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Proposed Final ACTA Text Published

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the oh-honey-let's-do-some-actas dept.

Government 148

ciaran_o_riordan writes "The US Trade Representative has published a text which, subject only to a last legal review, is proposed to be the final text of ACTA. The differences between this text and last month's, from the Tokyo round, are mostly cosmetic but there's an important positive change giving signatories the option of excluding patents from section 2. As for software patents, most harm has been avoided. If signatories make use of the section 2 exclusion option, there might be no harm at all. Lobbying for this will be important. Meanwhile, the many problems regarding Digital Restrictions Management, and the extra powers given to businesses to obtain personal and identifying information about accused copyright infringers "in the Digital Environment" are still there (mostly section 5). Earlier texts were much worse. The improvements in recent months are surely due to public outcry, leaving us indebted to the anonymous friends who scanned and leaked the various secret versions and the activists who made text versions and spread them across the Internet. There's a chance we can still influence the text in this legal review phase, but the bigger task ahead will be working on the national implementations. It's not yet clear what procedure the US will require for its own ratification."

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No problem here (2, Insightful)

rastoboy29 (807168) | more than 2 years ago | (#34248784)

The U.S. Senate simply needs to not ratify it.

Right?

Hopenchange! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34248844)

If you didn't vote Republican in 2008, you asked for this.

idiot (2, Informative)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#34248860)

acta proceedings were prepared during bush years, with republican senate and house. it was well underway in 2006 when democrats got the houses. and it was already being negotiated in 2008. not that it would matter much, since democrats are too in the pockets of the private interests. but, the head of the snake, were republicans.

they shaped this.

Re:idiot (3, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#34249010)

Now, now you two. There's enough blame to go around.

Re:idiot (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34249088)

Yeah, it is not like the DMCA didn't get support from both sides of the Democratic-Republican Party too.

Re:idiot (4, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 2 years ago | (#34249184)

No, large patent holders shaped this. Politicians, democrat and republican alike, that had little idea what any of it meant, took their money and happily let it go on through. As Ralph Nader once wisely said, our two party system is a two headed dragon. There is no difference between the two parties. People like you who seem to think the democrats are somehow less corrupt are causing the problem more than the people that vote republican.

and (-1, Redundant)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#34249370)

your point ?

You fucking turd. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34249478)

Get a life.
Go away.
Slashdot does not need homosexuals like you prancing around.
You should be ashamed of yourself.

Re:idiot (3, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | more than 2 years ago | (#34249750)

acta proceedings were prepared during bush years, with republican senate and house. it was well underway in 2006 when democrats got the houses. and it was already being negotiated in 2008. not that it would matter much, since democrats are too in the pockets of the private interests. but, the head of the snake, were republicans.

I think it might be more accurate to say the head of the snake were politicians.

Because you know... ACTA and more powerful, more draconian, more extensive copyright and business method/software patent protections are one of the few things there is bipartisan support for.

The fangs of the snake will be whatever president signs ACTA, if it gets signed. Because the clincher is approving the rule -- no matter who drafted it

And no... neither republicans nor democrats "really" decided what should go in it. This was done by corporations that have become scarily powerful, so scarily powerful they can apparently buy enough supporters now to get whatever laws they want.

The opposition who aren't getting their numbers artificially increased by corporations paying people, don't really stand a chance, unless there is a full-blown revolt by the masses.

Re:Hopenchange! (1)

tagno25 (1518033) | more than 2 years ago | (#34249120)

If you didn't vote independent (or 3rd party) in 2008, you asked for this.

Re:Hopenchange! (3, Insightful)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 2 years ago | (#34249546)

I voted Independent in 2000.

In Florida.

My bad.

Re:Hopenchange! (1, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#34251296)

Don't blame yourself, the guy that people think would have been better than GWB couldn't even manage to win his home state.....

Re:Hopenchange! (3, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 2 years ago | (#34249330)

If you didn't vote Republican in 2008, you asked for this.

I've found that...

If you voted you asked for this.
If you didn't vote you are responsible for letting it happen.

is true of about 2/3rds of what the governement does... if not more.

Re:Hopenchange! (3, Insightful)

FiloEleven (602040) | more than 2 years ago | (#34249720)

Aww, isn't that cute? The little AC still thinks he has a major party looking out for his interests!

Re:Hopenchange! (2, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34249982)

Both the major parties are looking out for his interests, in the hope that they can appropriate any that he has left.

Re:No problem here (3, Informative)

robinsonne (952701) | more than 2 years ago | (#34248848)

I'm pretty sure the Senate will ratify whatever their corporate overlords tell them to. And I don't care if previous texts were much worse....that doesn't change the fact that ACTA sucks.

Re:No problem here (4, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#34248908)

Not if you get on them HARD right now.

