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Harm From The Hague

michael posted more than 13 years ago | from the same-treaty-process-that-gave-us-the-DMCA dept.

The Courts 215

wfrp01 writes: "Richard Stallman has posted a new essay entitled Harm from the Hague, which presents his take on international enforcement of extra-national court decisions. 'The Hague treaty is not actually about patents, or about copyrights, or about censorship, but it affects all of them. It is a treaty about jurisdiction, and how one country should treat the court decisions of another country. ... Or suppose you publish a parody. If it is read in Korea, you could be sued there, since Korea does not recognize a right to parody.'"

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FP!! (1)

hyehye (451759) | more than 13 years ago | (#157056)

No, really, I don't care what international law says - my work is my own, unless I release it. But unless someone is deliberately making money by deliberately robbing my idea/work, I won't care anyway.

The Truth is Obvious (1)

iamklerck (445579) | more than 13 years ago | (#157057)

This yet another Illuminati plot at a one world government! Put on your tin foil hats folks because we're in for a bump ride!

This only proves... (5)

somethingwicked (260651) | more than 13 years ago | (#157058)

This only proves...

YOU GOTTA FIGHT...FOR YOUR RIGHT...TO PARODY!!!!

Enter cranked guitar effects as necessay...

The UN needs to go. (1)

ffsnjb (238634) | more than 13 years ago | (#157059)

It seems to me that the UN and all the world governance crap needs to go. Their only true usefulness is to keep the peace between countries, so leave the Security Council in place. Other than that, screw them.

*The UN is bad, mmkay. :)

Just Won't Work (2)

Violet Null (452694) | more than 13 years ago | (#157060)

Or, at least, I hope it won't. US Corporations would want this ratified so that they could go after patent-breakers in other countries, but how will they feel when other countries' governments go after them? That'll end it sooner than you can say "capitalism".

Wow! (1)

Blue Aardvark House (452974) | more than 13 years ago | (#157061)

This article is frightening in that you can publish something legal here, and face litigation in some country you've never been to. Does this mean that anyone who publishes some sort of derivative work need to research the pertinent laws from all other member countries?

This is stifling creativity and the spread of ideas at its finest.

Interesting times (1)

jchristopher (198929) | more than 13 years ago | (#157062)

We live in REALLY interesting times. For the first time, it is possible to share and communicate huge amounts of information with others anywhere in the world.

Fact is, we are only beginning to deal with this on an international scope. It is entirely conceivable that within the next few decades the major powers of the world will become more and more entwined, until there is little difference between the citizens of the United States, Japan, France.

Soon it may not matter much whether you are Canadian or Dutch, because the laws that affect you daily will be commonly shared across borders.

A Shortage of Lawyers (2)

jazman_777 (44742) | more than 13 years ago | (#157063)

This, I suppose, will cause a worldwide shortage of lawyers, thereby increasing demand and pay for lawyers. It will also increase the tedium in the law profession (how many jobs devoted to knowing the laws of all rinky-dink-Hague-members?), and thereby the purported excitement of law in Hollywood shows. Soon we shall see enless gun battles and car chases among lawyers in lawyer shows.
--

Patents: (5)

mwalker (66677) | more than 13 years ago | (#157064)

Scenario:

German company A patents process "bob" in Germany. American company B patents process "bob" in America. B sues A for patent infringement in America, and wins, enforcing it in Germany against B. B sues A in Germany for patent infrigment and wins, enforcing it in America against A.

The end result: no one can use process "bob", and they both go out of business.

This sounds like a great idea to me, bring it on.

I particularly like Stallman's idea of "shopping for laws", where corporations find countries who will sell anything (cough christmas island, tonga, .cx, .tv) pass laws such as justifiable homicide in response to corporate espionage, or maybe patenting the entire idea of the telephone, or making it illegal to register a domain name.

When the first American gets cained in Pancake Ohio in the town square because they were sued in Singapore for spitting gum on the sidewalk, the fit is gonna hit the shan.

I can't wait.

It will work.  That's the problem... (1)

Spamalamadingdong (323207) | more than 13 years ago | (#157065)

You forget that the US multinationals behind this have more money than many (most?) of those governments, and can easily buy off their pols and judges.
--

Sad Inevitability (2)

zpengo (99887) | more than 13 years ago | (#157066)

It won't be long until a world government is formed. Some bastarized hybrid of the UN, the EU, and other organizations will eventually take over for the purpose of "clarifying" matters of international jurisdiction, among other things. If you've been paying attention over the past few years, you've probably seen it coming.

