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European Commission Paints Itself Into ACTA Corner

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the no-no-you-are-twisting-mein-woerter dept.

EU 90

Halo1 writes "Last week, the European Commission published a rebuttal to an extensive and strongly condemning opinion document about ACTA by prominent European academics. Ante Wessels from the FFII went through the Commission's reply and discovered that after correcting the mistakes they made, they actually confirm the opinion they were trying to refute. The Commission primarily appears to suffer from a lack of reading comprehension, amnesia regarding what it said earlier, and not being fully aware of its competences."

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here's the text (5, Informative)

ciaran_o_riordan (662132) | more than 2 years ago | (#35992906)

The EU Commission lacks basic reading skills

May 1, 2011

By Ante [ffii.org]

In January 2011, prominent European academics issued an âoeOpinion of European Academics on Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement [uni-hannover.de]â (ACTA). The academics invite the European institutions, in particular the European Parliament, and the national legislators and governments to withhold consent of ACTA, âoeâ¦as long as significant deviations from the EU acquis or serious concerns on fundamental rights, data protection, and a fair balance of interests are not properly addressedâ.

In April 2011, the European Commissionâ(TM)s services put on-line comments to the European Academicsâ(TM) Opinion on ACTA [europa.eu]. The Commission denies ACTA is incompatible with EU law.

The Commission fails to make its point in a convincing way. The Commission shows a lack of basic reading skills, does not address points raised by the academics and fails to reason in a logical way. Regarding the border measures, the Commission actually agrees with the academics. The Parliament should ask the European Court of Justice an opinion on ACTA.

It is too much work to address all the flaws in the Commissionâ(TM)s notes. I will give some examples.

ACTAâ(TM)s damages are higher than EU lawâ(TM)s damages

The academics wrote: âoeSome of the factors mentioned at the end of the provision are not provided for in art. 13.1 Directive 2004/48. These factors should not be adopted in European law since they are not appropriate to measure the damage. âoeThe value of the infringed good or service, measured by the market price, [or] the suggested retail priceâ, as indicated in art. 9.1 ACTA, does not reflect the economic loss suffered by the right holder.â

The Commission states: âoeThere is no conflict between article 9 of ACTA and article 13 of Directive 2004/48/EC. Both provisions refer to ways in which courts can come to the determination of fair damages for the injured party.â

Damages in EU law are based on economic loss suffered by the right holder. The academics show that ACTA goes beyond that. The Commission just calls them both âoefairâ, and sees no difference. This is like saying: âoebig cars and small cars are both nice cars, so there is no difference.â But with cars and with damages, it is not only important both are cars or damages, the size is relevant as well. ACTA exceeds the level of damages in EU law. The Commission does not address the size aspect raised by the academics.

Bringing different things under the same category does not make them the same. Fines and death penalty are both deterrent, they are not the same.

Going beyond economic loss suffered by the right holder is not âoefairâ. It disproportionally hurts for instance startup companies in conflict with major patent holders. The Commission and ACTA advocate seeing damages based on retail price as âoefairâ. Unbalanced enforcement measures may heighten market entrance risks for innovators. Startup companies are often confronted with patent minefields. Even a mere allegation of infringement may easily lead to market exclusion. Startup companies often do not have enough resources to litigate. ACTA is biased against startup companies, the heightened damages hurt innovation.

The Commission states: âoeThe examples given in article 9.1 of ACTA and highlighted by the authors of the Opinion are not mandatory for the ACTA Parties (cf. the provision says âoemay includeâ).â

But this âoemayâ in article 9.1, is permissive towards the rights holders, it refers to âoeany legitimate measure of value the right holder submitsâ. Article 9.1 is not permissive towards the ACTA parties: âoeEach Party shall provide thatâ and âoea Partyâ(TM)s judicial authorities shall have the authority to considerâ. The Commission shows a lack of basic reading skills.

ACTA article 9.1: âoeEach Party shall provide that, in civil judicial proceedings concerning the enforcement of intellectual property rights, its judicial authorities have the authority to order the infringer who, knowingly or with reasonable grounds to know, engaged in infringing activity to pay the right holder damages adequate to compensate for the injury the right holder has suffered as a result of the infringement. In determining the amount of damages for infringement of intellectual property rights, a Partyâ(TM)s judicial authorities shall have the authority to consider, inter alia, any legitimate measure of value the right holder submits, which may include lost profits, the value of the infringed goods or services measured by the market price, or the suggested retail price.

Border measures

The academics wrote: âoeACTAâ(TM)s provision on the scope of the border measures section contains an ambiguity giving rise to potential misuse. Whereas art. 2.1(a) Border Measures Regulation 1383/2003/EC (BMR) specifically narrows the scope of application of border measures for trademark infringements to âoecounterfeit goodsâ only, art. 13 ACTA instead allows border measures in the case of âoeintellectual property rightsâ in general and thus applies to all kinds of trademark infringements. IP rights are defined in art. 5 (h) ACTA as all categories of IP covered by TRIPS. This suggests an interpretation of art. 13 ACTA that includes not only cases of counterfeiting, but also all other forms of trademark infringements based on mere similarity of signs, risk of confusion and even the protection for well-known trademarks against dilution. This is not only a clear extension of the EU acquis, but presents a particular problem for international trade in generic medicines which could be seized based on allegations of âordinaryâ(TM) trademark infringements. For all these reasons, art. 13 ACTA requires rewording or, at least, a narrow interpretation and implementation.â

The Commission states: âoeDuring the ACTA negotiations, the Commission services insisted on a broad definition of trademark infringements in Section 3 on Border Measures, in order to keep the necessary flexibility in view of the on-going review of the applicable EU legislationâ-- (Regulation 1383/2003).â

This is idiotic. If the EU wants flexibility, ACTA should have a narrow definition of trademark infringements, not a broad one. With a narrow ACTA definition, the EU can choose between narrow and broad. With a broad ACTA definition, the EU can only have a broad one too â" will have to change its narrow definition to a broad one.

