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EU Commissioner Reveals He Will Ignore Any Rejection of ACTA

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the if-at-first-you-don't-succeed dept.

EU 253

Dupple tips a story at Techdirt about comments from EU commissioner Karel De Gucht, who made some discouraging remarks to the EU International Trade committee about the opposition to ACTA: "If you decide for a negative vote before the European Court rules, let me tell you that the Commission will nonetheless continue to pursue the current procedure before the Court, as we are entitled to do. A negative vote will not stop the proceedings before the Court of Justice. ... If the Court questions the conformity of the agreement with the Treaties we will assess at that stage how this can be addressed." De Gucht also spoke about proposing clarifications to ACTA if Parliament declined to ratify it, which, as Techdirt points out, doesn't make much sense: "Remember that ACTA is now signed, and cannot be altered; so De Gucht is instead trying to fob off European politicians with this vague idea of 'clarifications' — as if more vagueness could somehow rectify the underlying problems of an already dangerously-vague treaty."

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253 comments

As an American... (5, Insightful)

Das Auge (597142) | about 2 years ago | (#40458443)

As an American: at least he's honest about it. My politicians just issue bald-faced lies.

Re:As an American... (3, Insightful)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | about 2 years ago | (#40458645)

Thats because if they did that here, people have GUNS.

Re:As an American... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40458745)

They do in Europe, too. Some countries more so than others, but there are "law abiding citizens" that legally possess guns (or can get black market ones too, probably easier there than in the US).

Re:As an American... (3, Funny)

lennier (44736) | about 2 years ago | (#40458777)

Thats because if they did that here, people have GUNS.

And your politicians have nukes. Your move.

Re:As an American... (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40458885)

When the merd' hits the fan, the soldiers will refuse to nuke Americans. The gun owners will ultimately win.

Re:As an American... (5, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 2 years ago | (#40459277)

No worries, these people will be labeled something among the lines of "terrorists, pedophiles, liberals, wing nuts" or whatever other term will be deemed valid and hostile enough by spin doctors writing speeches for modern leaders.

Then most of the sheep will happily nuke the "enemies of the state" into the oblivion.

Re:As an American... (1)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | about 2 years ago | (#40459523)

Will the soldiers be told who they are nuking? Can the launch operators see what their missile is targeted at, or can this information be faked?

Imagine a soldier gets the news that N Korea just nuked S Korea and Japan, and is ordered to launch his nuke, which then just happens to 'miss' and hit California.

Re:As an American... (3, Informative)

publiclurker (952615) | about 2 years ago | (#40460019)

then they'll just use something a little less powerful than a nuke, but a lot more powerful than your strap-on manhood.

Re:As an American... (1)

BMOC (2478408) | about 2 years ago | (#40458895)

Uh, did you just suggest that a politicians response to assassination would be to nuke a town in his own country? What is this, the 1970s? Governments have much cleaner things to use against troublesome populations in this modern age, like identity theft and eminent domain.

Re:As an American... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40458907)

If someone's close enough to use a gun, they're too close to use a nuke without killing yourself too. Your move.

Re:As an American... (1)

MrHanky (141717) | about 2 years ago | (#40458967)

Wrong. It's because people have the vote. Being honest won't get them (re-)elected (and breaking their promises won't get them shot, and have little impact on their electability). The EU commissioners have no such democratic problem.

Re:As an American... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40459085)

(and breaking their promises won't get them shot, and have little impact on their electability).

You sure about that? Piss off enough of the right sort of people to the right extent and shit will start to happen. [foxnews.com]

(yea that's fox, but i was too lazy to dig for a less stupid source. you can use that to search further if you want.)

Re:As an American... (2)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 years ago | (#40459341)

But she was shot simply because Loughner was nuts. It likely had nothing to do with her specific voting record.

Similarly, Reagan was shot because Hinckley was trying to impress Jody Foster.

