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Leak Shows US Lead Opponent of ACTA Transparency

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the putting-on-an-acta dept.

Government 164

An anonymous reader writes "Throughout the debate over ACTA transparency, the secret copyright treaty, many countries have taken public positions that they support release of the actual text, but that other countries do not. Since full transparency requires consensus of all the ACTA partners, the text simply can't be released until everyone is in agreement. A new leak from the Netherlands fingers who the chief opponents of transparency are: the United States, South Korea, Singapore, and Denmark lead the way, with Belgium, Germany, and Portugal not far behind as problem countries."

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apt quote (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31277214)

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson

Re:apt quote (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31277354)

"American Idol is on tonight, oh goodie" - Typical American

Re:apt quote (5, Interesting)

dch24 (904899) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277478)

"Don't bother to actually read what Michael Geist wrote, just post inflammatory headline" - Typical Slashdot Editor.

I know, I must be new here... Here's an important block of text. Read this [michaelgeist.ca] :

Outside of the Europe, the memo identifies three problem countries. While Japan is apparently supportive, both South Korea and Singapore oppose ACTA transparency. Moreover, the U.S. has remained silent on the issue, as it remains unconvinced of the need for full disclosure. In doing so, it would appear that the U.S. is perhaps the biggest problem since a clear position of support might be enough to persuade the remaining outliers.

The U.S. Representatives may be against transparency, but they aren't stupid enough to say so.

Now, their South Korean and Singaporean cronies on the other hand, are stupid enough, and they are opposed to transparency -- because they lose so much money to counterfeiting!</sarcasm>

Re:apt quote (2, Interesting)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 4 years ago | (#31278108)

In the EU Article 15 TFUE applies which gets citizens access to these documents. So the only legal grounds is protection of interests of nations outside of the European Union.

Re:apt quote (5, Informative)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | more than 4 years ago | (#31278136)

Here's an important block of text... Moreover, the U.S. has remained silent on the issue.

This is a more telling block of text [michaelgeist.ca] :

IDG covers the latest Dutch leak that reveals the transparency position of many ACTA participants. Particularly telling is the view that both France and Italy favour greater transparency, but fear U.S. retaliation.

Re:apt quote (2, Insightful)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | more than 4 years ago | (#31279150)

If France and Italy haven't actually stated that they fear U.S. retaliation, then that's just speculation.

Re:apt quote (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 4 years ago | (#31279726)

Particularly telling is the view that both France and Italy favour greater transparency, but fear U.S. retaliation.

France is a nuclear power, for chrissakes. Why would they need to fear U.S. retaliation?

And as far as Italy is concerned, isn't it quite ironic, that of all countries, it's Italy who is standing up against the MAFIAA?

Re:apt quote (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#31279898)

France is a nuclear power, for chrissakes. Why would they need to fear U.S. retaliation?

Huh? We aren't talking about military retaliation. Why would you bring that up? Christ, nuclear power or not France is an ally! Regardless, what we are talking about is economic and political reprisal, not warheads. In other words, if they go against us on this, we may take sides against them on some other issue. Personally, I hope they do stand up to us, just like Germany did regarding Iraq. "No, this is a bad idea!" That's all they have to do.

And, no Italy isn't standing up against the media companies, they're standing up to what they (correctly) perceive as undue influence upon their economy by the United States.

Re:apt quote (1)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | more than 4 years ago | (#31279050)

...Now, their South Korean and Singaporean cronies on the other hand, are stupid enough, and they are opposed to transparency -- because they lose so much money to counterfeiting!</sarcasm>

I get the sarcasm, but that is an interesting thought. I wonder how much sales tax, withholding type taxes, health care and retirement contributions, permission to exist as a business permits, etc. the organizations that produce retail targeted, unauthorized products (bootleg DVD's, software, etc.), do contribute to their country. In China I would expect it to be large, as there is that whole "violators will be shot" enforcement system. But normal countries that have these operations running must at least claim to consider them criminal enterprises, even if it is winked at later. Someone is doing printing and molding packages, pressing disks, packing boxes, etc.... and that just digital stuff, there is a huge amount of counterfeit clothing, antiques, hell, anything that worth a buck, basically. I bet a lot of national revenue is just "missed" by being under the table from the start.

The U.S. government is extremely corrupt. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31277892)

"The U.S. government is extremely corrupt." -- Read the books.

