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US Negotiators Cave On Internet Provisions To ACTA

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the difference-between-law-and-legislation dept.

Government 80

Hugh Pickens writes "Ars Technica reports that with the release of the 'near-final' ACTA text (PDF), it is becoming clear that the US has caved on the most egregious provisions from earlier drafts (advocating 'three strikes' regimes, ordering ISPs to develop anti-piracy plans, promoting tough DRM anticircumvention language, setting up a 'takedown' notification system, ordering 'secondary liability' for device makers) and has largely failed in its attempts to push the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) onto the rest of the world. Apparently, a face-saving agreement is better than no agreement at all — but even the neutered ACTA could run into problems, with Mexico's Senate recently approving a nonbinding resolution asking for the country to suspend participation in ACTA, while key members of the European Parliament have also expressed skepticism about the deal."

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80 comments

software patent liability for ISPs? (4, Interesting)

ciaran_o_riordan (662132) | more than 3 years ago | (#33834614)

For software patents, the key thing to check is if ISPs will have liability for not removing stuff that a patent holder claims violates his patents. If that's still there, then we'll get DMCA take-down notices for software patents. More on the problem here:

* http://en.swpat.org/wiki/ACTA_and_software_patents [swpat.org]

* http://en.swpat.org/wiki/Anti-Counterfeiting_Trade_Agreement_overview [swpat.org]

Doesn't look too bad - right? (2, Interesting)

ciaran_o_riordan (662132) | more than 3 years ago | (#33834694)

First line of page 8. The general worry would be that patent holders would gain the power to, by sending a letter, turn ISPs or other parts of the distribution chain from innocent bystanders into entities that are "knowingly" taking part in the infringement. But, this text doesn't look too worrying - anyone agree/disagree?

Each Party shall provide that in civil judicial proceedings, its judicial authorities shall have the authority to order the infringer who knowingly or with reasonable grounds to know, engaged in infringing activity of intellectual property rights, to pay the right holder damages adequate to compensate for the injury the right holder has suffered as a result of the infringement.

Also good news is that the whole part ("Section 2") might explicitly exclude patents altogether, if the USA's footnote is approved: (end of page 6)

{US: For the purpose of this Agreement, Parties agree that patents do not fall within the scope of this Section.}

What other parts need scrutiny?

Re:Doesn't look too bad - right? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33834740)

Stupid niggers and their stupid copyright.

Re:Doesn't look too bad - right? (1)

chomsky68 (1719996) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835044)

Each Party shall provide that in civil judicial proceedings, its judicial authorities shall have the authority to order the infringer who knowingly or with reasonable grounds to know, engaged in infringing activity of intellectual property rights, to pay the right holder damages adequate to compensate for the injury the right holder has suffered as a result of the infringement.

IANAL but doesn't that basically says that if you're an ISP and you let, for example torrent activity happen on your netwok, then you can also be held responsible and made to cough up some dough? Most

infringing activity of intellectual property rights

happens through torrent these days, right?

Re:Doesn't look too bad - right? (1)

ciaran_o_riordan (662132) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835212)

It depends. In the EU, ISPs are protected by "mere conduit" status which says they're not responsible for everything that flows through their wires. I have a vague recollection that there is similar in the USA's DMCA. So ISPs aren't engaged in any infringing activity, so this part of ACTA doesn't apply to them.

Re:Doesn't look too bad - right? (1)

chomsky68 (1719996) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835368)

At the moment ISPs aren't in the EU, I am aware of that. What I was trying to suggest here is that as soon as ACTA is implemented, ISPs could be held at court by the above rule. But as I said IANAL hence I was just popping a question rather then stating a fact.

Re:Doesn't look too bad - right? (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835844)

What other parts need scrutiny?

The entire godawful document, cover to cover.

What we really need is someone to keep up with the most recent proposals and break everything down from legalese into talking points more understandable to the layman. That's how we'll get people to care about it.