Re:As an American... (5, Insightful)

Velex (120469) | about 2 years ago | (#40459307)

What's that got to do with it? Why would gun owners invoke the 2nd Amendment to defend a bunch of long-haired hippies who want to steal American Property?

Especially after acquiescing to the Patriot Act and airport scanners that administer a dangerous dosage of radiation as a routine measure?

No, my friend, I'm afraid that I've yet to see the 2nd Amendment get invoked for any other reason than to kill brown people and fags except maybe the Civil War. And after the New Deal, the reasons for the secession of the Confederate States look like gripes that could be solved over an afternoon tea.

Your internet tough guy argument fails. Even after all the shortwave saber rattling I used to believe in and follow when I was growing up, the American people remain hopelessly cowed.

Re:As an American... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40459749)

I love gun nut response like this. It's so cute that they think their little guns discourage the government in any way.

Re:As an American... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40460023)

I love gun nut response like this. It's so cute that they think their little guns discourage the government in any way.

Never heard of Athens, TN? [jpfo.org]

Re:As an American... (1)

BMOC (2478408) | about 2 years ago | (#40458693)

It's not a lie if they don't read the legislation in the first place. Incompetence is the simpler explanation.

Re:As an American... (4, Insightful)

idontgno (624372) | about 2 years ago | (#40459107)

As practiced by the Legislative Branch of the U.S., incompetence is so intentional and willful that it rises past the level of mere picayune lying and to the heights of wholesale reality-denial. A malignant and cynical form of wishful thinking, if you will.

Re:As an American... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40459001)

they lie because you can vote for them. Over here, you no NO vote on the law makers, NONE at all.

Re:As an American... (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#40459395)

As an American: at least he's honest about it. My politicians just issue bald-faced lies.

He's not being honest because it's virtuous; He's being honest because there's no consequences for him doing it. Our politicians lie their asses off when it suits them just like yours. He just knows there's no fight left in the general population. Don't go getting funny ideas about how our politicians are somehow special... they were bought and paid for same as yours, and probably by the same people.

And there's the out... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40458447)

EU nations to citizens: "We voted against it, what more coupld we do?"
EU nations to RIAA: "Ok, it's passed, pay up."

Re:And there's the out... (4, Insightful)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#40458459)

Easier to buy a judge than an entire branch of government.

Re:And there's the out... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40458567)

Renounce their EU memberships. I know it'll never happen over something like this, but that would be interesting if it did.

Re:And there's the out... (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 2 years ago | (#40459135)

EU nations to citizens: "We voted against it, what more coupld we do?"

Your Freudian slip answered the question.

It will pass in some form (5, Insightful)

kwark (512736) | about 2 years ago | (#40458455)

ACTA will be ratified in some form because it will be resubmitted again and again till the lobbyiest succeed. This happened before with the EU constitution, it will happen with ACTA and it will happen in the future for many more treaties/laws.

Re:It will pass in some form (5, Interesting)

UltimaBuddy (2566017) | about 2 years ago | (#40458515)

If its passing is inevitable, I want it as hobbled and useless as possible.

Re:It will pass in some form (3, Interesting)

Antony T Curtis (89990) | about 2 years ago | (#40458633)

If its passing is inevitable, I want it as hobbled and useless as possible.

The other option is to have it so overreaching that it becomes impossible to do anything without infringing.

Then the courts will have no choice but to ignore it completely.

Re:It will pass in some form (5, Insightful)

mhajicek (1582795) | about 2 years ago | (#40458737)

Then the courts will have no choice but to ignore it completely.

No, it will just be enforced selectively ("with discretion") as most current laws are.

Re:It will pass in some form (5, Insightful)

SecurityTheatre (2427858) | about 2 years ago | (#40458751)

The other option is to have it so overreaching that it becomes impossible to do anything without infringing.

Then the courts will have no choice but to ignore it completely.