The academics state ACTA goes beyond EU legislation, the Commission affirms it insisted on that. The Commission actually agrees with the academics.

The Commission states: âoethe example mentioned in the Opinion appears to imply that the practice of using infringing trademarks (with mere âoeordinaryâ infringements) is generalised among the industries producing generics. As far as we are aware, this is not the case: legitimate generic producers use their own trademarks, and have no reason or interest whatsoever to engage in trademark infringement.â

The Commission overlooks the scandalous seizures of essential medicines destined for developing countries. At least one of the seizures was based on supposed trademark infringement. In September, the Dutch minister of Economic Affairs admitted the definition is problematic for access to medicines [officieleb...akingen.nl].

The Commission states: âoeIn any event, defining and determining whether a trademark infringement exists on the basis of similarity to protected trademarks or other reasons, is a matter of the substantive protection of a trademark in each ACTA party and of assessing this in accordance with the respective legal orders of the Parties. These matters are neither addressed nor modified by ACTA.â

Idiotic again. In EU law, similarity is an infringement, and the EU will not change this. For this reason, the EU needs to exclude similarity from border enforcement. And ACTA makes that impossible.

In this section, the Commission also makes a remark on civil remedies: âoeACTA leaves it optional for signatories to apply the civil remedies section to patents (Â ..may.. Â).â

The Commission already indicated that it will include patents [ffii.org] in the scope of the civil measures. They can not use the âoeit is only optionalâ argument any more. We live in a real world, where options are used or not. You canâ(TM)t have your cake and eat it.

Criminal measures

Commission: âoeHowever, the Criminal Enforcement provisions of ACTA do not require additional legislation at EU level. A similar situation arises from the TRIPS Agreement, which has been in force since 1996. The TRIPS Agreement also contains criminal enforcement provisions that bind EU Member States which had to comply, in their national laws, with TRIPS. In that case, no EU legislation was necessary to implement these aspects of the TRIPS Agreement concerning criminal sanctions.â

The Commission has been informed earlier [ffii.org]of something it should know itself anyway: The Community did not sign TRIPS criminal measures, since it was not competent to do so. It is incredible that the Commissionâ(TM)s services are not aware of this. The Commission does not even know the European Court of Justice case law on Community / EU competence. What a total disregard for the legal reality.

The EU is not competent to sign ACTAâ(TM)s criminal measures either [ffii.org], but does intend to sign them anyway. One of the reasons the Parliament should ask the European Court of Justice an opinion on ACTA.

Commission: âoeFurthermore, Directive 2004/48/EC stipulates in its recital (14) that âoeActs carried out on a commercial scale are those carried out for direct or indirect economic or commercial advantageâ¦â. This definition is rather close to the definition used in ACTA, which focuses on commercial activities for an economic or commercial advantage, which is the opposite of a personal activity by a private user without profit motivations. Indeed, said recital also clarifies that âoeâ¦this would normally exclude acts carried out by end-consumers acting in good faith.â.

There is a gap between âoefor profitâ and âoeadvantageâ. ACTA can be used to criminalise newspapers [ffii.org]revealing a document, office workers forwarding a file and private downloaders; whistle blowers and weblog authors revealing documents in the public interest and remixers and others sharing a file if there is an advantage. This advantage may be indirect, a concept we believe to be too unclear to incorporate in criminal law. ACTAâ(TM)s definition violates the proportionality principle.

Commission: âoeThe criminal enforcement provisions of ACTA only apply to counterfeiting and piracy activities (the so-called âoefakeâ goods, as opposed to goods lawfully marketed in the exporting country). Illegal parallel trade consists of the unauthorised import of legitimate goods, not of counterfeit or pirated ones. An express exclusion was therefore redundant. Therefore, parallel imports will not be hindered by ACTA.â

In civil law, parallel import is an infringement. The âoeunauthorised importâ leads to âoebearing without authorization a trademarkâ, which is used in ACTAâ(TM)s definition of counterfeit goods. It rather seems ACTA does criminalise parallel import.

Re:here's the text (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35993024)

so let's see. you are not a subscriber so no early views... yet you wrote up all of this complete with links in the 4 minutes that elapsed between the story's posting and the submission of your own post.

more boilerplate bullshit please!

Re:here's the text (5, Informative)

Halo1 (136547) | more than 2 years ago | (#35993062)

so let's see. you are not a subscriber so no early views...