The world of the future will have international laws that override local ones, international courts to interpret the law, international economic unions to do "what is best for the world" (instead of for a person's native country), international military forces (the UN's working on this), an international police force (i.e., the United States), and a council of probably-unelected international leaders who are concerned about "the greater good."

What gets lost? Individual rights and community rights. Americans will no longer be able to act as Americans, because of how it might affect a Korean, a Swede, a South African or a New Zealander.

I don't know about you, but I'm not looking forward to it.

Values (1)

Camel Racer (134168) | more than 13 years ago | (#157067)

Well, everybody on earth needs to have "Western Values" -- Commerce!

All Laws Are Enforceable Everywhere !!! (1)

G. Mercator (457768) | more than 13 years ago | (#157068)

Not gonna work - it will end up being used only for laws shared by two countries.

what happens when pasta and antipasta collide in your stomach??

Strike this down with furious anger. (1)

Fixer (35500) | more than 13 years ago | (#157069)

So, sovreignty of nations no longer applies? My laws extend beyond my recognized national boundries?

Can I just say that, for the record, this is the most misguided hunk of trash ever pushed in the UN? Thank you.

Re:Sad Inevitability (1)

jazman_777 (44742) | more than 13 years ago | (#157070)

What gets lost? Individual rights and community rights. Americans will no longer be able to act as Americans, because of how it might affect a Korean, a Swede, a South African or a New Zealander.

I don't know about you, but I'm not looking forward to it.

If you like McDonald's hamburgers, you can get excited. Oh, wait, that's already happened. Can it get worse?
--

lawyers will have a field-day (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#157071)

They're just going to love this. Of course, it is made simply to make things harder for small business; only big-business has the resources for such daft schemes.

The UN needs Constitutional limits (1)

Spamalamadingdong (323207) | more than 13 years ago | (#157072)

The UN is just a means of making treaties (which governments have to do anyway) and denying responsibility (which committees are created to do anyway). Not all that much would change if the UN went away, except some things would become harder and more expensive.

Not that this would be all bad, but the bad things should become harder and more expensive and the good things should become cheaper and easier. E.g., the UN should have voting restrictions based on the nature of the member government; dictatorships shouldn't be able to vote on many (most?) items. It should also have strict limits on the nature of the measures it's allowed to take, a la the prohibitions in the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the United States but without the loopholes.
--

Worse than globalization of law enforcement... (2)

JCCyC (179760) | more than 13 years ago | (#157073)

What it boils down to is, "in case of conflict between two countries' laws, the most severe one takes precedence". This is absolutely insane, and will only contribute to widespread contempt of the very concept of Law.

If you are getting rid of it... (2)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 13 years ago | (#157074)

Get rid of the Security Council first.

It was because of the UN Security Council that the aid mission of the US, Asia and Europe in Somalia turned into a "nation building" mission. A nation building mission that got alot of US, Pakistani, and Somali fighters and civilians killed.

It was because the UN didn't want to interfere in Bosnia back in '94-'95 that so many civilians were killed.

In my mind, the UN is just as bad as the League of Nations, unable to do anything right.

Keep the Economic and Social Council, and International Court of Justice. But do away with the military and security aspects of it.

The actual effect depends... (2)

luismunoz (254664) | more than 13 years ago | (#157075)

It all boils down to which precedence does the treaty receive, compared with your local constitution and local law.

For instance, if your local country grants you the right to parody, can the treaty take that away because other country does not recognize this right?

IANAL, but normally traties only apply as long as your constitutional rights and warranties are not breached. I suppose most countries would also give higher precedence to their local laws than to this convention.

conspiracy? hardly. (2)

sllort (442574) | more than 13 years ago | (#157076)

I thik that everyone is over reacting. This is not what everyone is saying, it is not so you can kill people in U.S. and use some Lichenstein Law to say "I didn't kill him". This treaty is so that all those countries will stop [indian-express.com] stealing [aoyama.ac.jp] our [china-icp.com] software [hindubusinessline.com] .

Now that the e-everything bubble has crashed and world has come to it's senses, software vendors are feeling the hurt.

"Vietnam has the world's highest piracy rate at 97 per cent, China has 95 per cent"

With numbers like that, can you blame the software business for wanting people to start paying for their products? Red China's idea of "buy the people, for the people" is great and all, but in America we have decided that you must pay for a product. And that is what this treaty is intended to do: help lawmakers get people to pay for a product.

If they have failed to word this clearly, that is their fault, and if Stallman has blown it out of proportion - well, that is his fault. But please keep in mind that this treaty is intended to combat piracy, not create a illuminating conspiracy.

Let's not Rush to judgement?