The problem with laws like this isn't that they get ignored, but that they get selectively used.

There are other similar laws and the result is that anyone (police, lawyer, judge, politician, busybody neighbour) gets to decide whether or not you are guilty.

I mean, since you are always guilty, it's just a matter of turning you in for prosecution. It's great for police who want to harass you, or a landlord or tenant who wants to screw you for asserting your rights, or a business competitor who would like you out of the way.

It basically brings a country slowly into a police state. I do not favour it in the way you seem to...

ruling class gonna rule (5, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 2 years ago | (#40458473)

is anyone surprised?

the amount of power held by those that ACTA favors outweighs the amount of power held by those against.

rulers gonna rule. who'd have thunk it?

(I'm not in favor of ACTA, not even close; but I don't really hold up much hope when this much greed is involved, mixed with this much 'can-do' power to pull it off.)

this is a people problem. a scalability one. do our governments 'work' for us anymore? in the modern times, with mass communication now possible, are any of our systems really working? it does not seem so!

Re:ruling class gonna rule (4, Insightful)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#40458527)

this is a people problem. a scalability one. do our governments 'work' for us anymore? in the modern times, with mass communication now possible, are any of our systems really working? it does not seem so!

Has it ever worked for us?

Do we just notice it more now since we find about these things before they happen?

Re:ruling class gonna rule (5, Informative)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40458661)

No not really. When the ink was barely-dry on the Bill of Rights, our Congress and 2nd president signed a law that made free speech and press illegal (guess they thought the first amendment & their oath meant nothing). In response our 3rd president, who repealed the law, said liberty requires constant vigilance by the electorate else it will be lost.

Re:ruling class gonna rule (2)

DickBreath (207180) | about 2 years ago | (#40458637)

> the amount of power held by those that ACTA favors outweighs the amount of power held by those against.

Look what happened with SOPA.

There are other very powerful interests who want to keep the Internet open and operational.

Re:ruling class gonna rule (4, Funny)

lennier (44736) | about 2 years ago | (#40458803)

There are other very powerful interests who want to keep the Internet open and operational.

Thank goodness the spambots have achieved both sentience and political consciousness!

Re:ruling class gonna rule (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40458963)

>>>There are other very powerful interests who want to keep the Internet open and operational.

Then how come Apple, Google, Microsoft, Comcast, et cetera who originally killed SOPA are not turning-round to back the CISPA? It wasn't so much about protecting us or the internet, but about winning immunity for themselves from being sued by disgruntled customers (which SOPA did not do but CISPA does).

A country that is not a country. (5, Insightful)

metrix007 (200091) | about 2 years ago | (#40458487)

This is the type of thing when you have something resembling a country, but that is not in essence a country, which has non of the protections or checks and balances that a state should actually have.

Democracy at the EU level, kind of a joke.

Re:A country that is not a country. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40459545)

You're wrong. There are checks and balances, just not the same as in the USA. The Lissabon treaty formalized the balance with national governments, and the "checks" procedure is implemented by the "yellow card" and "orange card" procedures. It's pretty much a given that ACTA will be hit by an orange card, were it to procede.

In fact, because there are 50+ parties in the European Parliament, it's far far harder to buy the EU vote than it's to buy the US House and Senate. That's probably how Microsoft got slapped with such a fine. They couldn't buy themselves a majority.

Re:A country that is not a country. (1)

Fjandr (66656) | about 2 years ago | (#40459667)

It's not harder to buy the EU vote, since all the member parliaments are already bought and paid for.

In the end, it probably cost about the same per PM on both sides Atlantic.

As for MS, they got into the trouble they did because they had not yet discovered the benefit of buying politicians at that point. They learned their lesson very quickly.

You mean he actually bought the European Court?! (3, Interesting)

Skinkie (815924) | about 2 years ago | (#40458503)

Is this guy actually saying that the lobby has bought into the European Court system? And democracy doesn't count anymore?