Typical American: "I don't read books. America is the greatest nation in the world."

Never fear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31278374)

Anonymous is already on it...

The Legion of Anonymous supports the war against ACTA. We are already developing plans to help combat this threat to people’s freedom.

Anonymous does not forgive
Anonymous does not forget
Expect Us
For We are Many
Because none of us, is a cruel as ALL of us

(Anonymous [wordpress.com] )

They'll save us all!

Re:apt quote (1)

ubrgeek (679399) | more than 4 years ago | (#31278764)

"Hey, AC. up yours." - Typical American.

Re:apt quote (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31277362)

Agreed. It's nigh time to overthrow the current US Government. Now, who's with me?

Re:apt quote (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31277574)

No one because all you armchair freedom fighters are too much of pussies to actually do anything besides posturing on the internet.

Re:apt quote (2, Insightful)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277718)

Those posts took real courage to post! Now, who's with me? Let's go glare ominously outside the White House! FREEEDOOOM!!!!11!!11eleventy1111!!

Re:apt quote (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 4 years ago | (#31279822)

Insightful? Really? I was going for humor, not some deep insight into the way the world works or an explanation of monads and why Haskell programmers would want them.

Re:apt quote (1)

Lotana (842533) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277608)

And then what?

Re:apt quote (3, Funny)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277642)

Get slaughtered by the US military for inciting rebellion?

Re:apt quote (0, Troll)

JockTroll (996521) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277696)

Then, loserboy, roll over and die. But that's why you're loserboys: you're already defeated to begin with. You know that no matter what, you'll end up beaten, bloodied and shat upon.

Re:apt quote (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277874)

Says the big bad armchair soldier who would wet his pants at the first sight of an army batallion heading his way.

Re:apt quote (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31278060)

As a current US Army reserve soldier let me tell you:

An American Revolution is most definitely possible in modern society for two reasons:

The US Army is not supposed to put down armed uprisings unless it is on a massive scale, you only have to fight the police at first.

By the time it gets big enough they start calling up the Nat'l guard and what have you, you'll have as many soldiers defecting to revolt.

It's even more possible now with a lot of our top end equipment and soldiers in Iraq/Afghanistan.

As for the technological gap between the Army and the civilian population, well the Iraqis don't have drone fighters and are still doing a decent job of killing soldiers.

Re:apt quote (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31278132)

Except none of these little wimps on Slashdot would ever have the balls to revolt. They posture on the internet all the time in their parent's basement and that's about all that ever comes of it.

Re:apt quote (0, Flamebait)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#31278400)

In the first U.S. revolution, a very small few got the ball rolling. By the time retaliation started happening, it was enough to polarize the rest of those who participated in the U.S. revolution to fight as they were going to get punished by England's response anyway.

What would happen here? It's hard to say... we have a tendency to want to see it on TV but not on our streets.

Were it to happen on my street? I don't own any firearms. What could I do? I would like to own firearms but it is presently too much of a pain in the ass to get them legally. And further, to practice using them is also a pain in the ass. This is, of course, "by design."

So when the time comes, I will have to visit the local drug dealers and gang members to see what I can afford. We all know that's who has the guns these days.

Re:apt quote (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31278470)

I'm not saying that there aren't people who would actually have the guts and the ability to start a rebellion. The point is that the people who constantly post that Jefferson quote on Slashdot and the subsequent postings by armchair soldiers about starting a rebellion are a bunch of pansies. There's probably a good reason that they almost always do so as AC.

Re:apt quote (1)

Omestes (471991) | more than 4 years ago | (#31279022)

I don't own any firearms. What could I do? I would like to own firearms but it is presently too much of a pain in the ass to get them legally. And further, to practice using them is also a pain in the ass. This is, of course, "by design."

By your own design perhaps. I come from a long line of lefties and liberals, and 90% of us own guns, and use them. Buying a gun isn't that difficult, if you don't mind a small amount of paperwork, less if go to a show, and none if you know people (or have guns floating around in your family). Practicing them is simple as well, membership in a range in rather cheap, and if you live out west, there are vast tracks of wilderness in which to pluck away at tin cans in (free, sans ammo, beer, and gas).

The only restrictions of gun ownership, in most of the US, is cost. Can you afford to buy a gun? If not, tough, the Constitution doesn't guarantee guns being cheap. Do you have a felony record? Tough, you gave up your right to bitch when you broke the social contract. None of those apply? Happy shooting.