Re:Doesn't look too bad - right? (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843220)

{US: For the purpose of this Agreement, Parties agree that patents do not fall within the scope of this Section.}

Patents was one of the sticking points, the US rep wanted to keep patents out but the Mexicans wanted patents in.

I say all of it needs to be revealed to everyone. Of course it won't be because they people would oppose it. Notice how the second article says it's an "executive agreement" instead of a "treaty." [techdirt.com] An agreement doesn't need senate approval.

Falcon

This is no surprise. (-1, Troll)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#33834618)

Both the Repulsicrats and the Demonicans are completely owned by the MafiAA. Why wouldn't they "cave", they never really had any intention of fighting for sanity and consumers' rights in the first place.

Gotta love how Obama had Net Neutrality on his campaign platform and has thrown it under the bus like everything else.

Seriously - Credit card reform got neutered to the point of being worthless, the main "impact" has been a bunch of shitheads in the banks doubling everyone's interest rates before the deadline hit. "Health Care Reform" is now handing out "exceptions" like candy lest big companies like McDonalds throw their employees completely to the wolves. He vetoed a package authored by sleazebags on both sides of the aisle to push for quicker foreclosures and screw the housing market even more, but at the same time hasn't done anything on his promises to reform the system to punish companies who ship jobs overseas and evade taxes.

Welcome to the broken system. Obama ran on "not being Bush" and even got a Nobel for "not being Bush", but looking at what he actually did, Obama == Bush.

Re:This is no surprise. (4, Informative)

inordinate (1403019) | more than 3 years ago | (#33834656)

No, the summary is saying that The US caved to international pressure to take out the "most egregious provisions" from ACTA.

Re:This is no surprise. (1)

gorzek (647352) | more than 3 years ago | (#33834972)

Good news, as far as I'm concerned. Wouldn't it be ironic if other, more sane countries started exerting international pressure on the US to get rid of some of our more draconian copyright and patent regulations? That'd be a hoot.

Re:This is no surprise. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33835300)

I agree, the summary could be more clear.

It's good news for people in general. All these provisions, as with the provisions in most bills, are a mechanism to transfer power from the people to governments and corporations. Our only recourse (while we still have it) is to shrink these organizations.

VOTE YOUR GOVERNMENT SMALLER.

Re:This is no surprise. (2, Informative)

Pteraspidomorphi (1651293) | more than 3 years ago | (#33834660)

The US was the one pushing all those things (and Japan)Them caving means they agreed to remove all those silly provisions due to pressure from other countries (EU, Canada, Mexico, etc.)

Other way 'round (3, Insightful)

Brown (36659) | more than 3 years ago | (#33834680)

I think you've misunderstood the sense of the "cave" - it was the US government that was pushing for the more draconian measures (the RIAA/MPAA line), not for sanity and consumers' rights in the first place. The "cave" is in fact an acceptance that the rest of the world thinks that the DMCA-like measures etc are dangerous/stupid.

In other words, this looks like a (partial) victory for the people.

Re:Other way 'round (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33841830)

You forget that the rest of the great unwashed mass have to get together to help the "land of the free" stay free.

Says alot about the "land of the free" if you have the least freedom in certain aspects (DMCA and the like), compared to the rest of the world. In some ways, alot of the 3rd world countries seem to be alot more free than you guys.

Captcha : tyranny.

How apt, lol.

The fix it! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33834730)

If you think the system is broken, then join the people working to fundamentally change it at the core. [metagovernment.org]

It is either that, or continue to complain but have absolutely no effect whatsoever. Which is preferable?