Re:You mean he actually bought the European Court? (5, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 years ago | (#40458705)

Democracy has never counted in the EU because the majority of the people of Europe have never wanted a bloated, centralised state where bureaucrats in Brussels tell them what to do.

When EU citizens vote wrong, they're forced to vote again and again until they give the right answer.

Re:You mean he actually bought the European Court? (1)

PGC (880972) | about 2 years ago | (#40459133)

Please mod parent up. For this is so true...



"vote wrong" - that such an expression exists....

You are naive. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40459497)

Voting on a national scale is, and *always has been* a farce. Voting is not meaningful when the numbers are this big, the opinions this varied, the voters this ill-informed, and the consequences this impactful.

The real world contains many real people with real wealth and power and real selfish agendas. They don't give a rat's ass about the greater good or any noble ideas of self-governing people. Some of them are enlightened enough to see that people are too stupid to govern themselves anyway, while others just don't care, but the end result is the same. A small group of powerful men impose their self-serving agendas upon the populace, and keep doing so until there is a sufficiently overwhelming reaction to stop them.

You will never get that overwhelming reaction through encouraging your neighbors to become politically active. Humans just don't work that way. You get that reaction when the lives of enough people suck badly enough that it is worth getting up and shouting. Until that moment, anything goes, and any lip-service paid to concepts of justice is so much hot air intended only to placate the public into silent acceptance.

Humans basically suck.

Re:You are naive. (3, Interesting)

Fjandr (66656) | about 2 years ago | (#40459725)

This is why up-close and personal political powers belong in the hands of governments no further away than a few hundred miles. National federated governments are not accountable to their populations and so should not have powers which directly touch on those citizens, except in very broad, general ways.

Re:You mean he actually bought the European Court? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40459475)

When EU citizens vote wrong, they're forced to vote again and again until they give the right answer

If we're even allowed to vote.

Re:You mean he actually bought the European Court? (1)

LavouraArcaica (2012798) | about 2 years ago | (#40459911)

When EU citizens vote wrong, they're forced to vote again and again until they give the right answer.

Greece knows well.

Re:You mean he actually bought the European Court? (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 2 years ago | (#40459351)

No, I gather that's just the flamebait summary of it. Apparently the issue is that it falls to the European Court of Justice to rule on whether the treaty is consistent with European Law. If not, he concedes they'll have to modify ACTA to make it conform. Meanwhile the EU International Trade committe has taken it upon themselves to have their own vote, but that is apparently not binding at this stage according to the bylaws of EU governance.

Spinning this as a repudiation of democratic principles is just a ploy to feed a popular narrative.

Re:You mean he actually bought the European Court? (2)

Mashiki (184564) | about 2 years ago | (#40459553)

There is no democracy in the EU. It's what a group of select "leaders" tell you what you can have, it's just a soft dictatorship controlling regional territories.

Do we miss stories where they fight for people?! (4, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | about 2 years ago | (#40458519)

I realize this is Slashdot and eye-catching headlines tailored towards inciting the rabbleâ"rousers are the norm (yes, my UID is low) but are we somehow missing the headlines where political leadership (from any country) actually stand up for the rights of their citizenry instead of the business?

I rarely see politicians, on any side of the coin, standing up for the rights of the electorate and instead only see that they support business interests. These people must get elected somehow, and yes I realize there are possibilities that the electorate has no true influence here but it's improbable at least for now, so why the hell do we continue to put up with them doing this?

I've been disgusted for years by their actions but do they ever really stand up for The People and say, "no matter what we're going to do X even if you say no"?

Re:Do we miss stories where they fight for people? (5, Insightful)

lennier (44736) | about 2 years ago | (#40458857)

do they ever really stand up for The People and say, "no matter what we're going to do X even if you say no"?

Sometimes a popularly elected government comes into power and both promises and honestly intends to act against business interests, sure.