Disclaimers, EULA, & Legality (3)

angst_ridden_hipster (23104) | more than 13 years ago | (#157077)

So do I have to put a click-through EULA on all my sites, stating that only US/EU citizens may view them without waiving their rights to sue me?

Then if I end up parodying someone in Bourkino Faso, and they sue me for the parody, I can counter-sue for license violation? Of course, in Bourkino Faso, the penalty for parody could be a flogging, whereas a licensing violation penalty here in the US is a fine or probation.

I guess the only way to make that scheme work is become the resident of my own autonomous, sovereign nation where I can effectively control the local laws.

Yup. It's a big ol' mess, that's fer sure.
bukra fil mish mish
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Monitor the Web, or Track your site!

Re:Strike this down with furious anger. (1)

jazman_777 (44742) | more than 13 years ago | (#157078)

So, sovreignty of nations no longer applies? My laws extend beyond my recognized national boundries?

Can I just say that, for the record, this is the most misguided hunk of trash ever pushed in the UN? Thank you.

You know that sovereignty of nations does not exist, if you followed what what went on in Yugoslavia in 1999-2000, in Hungary in 1956, in Chekoslovakia in 1968 and 1938, in Ethiopia in 1935, in (small-country-getting-pushed-around-by-big-countr y) in (any-random-year). But I'm getting repetitious.

If you are a small country, your sovereignty exists right now only with the indulgence of the US/NATO.
--

Why is it ... (1)

s20451 (410424) | more than 13 years ago | (#157079)

that, according to Stallman, only the bad laws propagate, and not the good? Otherwise, couldn't I seek protection under the laws of whatever country most liberally interpreted freedom?

Rather than this article, I'd prefer to read something written by a specialist in international law.

China? (2)

NineNine (235196) | more than 13 years ago | (#157080)

So then China's laws would end up ruling the world. Fantastic. Brilliant. You'd better hurry up and say what you want about politicians, the government, the police, and the military now. Once this brilliant vision happens, you'll be arrested and disappear for any of these 'crimes against the People'.

Re:The UN needs to go. (3)

Ian Wolf (171633) | more than 13 years ago | (#157081)

You know what you are so right. Screw the world, lets disband UNICEF, High Commission for Human Rights, High Commission for Refugees, UN Environment Programme, and Food Aid.

The United Nations is actually fairly ineffective at preserving the peace. Just look at Kosovo and the Congo for recent examples. They were moderately successful in Bosnia, and quite effective in Timor. But. It is in their humanitarian efforts were they truly shine.

Of course, I could be all wrong, they might be a fearsome fighting force, when they use their black helicopters, operating out of secret bases in the Pacific Northwest to take over the United States and establish a true world government.

Jesse Helms (4)

update() (217397) | more than 13 years ago | (#157082)

You know, what's funny is that for years the one voice against this sort of concession of American sovereignty was Jesse Helms. Of course, all right-thinking people denounced him for his Neanderthal beliefs since everything international had to be good. After all, we're the worst country in the world so any power we cede to foreign countries has to be a net gain, right?

Now that it's become fashionably leftish to oppose "globalization" as mindlessly as it was once pursued, it would be nice if protesters would acknowledge Jesse for keeping the lonely faith through the '80s and '90s.

Unsettling MOTD at my ISP.

The hacker's way (2)

return 42 (459012) | more than 13 years ago | (#157083)

We don't need to fight this politically. We can fight it technologically. One word: Freenet [freenetproject.org] . You can't be sued if no one knows your real name.

Software patents? Create an anonymous ID, digitally sign everything, build a reputation so people know they can trust your work, put any source code you want on the net. Crypto. RSA. One Click. Clients for Microsoft services. Lists of filtered words.

Parodies? Criticism? Secrets of the Co$? Whistle-blowing? Rabble rousing? Sedition? You name it. If anyone can make your life miserable for saying something, say it with Freenet.

Turing Heat Anyone (2)

zauber (321909) | more than 13 years ago | (#157084)

In 1908, Kipling wrote a story about the ABC, a board (not unlike ICANN) that oversaw a global communication system in the year 2000. (Details weren't perfect: the system was based on mail delivered via dirigible.) He had this to say about the ABC:

The A.B.C., that semi-elected, semi-nominated body of a few score persons, controls the Planet. Transportation is Civilisation, our motto runs. Theoretically we do what we please, so long as we do not interfere with the traffic and all it implies. Practically, the A.B.C. confirms or annuls all international arrangements, and, to judge from its last report, finds our tolerant, humorous, lazy little Planet only too ready to shift the whole burden of public administration on its shoulders.