Re:apt quote (1)

Garridan (597129) | more than 4 years ago | (#31279036)

Wut? It is NOT hard to buy guns. I implore you to buy a used .22 rifle. I got mine for $100, walked in, plunked down the money and left with my gun. And this is in Seattle, where we have lots of kneejerk nannystate-ists.

You won't fight an army with a handgun. They've got rifles with scopes, and armor. Of course... you couldn't do much with my .22 bolt-action plinker either, but military-grade weapons aren't that hard to get either (though, they're out of my price range). You don't have a gun because you haven't bothered to by one.

Buy a gun. If you don't exercise the right, you'll lose it. Then, you can learn to hunt, and you can help keep the deer and rabbit population down in your state, and feed your family, too! And, if the government ever unleashes its rapidly growing army of lethal robots on the people, you'll be able to shoot one (and only one, unfortunately, as its redundant systems will alert the network to your presence and call in an airstrike).

Re:apt quote (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#31279394)

I would like to own firearms but it is presently too much of a pain in the ass to get them legally. And further, to practice using them is also a pain in the ass. This is, of course, "by design."

Of course. It's designed to keep nutjobs with short tempers away from firearms, for the good of, well, everyone.

Re:apt quote (0)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#31279474)

That is rather my point in adding the last part of my comment. The gangsters and drug dealers and all those have their own sources of arms. The "criminals" get their guns by criminal means. I am not a criminal, however, and don't feel that I should be registered in any national database where I can later be targeted in the event things turn bad for the government.

I buy a gun today... a few years later, I'm collected and encamped somewhere because I was on a list of potential threats.

I think we are better off without these lists. In Texas, crime rates dropped when the concealed handgun laws were passed. The same happened in other states as well. The more people have guns, the safer we all are.

Re:apt quote (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#31278472)

Given that this is Slashdot, the most likely form of revolution would be a cyber revolution. No need to leave your basement for that. :-)

Re:apt quote (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31278584)

Given that this is Slashdot, the most likely form of revolution would be a cyber revolution.

So they'll download a syn flooder and an email bomber and think they're 1337 h4x0r5 sticking it to the man?

Re:apt quote (1)

DinDaddy (1168147) | more than 4 years ago | (#31279012)

By the time it gets big enough they start calling up the Nat'l guard and what have you, you'll have as many soldiers defecting to revolt.

They're going to find it difficult to mobilize the NG with so many of them deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Re:apt quote (2, Interesting)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277766)

Get slaughtered by the US military for inciting rebellion?

The last major rebellion by the southern half of the US ended with control firmly established and more governmental power in place, so I'll add that to what would happen in any hypothetical rebellion. You know, we gotta keep them turr'rists down.

Re:apt quote (1)

killmenow (184444) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277524)

"Shut up, honkey!" - George Jefferson

Re:apt quote (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#31279808)

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson

Home of the (not so) brave (anymore), land of the (less) free (than we used to be.)

Just who did we elect to do this? (2, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277228)

As the Republicans are saying on health care that the people are against it, but the Democrats were elected by the people with full knowledge they'd try to do this... they seem out of place.

Who's representing the US in the ACTA negotiations. If it's just the usual **AA people, then good luck getting this past The Senate.

Re:Just who did we elect to do this? (0, Offtopic)

FiloEleven (602040) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277312)

The people who elected the Democrats thought they'd do a better job of making a health care bill. The Republicans have their own agenda, of course, but it makes it no less true that the Democrats failed the people who elected them in the writing of the legislation. It's a turd of a bill.

Re:Just who did we elect to do this? (1, Funny)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277536)

"It's a turd of a bill."
Yeah but the risk of ignoring Republican input would have resulted in law that the republicans would undo first chance they got into power.

Re:Just who did we elect to do this? (4, Insightful)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277846)

They didn't undo half of the things that the Dems have done for years that they have opposed from time to time (such as their opposition to the New Deal in the 30s), and the Dems have also done little in the way of repealing themselves. I am awaiting the death of the PATRIOT act, for example, and the closure of Guantanamo Bay's prison. So why do you think they would repeal it now?

Re:Just who did we elect to do this? (4, Informative)

SteveFoerster (136027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31279868)

The Democrat-controlled Senate just reapproved key provisions of the Patriot Act that would otherwise have expired. If you wanted any indicator that they're worse than useless, that was it.

