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WSJ Says Pro-ACTA Forces Helped Drive Anti-ACTA Reactions

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the didn't-properly-market-or-disguise dept.

Government 180

pbahra writes with commentary from the Wall Street Journal: "Europeans will take to the streets this weekend in protest at the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, an international agreement that has given birth to an ocean full of red herrings. That so many have spawned is, say critics, in no small part down to the way in which this most controversial of international agreements was drawn up. If the negotiating parties had set out to stoke the flames of Internet paranoia they could not have done a better job. Accepted there are two things that should never be seen being made in public—laws and sausages—the ACTA process could be a case study of how not to do it. Conducted in secret, with little information shared except a few leaked documents, the ACTA talks were even decried by those who were involved in them."

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finaly (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38981111)

first comments?

From TFA (4, Informative)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981191)

Everyone is very keen on sharing until it is their stuff that is being shared.

I guess he has not heard of these people:

http://www.fsf.org/ [fsf.org]

I would love it (4, Interesting)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981275)

If more people would share my company's software. So long as they know where to find us when the users discover they need training and the management realises they need consulting to make use of what they are now finding out, because these are the hard things.

I would love it (4, Insightful)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981549)

if people would stop using the subject as part of the message body. It's not, it's a totally separate field (for a reason)

I'm ok (5, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981571)

with it.

Me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38981643)

too.

I don't (3, Insightful)

qbast (1265706) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981801)

agree

they don't go backwards. (5, Funny)

fedos (150319) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981899)

At least

Concur (2)

Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981707)

do I

Yoda (3, Funny)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#38983059)

As does.

It works better... (2)

istartedi (132515) | more than 2 years ago | (#38982575)

...if you use dots.

It's called... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38983287)

...ellipsis.

Then why have a subject line (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981799)

in the first place.

oh I did it didn't I

To give you a summary. (4, Informative)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981919)

It's supposed to be a summary of what the full message contains. Not the first half of the first sentence.

But a summary so short is completely meaningless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38982051)

in almost 99% of cases.

And why the HELL should anyone care if you don't like it?

I don't like cold rice pudding.

I'm not going to demand nobody eats it, though.

Pretentious asshole.

Preference is irrelevant, purpose is the point. (5, Insightful)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 2 years ago | (#38982267)

We were discussing the intended purpose of the subject field; and that is to give a short summary of what the full message contains.

This allows readers to skip over messages they are not interested in, and use their time more efficiently.

It's not about what I prefer, it's about efficient communication.

To follow your pointless analogy, it would be like not labeling containers of cold rice pudding (or labeling them as something else), forcing everyone else to waste their time checking to see what's actually in the container.

Re:But a summary so short is completely meaningles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38982737)

in almost 99% of cases.

And why the HELL should anyone care if you don't like it?

I don't like cold rice pudding.

I'm not going to demand nobody eats it, though.

Pretentious asshole.

I doubt he is pretentious.

Meaninglessness of short summaries denied (1)

Suferick (2438038) | more than 2 years ago | (#38982823)

Short summaries seem to work pretty well as newspaper headlines; they just need a little thought in ensuring they capture the essence of the subject and catch the right eyes

Re:Then why have a subject line (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981999)

What jpapon said, plus when replying to a post it's already filled in for you, so why not just leave it as it is?

it can get confusing (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 2 years ago | (#38983239)

it can get confusing when many people reply to the same post and you end up with a bunch of subject lines that all just say Re: X.

Re:Then why have a subject line (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#38982019)

Perhaps for you to place the subject [bit.ly] in, smartass?

But you did it (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 2 years ago | (#38983185)

too!

I'm going to (1)

PenisLands (930247) | more than 2 years ago | (#38982449)

Do this just to get on your nerves. PENIS FOREVER!!! !!! !!!

Re:From TFA (4, Insightful)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981843)

Everyone is very keen on sharing until it is their stuff that is being shared.

"You're (presumably) a hypocrite. Therefore, all of your arguments are invalidated and sharing is objectively bad."

Re:From TFA (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38982125)

FYI, the TFA is the Wall Street Journal, which is (now) owned by News Corp. You remember: Rupert Murdock's gang of yellow journalists, criminals and corrupt police officers.