MPAA news (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835462)

One thing your representative democracy [metagovernment.org] page fails to mention as of right now is the news media's conflict of interest. Candidates for legislative positions in a representative democracy use the news media to reach their constituents. However, the news media are under the same ownership as publishers of fictional entertainment products. All the major broadcast TV networks and cable news networks share a corporate parent or controlling investor with one of five MPAA studios [pineight.com] This means a candidate who advocates correcting the imbalance in copyright won't get heard because any company that reports on his platform would endanger its own profitability.

nah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33834890)

Obama == Bush

I will disagree. One of the two speaks in complete sentences. :P

Re:nah (0, Offtopic)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#33834962)

I will disagree. One of the two speaks in complete sentences. :P

Only when assisted by teleprompter... the rest of the time he's got more "err umm ahh" than Diamond Joe Quimby.

Re:nah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33838074)

I have a vision of a better tomorrow, where (teleprompter system status error: code 71992$*(*%(##&*@@@@@@ NO CARRIER) ...ummmmm, we will, errrrrrrr, know, uhhhhhhh, errrrrrr, know what, ummmmmmm, how it can be, errrrrrr...

Re:This is no surprise. (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835026)

Aww, how cute, he thought the government were fighting for his rights and then gave in!

Quite the opposite dear fellow, they were trying to shaft you with an even bigger rod and haven't managed to get their way 100%. Yet.

big companies just dont to pay for Health Care now (2, Interesting)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835110)

big companies just don't to pay for Health Care now but in 2014 then people will have more choice.
But how can the big McDonalds have so much over head in there min med plan? and THE Republican ARE THE ONES who WANT TO KILL THE Health Care bill so ANY THING CAN BE A pre existing conditions so if you get sick and run up a big bill they have a way out. SELL OVER STATE LINE will just lead to ONE STATE being the only place to get Health Care and it will be the one that lets them have lowers forced stuff they must cover with no price control.

and the Republican are the ones WHO VOTED DOWN THE punish companies who ship jobs overseas bill!

LOL, they'll be back! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33834628)

Don't worry, guys, those provisions will be back soon enough in some other "agreement"!

Re:LOL, they'll be back! (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835102)

Yup, and it'll probably be in a treaty about fisheries. Or corn subsidies.

still need to kill it (5, Insightful)

j0nb0y (107699) | more than 3 years ago | (#33834672)

We can't have secret treaties become law in democratic countries. It would be the end of democracy as we know it.

Re:still need to kill it (1)

tehniobium (1042240) | more than 3 years ago | (#33834762)

Big agree there, I really don't understand why even the draft phases of a law would be kept secret from the citizens it is intended to be applied to.

Re:still need to kill it (3, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835068)

Big agree there, I really don't understand why even the draft phases of a law would be kept secret from the citizens it is intended to be applied to.

So the citizens don't have a chance to say they don't agree with the law until things they are already doing become illegal?

Basically it's eroding any actual "fair use" that anybody ever had, and making it so that you more or less need the permission of media companies to use the internet or own a computer. If they don't like you, they'll take it away from you.

People don't actually want the provisions in this awful treaty, and it makes no sense whatsoever for every government in the world to be clerks for copyright holders. This really does subjugate personal/government interests to those of corporations.

Re:still need to kill it (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 3 years ago | (#33856264)

This really does subjugate personal/government interests to those of corporations.

And prisons. Which are mostly now corporations.

Re:still need to kill it (2, Informative)

KarrdeSW (996917) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835282)

The same reasons that the text of Bills in Congress is often kept closely guarded for months or years until the Bill is formally introduced:

1) Politicians don't want to tout a bill that lowers taxes and saves puppies only to have the puppy provision removed before the Bill reaches a committee. At least if the committee removes it he has someone else to blame.

2) Politicians also don't want to deal with the blowback for unpopular pieces of a bill until they know it actually has to be in there.

This thing is taking years to draft and refine, why would anyone want to be blamed for text that may never make the final version?

Keep in mind that my answer to your question still supports the notion that politicians suck. I do not mean to say their secrecy is justified, merely that there is a reason for it.

Much of these same principles apply to treaties. Either way, at least in the US, the Senate has to ratify any treaty (by two thirds no less) that the President signs. It's not like this could easily be snuck in overnight.