Yes, I have been accused of being a conspiracy theorist. What threat are we acting against here? What crime are we pre-empting? At present, individuals can engage in "regulatory arbitrage" operating in areas in which regulation is less onerous. As if it isn't bad enough to have countries increasing control of communications within their own borders, they are now willingly giving up sovereignty in exchange for a global reach?

There are two ways to look at this. On the one hand, it may be that the cases raised by such an agreement would open more eyes to the problems with intellectual property. But this is an unreasonably rosy outcome. The more likely result is that Romanian cops will (with the cybercrime convention in place) be searching your hard drive--with US complicity--in the next few years.

Inverting the Status Quo (2)

llywrch (9023) | more than 13 years ago | (#157085)

> What it boils down to is, "in case of conflict between two countries' laws, the most severe one takes precedence".

True. Until this treaty was noised about, the rule of the Internet was that the country or nation with the most liberal or free laws in practice prevailed. This proposed treaty will turn the whole matter on its head.

>This is absolutely insane, and will only contribute to widespread contempt of the very concept of Law.

I wish it were as simple as that.

For about ten years now, the Internet has been a valuable tool for investigating what some people want to keep hid, & sharing information despite censorship. Now the (literally) Barons of Big Business have noticed this, & want to tie us back to the soil of our national regulations. (Who else would be pressuring so hard for this kind of screwy logic in applying laws?)

Too bad RMS did not propose a way we, the average folk, might apply pressure against this fettering proposal.

Geoff

Agreed - Security Council worse than ineffectual (1)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 13 years ago | (#157086)

The "peacekeeping" mission in Somalia wasn't, because there was no peace to keep. Then it became a "peacemaking" operation, and we jumped right into "nation building". What a joke, a parody of a military operation. We raised people's hopes just enough to dash them. Thank you, UN!

I know for a fact that we could have gone in and done a pure "peacemaking" operation and done it well. We had several documented opportunities to act swiftly and assert control, but we failed to because we had to wait for clearance from the UN, zillions of miles away.

Same story in Bosnia. Just ask the few who survived Srebrinica. The UN commanders sat by and watched as their own troops on the ground were overwhelmed, and civilians were massacred.

A military presence controlled by a posse of non-elected, unaccountable Geneva suits is obscene.

Let the UN stick to law, economics, and poverty. But keep them out of military and security matters.

If democratic and elected, not so sad after all. (4)

maynard (3337) | more than 13 years ago | (#157087)

The world of the future will have international laws that override local ones, international courts to interpret the law, international economic unions to do "what is best for the world" (instead of for a person's native country), international military forces (the UN's working on this), an international police force (i.e., the United States), and a council of probably-unelected international leaders who are concerned about "the greater good."

What gets lost? Individual rights and community rights. Americans will no longer be able to act as Americans, because of how it might affect a Korean, a Swede, a South African or a New Zealander.
I disagree completely. I'm not frightened by the prospect of a world unified government -- in fact I think we desperately NEED one. Global corporations are using jurisdictional differences between nations to avoid child labor and anti-slavery laws. They're misusing tax havens to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.

Through the WTO, GATT, NAFTA, MAI the goal is to reduce the power of elected government to a minimum while increasing the power of corporate control over public life. I think we need a world government in place to check the power of multinationals, and to set level playing field in the marketplace. Unfortunately, one can't have a consistent set of rules in a marketplace a government to oversee and regulate the market. It's clear to me that completely deregulated world markets will lead to global monopolies unlike anything we've seen yet, and this will lead to a catastrophe for the citizens of the world -- never mind democracy as an institution.

So, to me the issue is not should we implement a world government, but HOW? As far as I'm concerned it must be democratically elected, is must fairly represent all of the nations' interests throughout the world, and it should restrict itself to matters of commerce. Currently the WTO is an unelected body which holds the contents of it's meetings in secret. If the world business community continues to control international regulation through secret organizations like the WTO it doesn't matter one bit that you may have elected your officials to power; their ability to write laws in accordance with your (and citzen's wishes) will be circumvented by these unelected bodies for the purpose of "free trade" making local and national government moot.

That's the potential future I fear.

--Maynard

Re:The actual effect depends... (1)

cfulmer (3166) | more than 13 years ago | (#157088)

In the US, the Constitution is regarded as the "Supreme Law of the Land," changes to which must undergo an amendment process. So, any treaty entered into just has the weight of an act of Congress, and may thus be found unconstitutional. No treaty may take away the rights recognized by the constitution. (IANAL)

Re:The UN needs to go. (3)

pcidevel (207951) | more than 13 years ago | (#157089)

Of course, I could be all wrong, they might be a fearsome fighting force, when they use their black helicopters, operating out of secret bases in the Pacific Northwest to take over the United States and establish a true world government.