Offtopic, huh? (-1, Offtopic)

FiloEleven (602040) | more than 4 years ago | (#31278144)

If I'm offtopic, then so is every response in this thread.

"Offtopic" does NOT mean "I disagree." Offtopic is for posts that bear no relation to the article OR to the posts to which they respond. As I was responding to something written by LostCluster, I am clearly not offtopic. Not +5 material either, but not offtopic.

Noobs.

Re:Offtopic, huh? (0, Offtopic)

dave562 (969951) | more than 4 years ago | (#31278188)

You're off topic. The article is about ACTA. You're talking about health care reform.

Re:Offtopic, huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31278794)

If you disagree with a comment, it's best to rate it as "overrated". From what I understand, the overrated/underrated comments don't get flagged in metamoderation.

(Posting anonymously to preserve modpoints.)

Poorly written summary (0, Flamebait)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277374)

Um, just to be clear... the article says "the U.S. has remained silent on the issue, as it remains unconvinced of the need for full disclosure. In doing so, it would appear that the U.S. is perhaps the biggest problem since a clear position of support might be enough to persuade the remaining outliers." (emphasis added)

In other words, we haven't said anything. I wish we'd said something in support of transparency, but it is not fair to lump the U.S. in with countries who are actively opposing transparency.

Re:Poorly written summary (5, Informative)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | more than 4 years ago | (#31278062)

it is not fair to lump the U.S. in with countries who are actively opposing transparency.. YES it is fair, and it IS justified [michaelgeist.ca] :

IDG covers the latest Dutch leak that reveals the transparency position of many ACTA participants. Particularly telling is the view that both France and Italy favour greater transparency, but fear U.S. retaliation.

Re:Poorly written summary (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 4 years ago | (#31278384)

Yes, the article says that, but what does that mean?

I have a document in my hand. I have 1 million people writing me letters asking me to release it. I refuse. How is that being silent on the issue? They are actively refusing to release it.

Re:Just who did we elect to do this? (4, Insightful)

DrJimbo (594231) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277380)

Who's representing the US in the ACTA negotiations. If it's just the usual **AA people, then good luck getting this past The Senate.

Uh, the **AA people own the Senate. They have also infiltrated the Department of Justice. And now that the Supreme Court has ruled it is unconstitutional to limit corporate campaign funding (via advertisements) expect corporate ownership of all branches of government to increase.

Re:Just who did we elect to do this? (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277940)

And now that the Supreme Court has ruled it is unconstitutional to limit corporate campaign funding (via advertisements) expect corporate ownership of all branches of government to increase.

Wait, you mean that that ownership ever decreased at some point? You know, I never believed in any deity before, but proof of that might make me reconsider.

Re:Just who did we elect to do this? (1)

DrJimbo (594231) | more than 4 years ago | (#31278122)

If I pig out over the holidays and then say "expect my waistline to increase" I'm not implying that my waistline had ever decreased. I leave converting this to a car analogy as an exercise for the reader.

Re:Just who did we elect to do this? (1)

copponex (13876) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277496)

good luck getting this past The Senate.

Although I was quite young, I remember hearing about NAFTA, and thinking, who are all of these crazy people who are against it? It's going to help give everyone jobs and promote trade!

The sad truth is that if the business community is behind ACTA, it will be pushed 24/7 as a good thing in the press until it is passed, even with a few conciliatory addenda that will be properly loopholed into oblivion. Just like the DMCA.

Re:Just who did we elect to do this? (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 4 years ago | (#31278040)

NAFTA had even pro-trade people against it, because what sort of free trade bill needs to be so long and have so many negotiations? How about this:

All businesses and individuals in nations that are signatories may sell any good in the nations that are party to this treaty so long as the products obey the standards and regulations in that nation, and they will, for tax and trade purposes, be treated as if they were a local product. All tariffs are to be removed, and all quotas likewise.

That is all that is needed for a trade treaty, really, because that opens everything up. Instead we were left with all sorts of restrictions and changes that made it less a free trade treaty and more a managed trade treaty. See, for example, the squabbles over agriculture (which also apply to the EU's ag policies).

Re:Just who did we elect to do this? (5, Insightful)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277806)

Who's representing the US in the ACTA negotiations. If it's just the usual **AA people, then good luck getting this past The Senate.