The article basically bashes anything anti-ACTA while trying to sound neutral. For example, it quotes 2 scholars who say that ACTA is a good thing, while admitting that their some paranoia out their about ACTA.

The whole article basically starts off with the premise that "copyright" is real property and that copying real property is "theft":

If you say copying other people's copyright is an OK thing to do, then you are saying that theft is OK. Everyone is very keen on sharing until it is their stuff that is being shared.

It's a VERY one sided article that sounds like it was sponsored and supervised by Rupert Murdock himself.

Of course copyright is not necessarily a bad thing, but demonizing the opposition to copyright and to ACTA in particular just demonstrates how useless Rupert Murdock's brand of journalism is.

This is one scary law (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38981193)

It's no wonder they had to do this in secret, giving companies the right to dictate to goverments is bad no matter which way you look t it

Re:This is one scary law (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981467)

I don't get it: Surely laws should be made in public...

Re:This is one scary law (4, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981555)

ah... you think the government has your best interest at heart. The truth is, they don't... and they don't want you finding that out.

Re:This is one scary law (-1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#38982157)

Of course they don't have your best interests at heart. As part of a democracy, they're supposed to have everybody's best interests at heart. That includes the carpenters working on the movie sets that lose funding if the studio collapses. That includes the ISP technician who has to implement any new policies, on top of his existing workload. That includes the artists, who are working two jobs already while trying to find time to create.

But of course, that's not good enough for any single person. Everybody wants their best interests represented, and nobody else matters.

Re:This is one scary law (5, Insightful)

offsides (1297547) | more than 2 years ago | (#38982363)

And that is EXACTLY why people are up in arms about it. The governments got together in secret, decided what was "best" for their populations, and then held the pile of papers close to their chest and said "Here it is, isn't it great!" And when the people who were ratifying it asked to see it, the were told, "You don't need to see it, it's in your best interest."

Unfortunately, it might have ended there, since the majority tends to accept that these days. Except that some of the people who signed the bloody thing then came out and said "Waitaminute! This is really crap, and I shouldn't have signed it!" And that got EVERYBODY's attention, and thankfully people who should have been paying attention all along started to pay attention, and now it's snowballing.

For better or worse, this may be the beginning of the end of crappy, business-centric, screw-the-people laws and treaties. I'm not saying that it'll stop them 100% right away, but after the pullback on SOPA and PIPA, and now ACTA, the people are starting to figure out that they can use the Internet to get real reactions from their lawmakers, and not just lip service on the campaign trail. Politicians may not want to lose all their "perks" from the lobbyists, but they want to lose their elected positions even less, and sufficient pressure applied by the people who elect them appears to be making an impact...

Re:This is one scary law (0)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#38982063)

The problem with making laws in sight of the public is that the public will not just see the proposed laws, but react to them in their unfinished form.

Laws go through many iterations and edits before anything is public, and the public at large has an annoying tendency to pick out the worst aspects, and launch protest campaigns using all the delicate tact of a stick of dynamite. If a proposed law might unintentionally offend some group, they're likely to oppose it, even though the offensive parts would be removed by the final version.

Re:This is one scary law (4, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38982717)

Well, there's an obvious way to get around that problem.

Keep obviously stupid sh*t out of the process. If you are running a committee then keep on topic and disallow stuff that will obviously alienate the people watching.

Certain ideas should not even be brought up. If they are contrary to your nation's founding guiding principles, perhaps they should not be sneaked into legislation.

There is no reason the process can't tolerate full transparency.

This is equally true for making sausage.

If the customer objects to the process, you're probably doing something wrong and need to stop doing that sh*t.

Nice in theory (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38982765)

It would be acceptable to do the initial iterations in secret so long as the final version has a long period of public review before the vote.

Some groups have tried to fast-track laws specifically to get them passed before the public has time to oppose them, specifically because they *know* the laws are harmful to the majority of the people impacted. People are reacting against this obviously hostile attitude, and demanding more openness because of it.

Re:This is one scary law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38982871)

The law in its unfinished form shows what it is really intended to do. The public deserves to see that.