Every registered user can, after logging in, look at http://slashdot.org/firehose.pl [slashdot.org] (not the static page you get redirected to in case you're not logged in) and see all stories that are submitted.

yet you wrote up all of this complete with links in the 4 minutes that elapsed between the story's posting and the submission of your own post.

Actually, he simply posted the contents of the main article [ffii.org] referred to in the post, because the server hosting it has been slashdotted (I should have used an nyud.net link). And the reason he had a local copy is probably because he's on the same mailing lists as I am where the article was first announced.

And he didn't submit the article, I did.

Re:here's the text (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35993074)

Yep, copypasta.

http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=%22Damages+in+EU+law+are+based+on+economic+loss+suffered+by+the+right+holder%22

(Can't get the page to load, but the hit is there. I tried searching for two different substrings: both turned up that page.)

Re:here's the text (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35993080)

Subscribers can hide their status, and it take 20 sec. to copy/paste HTML from the original source to here. Next question, please!

Re:here's the text (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#35998086)

more boilerplate bullshit please!

You know how I know you didn't Read The Article...?

Re:here's the text (1)

kvothe (2013374) | more than 2 years ago | (#36000044)

Oo, oo, I know this one! It turns out that the commission also completely neglected to make mention of bananas, right?

I don't think it's lack of reading skills / memory (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35993176)

They know perfectly well that what they write doesn't add up. But they want to implement ACTA and whether their justifications make sense or not is irrelevant to them. They don't need them to make sense to implement ACTA.

Bullying. (2)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#35992916)

No wondering whether they were bullied like spanish government to that end by the whores in u.s.. i wonder if that will came out in wikileaks cables too, like it happened for spain.

Re:Bullying. (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#35993676)

Apparently the US was involved in drafting the NZ copyright laws, so it would not surprise me if it was linked to this EU Commision decision. The EU actually does remarkably well on making sound, ethical decisions when not interfered with. Not perfectly, true, but remarkably well (for politicians) nonetheless. When the EU makes obviously bad decisions that happen to duplicate bad decisions elsewhere, where those bad decisions were definitely made by the US, the US is the most likely suspect.

America often wonders why other nations are extremely suspicious of its motives. What I end up wondering is how America has reached the point of being so oblivious.

(To be fair, I'll point out that EVERY country that has ever maintained an empire - and, yes, America's iron grip over other nations means it maintains an empire - has been totally oblivious to the harm it causes. There has never been a benign empire in the history of humanity, and the brains of those in charge invariably turn to mush, placing the consequences of their actions far beyond their comprehension.)

Re:Bullying. (0)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 2 years ago | (#35993936)

You use oblivious. Why do you assume it is being oblivious vs. apathetic? Maybe the US doesn't care.

And at what point do EU laws become the problem of the EU? Why point the finger at the US?

Finally, the 'US' you speak of is generally a bunch of transnational corporations. I'm quite certain that they laugh at petty tribal squabbles like the US vs. EU vs. BRIC.

Re:Bullying. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35994148)

And at what point do EU laws become the problem of the EU? Why point the finger at the US?

Sorry, but that is a necessity. The U.S. government is meddling with EU politics. To make those in power in EU contries to understand that this is unacceptable it is necessary to point out the U.S. as "evil".
If you don't like being called evil you could ask the U.S. government to stop putting it's nose in foreign politics.

It's nothing personal, just a part of the game.

Re:Bullying. (1, Interesting)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 2 years ago | (#35994660)

You obviously didn't read the entire post... There is no 'US' and 'EU'.

There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM and ITT and AT&T and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide, and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today.

Re:Bullying. (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 2 years ago | (#35995208)

You obviously didn't read the entire post... There is no 'US' and 'EU'.

There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM and ITT and AT&T and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide, and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today.

Wait, so I'm Howard Beale? Sigh... Some days I feel more like Bob Arctor than anyone...

Re:Bullying. (2)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#35995778)

It's ok. Once the corporations take over, people will mutate into orcs, elves and the like. The shadowrunner novels are actually IBM field guides for when the takeover is complete.

Re:Bullying. (1)

Danse (1026) | more than 2 years ago | (#36002676)

You use oblivious. Why do you assume it is being oblivious vs. apathetic? Maybe the US doesn't care.

The people paying for this agenda to be pushed certainly care. I doubt that more than a very tiny fraction of the public at large has any idea what ACTA is.

Re:Bullying. (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#35994320)

The left hand doesn't know what the right is doing. Because the right has built years of expertise in maintaining secrecy.

Re:Bullying. (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 2 years ago | (#35996800)

And as with every empire - the need to expand or crumble. But there is not much room left to expand into now. USA either controls through proxies (most of western Europe included) or more or less directly (Iraq, Afghanistan). The remains aren't really worth fighting about - like Libya and Sudan since they are going to cost a lot more than what is gained - or as in the case of China and Russia - they are too hard to chew down, especially now with the unbalanced US economy.

One might wonder if the cold war was a war without winners, just that the US is falling into disarray later due to tripping over itself.

Re:Bullying. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36003744)

The EU resembles an empire far more than the US ever has. Nice try though.

Re:Bullying. (2)

Weezul (52464) | more than 2 years ago | (#35993690)

There was a nice Frenchman named Joseph-Ignace Guillotine who helped invent kinda the European analog of the U.S.'s 2nd Amendment. There are always issues with what constitutes civil society, but people proposing intellectual slavery should be reminded that less seemingly civil resolutions exist.