Re:still need to kill it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33835764)

How did that scam with attached riders go again?

Re:still need to kill it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33840338)

Because these are laws written by and for corporations, not for the public safety, liberty, etc of the citizens. How else do you enact laws that are not in the citizens' best interests?

Democracy is already dead. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33834770)

In fact, it was never alive. Representative Republics are not Democracies. Frankly, Democracy should scare the hell out of you. Do you want the people watching Jersey Shore directly enforcing their will upon you?

The picking of nits aside... I'm starting to believe the loonies who buy tons of desolate land and huddle in their basements while armed with enough firepower to end any zombie uprising aren't so crazy. Yes, yes, so it's not the UN attempting to eliminate our sovereignty; it's something far, far worse - the MPAA and RIAA.

Re:Democracy is already dead. (2, Informative)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#33839798)

It's only the US which has this peculiar "republic not a democracy" interpretaton. In the rest of the world, we've long been using the word "democracy" to mean any political system where people vote in free and fair elections, clarifying it as needed - i.e. US is a representative democracy, Greek city-states were direct democracies, etc.

Re:Democracy is already dead. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33840312)

The scary part of direct democracy is the rule of the majority.

But if you look at modern, internet-based direct democracy [metagovernment.org] , you need not fear the tyranny of the Jersey-Shore'ers.

Re:still need to kill it (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33834796)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategic_Arms_Limitation_Talks [wikipedia.org]

Those were held in secret. We *knew* they were going on. But until they big flourish of signing the things we didnt really know what was in them.

Secrecy has its place (such as in the salt talks exactly what you were working on and how much of everything you had). But in the case of copyright negotiations? Come on...

Also correct me if I am wrong here but wasnt the DMCA because of a treaty? Yet suddenly all the other countries do not want it. So why exactly did we in the US get stuck with harsher rules? These are questions we should be asking our senators and congressmen.

Re:still need to kill it (1)

VanessaE (970834) | more than 3 years ago | (#33836134)

Also correct me if I am wrong here but wasnt the DMCA because of a treaty? Yet suddenly all the other countries do not want it. So why exactly did we in the US get stuck with harsher rules?

I don't have the time to research it, but as a guess, I'd say you answered your own question without realizing it. The rules ended up so harsh here because of pressure from the likes of the RIAA and other media organizations to make them that way, then got signed into law. After years and years of 'field testing' the DMCA, the leaders of the various countries who intend to be a part of the ACTA have probably also realized, to at least some degree, how bad of an idea laws that harsh really are.

Given that hindsight is, as they say, 20/20, what leader/governing body (outside the US anyway) wants to be known for ratifying such a treaty now?

Re:still need to kill it (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 3 years ago | (#33837818)

what leader/governing body (outside the US anyway) wants to be known for ratifying such a treaty now?

The French brought HADOPI into force, I could see them supporting ACTA.

Re:still need to kill it (1)

rajeevrk (1278022) | more than 3 years ago | (#33839280)

The French brought HADOPI into force, I could see them supporting ACTA.

Ooh, and that is going really well round there, isnt it :)

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/10/08/0051245/French-ISP-Refuses-To-Send-Out-Infringement-Notices

/me thinks the world is somehow becoming a wee bit more sane :D

Re:still need to kill it (2, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#33837120)

I think the difference is that most treaties affect the signing countries at a government level, whereas ACTA affects the signatories at an individual level; i.e. there are provisions in that treaty which will require many hundreds of thousands of individuals to change their behavior or face punishment. Yes, Arms Limitation obviously affects all the individuals in a country, but it doesn't take cooperation on an individual or corporate level to follow the treaty, nor is there punishment on an individual or corporate level.

Re:still need to kill it (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33834856)

We can't have secret treaties become law in democratic countries. It would be the end of democracy as we know it.

Democracy has been getting ass raped by corporations and lobbyists for years.