Leaked docs (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38981195)

If anybody has any bad feelings towards Wikileaks, let the ACTA serve as a reminder that the only reason we even know of it is because somebody on the inside provided it and Wikileaks released it.

Re:Leaked docs (5, Insightful)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981249)

My thoughts, if someone on the inside thought enough to post it and people for it were so much against it being outed then there must be some bad in it. If you don't want the public to know of a bill being passed then there is something inherently wrong with the bill you are trying to pass.

Re:Leaked docs (5, Interesting)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981341)

If anybody has any bad feelings towards Wikileaks, let the ACTA serve as a reminder that the only reason we even know of it is because somebody on the inside provided it and Wikileaks released it.

Yes. At the end of the day, if a law exists that makes a criminal out of the majority, then it does not serve society, rather it serves to subjugate.

In a free society the primary intent of law is to safeguard the freedom of the people.
In a totalitarian society laws primarily exist to protect the ruling class from the people.

It is unlikely that a law will be passed in a free society without the consent of the governed. No such considerations are required in a totalitarian state. Wikileaks is a threat only to governments that have something to hide.

Re:Leaked docs (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 2 years ago | (#38982143)

And as we all know - If they have noting to hide, then they have nothing to worry about :)

Re:Leaked docs (2, Funny)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38982455)

While in general, I would agree, I'd also say that the devil is in the details. Remember the Bill of Rights, and why it was thought necessary? Even though it made criminals out of large swathes of the American population? Sometimes, people act so barbarically that the law needs to make criminals out of the majority of people - or at least criminalize what a large chunk of the population considers right.

What this means is that the broadness of a law and who it criminalizes should not enter into consideration when analyzing whether a law is good, just, either or neither. Ultimately, what matters in a law is whether it was created by following established procedures, both in spirit and in black and white scribblings on paper.

And before you argue that point - individual freedom provides inherent benefits to society that should not be abrogated lightly, or without due consideration.

Re:Leaked docs (4, Informative)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981417)

It was also released on Pirate Bay, Wikileaks was not the only reason we know of it.

Re:Leaked docs (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38981621)

How did Pirate Bay know? Were they relaying what they got from Wikileaks or did they have their own sources?

Re:Leaked docs (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38982593)

A busted clock is right twice a day. Wikileaks is more interested in trying to compromise Western interests and have European service people killed (with their families) than actually being something of a positive nature. I'm sure that what China is doing in the former Tibet and other provinces, as well as what the Syrian and Iran governments are doing to their political prisoners on a day in and day out schedule would put to shame any of the US/European flub-ups. Those police states just make sure the stuff doesn't hit the news.

FTFA (5, Insightful)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981233)

“The agreement is seeking to address a number of very different issues of which some are serious problems of public health and public safety, for example trade in fake medicine,” Ms. Schaake said. “But that issue doesn’t compare to the alleged cost to society of online piracy

So human life that is damaged from taking a counterfeit drug is worth less than what rights holders lose due to piracy? Or did I just interpret that wrong?

Re:FTFA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38981271)

Although there is no money in doing such a study, I'd like to see one into the extent that unrestricted piracy is a net benefit to society.

Re:FTFA (2)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981283)

Of course, a human life was calculated at what 5 million or something? While if you have a RIAA lawyer, they can find a way to calculate out each song as worth a few million each.

Re:FTFA (1)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981669)

Of course, a human life was calculated at what 5 million or something? While if you have a RIAA lawyer, they can find a way to calculate out each song as worth a few million each.

Are you suggesting that a song is worth less than a human life? That, sir, is libelous. You will be hearing from MAFIAA lawyers in the near future.

Re:FTFA (1)

Freddybear (1805256) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981305)

"alleged cost to society of online piracy"? If by "society" they mean "members of the MAFIAA" perhaps. And by "alleged" they mean "grossly exaggerated".

Re:FTFA (5, Interesting)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981605)

RIAA group: 10,000 employees, profits in the single digit billions.

Internet: Hundreds of millions of employees, profits in the trillions.

a) Getting rid of which of them would cause more harm.

b) If everybody in the USA chipped in $100 bucks they could BUY the RIAA and get free music forever. If you did it at world level it would easily doable.

c) The RIAA has probably already cost the world than their net worth by wasting everybody's time through their legal/political shenanigans.

