirk [wikipedia.org] , a fella from Texas. Looking at his Wikipedia article, he doesn't appear to have anything particularly outstanding, good or bad, in his political record. That being said, perhaps he is playing in a league (international politics) that he is not quite up to snuff on yet. I would wager that people could contact his office en masse (if we could find that info, I haven't found a lot with a few simple Google's) and show him just how important an issue this transparency is. In other words, he may still be new enough at these games that he hasn't completely grown callous to the American Public. Then again, this is all just guess work on my part.

One other thing to keep in mind is that he doesn't seem to have been in the national spotlight all that much, at least not that I can find. Maybe if we put him under the heat lamp of mass public disclosure regarding these meetings he will comply with public demands to avoid a serious burn. /shrug

Re:Interesting Bits for those that won't RTFA (1)

jwinster (1620555) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785456)

The movement you're proposing from the public would be influential yes, but the fact is the president we voted into office already made a huge issue on transparency. The pressure on the USTR should be coming on him from the top down, and if the measures being proposed are so draconian that they can't be revealed, then these are not discussions we should be taking part in. Not every movement needs to be grassroots; when the American public has already made a decision on how much they want transparency already. Then again, maybe it's just another forgotten promise by a politician and we were stupid to believe in it in the first place, and we should just annoy their offices until they yield.

Re:Interesting Bits for those that won't RTFA (1)

gknoy (899301) | more than 4 years ago | (#30785998)

If the President is pressuring him to keep it secret, then we should direct pressures (letters, phone calls) to both him and to the White House.

Re:Interesting Bits for those that won't RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30786764)

I don't think Obama is pressuring Kirk one way or another, which is the problem. Obama ideally should make it clear that keeping these negotiations private is completely unacceptable. Unfortunately, I doubt the President sees this issue as important enough to devote his time to, considering the other issues on the table at the moment.

Re:Interesting Bits for those that won't RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30785594)

I would wager that people could contact his office en masse (if we could find that info, I haven't found a lot with a few simple Google's)

http://www.ustr.gov/about-us/contact-us

email: contactustr at ustr.eop.gov

Surpising to who? (1)

tomthegeek (1145233) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785388)

It was also surprisingly unconvincing.

Says who? Everyone knows they don't have a good reason to keep it secret.

Economic reality (2, Interesting)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785572)

Such a large part of the US and Western Europe economy is today based on sales of intagible goods that it should be obvious that some sort of international agreement would be nice to limit the economic loss that is occurring based on piracy and other copyright violations.

The problem is that since around 1980 or so people have grown up with the idea that if you physically can transfer information digitally it ought to be free. Whether it is by trading floppies or using BitTorrent, anyone that has go to school since 1980 or so has had access to free digital stuff that someone else thought you should be paying for. At it height, the BBS movement pretty much doomed Apple ][ games with common knowledge that any game produced would sell two copies - one on the west coast and one on the east. And that was around 1984.

One huge problem for governments is that if I buy a DVD in a store they get tax revenue on it. If I buy it in Europe, they get tax revenue from it several times over through VAT. However, if it download it nobody get anything. Now you can argue all you want about pirates not ever paying so these aren't really "lost sales", but the government is certainly looking at this as "lost tax revenue". And it is certainly millions, if not billions of dollars in the US today.

iTunes is maybe 1% of the music download market. If the government was collecting their 10% cut on the remaining 99% of the music download market there might not be such a concern about paying for executive bonuses and shifting union health plan costs.

So really, can you blame them?

Of course, from where I sit nobody is ever going to actually be able to enforce any restrictions. Piracy is here to stay and nobody that has gone to school since 1980 or so is exactly in the dark about how to download stuff for free. And they aren't going to be paying anytime in the future. It is free for the taking today and likely to be free forever. Tax consequences or not.

But given the staggering amounts of money the governments of the world think are being left on the table, can you really blame them for not trying to collect "their fair share"? Just be glad nobody has actually proposed a policeman stationed at every Internet connection just to make sure that the taxes are being paid.

Re:Economic reality (1)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785878)

But given the staggering amounts of money the governments of the world think are being left on the table, can you really blame them for not trying to collect "their fair share"?

Taxing something that is created has been the defacto state of affairs for a long time. Taxation is deferred until sale to the consumer, so VAT and sales taxes kick in there, and the government gets their "fair" share from the public while business gets to buy materials VAT free. Online however, nothing is created, there's no value added, there's no value exchanged, therefore taxing each non-commercial BT download is double dipping after the initial sale of media. So... no, it's not the right way to handle it.

Re:Economic reality (1)

Yaa 101 (664725) | more than 4 years ago | (#30786724)

Hmm... You do realize that it is the monetary exchange that's being taxed, not the goods as such.
The fact that you take my money (in exchange for good or services mostly) will cost me the VAT rate.
When in the EU, you as trader must collect it and give it to your tax collectors and they exchange it again in treaties between countries and as far as I know you will not be compensated for the costs that come with collection of taxes.

Mostly goods from foreign countries with which there is no trade agreement are taxed specific (Mostly called luxury tax).

No taxation without representation (1)

Bozovision (107228) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785582)

Didn't American's fight a war of independence because of this? Maybe American politicians have forgotten, Someone seems to think that it's ok to make law without reference to the people it affect.