That's called a "rogue state" and we have CIA drone strikes to deal with them.

Re:Do we miss stories where they fight for people? (3, Interesting)

c0lo (1497653) | about 2 years ago | (#40459103)

do they ever really stand up for The People and say, "no matter what we're going to do X even if you say no"?

Sometimes a popularly elected government comes into power and both promises and honestly intends to act against business interests, sure.

That's called a "rogue state" and we have CIA drone strikes to deal with them.

Hmmm.. this would explain why UK's PM backpedaled on bankers' bonuses [theweek.co.uk].

Re:Do we miss stories where they fight for people? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40458899)

I realize this is Slashdot and eye-catching headlines tailored towards inciting the rabbleâ"rousers are the norm (yes, my UID is low) but are we somehow missing the headlines where political leadership (from any country) actually stand up for the rights of their citizenry instead of the business?

I rarely see politicians, on any side of the coin, standing up for the rights of the electorate and instead only see that they support business interests. These people must get elected somehow, and yes I realize there are possibilities that the electorate has no true influence here but it's improbable at least for now, so why the hell do we continue to put up with them doing this?

I've been disgusted for years by their actions but do they ever really stand up for The People and say, "no matter what we're going to do X even if you say no"?

Short answer is no.

Re:Do we miss stories where they fight for people? (4, Insightful)

Loughla (2531696) | about 2 years ago | (#40458989)

How do they keep getting elected? What other choice do we have? When all sides of the issue are bought and paid for by the same people, what, seriously, what choices do we have? It's not that they don't represent us, it's that they represent where the money is coming from.

Think about it - to a politician, $1 = 1 voice. So, I have around 10,000 in savings. If I give all of that, my voice becomes stronger than my neighbor's, regardless of where I stand. I can influence media, I can influence protests, I can send letters. My neighbor can't do any of that, because he's just trying to make it to supper tonight.

From their point of view, the politicians are representing The People. It's just that the money involved is so freaking skewed that The People are no longer represented fairly in these initial steps. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if (in the US at least) our representatives are truly at a loss as to why their approval rating is so low. I hope I did a good job of explaining my views on that. It's hard to get into words sometimes.

I know that none of that may transfer into this instance in the EU, but I believe that the same rules apply there. Money = power, power = money. The commissioner probably sees the interests groups with the most money, and probably believes that they represent the general public's views.

Or he's just a dick. One or the other.

Re:Do we miss stories where they fight for people? (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40459081)

There have been several /. stories about the EU acting against a corporation and in favor of the customer. Like the browser choice screen in Opera v. Microsoft.

Re:Do we miss stories where they fight for people? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40459323)

It does happen. We had one here in Sweden a few months ago, who said no, no and no to ACTA among other things.

A number of smear jobs and other kinds of campaigns against him went online almost as soon as he was elected leader for the social democrat party, and continued until he was gone.

About 24h after he resigned, Sweden ratified ACTA, with the support of his successor. Go figure.

Keep trying til you get the vote desired (5, Informative)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40458579)

That appears to be how the European Union operates. The Constitution was rejected, so they turned it into the Lisbon Treaty. The Irish rejected the treaty so they held a second vote 6 months later, so they could get the "yes" vote desired. In Denmark they canceled the election and just acceded to the treaty automagically.

NOW it appears they'll use the same approach with ACTA: It matters not how the EU Parliament votes, we'll just rewrite it and submit it a second time or third time until we get a "yes". Of course the U.S. ain't much better: TARP failed the first time so they rewrote it and tried a second time. When the Supreme Court rejects a law as unconstitutional, the Congress simply passes the law a second time (minus the objectionable bits).

Re:Keep trying til you get the vote desired (2)

mhajicek (1582795) | about 2 years ago | (#40458821)

That's why I think there needs to be a punishment (like jail time or at least impeachment) for any lawmaker who proposes or votes for any law that is later found to be unconstitutional. As it is there is no liability on the part of the lawmaker.