Brazil saved aids patients all over the world by breaking the patents on anti-retrovirals. If no country had been willing, then extra-legal lethal force could've very quickly become a civilized response.

Re:Bullying. (0)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#35994234)

And in the process doomed a large number of future patients when the pharmaceutical companies couldn't pay for the cost of producing future medications. I'm all for patent reform and affordable healthcare, but breaking patents on things like anti-retrovirals is a really great way to tell a pharmaceutical company to not bother looking into any treatments that are primarily affecting your citizens.

Anti-retrovirals are not cheap to develop, and unlike most types of medications definitely do get less effective as more doses are sold, when countries like Brazil break that patents in this fashion it just tells the companies that they shouldn't bother wasting a lot of money on it, because they'll never break even.

Re:Bullying. (2)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#35994348)

Poor sad little drug companies. Sniffle. Profits reduced from potentially twenties of billions, to merely tens.

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

Re:Bullying. (2)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 2 years ago | (#35997600)

Profits, let's not forget they also spend more on advertising the drugs then they do on developing the drugs. Hey, hmm, that advertising also pays for the production of much copyrighted content, TV, Radio, Newspaper, Magazine and even internet content.

Somehow I think it would be a whole lot cheaper to open source all drug development research and provide the details free.

As for other copyrighted content, when is enough, enough, there is already more out there that anybody in ten life times can watch, listen and read. Why should any taxpayer funds be spent on protecting. Maybe, just maybe, if the content is reviewed and is deemed to be of actually beneficial value to society it should get a limited period of protection maybe like 10 years.

Re:Bullying. (2)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 2 years ago | (#35995074)

As I understand it, the problem was Brazilians couldn't pay the price requested, and the supplier didn't lower prices. So the Brazilians just copied it for themselves.

This seems sort of like the MPAA/RIAA thing - cd/dvd publishers charge prices people can't afford or are unwilling to pay, so people just copy it themselves. And the **AA wrings its hands and blames pirates for their demise, just as you are shilling for the pharmaceuticals.

Markets only work when there is competition. "Intellectual Property" is by definition a legal monopoly. And you won't find me crying for any business with a legal monopoly that can't break even. They deserve to die, both for their own ineptitude and for the sake of having a free (as in liberty) marketplace.

Re:Bullying. (1)

sFurbo (1361249) | more than 2 years ago | (#35997122)

Markets only work when there is competition. "Intellectual Property" is by definition a legal monopoly. And you won't find me crying for any business with a legal monopoly that can't break even. They deserve to die, both for their own ineptitude and for the sake of having a free (as in liberty) marketplace.

Before we can allow the medicine companies to die, we should have another plan for making new drugs. Some people have argued that this is a job for the government, but the infrastructure and institutions needed for this shift is not there. Before we are sure we have a new way of producing new drugs, it would be foolish to remove our old way.

Re:Bullying. (1)

Elldallan (901501) | more than 2 years ago | (#35998330)

US patent =/= Brazilian or even European patents.
Patents are administered nationally, not internationally.
This means that nations will only grant and protect patents as long as they see a substantial benefit from doing so.
Please remember that Intellectual Property is NOT a right but something that a nation has granted inventors in return for the inventors releasing their work and to encourage further investments into more inventions.

This is a careful balancing act because when the people/government feels that they do not get enough in exchange for granting these exceptions to inventors they will withdraw said exceptions.

Re:Bullying. (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#36001486)

That there is precisely the problem. It costs billions typically to bring a new drug to market, after the research and trials are completed. Many medications don't even make it past trials. There are a couple ways of handling the cost, you can lower the safety and testing requirements to make it easier, and risk dangerous drugs being introduced at a higher rate or you can just pay labs to work on producing the medications and have them be produced immediately as generics by any pharmaceutical line willing to do the work.

Re:Bullying. (1)

Draek (916851) | more than 2 years ago | (#35995494)

And in the process doomed a large number of future patients when the pharmaceutical companies couldn't pay for the cost of producing future medications.

Prove it. And while you're at it, prove the number is larger than those Brazil's actions saved.

It always amazes me the kind of support Big Pharma gets here on Slashdot compared to the MPAA and RIAA, considering they're far more evil about both their goals and methods.

Re:Bullying. (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#35997008)

Perhaps due to their comparative impacts. While Big Pharma may make sure you pay heavily for your drugs, they'll still do their job and stop you from dying. The products of the *IAA cannot be considered so essential.

Re:Bullying. (1)

sFurbo (1361249) | more than 2 years ago | (#35997100)

Big Pharma gets here on Slashdot compared to the MPAA and RIAA, considering they're far more evil about both their goals and methods.

Let's see, Big Pharma has the goal of raking in money by producing medicine, MPAA and RIAA has the goal of raking in money by producing entertainment. Yes, I see, medicine is so much eviller than entertainment.

I'm not saying that their methods are any better, or that they exist to do good (they don't, but a large portion of the people working for them are in the business to help cure people), or don't lie about the effectiveness and side effects of their products (they certainly do, and should be punished for doing it), or aren't bastards who would sell their grandmothers to cannibals to make a dime, but a side effect of some of their actions are that it sometimes produce new, effective medicine, which isn't all that bad.