Those of us in the Pacific Northwest have never seen any black helicopters and have no idea what you are talking about..

(*fnord*It's okay guys, I think he believed me!*fnord*)

Yetti?.. what Yetti? :)

Sad for Whom? (1)

zauber (321909) | more than 13 years ago | (#157090)

Of course, I'm sure there are a few Swedes who aren't particularly happy about how this might affect them. The reality of the arrangement is that lowering of legislative borders will likely affect others even more than those of us in the US. We are living in a country that breeds lawyers like rabbits--don't tell me that some of them are not salivating at the possibility of taking their practices global. Frankly, although I am not happy with the idea of Korean law extending to Americans living in the US, I can't imagine how such an agreement has found any favor in small countries that hope to maintain some autonomy and local democracy.

Sorry, Freenet is Illegal (3)

G. Mercator (457768) | more than 13 years ago | (#157091)

In China, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Iraq, and Sierra Leone. By extension, it is illegal everywhere. Individuals running Freenet Servers will be interned in re-education camps.

Loss of rights to corporations (2)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 13 years ago | (#157092)

There goes all our rights when it comes to dealing with corporations.

If a company does not like what they can file a lawsuit. You filed a complaint for discrimination in the United States. They go to Mexico and file a libel lawsuit against you there. You may have a right (and duty) to file a complaint the United States, but it is illegal in Mexico. It does not matter that you never been to Mexico and the EEOC published the press release (and not you) and it could be seen in Mexico, after they mailed it to Mexico.

I suspect (and hope) that at some point, the court will consider the local laws when enforcing a judgment locally.

Re:conspiracy? hardly. (5)

angst_ridden_hipster (23104) | more than 13 years ago | (#157093)

It doesn't matter *why* the law gets written.

What matters is what gets codified into law by the treaty, and what the unexpected side-effects of that law may be.

Laws get applied according to the need of the lawyers. There are a lot of dramatic cases of this. For example, Operation Rescue (radical anti-abortion group) was prosecuted under RICO statutes -- a law created to control organized crime. Similarly, Blue Cross Health Insurance is being sued under RICO because they control how physicians deal out healthcare to their clients. Appropriate? Maybe (depends on your politics), but certainly not what was intended by the original authors in the '70s.

So yes, you should be worried.
bukra fil mish mish
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Monitor the Web, or Track your site!

Polarization (2)

Ripat (19963) | more than 13 years ago | (#157094)

Does anyone else see a great polarzation comming here?

To counter the problem with this convention, some will argue that we need more global laws, and less power to the individual nation. The other half will argue for the opposite.

Polarization is never good as it alienates people, but it is probably hard to avoid when facing such great changes in the world.

Another problem is that the side pushing for more international laws are the one with the most money, big corporation etc.

I think the answer lies in between, as it usualy does. "We need to hurry slowly..."

Re:China? (1)

sketerpot (454020) | more than 13 years ago | (#157095)

If that were to happen, the US would never go for it. Generally, people in the US would never enforce China's communist laws; that would mean giving up our freedom. So instead we take away our freedom ourselves. CIPA. CDA. Drug laws. Euthanasia laws. [Insert name of stupid law here] law.

This is actually quite funny...

The devil must be putting on a parka... (2)

stapedium (228055) | more than 13 years ago | (#157096)

I finally agree with something RMS says!
This treaty (call a conference by the Hague) is just one step closer to a one world government that trades simplicity and market efficiency for my rights. While it does not apply to criminal activities and thus have the teeth to lock me for criticizing say, Tony Blair, it does have economic teeth allowing Mr. Blair to attach my wages for criticizing him. We are already seeing rampant abuse of the civil justice system with wrongful death suits and intimidation of individuals by commercial entities. With the ratification of this convention, the scope of these abuses will pass from the US to international courts. Large corporations with a multinational presence will have the ability to shop the world for a sympathetic court where they can setup a shell presence and dictate their own decisions.

For an example of this kind of abuse, American need only to look back half a decade or so to the company towns set up in Appalachia. These towns were run by corporate interests, giving them regulatory and enfrocement over worker safety conditions. Fortunately in this case pressure was placed on the federal government to pass safety regulations that placed a check on corporate power in these towns, and workers were allowed to sue the corporations for compensation for the health problems they faced as a result of the conditions they worked in. Now imagine for a second, if the state based analog of this treaty was in effect, and there was no federal government responsible to voters to override it. The corporation would essentially be able to block any action brought against them by workers regardless of the jurisdiction....they would simply find a sympathetic court in the town. With a lack of court heirarchy, this court could not be overridden and the issue would be deadlocked or at least stalled until the workers.

Call you senator and have US ratification of this conference blocked.