Governments are more than willing to trash democratic principles and legal freedoms in the name of "national security" and "fighting terrorism" bogeymen. They have secret negotiations where they won't tell us what happened, but expect us to live with the outcome.

At any given time, mankind is only a few months away from completely devolving into uncivilized barbarians. A significant portion of the worlds populace doesn't want you to have freedom if it means there is any chance you might offend their religion.

We're all fucked, embrace the horror and ride the rocket all the way in.

Fuck the world.

Re:still need to kill it (3, Insightful)

kill-1 (36256) | more than 3 years ago | (#33834964)

Yes, we really have to teach people what "res publica" means.

Re:still need to kill it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33835682)

Last time it was used as two separate words it meant "stuff that Divus Caesar Augustus wants".

Re:still need to kill it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33838740)

Maybe you could start by explaining what "res publica" means.

Re:still need to kill it (5, Insightful)

C0vardeAn0nim0 (232451) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835532)

demacracy is failling, that's why.

as the wealth gap between the poorest and the richer becomes wider, the developed nations are moving towards a form of corporate feudalism, where the general population becomes serfs of large conglomerates, subject to their rules, whose objective is to syphon money and power to themselfs, leaving to the people barelly enough to stay alive an feeding the corporate lords.

it's not paranoia or a conspiracy theory, is just how i see it, so feel free to disagree.

my rationale id that big money doesn't like democracy, they like money and power. mostly because power allows them to earn even more money, and both can become an adiction. a well organized democracy, with enlightened voters can be an obstacle to large corporations to earn more money and power, so they try to corrupt it. the result tends to a kind of feudalism.

to avoid this, it takes an educated people to vote for high taxation for large corporations and wealthy citizens. leave them enough to re-invest and create jobs, but not enough to corrupt the sytem. but i don't see this happing anytime soon anywhere in the world.

Re:still need to kill it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33836682)

The concentration of power is a systemic feature of capitalism. Parliamentary democracy and fascism are the political systems of capitalism, which one is active depends on the state of capitalism.

Social Democracy is based on parliamentary democracy and also leads to concentration of power and wealth, only slower and to a slightly lesser degree. Over time the problems will be the same.

You cannot have democracy under capitalism.

Re:still need to kill it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33838186)

my rationale id that big money doesn't like democracy, they like money and power. mostly because power allows them to earn even more money, and both can become an adiction. a well organized democracy, with enlightened voters can be an obstacle to large corporations to earn more money and power, so they try to corrupt it. the result tends to a kind of feudalism.

to avoid this, it takes an educated people to vote for high taxation for large corporations and wealthy citizens. leave them enough to re-invest and create jobs, but not enough to corrupt the sytem. but i don't see this happing anytime soon anywhere in the world.

Unless higher tax rates will somehow produce a more educated populace (and they will not), this plan doesn't really solve anything.

Here's an idea (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33834756)

If everyone just ignored the "products" of these big media firms then none of the copyright legislation would have come into existence.

But people want their bread and circuses. Therefore *you* are to blame, not malevolent lobbyists and corrupted politicians.

Re:Here's an idea (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33835020)

There is some truth to this, but it has its limits. Many people HAVE revolted against the big media companies, most stop buying their products, some resorting to internet piracy, some moving to radio (recording/listening). Their response however has been to simply attributed ALL of their losses to internet piracy (oh and embellished those losses beyond all reason), claiming that's why they needed new, invasive measures. Overall I highly doubt that this is over, the ACTA still contains many unpleasant measures (drug patents, software patents, copyright "improvements"). And I am sure that if they get it passed they will eventually try to backdoor in the provisions they have recently removed.

Re:Here's an idea (1)

MacWiz (665750) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843586)

If everyone just ignored the "products" of these big media firms then none of the copyright legislation would have come into existence.

Have you seen the music industry sales figures? Ignoring the products is what brought on the copyright legislation. And the lawsuits.