Re:Bullying. (2)

TheTurtlesMoves (1442727) | more than 2 years ago | (#35997282)

Depriving you of a song because you can't afford it, is not the same as letting you suffer because you can't afford the treatment.

And as someone who as worked with these companies, I assure you there are plenty of folks who don't give a rats arse about curing people.

And are you sure that this new medicine [dilbert.com] is really is effective...

Re:Bullying. (1)

sFurbo (1361249) | more than 2 years ago | (#35997376)

Depriving you of a song because you can't afford it, is not the same as letting you suffer because you can't afford the treatment.

But if the medicine wouldn't exist without these companies, is it more evil to let the company go bankrupt, and stop it making new medicine?

And as someone who as worked with these companies, I assure you there are plenty of folks who don't give a rats arse about curing people.

I'm sure there are, but I'm also sure that the other type exists.

And are you sure that this new medicine [dilbert.com] is really is effective...

Some of it isn't, and the trials the companies run are often not ideal, and sometimes truly despicable. But some of the new medicine is effective

I think it would be better to make a system where either the testing of medicine is done by the government (to remove the possibility of bad studies, or over-interpretation), or where the entire drug discovery and testing is done by the government (to remove the drug representatives and their damaging effect on doctors prescription practice), but that system needs to be built first, and until that is done, the old system is all we have to find new drugs.

Re:Bullying. (1)

Maritz (1829006) | more than 2 years ago | (#35997476)

But if the medicine wouldn't exist without these companies, is it more evil to let the company go bankrupt, and stop it making new medicine?

Isn't that a false dichotomy? The fact is generic drugs are in use in many places, and yet pharmaceutical companies are still in great shape. Seems to me, let the countries who can afford the medicine pay, and look the other way when places that can't afford medicine go for generic copies. Far as I can see, medicines are being pirated, and medicines are still being made.

Re:Bullying. (1)

lxs (131946) | more than 2 years ago | (#35997308)

Making entertainment too expensive doesn't put lives at risk. With medicine it does.
Who is more evil now?

Re:Bullying. (2)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#35996680)

No matter how effective a medication might be in theory, if sick people can't afford it, it is useless. Not breaking the patents deprives sick people of access to current drugs in order to make sure there will be more magic drugs they also have no access to later. The net result is more suffering. Socking it to poor people with outrageous prices is like trying to squeeze blood from a stone.

I notice the pharmaceutical companies aren't exactly suffering in poverty.

Re:Bullying. (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#36001526)

That is true, however it's not really appropriate to force companies to sell their medications at a loss because people can't afford it. Which is the point, a lot of these second and third world countries are demanding prices which are below the cost of production, meaning that not only are these companies being expected to create medications for their problems, but pay for the treatments as well. And yes, by not paying the cost of development you can sell them for less, but that also means that nobody is working on the next generation of medication since they know that they aren't going to get paid. That money that you spend on medications is what goes to paying for the next generation of treatment. If people don't pay, pharmaceutical producers will focus even more heavily on expensive blockbuster treatments for things like impotence and hair loss.

Like I said previously, this will come back to bite them on the ass when pharmaceutical companies refuse to work on things that are more needed in the developing world than in the developed world.

Re:Bullying. (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#36002294)

Nobody relevant to this thread has forced or tried to force the drug companies to sell at a loss. Brazil gave the drug companies an effective right of first refusal for making those drugs at an affordable price. The drug companies declined, so Brazil manufactures the drugs themselves.

The drug companies lose NOTHING in this. The choice was between buying cheap knock-off drugs or none at all. The money for the expensive patented drugs does not exist and so isn't up for grabs.

This will not bite them on the ass. Their choice is between no drugs at all or one generation of drugs and possibly no more. They quickly figured out that 1>0 and took that option. Meanwhile, people in wealthier countries also get diseases that need anti retrovirals, so there's a fair chance the next generation drugs will happen anyway.

Re:Bullying. (1)

TheTurtlesMoves (1442727) | more than 2 years ago | (#35997244)

And in the process doomed a large number of future patients when the pharmaceutical companies couldn't pay for the cost of producing future medications.

Please don't tell me you believe this tripe. I have worked for some of these companies. Public money makes up the vast majority of the cost of at least the level 2 and 3 trials. They charge an arm and a leg "to recover costs" that you already paid as tax. And because they can. The idea that you can use free market forces for medicine is psychotic.

Re:Bullying. (2)

Elldallan (901501) | more than 2 years ago | (#35998462)

Brazil didn't break patents, they used a paragraph of Brazilian copyright law that under certain circumstances allows the government to grant a production permission to a local company without the consent of the rights holder.
Such an exception "to protect public health, including medicine for all" is specifically allowed in TRIPS and the UN has several times reaffirmed that access to AIDS medication is an essential human right, the latest vote was unanimous with the exception of the United States which abstained.

Re:Bullying. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35996684)

Now we are just waiting for the Spanish Inquisition in the new style - Copyright Enforcement Police.

Captcha: 'trapped'.

EU ACTA SNAFU WTF ?? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35992932)

When one sas EU one means Germany. The rest of the EU are like soviet satellites - hangers-on. It's true !!