RMS should sign another open letter... (2)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 13 years ago | (#157097)

People thought it was strange to see a letter that was simultaneously signed by RMS, ESR and a bunch of other OSS folks.

On this issue, however, I'd bet they could draft a letter that RMS, Jesse Helms and Ross Perot would all sign. Now that would be something else.

Re:If democratic and elected, not so sad after all (1)

Stonehand (71085) | more than 13 years ago | (#157098)

World democracy probably wouldn't work unless you had the same values world-over -- try mixing, say, strict theocracies (Iran), with secular dictatorship by single-party state (PRC), with capitalist federalists (~US), constitutional monarchists (UK), and vaguely socialist republican states (France). Some nations, for instance, have historically and are currently quite willing to trade a fair bit of freedom for stability, while other states local individual freedom much more.

And finding compromises that'll make 'em all happier-than-pure-loathing probably isn't going to happen anytime soon.

Re:If democratic and elected, not so sad after all (2)

zpengo (99887) | more than 13 years ago | (#157099)

I disagree completely. I'm not frightened by the prospect of a world unified government -- in fact I think we desperately NEED one. Global corporations are using jurisdictional differences between nations to avoid child labor and anti-slavery laws. They're misusing tax havens to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.

They are using jurisdictional differences between nations to avoid (usually) United States law. Having a world government does not mean having the United States rule the world. It means that whatever laws, rights, and priviliges we have as Americans are secondary to whatever laws are enforced on a global level.

Through the WTO, GATT, NAFTA, MAI the goal is to reduce the power of elected government to a minimum while increasing the power of corporate control over public life. I think we need a world government in place to check the power of multinationals, and to set level playing field in the marketplace. Unfortunately, one can't have a consistent set of rules in a marketplace a government to oversee and regulate the market. It's clear to me that completely deregulated world markets will lead to global monopolies unlike anything we've seen yet, and this will lead to a catastrophe for the citizens of the world -- never mind democracy as an institution.

Your argument is that we should have a world government regulating things in order to protect our freedom? Absurd.

So, to me the issue is not should we implement a world government, but HOW? As far as I'm concerned it must be democratically elected, is must fairly represent all of the nations' interests throughout the world, and it should restrict itself to matters of commerce.

Why should it restrict itself to matters of commerce? That's an arbitrary decision on your part, and such a government would only result in a world primarily focused on corporate endeavors.

In addition, there is no way to "fairly represent all of the nations' interests throughout the world." Ask the Korean government their opinion of parody, and you'll see that it's impossible.

The Hague isn't a friend to human rights (2)

browser_war_pow (100778) | more than 13 years ago | (#157100)

Especially for soldiers from the US. The European view of human rights is very warped because it considers a soldier guilty for using "excessive" force against civilians in police actions and war, yet will not execute the leaders that order it. If pvt Bob kills a civilian in Kosovo that attacks the Serbian minority, he could be charged with crimes against humanity under plans similar to the one that Stallman opposes. Yet Bill Clinton wouldn't be executed for ordering the USAF to bomb the civilian infrastructure of Serbia into rubble even if the USAF vehemently opposes it behind the scenes.

It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that actually pays attention to treaties involving the Hague that the players involved are seeking new, innovative ways to destroy freedom.

First thing I would do (2)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 13 years ago | (#157101)

I would go to a small country that has little or no copyright laws. I would promise a billion or two to the country if they would copyright my, ahem, programs. You know, Office, Windoze etc. Then I would sue M$ for "illegal" copyright infringement, and press the issue all the way around the Globe.

I am guessing I could make a fortune on this scam. Ooops, I was thinking outloud again. Damn that blond dye job.

Re:If democratic and elected, not so sad after all (1)

Temkin (112574) | more than 13 years ago | (#157102)

So, to me the issue is not should we implement a world government, but HOW? As far as I'm concerned it must be democratically elected, is must fairly represent all of the nations' interests throughout the world, and it should restrict itself to matters of commerce.

Pardon me, but fuck you and the horse you rode in on! I happen to live in a country (USA) that recognises rights and freedoms available no where else in the world. I'm not about to willingly let someone in another country vote away my freedoms.

Before you know it, Europe will be voting to restrict american's right to own cars, China will vote to restrict american environmental regulations, etc..., etc... The list is endless. Take a look at all the things the US feds control under the guise of "interstate commerce". Ever hear of the tyranny of democracy? Thanks, but I like to have my elected represenatives responsive to me and my culture & countrymen. This would simply be carte blanche for the have-not's to pick apart the have's.