Re:FTFA (1)

fibonacci8 (260615) | more than 2 years ago | (#38982139)

Nah, everyone's just going to wait until someone rips a copy of the RIAA and download/torrent it via the pirate bay.

Re:FTFA (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38981381)

The whole counterfeit medicine issue is a red herring. Counterfeit drugs are not vetted and approved by the FDA/EMA and hence should be prosecuted based on that basis (whether or not they infringe on any trademarks or patents is irrelevant if you're talking about safety; in fact, one could argue the chance that they are dangerous in case they do infringe on patents may actually be smaller).

Apart from that there are the generic medicines, which are properly tested and approved. Issues surrounding those are purely related to intellectual property law without any relation to safety. And more often than not, those issues are (legal or not) abuse by rightsholders related to continuation patents, fighting parallel imports, or thwarting transport to countries where those patents are not valid through countries where they do apply.

Re:FTFA (4, Insightful)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981511)

Exactly my thoughts. If you are creating a product that harms people, whether or not you have the legal right to create that product in the first place is a totally separate matter.

There are approved medicines killing people all the time. Big Pharma only cares about your money, not your health. In this case the law is not concerned with your health either, only that Big Pharma gets your money and not someone else. It has nothing to do with how dangerous the drug is.

Re:FTFA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38983151)

You're assuming it's a Good Thing that the bloated jobs program that is the FDA requires all new drugs to undergo expensive and over-burdensome testing. The FDA kills drugs that aren't "effective enough", even if they have no detrimental side effects. It costs a billion dollars to bring a new drug to the market. And there is no alternative, you either get your stamp of approval from Big Brother or you go home. Shall I go on?

Re:FTFA (4, Informative)

FalcDot (1224920) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981471)

At least quote the whole paragraph, if nothing else it makes discussion *here* a whole lot easier.

“The agreement is seeking to address a number of very different issues of which some are serious problems of public health and public safety, for example trade in fake medicine,” Ms. Schaake said. “But that issue doesn’t compare to the alleged cost to society of online piracy. It seeks to kill 20 birds with one stone. It risks not solving the legitimate concerns but causing incredible collateral damage.”

I read this as indicating that both issues are simply in different leagues when it comes to importance. The phrasing "alleged cost [...] of online privacy" seems to indicate she sees the fake meds as much much more important and that she's worried that the inclusion of anti-piracy stuff is harming these legitimate concerns.

Re:FTFA (0)

jesseck (942036) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981491)

The full quote FTFA:

According to Marietje Schaake, a Dutch member of the European Parliament, the problems with the agreement appeared at the start of the process, when too many things were swept under the ACTA umbrella.

“The agreement is seeking to address a number of very different issues of which some are serious problems of public health and public safety, for example trade in fake medicine,” Ms. Schaake said. “But that issue doesn’t compare to the alleged cost to society of online piracy. It seeks to kill 20 birds with one stone. It risks not solving the legitimate concerns but causing incredible collateral damage.”

She is stating that ACTA, while started with "good intentions" (such as to stop counterfeit drug trade), grew in scope beyond what it was meant to be. The MAFFIA jumped on the bandwagon and included their 0.02 cents worth (yes, it is less valuable than my 2 cent's worth). She says that online piracy is nowhere near the problem that requires a solution such as ACTA- and that counterfeit pharmaceuticals are a problem that have serious (and real) consequences.

Re:FTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38981833)

So, basically, she alleges that the MAFIAA managed to jeopardize an agreement that was meant to reduce drug trafficking? How totally in character of them. Has big pharma thanked them for their meddling yet?

Re:FTFA (2)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981497)

So human life that is damaged from taking a counterfeit drug is worth less than what rights holders lose due to piracy? Or did I just interpret that wrong?

Of course.

Corporate profits are the highest form of good. Who cares about a few suckers who bought fake medicine?

As long as quarterly profits and executive bonuses are at all-time highs, that's all that matters. /end sarcasm

Yes, clearly these guys do believe that downloaded songs is a bigger societal cost. Mostly because they use their ridiculous numbers to arrive at this conclusion. In their mind, the trillions in make-believe money they think they're owed is taken directly out of the economy.