Re:EU ACTA SNAFU WTF ?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35995054)

You're only pissed off because your grandfather's Polish vacation ended with him being hanged for crimes against humanity.

Re:EU ACTA SNAFU WTF ?? (1)

JockTroll (996521) | more than 2 years ago | (#35997144)

You insensitive clod, his grandfather died at Auschwitz. He fell from the turret and broke his neck.

Just follow the money (-1, Troll)

commash (2097266) | more than 2 years ago | (#35992946)

They were just paid to change the opinion.
Its like French 3 strike law - its widly known and proven that it was bought [bit.ly] by local RIAA

Re:Just follow the money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35992980)

Interesting speech on your link, but that can be assumed to be the case anywhere. America is becoming desperate because its entertainment industry is all it has left.

Re:Just follow the money (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 2 years ago | (#35993040)

fucking troll, do not click there

Thanks for the food, yammy... (0)

commash (2097266) | more than 2 years ago | (#35993158)

Another comment in my collection

"Fucking troll, do not click there"
"Ugh. Goatse. NSFW. Asshole (poster and picture, both)."
"i WAS eating lunch you ass!"
"I hope you die in a fire before you are old enough to contaminate the gene pool."
"You're a fucking douchbag." - "That is the most accurate comment yet"
"Thanks, I'm reading slashdot in class like a good student and just got tubgirl'd."
"Can someone make a fucking goatse blocker firefox plugin please? This is pissing me off now."
"Seriously ... new account to post that ... what a douche!"
"Asshole... Ginormous asshole, in fact."
"Better than you, you arse bandit."
"you fucker" - "I had the same thought as you. What a fucking asshole. The link is nsfw."
"mod to -1, please. this guy is an 'asshole'.... (yes, you guessed it)"
"Ugh. Goatse. You asshole."
"Really? Are you not tired of this yet?"
"Posting your picture online again?"
"I did not even bother to look, but this same idiot has been doing this for weeks now. Fuck off asshole."
"fuck you."

"Doh! One has to also recognize data urls. *sigh*"
"Oh dear god my eyes. Haven't seen THAT awful image in a while."
"my eyes are burning... argh! Damn you!"
"MY EYES... dude i am at work here "S "

"Why the sudden coordinated campaign for Goatse? Is someone making money off this?"
"You're right, this is the most coordinated troll campaign in a long time. Multiple accounts, multiple pages."
"Urgh...dammit, am I the only one thinking the goatse trolls are getting worse lately than they have been in the past five
"Who found a way to monetize goatse at this late date? If we got half the effort of that campaign on real stuff we'd all have better software by now."
"Boy Goatsex is out in force today... - Every topic is littered with them..."

"I am sick and tired of that crap on /. "
"Could not someone at slashdot write a small script to blacklist url's that have been flagged troll? I'll do it if you pay me a slave wage..."
"Parent should be modded down. Link is NSFW and mentally scarring."
"Argh. Goatse alert..."
"Grow up"
"just post the damn url, i'm not going to click on a tinyurl link and get goatse'd or something.."
"Don't click the link! Goatse wannabe."
"Goatse URL - Haven't seen that guy in a while"
"Someone please mod this guy down... Don't click his link."
"I tried to post warnings about the goaste loving jerk yesterday but was modded into oblivion as a karma whore"
"can we start banning people who post that hiding it behind a url shortening link like goo.gl?"
"didn't click it, but the magic 8-ball says goatse."
"you are one dedicated troll."
"Well played, sir. Well played."
"A link that redirects to a page containing goatse? How clever of you!"
"Congrats. It's been a long time since I saw goatse."
"That's somewhat clever, but some of us do know what base-64 encoding is."
"Stop giving the troll lulz! It's like a catnip to them!"
"You can't actually expect the Slashdot users to actually know enough not to respond to a goatse troll, right ?"
"You c*nt"
"You fucking piece of shit!"
"It would be more interesting if I had a piece of pipe and your face, in close proximity so I could smash your face beyond recognition,"
"you sorry piece of shit."

Re:Thanks for the food, yammy... (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#35994078)

A troll's filthy stash of lulz. Where regular men's fap folders are full of porn, a troll's is full of mementos of their victims...what a disturbing insight into a warped mind.

Re:Just follow the money (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#35994252)

It would save a lot of time and effort if accounts would start at -1 for posting shortened URLs.

Re:Just follow the money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35993046)

Troll link, do not click, or if you do, put your hand in front of the screen so you don't have to see it. That's a security measure they can't defeat.

Re:Just follow the money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35993520)

My hand doesn't cover my 50" screen you insensitive clod!

Re:Just follow the money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35994616)

My dick will, you pansy!

Re:Just follow the money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35996496)

He needs to cover more than one pixel at a time you ass bandit.

Unfortunately... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#35992964)

One can only "paint oneself into a corner" if there are any likely consequences for whatever it is that one has just done. Given that supporting or not supporting ACTA is pretty much entirely a matter of which master you are serving, the EC could have just had an intern hammer out a couple of pages of Lorum Ipsum, change the font to Zapf Dingbats, and print it up. As it is, they kindly went to the trouble of regurgitating nonsense that bears a substantial resemblance to a natural-language argument. Polite; but hardly necessary.