Temkin

So limit a world congress authority to commerce. (1)

maynard (3337) | more than 13 years ago | (#157103)

Notice that nowhere did I state that the world body should have a sovereign right to enact laws beyond regulating commerce. You presuppose that a world elected body would have total authority to write any and every type of law -- our problem is not enforcing murder laws in every nation, but creating a standard for commerce in an open and transparent manner. Without some democratic elected body responsible for creating these regulations no citizen in the world should trust the regulatory body which currently possesses this power. I certainly don't.

--Maynard

Black Helicopters (2)

mangu (126918) | more than 13 years ago | (#157104)

Those of us in the Pacific Northwest have never seen any black helicopters and have no idea what you are talking about..

That's because Black Helicopters are invisible, you are not supposed to see them, dude! The fact you don't see them is the proof they exist.

Laws implemented internationally (2)

jd (1658) | more than 13 years ago | (#157105)

As others have noted, we don't live in isolated pockets anymore. The Internet has made the world a LOT smaller.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your perspective), this means that certain things (such as national borders) need to be looked at again. Because routers can direct traffic that goes from A to B through ANY intermediate point C, the laws of C cannot meaningfully govern that traffic.

This automatically rules out border taxes, laws governing telecommuications, etc. So, once you've accepted those changes, you start on the path of accepting other changes, such as whos laws govern what.

Now, I'm not saying that this treaty is a good thing. I think it's probably the worst possible agreement that could have been made. All I'm saying is that =SOME= agreement WILL happen. It's not a case of whether, but when.

Re:Values (1)

Kong the Medium (232629) | more than 13 years ago | (#157106)

Isn*t it : "Consume!"

Re:Jesse Helms: half right (1)

tinnunculus (315471) | more than 13 years ago | (#157107)

You've got it half right. Jesse Helms thinks international law should not apply to the US but that US law should apply to all other nations. Witness his part in the "Helms-Burton" law that punishes companies or individuals of other nations for trading with Cuba. Just a bit hypocritical.

Clarification (1)

stapedium (228055) | more than 13 years ago | (#157108)

This treaty does not apply to the following areas:
  • status and capacity of natural persons
  • Marital status and obligations
  • Maintainance obligations (what are these?)
  • wills
  • insolvency
  • arbitration
  • maritime law

Only civil and commercial law are included. This means it doesn't have any effect on criminal laws. So don't worry about having your hand cut off by a Afghanistani store clerk if you are accused of stealing bubble gum. He could however sue you, take your house, car, and ...ghasp...computer.

Re:Patents: (1)

rgmoore (133276) | more than 13 years ago | (#157109)

In practice, though, what would happen is that the two companies would come up with a cross-licensing scheme. In essence, each would agree not to pursue the other's infringement in exhange for having its own infringement ignored. It's not an unreasonable thing to do.

"We the People... (2)

GemFire (192853) | more than 13 years ago | (#157110)

...in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

Obviously, the men who have been elected to lead this country, those involved in the drafting of the proposed Hague Treaty (and, yes, the U.S. was involved in writing it - they did the same with the WIPO treaty) have either never read those words, do not understand their simple meaning, have forgotten they are supposed to support/defend the ideology of the Constitutioin, or else they no longer care about the duty and responsibility inherent in their position.

And I haven't even brought out the 1st Amendment. This proposed treaty violates the ideals of the Preamble.

Establish Justice - under OUR laws, not some other nation's (if the law should apply to us, it would already apply.)

Insure domestic Tranquility - I may be one of those rioting in protest over this one!

Secure the Blessings of Liberty - As signatories to the Hague Treaty, the only liberty would be to have no international dealings without fully understanding the pertinent laws of ALL affected nations.

Re:If democratic and elected, not so sad after all (2)

maynard (3337) | more than 13 years ago | (#157111)

Your argument is that we should have a world government regulating things in order to protect our freedom? Absurd.
You bet. I trust elected bodies (about as far as I can throw the usual fat-ass legislators) far more than I trust private corporations. Frankly, companies meet in secret; keep their books secret; act with complete disregard to local communities, citizens, and even their employees; and they're completely immune to prosecution beyond levying fines.

Why I should "trust" a multinational corporation with an income greater than more third world nations yet distrust elected government because it's "inherently evil" is an equation I simply don't understand. Because they have the guns? You don't like it when a government owns guns (but it's OK for a orporation to have a private "security force")... well then, why not write to your congresscritter and ask him/her to disarm our military?

So yes, I consider elected government a more "free" institution than private corporations simply because as a citizen I have at least a say in how policy is enacted and enforced.