It's only going to get worse from here.

Re:FTFA (4, Interesting)

dapyx (665882) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981709)

Actually, "counterfeit medicine" is a euphemism for "generic drugs", i.e. drugs that have been manufactured and sold without paying the patent owners anything. Some drugs (especially for various types of cancer) cost more than $100,000 per treatment and some third-world countries produce their own local "generic" version of the drug, since they can't afford paying that much for saving just one life. The production costs for a drug sold for a six-figure sum are typically under $100. The "big pharma" try to prevent poor consumers from first-world countries from traveling to third-world countries and buy these drugs, this is all there is to it.

Re:FTFA (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38982439)

Actually, "counterfeit medicine" is a euphemism for "generic drugs"

In the West, yes. In third world nations, it is an enormous problem.

A couple of years ago, I remember a case where an African nation threatened to yank a western pharma company's license, due to apparent lack of efficacy of their antimalarials. Well, it turns out that while the shelves were full of "their" product, the western company barely sold anything in that country at all. The fakes typically contained just enough active ingredient to make you feel better and confuse simple tests. Or sometimes not even that, just some Tylenol or such to bring down the fever.

Re:FTFA (1)

gmack (197796) | more than 2 years ago | (#38982553)

Not really, people tend not to buy their cancer drugs online since you would need an expensive doctor to preform expensive tests to tell you what you need. Most of the online pharmacies that I have seen don't have anything other than the things people know by name with leanings to things people would be embarrassed to ask their doctor for such as drugs for erectile dysfunction, depression etc. There have been multiple reports where the counterfeit drug had either low/no active ingredient or in some cases the wrong ingredient.

Re:FTFA (3, Informative)

L3370 (1421413) | more than 2 years ago | (#38983217)

There is counterfeit medicine that is indeed FAKE (as in containing no real medicinal properties) medicine. U.S. Customs has intercepted FAKE, not generic, drugs like insulin, blood pressure meds, and even chemotherapy drugs. Guess where they come from? China; often in the same shipment as the knockoff FILA shoes and Gucci handbags.

Hijacking a brand name isn't the only problem with counterfeiting. Sometimes the knockoff products pose true safety hazards.

Re:FTFA (3, Insightful)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981719)

Sadly, you interpret that right. This is coming from the WSJ, where being rich makes you a more worthwhile human. Therefore, as the majority of the pirates have less wealth than the RIAA, they are worth less.

Also, the thing about wealth? it does not only increase your value as an individual. Once you are rich, it means you deserved it, and you should never be allowed to be poor again. Because that would be unfair.

So yes, this tripe is exactly what one would expect from the WSJ.

Re:FTFA (1)

iMadeGhostzilla (1851560) | more than 2 years ago | (#38982145)

I think it's the translation -- she's Dutch. Sounds like she meant "fake drugs can kill people, and this is very different from the societal cost of online piracy, so these two things don't compare and shouldn't have been lumped together" meaning the fake drugs things should have been separate.

Which I sympathize with, but I'm glad the IP idiots tried to bundle their profit-keeping concerts with some responsible people's live-saving concerns so the former failed. The latter is important in itself so it will probably be covered in a separate agreement.

Re:FTFA (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38982611)

Even more insidious than that even.

He's saying that the power of rights holders to deny open redistribution of cultural artifacts (songs, images, et al) is in the culture's best interests, and that this interest trumps even the culture's interest in quality healthcare and medicine.

Basically, he's saying that the artist/publisher's ability to *restrict* cultural heritage is more important than the physical health of the people those art forms are supposed to service.

Of course, he worded it in such a way as to attempt to conflate *restriction* of culture, with *creation* of culture, which are demonstrably different and antithetical things.

Fantastic doublethink there. It almost works when you don't stop to contemplate what copyright actually is, in regard to cultural proliferation.

Re:FTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38982679)

You did interpret that correctly, although Ms. Schaake isn't saying that this is at all right. She is suggesting that the copyright infringement costs being alleged are so large that they overwhelm the public health and safety concerns that the act is also addressed towards. Too many impossible-to-tally costs were thrown into the same process, and the one with the biggest estimated cost overwhelmed the others in the discussion.

the chancellor was wrong (5, Insightful)

at10u8 (179705) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981235)

'laws and sausages' is attributed to von Bismarck. Is it not the case that every RFC is basically an international trade agreement? The process of making them is very different than ACTA. Which produces the more effective result?