Many in the Senate are still stinging from the voter rebuke that just occurred, and the rest are not in a mood to pick a fight with the voters.

The entire thing should simply be rejected due to the excessive secrecy with which it was negotiated. Even if this treaty gave a gold brick to every citizen, capped punishment at one dollar and 50 cents, and baked you pies every Wednesday, the mere fact that they had to build a world wide conspiracy of silence to try to get this one over means it should be Dead On Arrival in the Senate.

But I suspect it might never go to the Senate. Obama will simply try to impose it by edict as a "trade agreement" without treaty status.

Treaties modify the US Constitution. People have to realize that.

Re:No problem here (4, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 2 years ago | (#34249042)

Treaties modify the US Constitution. People have to realize that.

No, people don't need to realize that, since its not true.

The Constitution, treaties ratified by the Senate, and federal laws adopted under the authority granted by the Constitution together form the "supreme law of the land", superceding the constitution and laws of the states (U.S. Const, Art. VI) but the only thing that modifies the U.S. Constitution is amendments to the Constitution adopted under Article V.

Putting falsehoods in bold print doesn't make them true.

Re:No problem here (4, Informative)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#34249176)

The "Supremacy Clause" of the U.S. Constitution is contained in Article VI:

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

So your own citation proves you wrong.

Re:No problem here (2, Informative)

Tauvix (97917) | more than 2 years ago | (#34249380)

Not so. The text that you put in boldface does not indicate that the Constitution itself is changed, just that it is overridden. There is a subtle difference. For example, if a treaty expires, or is overturned by the courts, or deratified by Congress, any laws that it put into place that override the Constitution are null, and the Constitution takes over.

Re:No problem here (1, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#34249480)

While in effect, Treaties are the same as amendments.

They CHANGE the Constitution.

The fact that Amendments and Treaties can be repealed does not change that fact.

Amendments and Treaties carry the full force of the Constitution. They become a part of the constitution.

Re:No problem here (3, Informative)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34250400)

While in effect, Treaties are the same as amendments.

They CHANGE the Constitution.

Saying that, even putting "change" in all caps, doesn't make its so. Treaties don't change anything. Treaties, taken along with federal laws and the federal Constitution, supercede state laws and state constitutions and are binding on state judges. That's all the Supremacy Clause says.

Amendments and Treaties carry the full force of the Constitution. They become a part of the constitution.

Wrong. Amendments under Article V change the Constitution. Treaties don't change the Constitution any more than regular laws passed by Congress do, and there is nothing in the Constitution that suggests otherwise.

Re:No problem here (0)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#34249588)

The text that you put in boldface does not indicate that the Constitution itself is changed, just that it is overridden.

It doesn't even say that. It merely says that all state judges are beholden to the "supreme law of the land".

Re:No problem here (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 2 years ago | (#34249976)

I bet the Enterprise could beat the Constitution.

Re:No problem here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34250074)

There isn't a -1: Moot nitpicking so I'm modding you overrated,

Treaties remove freedoms from the legal environment that people expected to be protected under their constitution.

Re:No problem here (4, Informative)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | more than 3 years ago | (#34250370)

It doesn't even indicate that the Constitution is overridden. It just says that the U.S. Constitution, the national laws which implement it, and national treaties, taken together, override state constitutions and state laws. It doesn't spell out any particular precedence between the various national elements. Based on just the quoted text, the U.S Constitution could still take precedence over treaties. After all, it certainly takes precedence over national laws, which are part of the same list.

Re:No problem here (2, Informative)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 3 years ago | (#34250578)

Not so. The text that you put in boldface does not indicate that the Constitution itself is changed, just that it is overridden. There is a subtle difference. For example, if a treaty expires, or is overturned by the courts, or deratified by Congress, any laws that it put into place that override the Constitution are null, and the Constitution takes over.

No, the text does not even state that the Constitution is overridden.

It states that both the Constitution and the treaties are the supreme law of the land. When the two are in contention, the Constitution is unclear on which one (Constitution or treaty) has priority.
But seeing as how the Constitution came first, all potential treaties, which have to be approved by Congress, would be struck down before coming into effect.

The fact that we let shit get through and result in an ambiguous state (not knowing which prevails) is not a bug in the design, but in the implementation (shitty politicians).

The Constitution, which precedes all treaties the nation could possibly enter into, blocks any and all unconstitutional treaties from being signed. The supremacy clause's reference to treaties merely grants Congress designate rights to foreign countries. If we entered a treaty to allow ourselves to be ruled by a foreign nation, the only powers that nation could be granted would be those that are granted to Congress in the Constitution.