The less we buy, the more they cry. It can't POSSIBLY be their fault.

Still despicable and unacceptable (4, Insightful)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 3 years ago | (#33834806)

The DMCA stuff was merely the tip of the iceberg. There's still a lot wrong with this document -- like, making just linking to illegal content illegal, the conflation of counterfeiting (trademark law) with copyrights, internet "copyrights" and patents, the way infringement penalties are calculates (as lost sales), border controls on medicines and other products in transit, and let's not forget the despicable way in which the entire thing was written in total secrecy without input from the public (the stakeholders).

I personally refuse to allow ACTA to pass into law (i.e., member countries' laws will need to change, despite earlier claims to the opposite), because not only does it bring even more draconian enforcement of intellectual monopolies (which I disagree with at a philosophical level), but because it sets a terrible precedent that gives politicians and lobbyists even more freedom to take away our freedoms.

Heh, why bother with ACTA when.. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33834824)

http://www.boston.com/business/technology/articles/2010/09/30/democrats_shelve_net_neutrality_plan/

Democrats shelve net neutrality plans: the internet is going to be a very slanted service if Net neutrality legislation doesn't go through..

You won't need ACTA to regulate things.

Follow us to Mordor... (3, Informative)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#33834860)

Aside from all the talk of Intellectual Property rights laws and protectionism, the video game company Turbine and the band Radiohead have a successful 'pay what you want' model that is profitable.
Lord of the Rings online has DOUBLED its revenue since becoming free to play online. You can then pay a-la-carte for upgrades, etc. but you can still play for free if you like.
An interesting business model that may be the the one model to rule them all...
http://www.joystiq.com/2010/10/07/lord-of-the-rings-online-doubles-revenue-since-going-free-to-pla/ [joystiq.com]

Re:Follow us to Mordor... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33835014)

Agreed.

Wolfire games released six games into FOSS and just asked people to donate whatever they felt was deserved. They ended up making more money than they would have if they had sold the games to the same number of people for a set price.

Just more proof that a "pay what you want" model actually works.

Re:Follow us to Mordor... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33835804)

I'll second that. I played LOTRO in beta and liked it, but just didn't want to pay the monthly subscription and as such eventually forgot about it. Fast forward to this past September when it went free to play. I started playing again out of curiosity to see what had changed since beta and less than a month later I decided to get a subscription as I was enjoying the game.

Turbine got me to pony up the monthly subscription simply by having a good product (imho) and letting me try it out with relatively few strings attached. Also, if I decide to cancel the subscription but still want to play I can do so with only some minor limitations being imposed. Being able to adjust how much I think the game is worth and not completely locking me out if I decide it isn't worth as much anymore is what sold me.

free play (2, Interesting)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843316)

Aside from all the talk of Intellectual Property rights laws and protectionism, the video game company Turbine and the band Radiohead have a successful 'pay what you want' model that is profitable.

The Grateful Dead [wikipedia.org] , who John Perry Barlow [wikipedia.org] one of the founders of EFF was a lyricist for, allowed concert goers to record their music.

Falcon

Kill it (4, Insightful)

mbone (558574) | more than 3 years ago | (#33834942)

As a "non-treaty treaty" negotiated in secret without any attempt at public accountability or a public vote of adoption, ACTA represents an abuse of process and should be opposed even if all it did was support Motherhood and Apple Pie.

Re:Kill it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33835286)

I can't help but agree. If there was ever a sign that the corporate world runs the US government, and NOT the people, it is the way that this treaty was crafted to serve their interests and the way they treated public interest as a 'nuisance' to getting their desired outcome.

Re:Kill it (2, Funny)

grahamd0 (1129971) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835304)

As a "non-treaty treaty" negotiated in secret without any attempt at public accountability or a public vote of adoption, ACTA represents an abuse of process and should be opposed even if all it did was support Motherhood and Apple Pie.