Re:Unfortunately... (1)

Halo1 (136547) | more than 2 years ago | (#35993042)

You can bet that they did not post a reply out of politeness, but rather because they felt it was somehow required. That opinion by the academics was getting quoted all over the place and thrown at them at pretty much every opportunity.

The fact that their rebuttal contains several factual errors is very handy and in fact probably will have consequences in the further debate (because it can be used by members of the European Parliament that are critical of ACTA, and also in national political debates). Obviously, saying that they painted themselves in a corner is quite a bit of a hyperbole, but that's what (shameless attention grabbing) headlines are for...

Typical.. What is ACTA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35993006)

Useless summary gives no summary of whatever ACTA is, or what the controversy is about... Thanks, editors!

Re:Typical.. What is ACTA? (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 2 years ago | (#35993788)

Things which are common knowledge to the site's readers should not have to be summarized. Just because you haven't read /. at all in the last five years doesn't mean anyone else was confused. Should they have to explain what the EU Commission is too? Or the Pentagon? After all, a story about military spending controlled by a five-sided polygon seems mighty strange.

Re:Typical.. What is ACTA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35997438)

The story so far: ACTA is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. Basically, it used to be about common standards on when customs officials should confiscate goods that are not manufactured by permission of the trademark holder. More general trademark issues, copyright and patent co-operation used to be co-ordinated by WIPO, the World Intellectual Property Organization. However, much to the chagrin of corporate lawyers and their collaborators in the US trade department and the EU commission, the WIPO process turned out to be open enough to allow NGOs and developing countries to introduce non-corporate viewpoints into the debate. As the WIPO process stalled, the next stage of tightening international copyright and patent rules was moved into a new, barely related forum, i.e. the ACTA process, which is carried out entirely in secret without public participation. After a few years of leaks, freedom of information requests and lone parliamentarians pointing out the hypocrisy, the EU commission has published some details about the ACTA process and entered into limited public debate about the new intellectual property rules. The US trade department continues to deny all requests for public debate. That's where the current story comes in: the public debate by the EU commission turns out to be just spin to placate the public.

Politics at work... (1)

SirAstral (1349985) | more than 2 years ago | (#35993036)

No surprise here... they are always trying to find the magic words support something to dupe the public.

You CAN FOOL MOST of the people MOST of the TIME! I live in the US and the only choice is a demtard or a repuke due to mass stupidity. They both are corrupt to the core but people keep voting them in anyways. Proof you can fool most of the people most of the time! It seems that the only game in town is which politician can lie the biggest and get away with it!

Somebody needs to learn about confirmation bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35993082)

Whatever arguments you make, whatever reason you have, will not convince anybody who has their mind shut.

It'll just confirm the bias already.

Uh, no. (4, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#35993160)

The Commission primarily appears to suffer from a lack of reading comprehension, amnesia regarding what it said earlier, and not being fully aware of its competences.

No, they suffer from wanting to justify something they're not actually able to justify.

But we see politicians in the same straits every day in the news. "Nothing to see here, folks."

Re:Uh, no. (1)

boorack (1345877) | more than 2 years ago | (#35997284)

No, they suffer from wanting to justify something they're not actually able to justify.

This is exactly I was thinking about. Whining about lack of comprehension, amnesia etc. does not make sense.

What IMO makes sense is looking who bribed them, was this bribing legal and are we able to make them liable for corruption.

Re:Uh, no. (1)

Halo1 (136547) | more than 2 years ago | (#36034000)

No, they suffer from wanting to justify something they're not actually able to justify.

This is exactly I was thinking about. Whining about lack of comprehension, amnesia etc. does not make sense.

What IMO makes sense is looking who bribed them, was this bribing legal and are we able to make them liable for corruption.

No, that does not make sense. Most likely no bribing whatsoever was involved. The people working on this are most likely simply "captives" of the system. Not in the sense that they are being blackmailed, but simply that they are so deeply embedded in that world that they honestly cannot imagine how having more and harsher enforcement of any kind of "intellectual property rights" can be bad in the grand scheme of things. Of course, with an ex-IFPI lobbyist now being responsible for ACTA at the European Commission [wordpress.com], they definitely are crossing quite a line. That's not a single point you can win on though, no matter how despicable it is.

Anyway, politics generally does not work like in movies of in TV-series. You seldom win by finding some secrets and then exposing them for the world to see. You win by exerting political pressure yourself. Example: Slashdot gets syndicated all over the web, just look at the google results [google.com] for the (afaik unique) title of this story. Now, an IDG journalist wrote her own take on the blog post [pcworld.com] (while I can't be certain she picked it up from Slashdot, it certainly can't have hurt). This article again is being posted all over the web [google.com] because IDG has many publications and those are also being syndicated. And yesterday I wrote another article on this topic for EDRI-gram [edri.org], a respected European newsletter on digital rights issues that's also read in political circles.

The reason that all this is important, is because the European Parliament (EP) still has to assent to ACTA. And in the EP there are several people who are critical of ACTA. Furthermore, the Commission hasn't been very forthcoming with information about ACTA in the past, which made the EP naturally a bit peeved about this. While such press coverage is unlikely to convince anyone in the Commission, it might (note: might) weaken the position of whoever was responsible for that "rebuttal" (the Commission obviously does not like getting press coverage about how badly they botched something up). It also strengthens the position of members of the EP critical of ACTA, by showing that society cares and that the Commission is putting the EU in bad light with its antics.