This isn't fucking Magic the Gathering - you can't release a game-breaking new card that breaks all the rules and then point to the "When in doubt, the text on the card is correct." rule. The Constitution elevates the text of a treaty to the same level as the Constitution itself - this is like treating the text on the card as a game rule. The Constitution also requires that all treaties be approved by a Congress with limited and specific powers. Wizards of the Coast can print and release whatever fucking cards they want, but Congress cannot legally approve any treaties they want.

The Constitution is neither altered nor overridden by any treaty the Congress passes. All treaties passed by Congress must be in agreement with the Constitution. Any treaty passed that violates the Constitution should not have been passed, and the game state must be rolled back to correct the error.

Re:No problem here (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#34249558)

and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

That doesn't say that treaties override the Constitution. Instead it says that the "supreme law of the land", which includes treaties, overrides the judicial power of any state.

Re:No problem here (1)

ChromaticDragon (1034458) | more than 2 years ago | (#34249638)

Isn't the text you copied EXACTLY what the GP said?

Are you interpreting the "Constitution" in "Constitution or Laws of any State" to mean the US Constitution? Wouldn't it be a much more straightforward interpretation that this is referring to state constitutions?

You seem to be suggesting this reads basically:

This [United States] Constitution and [laws and treaties] ... shall be the supreme law of the land ... no matter what the [United States] Constitution and any State law says.

The overall context and purpose of that sentence seems to make it patently clear that is rather "{Constitution or Laws} of any State".

Re:No problem here (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#34249734)

The overall context and purpose of that sentence seems to make it patently clear that is rather "{Constitution or Laws} of any State".

No, because there were no State Constitutions. There was only one State Constitution [wikipedia.org] (MASS) predating the US Constitution.
Most states still had Charters. It did not become in vogue to have a Constitution until AFTER the US Constitution 1789 ratification date.

The words "The Constitution" everywhere else in The Constitution refer to the Constitution of the United States (as proposed).

Re:No problem here (2, Insightful)

jcwayne (995747) | more than 3 years ago | (#34250140)

No, because there were no State Constitutions. There was only one State Constitution [wikipedia.org] (MASS) predating the US Constitution.
Most states still had Charters.

Um, no. The Wikipedia article you linked to lists the effective date of the current constitution of each state; however, many of the early states have rewritten their constitutions over time. According to Yale Law School [yale.edu] 10 of the original 13 colonies adopted constitutions in 1776-7, on recommendation of the Continental Congress.

The words "The Constitution" everywhere else in The Constitution refer to the Constitution of the United States (as proposed).

The words "The Constitution" only appear twice in the Constitution. First in the presidential oath of office and again in the clause at issue. The term "this Constitution" appears 12 times, including 4 times in Article VI alone.

While the wording does require careful reading, it clearly should be read as "the Constitution [of any State] or Laws of any State."

Re:No problem here (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34250448)

The words "The Constitution" everywhere else in The Constitution refer to the Constitution of the United States (as proposed).

If you take the words "any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding" in Article VI to mean "any Thing in the Constitution [of the United States] or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding" rather than the more obvious "any Thing in the (Constitution or Laws) of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding", then you have to believe that it means that not only do ratified treaties become part of the Constitution, so do laws passed by Congress.

However, this is quite clearly contrary to the intent of the framers, and is, also quite clearly, not the way the Constitution has ever been applied with regard either to treaties or federal statute law. It is true neither in any widely accepted theory of the Constitution, nor in practice, and I'd say its pretty clearly not the intent of the phrase.

Re:No problem here (1)

Tacvek (948259) | more than 2 years ago | (#34249712)

That clause says the Constitution, federal laws, and treaties overrule state constitutions and law. to interpret that last "Constitution" to mean the Federal Constitution would require that Federal Laws override the Federal Constitution, which is absurd.

Re:No problem here (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#34249872)

The effect of treaties is to amend the constitution.
A ratified treaty holds the same sway as an ammendment.

Argue ans split hairs all you want, the fact remains that the Supreme Court has yet to hold a treaty unconstitutional [asil.org] .

It has NEVER happened.

Therefore, The point remains that if this treaty is ratified, we are stuck with it just as much as we were stuck with any other amendment to our constitution, until repealed. If any provision violates our Constitution, history has demonstrated in EVERY instance that the Treaty will hold sway.

 

Re:No problem here (2)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34250534)

The effect of treaties is to amend the constitution.

No, it is not.

A ratified treaty holds the same sway as an ammendment.

No, it doesn't. The Supreme Court has ruled on many occasions, e.g., that a simple federal statute can abrogate a treaty (just as it can repeal a law.) Federal statutes cannot remove Constitutional amendments. A ratified treaty, then, has priority similar to that of federal statute law, but not the greater priority of a Constitutional provision.

Argue ans split hairs all you want, the fact remains that the Supreme Court has yet to hold a treaty unconstitutional [asil.org].