Re:Keep trying til you get the vote desired (3, Insightful)

PGC (880972) | about 2 years ago | (#40459149)

It should be considered treason : therefore punishable by death.

Re:Keep trying til you get the vote desired (3, Insightful)

Translation Error (1176675) | about 2 years ago | (#40459429)

When the Supreme Court rejects a law as unconstitutional, the Congress simply passes the law a second time (minus the objectionable bits).

And the problem with this is what, exactly?

Re:Keep trying til you get the vote desired (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40459809)

After you remove those STD-wharts, you can ask your girlfriend just that:

And the problem with this is what, exactly?

Re:Keep trying til you get the vote desired (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40459549)

They could go with the double dissolution http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_dissolution solution.

After the second time, just sack everybody and start again.

Re:Keep trying til you get the vote desired (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40459597)

I find it amusing how most people here on /. are yelling for more regulation no matter what problem is listed. Funny how when the regulation is targeted at them suddenly they switch from regulation is good, to regulation is bad. Their response is these regulations are written by people who don't understand the issue fully, not realizing that they don't understand the issues fully when they are asking for more business regulations. Its almost like a bully being beat up by a bigger bully. You should feel bad, but its just kind of funny instead.

If only they hadn't spent the last few years calling those who wanted less government regulation racists and bigots they might have more people willing to come to their help.

Re:Keep trying til you get the vote desired (2)

MobyDisk (75490) | about 2 years ago | (#40459605)

When the Supreme Court rejects a law as unconstitutional, the Congress simply passes the law a second time (minus the objectionable bits).

They don't actually bother to pass the law a second time. There is no need to. When the Supreme Court uses judicial review, it merely sets a judicial precedent on how to interpret that section of law. It has no power to nullify the law itself.

Corruption = Buisness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40458581)

At what point did bribery become so out in the open? I guess the EU really is doomed to failure.

Well, shit, there goes the economy for the next decade.

Economic collapse isn't pretty but maybe we'll get back to normal after some good old fashioned head chopping reduces the 1% to the .1 %

Fuck the law? (0)

Fuck_this_place (2652095) | about 2 years ago | (#40458593)

That's what he is saying basically, isn't it? Those in power should be careful to what degree they disregard the laws.......they just might set an example that is actually followed one day.

Typical europe (2)

pointyhat (2649443) | about 2 years ago | (#40458635)

Typical Europe. Bar Nigel Farage, who is the Chuck Norris of politics, it's like watching monkeys at typewriters. A model parliament should be like in Star Trek dammit!

Re:Typical europe (4, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#40458917)

Typical Europe.

Bar Nigel Farage, who is the Chuck Norris of politics, it's like watching monkeys at typewriters.

A model parliament should be like in Star Trek dammit!

Which episode? The one with Tribbles?

Re:Typical europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40459729)

Typical Europe.

Bar Nigel Farage, who is the Chuck Norris of politics, it's like watching monkeys at typewriters.

A model parliament should be like in Star Trek dammit!

Which episode? The one with Tribbles?

If there was a Tribble running for congress here in the US, i would give serious though to voting for it.

Re:Typical europe (2)

lennier (44736) | about 2 years ago | (#40458929)

A model parliament should be like in Star Trek dammit!

An invisible, powerless propaganda organ entirely dominated by a hugely powerful military?

Ignoring the vote (2)

DickBreath (207180) | about 2 years ago | (#40458663)

So if it doesn't matter what the outcome of the vote will be, then why bother to have one?

Re:Ignoring the vote (2)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 years ago | (#40458723)

So if it doesn't matter what the outcome of the vote will be, then why bother to have one?

PR. You can't just tell people what to do, you have to pretend that they're telling you to tell them what to do.

Re:Ignoring the vote (1)

YodasEvilTwin (2014446) | about 2 years ago | (#40458815)

He didn't even do that, though, he said it's going through regardless of what they want.