At first I read that as "Motörhead and Apple Pie" and was thinking that sounded like a pretty awesome treaty.

What. (2, Insightful)

Rydia (556444) | more than 3 years ago | (#33834948)

The submitter is talking about takedown provisions as "egregious." Considering the alternative to a takedown notice is just opening up with a lawsuit, I'm not sure what about it is so evilly anti-consumer.

Re:What. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33835022)

The DMCA is quite draconian, and routinely exploited for censorship purposes to stifle free speech and open competition. Takedown provisions are not only anti-consumer, but also anti-free speech. Lawsuits are worse, so that leaves us between a rock and a hard place... It means we must have gone wrong somewhere else down the line, so we must back-track, repeal ("re-peel back") the latest copyright acts and work our way from there.

Re:What. (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835310)

You missed the other alternative: artists and publishers are forced to allow pirates to screw them and their paying customers over. All else is evil by comparison.

Re:What. (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843330)

Considering the alternative to a takedown notice is just opening up with a lawsuit, I'm not sure what about it is so evilly anti-consumer.

If your ISP is served a take-down notice because of what you uploaded, you have to prove you have the right to do so. If however a lawsuit is required they have to prove you're guilty. Personally I prefer innocent until proven guilty.

Falcon

Senseless agreements (1)

monsted (6709) | more than 3 years ago | (#33834996)

Unfortunately, i suspect that they specifically made it completely crazy so they could "cave" on a few horrible points and get the rest of the senseless agreement through.

Don't stop writing your congresscritters, MEPs or whoever else will (pretend to) listen!

Injecting some common sense into the proceedings (1)

zuki (845560) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835046)

Might this be a rare case of cooler heads having prevailed? One would certainly hope so, but that's probably not the real reason.

Regardless of what caused this backtracking, with the economy in the toilet, deterioration conditions in Afghanistan and a few other really urgent considerations like the upcoming mid-term elections, could the Obama administration have decided to pick battles to fight that will actually matter?

wax off, wane on (1)

Essequemodeia (1030028) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835144)

It kills me to realize that US power and influence is justifiably minuscule. My cun (-try) my cun (same), what have we done. But we're such a noble country. We invaded Iraq to unseat a ruthless tyrant. Is it our fault we didn't bother to formulate a plan that dealt with protecting the Iraqi people after the collapse of their government? We gotta do every little thing? It's not our fault we lied about intelligence reports and totally made up a pretense to justify invading a country that had absolutely nothing to do with the assault on the Twin Towers. So we undermined the leadership of so many countries in order to prop up pro-US leaders. What me worry. I just don't understand why the US isn't worshiped as a god. Like, totally.

Re:wax off, wane on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33835614)

Look on the bright side. The whole affair only cost 1.1 trillion dollars and tens of thousands of lives.

To put that in perspective, if you split the figure between all Iraqis you would be emparting every man woman and child with $35,100.

That's 30 years' wages in Iraq.

Didn't take out the most egregious part (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835196)

They took out some parts related to fighting piracy (e.g. disconnecting pirates) but left the parts that are the least related to piracy and has the greatest impact on non-pirate-related uses:

when it comes to tools for doing the circumventing, these are broadly banned, even where some limited uses might be legal. This appears to set up a situation in which an ACTA signatory could allow people to bypass DRM to make backups or exercise fair use rights, but could not allow distribution of the tools to help them do it.

So still: you can't make or sell a Bluray player, a cable box, etc. You'll be allowed to use these devices (except in US) but there won't be any legal way to get to the point of having one. Lame.

If your country adopts ACTA as it is, your country is still going to adopt the very worst part of DMCA.

Re:Didn't take out the most egregious part (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835406)

Some Australia's seem happy about the 'we are safe' parts.
http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/363561/updated_internet_industry_australia_backs_new_acta_draft/ [computerworld.com.au]
As you noted, we are going to get the very worst part of DMCA.
No more consumer protections from the next gen dvd region codes ect.
Be fun to see what Australia tries for a "adequate legal protection and effective legal remedies" effort, could an ISP level filter help?