It has NEVER happened.

Therefore, The point remains that if this treaty is ratified, we are stuck with it just as much as we were stuck with any other amendment to our constitution, until repealed.

Your own source for the point about no treaty yet being struck down disagrees with you rather forcefully on that issue. To quote from the document at the link you provided:

At one time there was some doubt whether a treaty (adopted with the consent of two-thirds of the Senate) must comply with the Bill of Rights, and the Supreme Court has yet to hold a treaty unconstitutional. Nevertheless, there is very little doubt that the Court would do so today if a treaty clearly violated the Bill of Rights. Even more certainly, it would hold unconstitutional a Congressional-Executive agreement or a Sole Executive agreement that is inconsistent with the Bill of Rights.

Re:No problem here (4, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34250378)

The "Supremacy Clause" of the U.S. Constitution is contained in Article VI:

Yes, it is. Too bad you don't understand what it says.

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

So your own citation proves you wrong.

No, it proves me right. Let me refresh your memory on what I said, which was:

The Constitution, treaties ratified by the Senate, and federal laws adopted under the authority granted by the Constitution together form the "supreme law of the land", superceding the constitution and laws of the states (U.S. Const, Art. VI)

And -- that's exactly what Article VI says. To avoid any confusion from reading too much at once, and with your oddly placed emphasis, lets break it down. First it defines what the supreme law of the land shall be:

"This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land;"

IOW: The Constititution, federal laws, and ratified treaties are the supreme law of the land.

Then it goes on to say what it means for those things to be the supreme law of the land:

"and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding."

IOW: The things that are defined as "the supreme law of the land" in the first clause (the Constitution, federal laws, and ratified treaties) are binding on State judges and superceded the constitutions and laws of the states.

It does not say that treaties modify or supercede the federal Constitution, any more than it says that federal statute law modifies or supercedes the federal Constititution. It just says that, taken together with the federal Constitution, treaties and federal laws supercede state constitutions and laws, and are binding on state judges.

Re:No problem here (1)

enrevanche (953125) | more than 3 years ago | (#34250444)

In "any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding" refers to the state constitutions not the U.S. Constitution. Neither treaties nor federal laws may be in conflict with the U.S. Constitution. State constitutions and laws are subordinate to the U.S. Constitution, federal laws and treaties.

The U.S. Constitution is supreme over all other legislation.

Re:No problem here (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 3 years ago | (#34250838)

You might want to read this page. [justia.com]

Re:No problem here (1)

randomchicagomac (809764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34250934)

Treaties supercede state constitutions, not the federal constitution. The quoted text demonstrates this, with the "any thing in the constitution . . . of any State" bit.

Re:No problem here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34250000)

Odds are, if Obama is going to sign it, he'll try to keep it as low key as possible, then when the objections start, his lackeys will 'explain' it as just another one of his presidential duties and powers and will red tape any attempts to overturn it.

Re:No problem here (1)

Lanteran (1883836) | more than 2 years ago | (#34249672)

Many in the Senate are still stinging from the voter rebuke that just occurred, and the rest are not in a mood to pick a fight with the voters. The entire thing should simply be rejected due to the excessive secrecy with which it was negotiated. Even if this treaty gave a gold brick to every citizen, capped punishment at one dollar and 50 cents, and baked you pies every Wednesday, the mere fact that they had to build a world wide conspiracy of silence to try to get this one over means it should be Dead On Arrival in the Senate.

You do realize that almost nobody outside of the slashdot crowd (minus other geek cults) has even heard of the ACTA?

Re:No problem here (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#34249742)

Exactly my point.

So tell me why again it should be come law of the land?

Re:No problem here (2, Informative)

ultranova (717540) | more than 3 years ago | (#34251726)

So tell me why again it should be come law of the land?

It's your corporate overlords who want to inflict this on the rest of the world. Why shouldn't you suffer from your own bullshit? Maybe that'll teach you to reign those bulls in, and not let them crap all over the world.

Re:No problem here (3, Informative)

mysidia (191772) | more than 2 years ago | (#34249840)

Treaties modify the US Constitution. People have to realize that.

No. False. What the constitution says is:

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

In other words, these things are the supreme law of land, In this order

  1. The US Constitution
  2. The laws of the United States
  3. all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States

Adopting a treaty doesn't impose any domestic rules, except under the rare circumstances of a self-executing treaty, which does not have power equal to the constitution. The treaty making power does not trump the legislative power of the congress.

And treaties are only valid if signed by the president and ratified by 2/3 majority of the senate.

Re:No problem here (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#34249964)

You will find that self executing treaties are not all that rare, and even non self executing treaties often affect everything up to and including the USC.