The DMCA made it past the Senate, as did the PATRIOT act, the war on (some) drugs, Prohibition, and I believe the Corwin Amendment. I feel your faith in the Senate is misplaced. You see, to have real influence in the Senate, you must either be someone with enough cash to make a difference in an election, such as a CEO, or you must be someone who represents a collection of people that have that power, such as union bosses.

Re:Just who did we elect to do this? (2, Insightful)

Intron (870560) | more than 4 years ago | (#31278252)

ACTA is being negotiated by the executive branch, the US Trade Rep, so don't blame Congress. This side-steps the constitutional separation of powers by claiming it is an agreement under existing laws, not creating new laws. At any rate, write to Obama about his promise of greater openness.

Re:Just who did we elect to do this? (1)

moxley (895517) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277988)

You mean the same senate that has bought and paid for a significant portion of these congresspeople?

Re:Just who did we elect to do this? (1, Informative)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 4 years ago | (#31279428)

Who's representing the US in the ACTA negotiations. If it's just the usual **AA people

Once again, the USTR [wikipedia.org] is, ostensibly, the US representative for negotiating ACTA. Currently this position is held by Ron Kirk [wikipedia.org] . The official positions of this office can be found at their website here. [ustr.gov] Contacting the office via official channels can be done by reading through this contact page. [ustr.gov] The official USTR position and stance regarding ACTA can be found here. [ustr.gov] Finally, if you search for, "US Trade Representative ACTA," on google then you can find a link on the page titled, "US Trade Rep wants your input on ACTA Boing Boing," which is supposed to be a place that discusses how you can give the USTR input regarding ACTA. Unfortunately, I cannot access boing boing from work, and cannot link to it directly.

Any other questions?

I must say (4, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277234)

I am shocked. Just shocked.

Glad I live in the land of the free. (2, Funny)

FiloEleven (602040) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277272)

I'm glad I live in the land of the free,
where the ones in charge aren't accountable to me.
They say they do it all for my own good,
so I ought to keep my head down like they say I should.

Meh.

Re:Glad I live in the land of the free. (1)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277426)

Citizen:
I'm a citizen and I'm okay.
I pay my taxes and work all day.

Congress:
He's a citizen and he's okay,
He pays his taxes and works all day.

Citizen:
I slave for the man. I eat my lunch.
I take my 15 minute break.
On Wednesdays I watch Idol
And wonder how much money they'll take.

Congress:
He slaves for the man. He eats his lunch.
He takes his 15 minute break.
On Wednesdays he watches Idol
And wonders how much money we'll take.

He's a citizen and he's okay,
He pays his taxes and works all day.

Citizen:
I work like a dog. I scream and shout.
I would like to press charges.
I turn on the Television
And don't have the funds to hang out.

MOUNTIES:
He works like a dog. He screams and shouts
He wants to press charges.
He turns on the television
And has no money to hang out?!

He's a citizen and he's okay,
He pays his taxes and works all day.

Re:Glad I live in the land of the free. (0, Redundant)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277464)

damn....

couldn't remember the full song, had to copy it...forgot to edit Mounties from my "re-do" My bad. Slashdot, stop punishing us with the 2 minute post rule, please. There's a better way.

Citizen:
I'm a citizen and I'm okay.
I pay my taxes and work all day.

Congress:
He's a citizen and he's okay,
He pays his taxes and works all day.

Citizen:
I slave for the man. I eat my lunch.
I take my 15 minute break.
On Wednesdays I watch Idol
And wonder how much money they'll take.

Congress:
He slaves for the man. He eats his lunch.
He takes his 15 minute break.
On Wednesdays he watches Idol
And wonders how much money we'll take.

He's a citizen and he's okay,
He pays his taxes and works all day.

Citizen:
I work like a dog. I scream and shout.
I would like to press charges.
I turn on the Television
And don't have the funds to hang out.

Congress:
He works like a dog. He screams and shouts
He wants to press charges.
He turns on the television
And has no money to hang out?!

He's a citizen and he's okay,
He pays his taxes and works all day.

How do we folllow the law? (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277294)

How are we suppose to follow a law if we do not know what it is?

Or am I missing something here?