Sausages made in public (4, Interesting)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981255)

Actually, our local farmers do tend to let people watch their sausages being made (hint: Wessex possibly has the world's best pigs, and most local farmers seem to make foodie sausages ). Laws and sausages should be made in public.

Re:Sausages made in public (3, Funny)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981325)

sausages should be made public.

There's an alarming quantity of websites where people do exactly that.

Re:Sausages made in public (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 2 years ago | (#38982073)

sausages should be made public.

There's an alarming quantity of websites where people do exactly that.

There are other sausages than black pudding...

Re:Sausages made in public (3, Interesting)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981333)

This. A million times this. There is never an excuse for not being transparent.

See, if you don't want me to see the law you are writing, clearly it means you know I won't agree. Now in a democracy, who are you to redact a law which does not have popular support? Bismark was not a democrat, and his laws were acts balancing the public interest, yes, but also all the special interests who supported the empire.

There is no place for that in a democracy.

Re:Sausages made in public (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981493)

There are excuses for not being transparent. One is called "birthday present".

Re:Sausages made in public (2)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981589)

Actually, if your "birthday present" was, say "I got a really good job far away, pack your stuff, we are starting a new life", you might find that the recipient of the gift would have appreciated some transparency.

Re:Sausages made in public (1)

MiniMike (234881) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981695)

This. A million times this. There is never an excuse for not being transparent.

See, if you don't want me to see the law you are writing, clearly it means you know I won't agree. Now in a democracy, who are you to redact a law which does not have popular support? Bismark was not a democrat, and his laws were acts balancing the public interest, yes, but also all the special interests who supported the empire.

There is no place for that in a democracy.

I think the quote refers to the process of producing the sausage or law, not the final product. Just like you wouldn't want to see the pieces of pig snout and various orifices going into the grinder and coming out as your lunch, you wouldn't want to see the bickering, infighting, back-stabbing, and other types of anti-social behavior that are combined to make our laws.

I note that many of our laws have the same level of coherency and uniformity as a poorly ground sausage, without sharing any of the positive qualities.

Similarly, once finished, both the butcher and the legislature are eager for the product to be "in your face".

Re:Sausages made in public (2)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981787)

Actually, I don't mind seeing how my sausages are made. I think it educative. Also, I have a strong opinion about anyone refusing to know anything.

Don't. You should try to know as much as you can on every possible topic. It is immensely hypocritical to detach the product from the process which created it.

I don't think that the back-stabbing and anti-social behaviour add to the quality of the law. Therefore, if the public eye forces the makers of the law to be civil, than that is a _good_ thing.

Re:Sausages made in public (4, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#38983275)

ust like you wouldn't want to see the pieces of pig snout and various orifices going into the grinder and coming out as your lunch, you wouldn't want to see the bickering, infighting, back-stabbing, and other types of anti-social behavior that are combined to make our laws.

I think that's the point - good quality sausages don't have all that crap going in. Allowing us to see the process tells us whether we want to buy them or not, because we can see what goes in.

The same goes for laws. If we see our politicians behaving like spoilt children, or obviously working against their own constituents, or just shoving cronyist crap into law, we should know, even at the early stages, so we can get rid of the laws and the assholes,

Re:Sausages made in public (1, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38982571)

You're missing the point that Bismarck was making, and that is very apparent today: very few people LIKE watching sausage being made, and quite a few recoil in horror at the process. Especially when the sausage being made is being made quickly and cheaply. Same goes for laws. Have you noticed how very few people today have any idea who is supposed to do what in our government? The discussion around the debt ceiling alone was worth a few million facepalms, as people were watching sausage being made, and got squeamish because they saw things they didn't understand and didn't expect to see.

What Bismarck was referring to was that Democracy wasn't some pure process where people held hands as they arrived at a peaceful consensus on how exactly to distribute the collected tax money. It is an ugly, brutal process that many people don't think about when they consume the delicious result.