But its worse than that, because the Supreme Court has NEVER declared a treaty unconstitutional. EVER [asil.org] .

So a ratified treaty ends up having the same effect as an amendment to the constitution. No judge will rule against it.

Re:No problem here (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#34250608)

Treaties modify the US Constitution. People have to realize that.

No they don't. According to Article VI of the U.S. Constitution says "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding."
This means that treaties override state constitutions not the U.S. Constitution.

Re:No problem here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34251320)

"Not if you get on them HARD right now."

Unless it gets on Fox News, the average American and therefore their congressperson is likely to never know about this nor care about it.

Re:No problem here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34249748)

Na. Too much effort.

Instead they'll do their normal trick of paying it lipservice expecting the rest of the world to implement it, but never actually ratify it themselves.

Re:No problem here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34248856)

Pretty much... if the US doesn't, then there's a good chance nobody else will have incentive to, because the US is sorta like the big bully on the playground who only plays nice with the kids who idolize him and will do everything he says.

Re:No problem here (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#34249084)

Yes, and unfortunately, I fear that our Senators are too stupid or corrupt to pass on it.

Re:No problem here (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#34248926)

True. We should work on lopping off all of our senators' hands and giving them all laryngitis the day of the vote.

Re:No problem here (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#34249220)

Easy peasy. Tell them it's a new tax on REITs.

Re:No problem here (5, Informative)

idontgno (624372) | more than 2 years ago | (#34249728)

I know that Slashdot frowns on this kind of thing, but if you'd followed the last link [american.edu] in TFS, you would have discovered that the US Trade Representative has declared that ACTA will take effect in the US by Executive Order. Why? 'Cuz they said so.

That's right, folks, it's a treaty, but it's not a treaty! So that little part of the U.S. Constitution [wikipedia.org] requiring ratification by the Senate doesn't apply! Really! This is not the treaty you're looking for!

Copyrights? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34248812)

Remember, the original goal of copyright was to give exclusive copy rights to the authors for a limited period in exchange for their work to become public domain after that limited period.

A lot more people would agree to abide by copyright laws if they had not been twisted into the lifetime + 50 years locks that they are now.

Re:Copyrights? (3, Informative)

theheadlessrabbit (1022587) | more than 2 years ago | (#34248854)

Remember, the original goal of copyright was to give exclusive copy rights to the authors for a limited period in exchange for their work to become public domain after that limited period.

A lot more people would agree to abide by copyright laws if they had not been twisted into the lifetime + 50 years locks that they are now.

I believe it's now life +70 years in Britain and America.

life of the artist should have nothing to do with it. it should be 'x years from date of first publication'

Re:Copyrights? (2, Interesting)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#34249102)

Assuming it ever expires. I think that it's a one off for Peter Pan, but it does have an eternal copyright at least as far as the UK goes.

Re:Copyrights? (1)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34250164)

In Britain, it's actually life + 70 + next January the 1st. Obviously this makes perfect sense, we clearly need to penalise those dead creatives who make the silly mistake of dying near the end of the year by giving them less protection.

By the way, if life + 70 + next January 1st isn't enough for you, just use the Silmarillion loophole... name some much younger people as co-authors. Even if they didn't do anything at all, as long as you say they did, your protection will extend to the date of the last one of them to die + 70 + next January 1st.

Unless we get this ass of a law fixed before then, that is...

Re:Copyrights? (0, Troll)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 2 years ago | (#34249242)

A lot more people would agree to abide by copyright laws if they had not been twisted into the lifetime + 50 years locks that they are now.

Citation needed.

I don't believe this. I doubt that the people who are passing around free copies of ripped movies would wait 14 years before doing so, and those who download them wouldn't either.

Just as a point of reference, for a movie that came out when you were 16, you'd need to wait until you were 30 to download a public domain copy legally, were copyright as short as just 14 years. Can anyone here who is 30 remember the movies they liked when they were 16, much less honestly say they'd wait until today to get a free copy of one?

Most people who support copyright violation claim that if only the prices for material were reasonable they'd not be violating copyright. Now you tell us if you only had to wait 14 years for material you'd not violate copyright law.

Re:Copyrights? (3, Insightful)

mirix (1649853) | more than 2 years ago | (#34249482)

Well, you'd be able to show your kids Disney's rendition of Cinderella, which I suppose would never exist if brothers Grimm had eternal copyright. Want to watch some old loony tunes? Perhaps one of my favourite films, Dr. Strangelove. There is plenty of stuff that is greater than 14 years old, and still relevant.

You know how many films and cartoons use pieces of classical music like Tchaikovsky, etc? Nothing like that is possible with the current bordering-on-perpetual copyright setup. If nothing ever enters into the public domain, things sort of stagnate.

Of course people would still pirate, There's no getting away from that.