Re:How do we folllow the law? (1)

zero_out (1705074) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277410)

It's not a law yet. Eventually, once it is ratified, it will become a law. Until that time, it is just a document. Once it becomes a law, it will be made public. At least, that is my understanding. Of course, the problem with opacity here is that once it's been agreed upon by the participating countries, it's 9/10th of the way to becoming a law here in the US. If it isn't made public, then we can't yell and scream about how evil each provisiou is. Once again, that is my (potentially erroneous) understanding.

Re:How do we folllow the law? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31277454)

It's still under negotiation. It's less a question of not telling you the law, and more a question about whether they want the general populace to know the terms of the agreement _while_ they're working on it.

(i.e. whether they tell you before or after it's too late to complain about the laws they'll have to pass to support the treaties).

Re:How do we folllow the law? (5, Insightful)

Conchobair (1648793) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277466)

It's not a law yet. They are trying to keep things quiet so that there is not enough time to mount large scale opposistion to the proposal. This will allow them to pass it before most people are aware of the implications. Once its a law it will be a lot harder to repeal or change what they decided in these secret meetings.

Re:How do we folllow the law? (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277472)

It is a secret law so that it can be passed without opposition. Once it is to late to do anything about it, it will be made public. If the people don't know about it, they can not protest, they can not petition their government. The powers that be can get away with governing without requiring that little flaw of democratic representation. The safest and easiest way to subvert democracy is to keep the people ignorant.

Re:How do we folllow the law? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277890)

It isn't "the law".

Once it's all worked out it will be published, has to pass the senate after all, so you'll have no excuse to not obey it.

Re:How do we folllow the law? (4, Insightful)

Spad (470073) | more than 4 years ago | (#31278734)

It's not a law, it's a treaty. Treaties are much better than laws on their own because while laws can easily be opposed by the public before being passed, treaties can be passed in secret and then used as a basis for forcing laws through on the grounds that they are a requirement of the treaty.

We will have discussions about this on CSPAN2! (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277302)

There's no way you can get the US onto a treaty without getting that through The Senate, and right now the score there is 59-41 giving the Republicans only the power to filibuster and not pass anything without the help of at least nine Democrats. This will be debated. The treaty will be rejected if it's as bad as we're fearing. What are we worried about?

Copyright expansionism is bipartisan (4, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277348)

right now the score there is 59-41 giving the Republicans only the power to filibuster and not pass anything without the help of at least nine Democrats.

President Clinton, a Democrat, signed the Bono Act and the DMCA in October 1998. He didn't send it back to both houses for a roll-call vote (which requires 67% assent); instead, he let the voice votes in both houses (which require 81% assent) stand.

Re:Copyright expansionism is bipartisan (1)

wurp (51446) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277662)

which require 81% assent

Did you mean 51%?

Re:Copyright expansionism is bipartisan (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277692)

And that's really a 4:1 ratio of apparent db to the chair position... no accountability in a voice vote unless somebody makes a request that the roll be called.

Re:Copyright expansionism is bipartisan (1)

wurp (51446) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277800)

Holy shit, that shouldn't be legal [senate.gov] !

We allow bills to pass into law without even recording who voted for them? I could plant some high quality speakers & dictate the law!

Re:Copyright expansionism is bipartisan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31278932)

You'll need some very nice speakers indeed to be heard over the ones already in place from the *IAAs, Big Oil and Big Insurance. They've already got quite a few, cleverly disguised as lawmakers.

It takes 20% to force a roll call (3, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277788)

In the U.S. Congress, a voice vote allows a legislator to neither confirm nor deny to his constituents that he voted for a controversial bill. It takes 20 percent of a house to force a roll-call vote. From the U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 5 [usconstitution.net] : "the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House on any question shall, at the Desire of one fifth of those Present, be entered on the Journal."

Re:It takes 20% to force a roll call (1)

wurp (51446) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277924)

Thanks for the info; I wasn't aware of that.

I thought your comparison was pointing out that Clinton didn't do his part to counter the **AA by vetoing the bill, which would require a 2/3 majority to pass it. The initial passing of the bill should only have required a simple majority.

It seems that you are presuming that a voice vote would be called down (and a roll call required) if 20% disagreed with the vote. I suspect there are "gentlemen's agreements" to not require a roll call on any vote unless it is very important to the senator in question.

After all, without a voice vote every senator can claim to have voted whatever way is most advantageous to him with the audience he's speaking to.

Re:It takes 20% to force a roll call (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31278106)

I thought your comparison was pointing out that Clinton didn't do his part to counter the **AA by vetoing the bill, which would require a 2/3 majority to pass it.