Re:Ignoring the vote (0)

BlueStrat (756137) | about 2 years ago | (#40459441)

He didn't even do that, though, he said it's going through regardless of what they want.

Has anybody ever seen this EU Commissioner and Obama in the same room at the same time?

They seem to have far too much in common in their views on honoring the results of votes.

Just sayin'...

Strat

for once the EU is taking a step from the US (-1, Flamebait)

ganjadude (952775) | about 2 years ago | (#40458691)

Obama ignores the courts on the AZ ruling, now the EU tells their countries to fuck off, surprised??

the fundamental fault with the EU... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40458741)

...is that only the Commission may propose law to the Council.

The Council must vote - usually by qualified majority - for almost(*) all laws to pass. And the ordinary legislative process means that, since Lisbon, Parliament gets to veto most proposals.

But once the law has been adopted, there is no way for Parliament to even propose, let alone pass, further legislation to amend or repeal the law. By contrast, the UK has one overriding law - the Westminster Parliament cannot bind itself. But the European Parliament /always/ binds itself.

The only potential salvation is that the Court of Justice may declare a law to be invalid - for example, because the EU exceeds its jurisdiction under the Treaties. But not simply because the people don't like the law. Even then, getting rid of CJEU judges is nigh on impossible, so a corrupt gaggle stay around until one by one it's time for them to be replaced (by agreement of the governments of member states).

(*) Creation of competition law is delegated to the Commission.

The EU won't be around much longer. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40458761)

Stuff like this is a perfect example of why countries that don't need to
be propped up are interested in getting out of the EU.

Dutch swine anyway ... the Germans conquered their pathetic little
state in THREE DAYS in WWII.

They can't arrest us all (3, Insightful)

Digital Vomit (891734) | about 2 years ago | (#40458769)

It's become crystal clear over the years that it is everyone's moral imperative to ignore copyright law.

That is the only way we, as a society, are going to conquer the science-and-arts-crippling concept known as "intellectual property" and move forward as a civilization.

Re:They can't arrest us all (2)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#40458977)

Just because a nut job "can't kill all of us" doesn't mean I won't seek shelter when he opens fire.

Re:They can't arrest us all (3, Insightful)

Stickerboy (61554) | about 2 years ago | (#40459209)

It's become crystal clear over the years that it is everyone's moral imperative to ignore copyright law.

That is the only way we, as a society, are going to conquer the science-and-arts-crippling concept known as "intellectual property" and move forward as a civilization.

Thank you, I agree wholeheartedly!

- GPL violator

More seriously, the concept of intellectual property is neither crippling nor backwards. I think everyone but the entertainment media/attorney complex would agree that copyright can be useful if scaled back to 15 years or so and ending extensions. Same with vigorously limiting the scope of patents. And I hope you can see how trademark law can prevent public confusion.

civil disobedience (1)

chris.alex.thomas (1718644) | about 2 years ago | (#40458835)

what else is there? act like drones? I suppose it's easy to say and hard to do, but I dont plan on changing my behaviour, but I do plan on making it harder for people to see my innocent or not-so-innocent online behaviour.

right now, I dont encrypt much, I dont hide much, I don't care much, nobody is really interested in me, I'm a nobody.

but if they push me, perhaps I'll try to encrypt, hide, protect and find ways that can't be broken, then their lives will become harder as they try harder and harder to pry into my private life. the free ride will be gone, now they'll have to work for it.

one day, somebody will arrive with a system which is practically impenetrable and they need to knock down your door to get the keys, then they'll be more screwed than I will, because they won't be able to freely monitor traffic and find terrorists, or find hackers or crackers, they'll have to work 10x as much to get 10% of what they previously had access to.

all because they pushed my buttons and got me onboard the encryption bandwagon, to which date I am not (yet) a member.