The benefit is you would be free to use older material, incorporate it into your own, etc. As it stands most things are lost to the wheel of time before you'll be able to build on them, or include them in your works, and so on. It's detrimental to creativity as a whole, as I see it.
It's not just about wanting to see free movies. Maybe you want to make a short film, and have a song from the 40's in the background. You're probably going to have to pay royalties for that.

Re:Copyrights? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34250218)

True, but that's not the purpose of eternal copyrights, the purpose of eternal copyrights is to prevent old content from displacing the value of new content.

For instance Soulja's latest album is new and it will sell but it's value would sharply fall if people could freely use Coolio's musical archive, anywhere, be it parties, night clubs, ringtones, friking lifts, anywhere anyhow including youtube videos and birthday videos, etc.

The current archive of copyrighted contents is HUGE and that's only counting miscellaneous works, there are also hits like the original star wars movies and the Beatles, Elvis etc that never get old.

Look for instance how Nintendo squashed the fan made sequel to Chrono Trigger, they didn't buy it because they know it won't sell but they don't want it to be freely available for this reason.

The content industry as a whole depends on keeping the public domain line a century ago to keep their current products relevant.

Wow. (1, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#34248838)

talk about democracy. we were just discussing how capitalism easily corrupts and dominates a democratic storefront, in the u.s. senate internet censor bill discussion, and now there is this. this doesnt even involve any democratic proceedings. elected governments just sign a treaty, out of one person's hand, and it binds all signatory countries. in most of them, it wont even need to be ratified, because international treaties are binding.

and, any fool who believes their house of representatives wont ratify it, in ratification required countries, should think again - if it wouldnt pass, your government wouldnt have got elected and sign it. you have a government that signs it, signifying enough seats in the house, so chances are very high that it will pass. all its needed would be lobbies spending a bit more money than you. which, they have, and you, as people dont.

enjoy capitalist democracy. the one with the gold makes the rules.

Re:Wow. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34248876)

..and the capital of socialist democracies is individual liberty.. your rant = fail.

Re:Wow. (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#34248896)

yeah. and individual liberty gets trampled by the capital of minority wealthy. your logic = bullshit.

Re:Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34249172)

arguing with anonymous cowards are you?

Name one country where international treaties are binding without ratification.

More generally, name one country where the treat negotiator is both agent of the state and principal of the state.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ratification

Re:Wow. (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#34249382)

arguing with anonymous cowards are you?

why not. arent they human beings ?

Name one country where international treaties are binding without ratification.

turkey.

Re:Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34249836)

I never said that it wasn't trampled by money as well.

Re:Wow. (2, Interesting)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 2 years ago | (#34248894)

Big business may be corrupting the elected representatives, but the blame still lands at the feet of the voters who keep voting the same people back into office.

Re:Wow. (2, Interesting)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#34248950)

big business is not corrupting elected representatives. big business is making sure that their candidate gets elected, through the mechanics of capitalist system.

big business owns big media. big business has big bucks to spend. even if your candidate has money to spend, if big business owning the big media doesnt want him to get elected, they wont just give airtime to him/her in their media outlets. and, your candidate wont win.

its as simple as that.

that is of course leaving aside the fact that big business can easily brainwash entire swaths of society, or, outright lie to them, if need be, through their media.

Re:Wow. (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#34249118)

Not really. Most of what I know about politics comes through the media and yet I reach a very different conclusion than most. Perhaps it isn't so much the media as the sloth exercised by the voters in failing to research any of the topics at hand.

Re:Wow. (2, Interesting)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#34249212)

vast swaths of the society do not have the means and the time to work on a high level of political awareness through culture and digesting heaps of information. they have to survive, they have to take care of their family.

Re:Wow. (2, Insightful)

idontgno (624372) | more than 2 years ago | (#34249476)

they have to survive, they have to take care of their Farmville.

FTFY.

OK, not universally true, but true to an extent that pretty much guarantees the success of...OOH SHINY!

"Panem et circenses." Our culture surely has the "circenses" part down pat.

Re:Wow. (2)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#34250034)

Poor, poor excuse. It doesn't take that long to realize that they are ruled mostly by the rich and by people who couldn't care less about them except for their vote. It's just that the average person is so indoctrinated that they think they're making a difference with their pointless little votes for the same two parties over and over.

Re:Wow. (2, Insightful)

mirix (1649853) | more than 2 years ago | (#34249108)

Part of the cause of that is the lack of proportional representation, though. So people get stuck in the whole "Go ahead, throw your vote away" dilemma.
They end up voting for the lesser of two corporate ruled evils, as opposed to a party that is more in line with what they actually want.