Re:Sausages made in public (1)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | more than 2 years ago | (#38982735)

Bismark was the chancellor of the German Empire. Not a democracy in any way...

The fact that people do not like to know things is no excuse for anything. In fact one should go by the motto:

  Ignorance Is Not A Valid Point Of View

If people see things, soon enough, they understand the parts of the process to be either wrong or necessary. Without transparency, you will never get rid of the wrong parts. As for the debt ceiling debate, it was such an act of collective stupidity that I still don't understand how you guys ended up with a decision to the right of the average republican voter.

Re:Sausages made in public (2)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38982851)

"quickly and cheaply"

People SHOULD object to any law or sausage that is made in this fashion. The fact that people object is not a bad thing. Citizens of a democracy should not accept CRAP. This applies equally to food or the law.

"quick and cheap" are usually objectionable for a good reason.

The problem with Bismark's remark is that it doesn't describe Democracy at all.

In Democracy, a level of participation and oversight is not just tolerated. It should be expected, perhaps even rising to the level of an individual duty.

Re:Sausages made in public (2)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981601)

Indeed. Making sausage isn't even that nasty.

Throw some meat in a grinder, take what comes out, and knead in some seasonings. Not much far removed from making meatloaf!

When I was doing this, the most objectionable part of the job was the smell of the vinegar, of all things. "Oh sure, don't worry about the ground up miscellaneous animal parts... but do watch out for that nasty vinegar!"

Re:Sausages made in public (2)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 2 years ago | (#38982635)

In Bismark's day they were still making sausage with rotten meat and borax to hide the rotten meat flavor. So the comparison to ACTA is apt.

Re:Sausages made in public (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38982911)

ConAgra would love to get away with that kind of thing today.

That's why transparency is important.

If you are "producing a product for public consumption" and you are unwilling to let the customer watch the process then it is right for people to be suspicious.

Another story how it's mostly imaginary badness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38981293)

Obvious rhetoric being obvious.

The guy from Dirty Jobs should visit Parliament... (4, Interesting)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981301)

If making a law is so dirty, it's about time it makes the show.

Re:The guy from Dirty Jobs should visit Parliament (1)

RoccamOccam (953524) | more than 2 years ago | (#38982289)

How about "The Real House Members of Washington, D.C."?

Accepted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38981303)

>Accepted there are two things that should never be seen being made in public
I've never heard this before. Who's accepted this?

Got it backwards: SHOULD BE made in public. (4, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981311)

The old adage is about how you might not want to know how sausages and laws are made; it has nothing to do with making them in public. In fact, that's rather contrary to the premise of the rest of the post.

As unpleasant as it may be to watch the process, laws and sausages are precisely the kinds of things you DO want to be made in public, so you can see just exactly what goes into them.

You can watch a lot of Congress on TV (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 2 years ago | (#38982397)

but they have so convoluted the process that its impossible to follow what they are doing. Worse they now like to pass laws where the actions are decided by groups not yet formed thereby circumventing the action, penalty, and enforcement, parts of many laws.

reminder that the WSJ is a news corp property (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38981331)

n/t

It's not paranoia if they ARE out to get you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38981347)

But proclaiming persecution fears are merely paranoia is a good way to ensure that your persecution is not resisted...

This may be an irreducible conflict (4, Insightful)

FoolishOwl (1698506) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981371)

There is an underlying problem: our model of intellectual property simply doesn't make sense for the real world, and more importantly, this is obvious to nearly everyone, and is at odds with how we actually use digital information. The deeper issue is that this starts to bring into question models of property. We have always had artificial scarcity layered on actual scarcity, as a sort of exaggeration. That works when the disparity between actual and apparent scarcity is not too great. But it's obvious to most people that scarcity in copying digital media is wholly artificial. Pushing too hard may lead to people asking questions the WSJ would rather they didn't ask.

Re:This may be an irreducible conflict (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38981915)

I can't agree more.
The scarcity and property questions need to be addressed now. They will get much thornier when 3D printing comes of age.

Re:This may be an irreducible conflict (4, Insightful)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#38982065)

You sound like an economist, but I agree with you anyway.