Here's a common tactic (5, Insightful)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835254)

Pitch something completely ridiculous and unacceptable instead of what you actually want. Tone it down gradually. Congratulations, now your awful idea is a compromise and a relief rather than an outrage.

A Nice Chat About Software Patents Too (1)

ardeez (1614603) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835562)

Would be nice if other countries also requested that at least a review of the validity and viability of software patents in the US be undertaken by the
US govt. as part of their ACTA negotiations too.

The rest of the world doesn't need that nonsense polluting our status books as well, so dealing the whole thing a blow
at the mother lode would certainly be a useful thing to do whilst there's a bargaining chip on the table.

Which US representative will sign this? (2, Interesting)

rcb1974 (654474) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835592)

Will someone please tell me which of our elected US representatives plan to sign this? I want to know so that I will never vote for them and so that I can encourage all my friends and family to never vote for them.

Stupid question :) (2, Insightful)

disi (1465053) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835712)

Do you think we ever make it past those policticans that punish us with laws?

New laws are very rarely, if any, removed once implemented. There is no way back after they did this to us. I am wondering if we are still allowed to watch DVD on Linux O.o since it is forbidden to circumvent protection technologies.

New laws (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843376)

are very rarely, if any, removed once implemented.

That brings up one of the few things I liked in the Republicans' Pledge to America [gop.gov] . It included this: "We will adhere to the Constitution and require every bill to cite its specific Constitutional Authority". I thought it also included a sunset clause for new laws, new laws would only be for a certain amount of tyme before they expired or were approved again, but I didn't find it this tyme.

Falcon

Worthless (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#33839080)

The ACTA, like all other anti-piracy bills/treaties, is completely worthless. What will this do? Take away rights from the average citizens while pirates, as usual, find ways around these 'protective measures'. Going after people who don't hurt anyone to begin with and taking away rights from everyone is simply idiotic. Too bad the general public barely knows how to work a television remote, or perhaps they'd see the idiocy in this and do something about it.

Action legal, but not the tools (1)

mgiuca (1040724) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843314)

Sadly, when it comes to tools for doing the circumventing, these are broadly banned, even where some limited uses might be legal. This appears to set up a situation in which an ACTA signatory could allow people to bypass DRM to make backups or exercise fair use rights, but could not allow distribution of the tools to help them do it.

That right there is the reason why we have to fight it. If they say "it's legal to circumvent DRM, but not to distribute tools to do it," then we'll have no ability to do so. We can circumvent DRM today, but only because other people have collaboratively written software to do so. This is equivalent to passing a law which says "it is legal to toast bread, but illegal to sell a toaster."

(Sorry to the US citizens who already have the DMCA ... I'm in Australia and we have enough problems [efa.org.au] without this to deal with.)

Acta be gone (1)

lsatenstein (949458) | more than 3 years ago | (#33852890)

It seems that the strong lobbyists are learning the limits of common sense. Canada's legislature is being hit by thousands of signatures asking / demanding that Canada not pursue the ACTA requirements, and that the status quo is already too demanding. We do write-ins to provide sensible feedback to our law and policy makers. The Canadian government was shown to be an Axx licker to whatever the USA did in the areas of copyright, freedom of expression, patents, etc. Our prime-minister is a conceited individual who listens only to American Ideas even if they are different from his own. His leadership has polaraized this great country. Can't wait for him to be replaced.

Good day for Liberty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33857462)

Land of The Free Corporation(tm)

Seriously, how do you think Europe is freer than North America?

My god, even Mexico, long time the bitch of the USA, is opting out of this insanity. What a shame for the free world that North Americans did not stand up to the madness. Guess they are not good for fighting for liberty anymore. Ah, the troubles of too much money: you attract the sickest and the stupidest.

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