Well, that coupled with People believing myths due to either propaganda or outright stupidity (ie. republicans being for small govn't, which is patently false these days; or that dems are going to implement any sort of democratic social reform... maybe token measure here and there, but it's still by the corps, for the corps.)

Being an outsider looking in, the whole setup looks like sheer lunacy to me, but...

Re:Wow. (2, Interesting)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 3 years ago | (#34251040)

Part of the cause of that is the lack of proportional representation, though.

No, the biggest problem is the power and size of government. Even with parliamentary systems with proportional representation major parties can be forced to include small and evil parties to form a governing coalition. Witness Israel, whenever the government holds serious talks with Palestinians it has to deal with small ultra conservative Jewish parties who oppose giving Palestinians any land. That is what happened in the talks that came closest to peace, the Taba Summit [wikipedia.org] or talks. In 1999 Israel's PM Ehud Barak and Yasser Arafat [pbs.org] came the closest to peace in Taba, Egypt. Running against Ariel the Bulldozer [locatetv.com] Sharon, who had the support of those ultra conservative parties, to become the PM for another term Barak didn't finish negotiations. And of course Sharon opposed them.

Falcon

Re:Wow. (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#34248938)

The house has nothing to do with ratifying Treaties.

Re:Wow. (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#34249054)

'house' here means house of representatives. it means any kind of legislative body acting in any given country. the only country is not united states you know.

Re:Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34249140)

it wont even need to be ratified, because international treaties are binding

This is not true. Additionally, there is usually a precisely described process for withdrawing from an international agreement.

its true (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#34249202)

the situation changes from country to country. in the one im in, international treaties signed are binding without house approval. the government is legislated to be the tool of the house. the house takes place in negotiations through committees.

Re:Wow. (2, Informative)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#34249200)

Your rant would make more sense if you demonstrated any knowledge of the legal ways that a treaty becomes law in the U.S.. In the U.S., the house of representatives have nothing to do with treaties. Treaties must be ratified by the Senate.Furthermore, it hasn't been that many years since a President signed a treaty that was resoundingly rejected by the U.S. Senate. Bill Clinton signed the Kyoto Accords and the U.S. Senate voted 98-0 to reject them.

fool (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#34249288)

house of representatives is the general term that is used in political literature/science to denote an assembly of representatives elected by the people in order to make legislation.

the only country in the world is not united states, the only house of representatives in the world is not u.s. congress. and the only place where this term is used, is not united states daily speech.

i cant believe how u.s. centric many americans are. as if nothing exists or happens outside united states. now, house of representatives apparently is a term that is very endemic and specific to usa, and its daily political jargon ... judging from the way you talk.

Re:fool (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 2 years ago | (#34249648)

house of representatives is the general term that is used in political literature/science to denote an assembly of representatives elected by the people in order to make legislation.

[Citation Needed]

Seriously. Can you provide one example from reputable journalistic or academic sources of the phrase "house of representatives", either in English or from an unambiguous literal translation to English, where that phrase is used generically to mean "legislature"? I would be quite curious to see it.

Now, if you were arguing that other nations use a literal equivalent to "house of representatives" as a title for one of their legislatorial chambers, you'd be on good grounds. The "House of Representatives" is the title for part of the legislature for a surprising number of nations [wikipedia.org] . Maybe you'd have been better off arguing that.

Re:Wow. (1)

Nyder (754090) | more than 2 years ago | (#34249252)

Much like lawyers win with suing, Corporations win with politicians. Meaning, it don't matter who you vote for, the corporations win either way.

Re:Wow. (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 3 years ago | (#34250882)

talk about democracy. we were just discussing how capitalism easily corrupts and dominates a democratic storefront

Part of Capitalism [merriam-webster.com] is free markets. Well free markets do not exist. The closest we've come to it was in America in the 1820s and '30s and it is what inspired Alexis de Tocqueville to write "Democracy in America [amazon.com] ". Of course there was the black mark on free markets called slavery.

Falcon

WAH?? A TEST?? NO ONE SAID ANTHIING ABOUT A TEST (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34248846)

Ooo, text. Nevermind.

The plan all along? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34248918)

Propose completely outrageous ideas & then scale it back to the point where people are still unhappy but not as motivated.

Re:The plan all along? (1)

Per Wigren (5315) | more than 2 years ago | (#34249186)

Propose completely outrageous ideas & then scale it back to the point where people are still unhappy but not as motivated.

Just wait. Once they get this version of ACTA in place they will propose some "minor modifications", one by one over the course of a few years. Some modifications will come "bundled" with other laws, usually as well disguised side-effects. Each modification won't look so bad by itself but when put together they will make ACTA morph back into the original, outrageous version and nobody will care because it happened too slowly. This is the tactic they use all the time.

Re:The plan all along? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34249196)

It's called the Overton window.