It's both of their fault. The Congress was too chicken to go on record, and Clinton was complicit in letting them be chicken.

Re:We will have discussions about this on CSPAN2! (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277404)

I'll be perfectly honest that I have not followed the ACTA issue closely at all. Are you just assuming that the Democrats will be against and Republicans are for it, or are you going on actual statements? Let's not forget that Senator Disney was himself a democrat, and that the lines of party/ideological purity often seem fairly blurred in cases involving IP, international trade and treaties, etc.

Re:We will have discussions about this on CSPAN2! (4, Insightful)

dr2chase (653338) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277442)

The D's are not reliable opponents of **AA craziness.

Re:We will have discussions about this on CSPAN2! (1)

c0d3g33k (102699) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277708)

What are people worried about? That their representatives in the Senate will cast an uninformed vote that does not include input from their constituents (informed or otherwise). That's kind of what a representative democracy is all about.

IT IS NOT A TREATY (3, Insightful)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277842)

This will be debated.

No, it won't.

The treaty will be rejected if it's as bad as we're fearing.

No, it won't.

What are we worried about?

We're worried about the fact that ACTA is not a treaty but rather an executive agreement, inter alia. This means that no Senate approval or Congressional oversight of any kind is required. The only limits are that the agreement has to be within the bounds of current U.S. law. Of course, coloring within the lines of judge-made case-law is hard to do, it closes off policy options for the future, and the primary concern many people have is the extent to which ACTA will be forcing US IP policy onto other countries (all the while leaving out the good parts of our law, like fair use).

Re:IT IS NOT A TREATY (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31279450)

If it's Hollywood dictating rules for the world but not adding to the force of law... how is that different from what they do already?

Re:We will have discussions about this on CSPAN2! (1)

yacc143 (975862) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277954)

lol, the naivity.

Just means that the content mafia has to go to a different shop to buy the 9 democrats?

No, I guess that would be customer-unfriedly (or shall I say lobbyist unfriendly), guess it's a one-stop shopping run.

Re:We will have discussions about this on CSPAN2! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31279116)

What are we worried about?

The treaty passing with 100 yea votes and 0 nay votes. Or passing 59 to 41. The two parties you just mentioned happen to be the bad guys, and the one with 59 senators happens to be the worst of the two (on this issue).

Remember that DMCA has not been repealed. The current American government is pretty hostile.

This will be debated

Nobody has put forth a good reason why it can't be debated now, before it even gets to the Senate. Why wait? The treaty and the existing law (DMCA) that it appears to make worse instead of better, ought to be getting talked about in the bars, TV shows, newspapers, etc right now.

Germany (4, Informative)

Estragib (945821) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277400)

As a resident of one of the mentioned problem countries, I think it might be helpful to point towards an organization to rally behind to oppose the secrecy:

ACTA workgroup [ffii.org] of the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure e.V. [ffii.org]

As a Dane (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31277440)

I'm sorry.. In so many ways

Re:As a Dane (2, Funny)

c0d3g33k (102699) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277726)

That's ok. You're still Great. Woof!

Summary is wrong (1, Redundant)

Solandri (704621) | more than 4 years ago | (#31277754)

The blog states several countries have come out against public disclosure while others have come out for it. On the U.S. in particular, it says:

Moreover, the U.S. has remained silent on the issue, as it remains unconvinced of the need for full disclosure. In doing so, it would appear that the U.S. is perhaps the biggest problem since a clear position of support might be enough to persuade the remaining outliers.

Somehow the submitter has morphed this into the U.S. being the lead opponent to public disclosure.

News to me (1)

Krakadoom (1407635) | more than 4 years ago | (#31278072)

Not to rain on the Dutch parade, but maybe they dont know entirely what they're talking about? Could it just be finger pointing?

I know two things for sure though. First, I live in one of the countries listed as "opposed" to transparency, yet our administration is clearly for more transparency in the process. Second, I've read the draft text start to finish - it's not all that secret, and honestly not all that interesting either. I'm surprised it's not on wikileaks yet tbh.

FIRSt pOST (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31278150)

BSD managed to make future at all fun to be again. 40,000 work8stations

Whaddaya mean "countries"? (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31278426)

Governments? Bribed government officials?
Population? The uninformed mass of the population?