From TFA:

“If you say copying other people’s copyright is an OK thing to do, then you are saying that theft is OK. Everyone is very keen on sharing until it is their stuff that is being shared.”
He said that there was a lot of misinformation about the agreement. “It does not alter the underlying law. It is an agreement, not an Act.
“It is more like a convention of mutual support between signatory countries that they will work to enforce intellectual property rights of individuals or businesses who can prove their rights have been infringed.”

The problem with copyright is that it is too severe. Copyright originally existed to limit the power of private individuals to own what belonged in the commons. To answer to this, a limit was placed on the amount of time that works that should be considered culture and a benefit to society, could remain private property.
The problem being that they (The booksellers) owned all culture, and if you could not afford to pay their prices, then that culture, your culture, was not available to you. Under these conditions, culture is restricted from society rather than being a benefit to it.
Modern lobbying to extend the length and breadth of copyright is taking us back to that very same situation, where all works are owned privately by big media, and public ownership of culture (the commons) is fading away.

You must pay!

The response to this by the public has been to ignore copyright altogether. It isn't so much that the concept of copyright is viewed as wrong, it's that it has become too restrictive.
Any law that would have the majority of society guilty is a bad law. If it doesn't look bad on the surface, then maybe you have to look deeper, but the fact remains that it is a bad law.

Re:This may be an irreducible conflict (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38982537)

"Intellectual Property" is a (purposeful?) misnomer: http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/not-ipr.html [gnu.org]

There's an old saying... (4, Insightful)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981505)

You can put lipstick on a pig, but its still a pig.

No matter how you went about pushing ACTA, people would have been upset. It was kept secretly because big content companies were hoping that it would be passed before anybody realized it was happening.

ACTA could not be passed in most places with a fully informed public & electorate.

The main drive behind anit-ACTA reactions (5, Insightful)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981509)

is ACTA.

Good on them. (2)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981515)

I have a hard enough time getting intelligent, driven and aware folks to call their congress folks.

Good on them for actually taking it to the streets.

Arsonists help drive Firefighters (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981959)

I think when you parallel the statement in the headline with my headline I think the point is more clear.

Sometimes the public gets in the way (2)

sohmc (595388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981977)

Don't read this the wrong way: making laws should be transparent. I know at the local level, when bills are debated, there is always some crackpot who likes to take their 2-6 minutes to talk about something completely unrelated to the bill. This takes up valuable time but they really can't be stopped. The local reps don't want to do anything about it because the crackpot is usually homeless or elderly or otherwise infirmed. The point is that the local council will often do closed door meetings to get work done. (Let's move pass the fact that these reps don't have the backbone to actually ban the crackpot from speaking unless relevant to the bill at hand.)

I know that Congress doesn't work the same way (e.g. there are no public hearings where I can testify) but they do tend to have more closed door meetings than should be allowed. Furthermore, the notes/transcripts from these meetings are usually not made public (or if they are, it's impossible to find).

There are times when closed door meetings are necessary for progress. It sucks but it happens. But unless directly related to national security, transcripts should always be available to the People.

Saying it should happen and it actually happening are, at the moment, two totally different things separated by a chasm the size of the Grand Canyon. But one can dream...

Wow. (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38982045)

The reaction from people who say this is a bad thing, it is not that ACTA is a bad thing, they are reacting to a notion that what they are doing is wrong.

"Wrong" by whose standards?

And apparently anyone who opposes the ACTA is automatically someone who infringes upon copyright themselves. He seems to be a fan of generalizations and irrelevancy.

If you say copying other people’s copyright is an OK thing to do, then you are saying that theft is OK.

No, not really. Not the "theft" part at least. Not "theft" as most people likely know it. I guess "theft" means "copying" now. Sure, I feel that kind of "theft" is okay. Kind of redundant to restate that fact, though, isn't it?

Helsinki protester checking in. (4, Informative)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 2 years ago | (#38983115)

We're going to protest on Saturday, in Helsinki, in spite of the cold. I hope that there would be at least about a hundred people, but I might be pleasantly surprised.

At any rate, I'll be there: one day my son could ask me what did I do while they were trying to silence the internet - and I don't want to have to say that I was just sitting around. Even if it's a lost battle, I owe it to him.

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