Cost-benefit analyses are useless when people can assign arbitrary values to the future economic environment and other's peoples rights, or have that value shaped by insubstantial rhetoric. A framing exists where a short-term improvement from an extreme position can be seen as a acceptably moderate outcome.

This doesn't operate on the policy level per se. Framing is more suited to controlling the critical discussion around it. Why are we forming a new international treaty organization when the WTO and WIPO exist already? I've yet to see a good explanation of that.

Good cop, bad cop played by both parties (1)

mykos (1627575) | more than 2 years ago | (#34249312)

Republicans do something bad; partisans say "But Clinton did it too".
Democrats do something bad; partisans say "But Bush did it too".
Party loyalists are the problem. Both major parties are willing to allow the stripping of people's rights so long as the other party did it first.

Executive Agreement (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#34249386)

From the last link, and has already been stated in Slashdot before:

"The USTR has stated repeatedly that ACTA will enter into force in the US as an executive agreement that does not require any congressional role"

So in the words of Abraham Lincoln:

". . . that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

. . . until signed away, by Executive Agreement, despite the will of the people.

Re:Executive Agreement (2)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#34249956)

". . . until signed away, by Executive Agreement, despite the will of the people."

Uh, the people never really had much power (which, as we see here, was a mistake). The government is making this already bad situation worse, yes, but it was always broken.

If the people really wanted to, they could overthrow the government using their sheer numbers, but too many people are preoccupied with their unimportant little activities to care about things such as freedom and privacy, leaving people who would actually do something if the situation presented itself outnumbered.

Re:Executive Agreement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34249980)

That's nice and all, an unelected trade group gets to impose its will on the world without democratic scrutiny. We should write an international treaty of our own, a "counter-ACTA" if you will. Then we just say we have an executive agreement despite our treaty having no legislative legitimacy whatsoever. If it works for the folks behind ACTA (who the fuck do these people think they are?), it works for us too.

Earlier texts were much worse (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 2 years ago | (#34249882)

Yeah, they only pull off three of your fingernails now, instead of five. I feel better already...

Cool! (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#34249908)

"It's bad now, but it could be worse! Everyone just stop trying to get rid of the ACTA, because if something could be worse, there's no sense in improving it!"

I fear that's what some people are going to think. Either that or they will figure that it's not as bad as before and not want to waste their time. The ACTA is, was, and always will be a terrible idea and it must be eliminated.

Let go a little and POUNCE! (3, Insightful)

Shompol (1690084) | more than 3 years ago | (#34250018)

Earlier texts were much worse.

Stalin: Let's execute all dissidents and paint the Mausoleum green!
Minister: Why green, comrade Stalin?
Stalin: I knew there would be no objections about the first part.

Enforcement (1)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 3 years ago | (#34250176)

Dear USA,

We noticed that you came up with some agreement called ACTA where you think you will get money to bail out your rapidly sinking economy using spurious "Intellectual Property" claims, and as a means of holding back innovation. We own you lock stock and barrel, so play our tune now.

Your Sincerely,
China

Improvements... (1)

sleeping143 (1523137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34250184)

I can't help but wonder if they didn't make early drafts as terrible as possible to see what we, the people, would cry out the most about. While there are simpler explanations, the obvious being that they responded in response to the public, simple explanations don't always work well in politics. Ok, fine, I'll take off the tin foil hat now...

Cost of enforcement (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34250258)

My house is (somewhat) protected against criminals by the police; I pay a property tax that (in parts) pays for the police.

This ACTA agreement again suggests that "Intellectual Property" is very, very valuable.

How come there is no Intellectual Property tax to pay for all of this? Where does the money come from? The Big Treasure Chest that 25% of your paycheck goes in?

Pirates! (4, Insightful)

tobiah (308208) | more than 3 years ago | (#34250260)

The treaty spends a lot of time on "pirated copyright goods", and the bits about "counterfeit trademark goods" seem tacked on. I could find no mention of the public good, the rights of licensees, fair use, public domain, media transfer/backup copies, etc. There is a good bit about the minimum civil and criminal procedures and penalties that should be in place and made available to businesses and rights holders. It seems to be exclusively intended to ensure that organizations like the RIAA can sue and harass "pirates", and god willing, get them a healthy jail sentence too. This is interesting in that it might provide some cover for rights-holder actions that are an abuse of the court system (mass filings) and criminal harassment.

The List (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34251382)

This just kind of goes on my list of reasons why I probably shouldn't actually pay for any movies or music. The "you're going to steal from us anyway so we're getting to you first" tax on blank media, trying to shore up lousy encryption into some sort of legal giant with the DMCA, and trying to monkey with copyright until Disney can leave Mickey Mouse to it's corporate descendants so they can milk it into the next century... Any one of those would be enough alone but together?

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