Re:No taxation without representation (1)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785690)

That was back when Americans cared about freedom. I think we saw after 9/11 just how little that matters to us today. Bread and circuses.

There is no Santa (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785612)

A lot of the reasoning I am seeing in TFA can be boiled down to this: 'the facts of the treaty are so provocative, we need to keep them from the people'. Reminded me of parents who teach their children the lie of Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy from birth, then resist telling them the truth later because it will 'break their widdoe hearts'. Seriously, I have seen TV shows leave in the raunchiest of jokes, but edit out any reference to Santa not being real.

Transparency and the rule of law (1)

DaveGod (703167) | more than 3 years ago | (#30785790)

If we're not going to have our say on the law, why should we respect or uphold it?

I was looking for the true source of a quote I recall from the game Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, but apparently that is the original source:

free flow of information is the only safeguard against tyranny. The once-chained people whose leaders at last lose their grip on information flow will so burst with freedom and vitality, but the free nation gradually constricting its grip on public discourse has begun its rapid slide into despotism. Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master.”

Evently I'm not the only one for whom the line struck a chord - one of my google hits [wayofthemind.org] was referencing it to another quote of relevance:

“This administration stands on the side not of those who seek to withhold information but with those who seek it to be known. The mere fact that you have the legal power to keep something secret does not mean you should always use it. Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.”

– President Barack Obama, January 21, 2009, as he overturned Bush’s order restricting access to White House records

Re:Transparency and the rule of law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30786978)

If we're not going to have our say on the law, why should we respect or uphold it?

I was looking for the true source of a quote I recall from the game Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, but apparently that is the original source:

free flow of information is the only safeguard against tyranny. The once-chained people whose leaders at last lose their grip on information flow will so burst with freedom and vitality, but the free nation gradually constricting its grip on public discourse has begun its rapid slide into despotism. Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master.”

Evently I'm not the only one for whom the line struck a chord - one of my google hits [wayofthemind.org] was referencing it to another quote of relevance:

“This administration stands on the side not of those who seek to withhold information but with those who seek it to be known. The mere fact that you have the legal power to keep something secret does not mean you should always use it. Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.”
– President Barack Obama, January 21, 2009, as he overturned Bush’s order restricting access to White House records

To be fair, in that speech Obama didn't promise a damn thing. What, exactly, does saying "Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency" mean, anyway? How can you measure that?

If you believed his empty rhetoric, you were snookered.

As we're all finding out.

Hell, even when he makes concrete promises he reneges. Gitmo closed yet? Troops out of Iraq yet?

How is that not illegal? (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30785984)

[...] and those lawyers in the room and on the panel who had seen one small part of it were under a nondisclosure agreement.

First I thought: How is it not illegal to have a non-disclosure about something of national law-making scale.
And then I remembered, that we’re still living the law of the jungle.
No change at all, boys. Just a huge illusion wrapped around it.
Yay.

P.S.: Get into mass psychology, rhetorics and social engineering, if you want to become the future power behind the puppets.

I was at the event (2, Interesting)

the_scoots (1595597) | more than 4 years ago | (#30786712)

There are some points that were brought up in the meeting that I thought were pretty important. Someone correct me if I'm mistaken on any points, IANAL or too politically savvy. Many of the people who had seen pieces of the draft kept coming back to several points:

- Some speculated that this has more to do with future trade agreements with countries NOT involved in ACTA talks than those in it.The idea was that this would be used to strong arm developing countries into agreeing to the terms to enter into future trade agreements with any ACTA countries in the future.

- Patents are also in ACTA, and could potentially impact international trade of pharmaceuticals. Many public health organizations such as Doctors Without Borders are worried about the impact on getting generic drugs to 3rd world countries.

- While this supposedly won't change any US laws, it will impact future court decisions on infringement cases, which will in effect change the law by setting precedence.

Re:I was at the event (1)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 4 years ago | (#30787344)

which will in effect change the law by setting precedence.

Precedent. Setting precedent. "Precedence" is the state of something being ahead of something else. If the something in question is the very first, there is nothing for it to be ahead of, and subsequently it is called the precedent.

We need to slander ACTA (4, Interesting)

mykos (1627575) | more than 4 years ago | (#30786794)

Let's start making stuff up about it, saying that it will require that every human being on the planet register on a global network and that it gives copyright protection organizations the right to install kill switches in everyone's brain.

They will be so afraid of the pitchforks and torches generated from this that they'll be forced to do what they should have done in the first place: tell us what it actually contains.

Minimizing the eyes on the rulemaking (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 4 years ago | (#30787210)

If this was about embarrasment, wouldn't we be embarrased once the rules became law, and are published? Perhaps its an attempt to keep independant experts' eyes off the work in progress until its signed and too late for participants to take back their signatures.

Quite a bit of the content encryption is aimed at control and segmentation of markets. Most Americans might be blissfully unaware of this, but most of the DVD encryption cracking done around the world isn't for the purpose of piracy. Its to circumvent region coding, staggered release schedules and screwey pricing schemes across multiple smaller markets. Other countries would be much less inclined to sign ACTA if it turned out to be an attempt to squeeze a few more bucks out of their constituents rather than an anti-piracy agreement.

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