And in case you think all that doesn't matter: it does. It's how we won the fight against the software patents directive. That doesn't mean we will win now, but wide press coverage and visibility are a basic requirement for getting results in politics at large. On the other hand, focussing on figuring out who bribed whom when there isn't any need whatsoever to bribe anyone to get such nonsense distributed in the name of a political body "specialised" in trade/ipr/enforcement is only a waste of time.

upsides of the corepirate nazi holycost life0cide (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35993162)

there's no where to go but up? the fake weather can only get better? more pageants have to be rescheduled? chariots & hymens have never been more popular? what was never funny, is still not funny? the media.gov talknicians sound ok, but their eyes look dead? more awareness of our surroundings developing? there's really way too many of us unchosens, it almost doesn't matter who or which 'us' so long as our # diminishes, so there's more than more than enough for each of us?

What does it accomplish, then? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35993238)

It is for these reasons that the Commission has stated on a number of occasions that
ACTA is indeed fully in line with the relevant EU acquis. It will neither require changes
2 to that acquis, nor lead to different interpretations or implementation of existing EU
legislation.

I think I see the problem (4, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#35993304)

The Commission primarily appears to suffer from a lack of reading comprehension, amnesia regarding what it said earlier, and not being fully aware of its competences.

In other words, they'd fit right in here on Slashdot.

Re:I think I see the problem (1)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 2 years ago | (#35993586)

The Commission primarily appears to suffer from a lack of reading comprehension, amnesia regarding what it said earlier, and not being fully aware of its competences.

In other words, they'd fit right in here on Slashdot.

Naw, they wouldn't fit in. They don't spend enough time trying to look smart by talking about how stupid they are.

Re:I think I see the problem (2)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#35993616)

Only if their next reply contains dupes and starts with "First Post!"

They're competent at something? (1)

jensend (71114) | more than 2 years ago | (#35993442)

The Commission primarily appears to suffer from a lack of reading comprehension, amnesia regarding what it said earlier, and not being fully aware of its competences

Competences? What competences? This is the European Commission we're talking about, right?

Speaking as a European (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35993488)

I hate the undemocratic EC, and the way that they are not elected by the people they are supposed to serve.
There should have been a provision in the Lisbon Referendum to allow EU citizens to vote in their commissioner.

Re:Speaking as a European (0)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#35994188)

The Americans suffered with a similar issue. Their solution was to proudly boast that their country was not a democracy rather than being upset about it. After all, if it were a democracy it would be a Tyranny of the Majority. Instead they are the opposite and only alternative option: That Which Must Not Be Spoken. But they're still totally democratic, make no mistake. They have polls and everything.

Re:Speaking as a European (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 2 years ago | (#35997718)

The Commissioners are recommended by the elected governments of the member states and chosen by the elected European parliament. They are as 'undemocratic' as, for example, the head of the UK's civil service. If you are unhappy with the way the EU is run then I hope you have been voting for a candidate that will do something about it, and not just being like a lot of the people here in the UK who go on endlessly about the evils of the EU but can't be bothered to get off their backsides and go to a polling booth every few years.

Wait (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#35993508)

Painted into a corner? What, like people expect government to actually keep its word anyway? It's impossible for a politician to "paint himself into a corner", he'll just wiggle and squirm his way out of it. If the European Commission decides to let itself be bound by this "fact", it's because it's what they wanted to do in the first place.

Failed generation of leaders (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35996448)

What we're seeing is a generation of a self-proclaimed "elite" that has gotten hold of leadership positions by nothing more than nice words, mingling with others uttering nice words. They lack any skills in anything substantial. The only thing they're capable of apart from talking nice words is to write everything down to no avail: we experience unbounded growth in administrative and bureaucratic procedures, in any area of public and commercial live. We can observe this not only in this matter, ACTA, but in any contemporary subject. Consider some random examples: Euro crisis - they've done a lot (of talking) but fail to take any measures that would actually solve the problem; the social and health care systems in most industrial nations - again lots of talking, no measures to solve; the handling of the US financial crisis - same story, only thing that has come out of it are more rules, regulations and bureaucratic procedures, which is the opposite of what is required (that is, simply split the investment banks from the private banking side, problem solved). Looking for more exampkes? Open your newspaper of choice, watch TV, and listen to those who call themselves leaders. You will in the abounding majority of cases hear nothing but nice words and lots of "must have" statemens for more and new regulations and bureacracy. Red tape everywhere will soon turn the Earth to becone the secobd "red planet" in our solar system...

EU and the ACTA snafu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35999676)

We're talking about GOVERNMENT idiots here are we? What's the big deal? Even though they have no clue, they can still stick it to us -- and you know where.

Wessels (2)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 2 years ago | (#36001250)

Wessels from the FFII went through the Commission's reply

The fact checking around here is just atrocious. Where to begin? First of all, they're nuclear wessels, which is an important distinction I think, and second, they're from the Star Trek, not the Final Fantasy 2.

Re:Wessels (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36005584)

"Rank: (dreamy look) Admiral"

http://www.skechersshape-ups.net/skechers (0)

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