Re:civil disobedience (2)

Phrogman (80473) | about 2 years ago | (#40459019)

Stop buying all entertainment. Don't use it at all and don't download it illegally either. Just do without entirely. Support local musicians playing live if you must get a fix. Get everyone and anyone you know to also boycott big entertainment entirely. After a few years they will either institute a police state to ensure they can suck money from the peasants no matter what (already in progress in most democracies it seems) or they will fail completely.
The resulting media scene will hopefully be a bit smarter and realize they need a willing audience.

Karel De Gucht received bribe (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40458887)

i'm from belgium (was now living in colombia)
but Karel has a long dirty history of accepting bribes, dirty cash and laundering money
Belgium is this moment even more corrupt then sweden, those ministers have sold every possible governement building to 3th parties
they dont own the kings palace for example anymore but they rent it instead !!!!
there is an anti piracy organization called "sabam" there are big rumors and the chance is very big that they paid or going to pay Karel De Gucht for getting ACTA up
this means they will be able to suck more blood and money out of their victims legaly but in a more dark sinister way
sabam already pushed it that far you cant tell for example storytales from books to your children without paying the copyright fee to them and ofcourse they pay nothing to the original authors

Fear (4, Interesting)

DaFallus (805248) | about 2 years ago | (#40458943)

Its been said that governments should fear their people, and not the other way around. What do our governments have to fear from us nowadays? Some people might put up a fight, but the overwhelming majority just sit back and go along for the ride.

I hate to say it since we're supposedly living in more civilized times, but maybe if more politicians who obviously have no interest in actually representing the people (not corporations) they "represent" were brutally assassinated, the rest would get the message. I may be wrong, but it seemed to work for some in the past...

misleading subject (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40459057)

Well if the parliament rejects it, it's irrelevant if ACTA is compatible with EU laws.

Shady politician (1)

Simon321 (1933722) | about 2 years ago | (#40459419)

This politician is suspected of fraud and is being investigated by the belgian tax inspection.

http://www.knack.be/nieuws/belgie/fiscus-karel-de-gucht-fraudeerde-met-1-2-miljoen-euro/article-4000115128765.htm [knack.be] (Article in Dutch)

He has some property in Italy that he shouldn't be able to afford.

http://www.humo.be/humo-archief/71654/karel-de-gucht-het-gevecht-met-de-fiscus [www.humo.be] (Article in Dutch)

There are rumors that he's corrupt, but it's never been proven though.

Re:Shady politician (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40459519)

There are also suspicions that he's guilty of insider trading as his wife and friends sold all their Fortis shares hours before a part of the bank was sold to the Dutch government, although it could not be proved.

http://www.demorgen.be/dm/nl/989/Binnenland/article/detail/474651/2008/11/03/Vrouw-De-Gucht-verkocht-Fortis-aandelen-met-voorkennis.dhtml [demorgen.be] (Also in Dutch)

Adding it all up, it makes him very shady to say the least.

EU (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40459581)

Not a democracy anymore. Get out while the getting is good.

Captcha: broken.

time for new politicians. #votepirate (1)

kasper_souren (1577647) | about 2 years ago | (#40459951)

Around 2005 there was a struggle against software patents in the EU. The only democratically elected EU institution, the European Parliament, said "no, we don't want it" and the Commission (a group of 27 or so people) says "yes, you have to want it". And unfortunately this is a very common pattern.

The ACTA case is particularly striking now with one person who is quite incapable of grasping the nature of copying intangible goods [techdirt.com] has this much power.

Gucht: "But for me there is no moral difference between taking something that is not yours in the physical world and doing so in the virtual world."

For me there is a huge difference! And if the most powerful person in the EU dealing with this matter doesn't see that it's time for him to move on. We live in a world where theoretically anyone could have access to all music, movies and books ever created. I feel we're morally obliged to make this happen. If that breaks a couple of business models, so be it, time for new business models. And time for new politicians. #votepirate.
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