Because a whole country having a single p.o.v. on anything is something that only happens in the fairy tales of delusional “idealists”. (And it’s not even an ideal at all.)

Since when does transparency... (5, Insightful)

macraig (621737) | more than 4 years ago | (#31278466)

... , to the very people who elected them, require consensus? Shouldn't it be opacity that requires unanimous consensus?

Seriously, people, how much more clue do you need that "reform" isn't going to cut it? Only another "R" word is going to put an end to this. If you're not firing up the furnace and making ready to beat your plowshares into swords, you're not doing enough.

Re:Since when does transparency... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31279130)

Funny that you say that. I'm also a bladesmith and do that sort of thing all the time. Making the sword isn't a problem - it's figuring out who do remove to make the difference. Perhaps all of them.....

you mean "retard"? (4, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31279484)

because if you don't understand how much worse an actual revolution is compared to the issues here, that's what you are

when peoples bellies are empty, then you get revolution. if they can't download cartoon network for free, not so much

and i say this as someone who has said in many comments on this site that intellectual property is morally and philosophically bankrupt. but i still know the entire debate over intellectual property nowhere rises to the level of revolution, not even remotely. if you think it does, you are extremely, extremely out of touch with what is really important in this world

Re:you mean "retard"? (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 4 years ago | (#31279592)

Intellectual property per se is NOT what demands a revolt/revolution. What demands that is the consistently anti-democratic and unethical behavior of nearly all of the people we're electing, as well as those we're promoting to power in corporations. After we're done kicking them all out of the temple, THEN we need to sit down and collectively have a serious conversation about how screwed-up our criteria for choosing leaders has been. We need new criteria to make sure we don't repeat the same litany of mistakes all over again. Hell, we've been doing this for centuries.

That's what is really important.

We're not likely to achieve any of the necessary systemic change with the existing narcissists still in control, because the existing system is precisely what nurtures them. They'll fight any true reform tooth and nail... and they have been and ARE. Not only are they fighting reform, they're actively working to make things worse, less democratic, less ethical. This ACTA business is but one tiny example.

If you think just keeping people fed is what's really important, you're seriously ignorant of the bigger picture.

hello naive unexperienced idealist (3, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31279682)

solving this problem is not a matter of throwing a revolution and then everything is golden forever more

its more like a policing duty, a constant lowgrade effort at taking out the trash

in your home, do you declare a revolution on garbage and then forever more there's no more garbage?

no, no matter what you do, you need to take out the garbage every thursday. likewise in a democracy, there will be a constant crop of assholes who get power and don't deserve it. how do you get rid of them? YOU VOTE THEM OUT

this is what makes a democracy so much better than other governments: you don't NEED a revolution to get a new regime

so stop advocating for revolution, which is FAR FAR worse on ANY scale of abuse and damage than ANY problem you can describe facing us today

if you don't understand that, then you are 11 years old, and your lack of life experience is excused, or you're an adult idiot

Re:hello naive unexperienced idealist (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 4 years ago | (#31279854)

You didn't read - or understand - a single damned thing I said; what sort of reply do you expect? Oh, I know: you expect me to resort to using words like retard and idiot to marginalize you and then dismiss your words, huh?

It's the system that's broken. No "constant low-grade effort" is going to fix that. Maybe if your system at home was more refined, you'd have automated the trash disposal problem; there'd still be trash but you wouldn't have to constantly fight with it. A perfect example of that automation is probably in your house right now, unless you live in the bush: a flush toilet. Do you actually have to carry your shit out in a bucket? No, because the system is designed to eliminate that.

That's why our government and corporate hierarchies are FUBAR: they lack an automatic means to flush away the crap. Since the crap in this instance lives and breathes and has visions of grandeur, it's going to be none too happy with us meddling with the very system that gives it its power.

Your low-grade effort won't fix anything. Neither will your insults and ad hominem.

Re:Since when does transparency... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#31279954)

If you're not firing up the furnace and making ready to beat your plowshares into swords, you're not doing enough.

Swords? What good are swords. I'm beating my plowshares into cruise missiles. When they come for me, I'm taking them all out!

Transparency (4, Insightful)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31278608)

You know, I seem to recall hearing that word a lot the past 2 years, but now? Eh, not so much.

Do something about it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31278874)

Write your Senators and let them know what you think about ACTA.
  http://www.eff.org/action

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