--Maynard

Stealing 'our' software? (2)

DrCode (95839) | more than 13 years ago | (#157112)

Why go to such lengths, when so many of us are giving software away for free? Or by 'our', do you mean Microsoft? It's kind of scary to think that major changes in the legal system are occuring just to improve the profits of a company that's already extremely profitable.

Re:So limit a world congress authority to commerce (1)

GPLwhore (455583) | more than 13 years ago | (#157113)

So instead of enforcing murder you want this body to enforce tax levels in member countries.
In another words, tax cut currently enacted by Bush administration would have to be reviewed and approved by international body. Knowing how ridiculously high are tax levels in Europe I highly doubt this would be approved.

I think we will do just fine without it.

Re:If democratic and elected, not so sad after all (1)

stapedium (228055) | more than 13 years ago | (#157114)

If you think handling elections in florida is bad try dong it rural China. Democracy American style is not the universal solution. While I agree with you that those who make and enforce laws should be answerable to the people, I can see no way of giving people throughout the world an equal voice in a single world government. As it is individuals don't have an equal voice, but their governments have the responsibility of doing their best to represent their interests. If they do a bad job of it they will be replaced and another advocate for those people will rise. Not equal, but better than nothing.

Human Rights versus Corporate Interest (2)

Demerara (256642) | more than 13 years ago | (#157115)

That's where we're at folks. Read "No Logo" by Naomi Klein. (www.fireandwater.com) Growing up in the late 60s and 70s, I saw the UN as an antidote to the cold war. It was hamstrung in both legs by that cold war. Now it plays second fiddle to WTO.

The Hague and similar institutions seek to implement global laws. The laws they implement are flawed and uneven and there is no concensus. But look at the world today - every issue of global significance had economic implications which prevent rational discussion at G7 and US/Europe/Asia summit levels.

It would be a shame to perfect the Hague Treaty as it relates to intellectual property and leave the human rights unfinished. But, because the politicians who must conduct the negotiations are so influenced by the corporate lobby, this is what may happen.

RMS makes some good points though!

Re:Jesse Helms (1)

haizi_23 (32026) | more than 13 years ago | (#157116)

a black negro. wow. you're fucking brilliant.
not only antiquated (and most likely racist) in your word choices, but also redundant.

Re:Jesse Helms (2)

ajs (35943) | more than 13 years ago | (#157117)

... Jesse Helms. Of course, all right-thinking people denounced him for his Neanderthal beliefs since everything international had to be good.

No... we denounce him for being a neanderthal.

Let's take a few [wisc.edu] quotes [nandotimes.com] :
  • "We've got to have some common sense about a disease transmitted by people deliberately engaging in unnatural acts."
  • "All Latins are volatile people. Hence, I was not surprised at the volatile reaction."
  • "The fact is that the American people are sick and tired of this whole foreign aid concept anyhow"


Helms is a bigot and quite bluntly, not very swift. He's also an isolationist when it suits his needs.

--
Aaron Sherman (ajs@ajs.com)

Re:If democratic and elected, not so sad after all (3)

zpengo (99887) | more than 13 years ago | (#157118)

So yes, I consider elected government a more "free" institution than private corporations simply because as a citizen I have at least a say in how policy is enacted and enforced

Again, your views of how "elected government" works is biased. I am assuming by the way you write that you're an American citizen, and thus your idea of a free and (reasonably) fair government are highly skewed.

Tax laws should remain local (1)

maynard (3337) | more than 13 years ago | (#157119)

Though I would probably support a world capital gains and corporate income tax. --M

Re:The Truth is Obvious--NYET! (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 13 years ago | (#157120)

Iz eewul kepitaleest plen for steeleenk rooshian enwenshunz, lik telewishun, inwented in Novosibirsk in 1918, by komrad Yuri Reemotkontrolov.

--
All your .sig are belong to us!

Of course we have black helicopters (1)

zauber (321909) | more than 13 years ago | (#157121)

Any Seattlite knows that on any given night you are likely to see the black helicopters, despite lack of coverage [eatthestate.org] in our local media. It seem strange that anyone could avoid s sL:JKFnxxxxxxxxx

Re:Stealing 'our' software? (1)

GPLwhore (455583) | more than 13 years ago | (#157122)

It matters not. Stealing is stealing, whether you are doing this to rich or poor.

Re:Disclaimers, EULA, & Legality (2)

rgmoore (133276) | more than 13 years ago | (#157123)

Don't forget that laws about EULAs may be different in different countries. I personally think that it's quite reasonable to claim that a simple click-through agreement is not enough to disclaim legal responsibility for the contents of a site. If local law somewhere agrees with me on that point, I could sue there and avoid your EULA altogether.

That's the real danger of the situation; people who want to enforce their aims of can shop for a location where the law agrees with them. Want to sue for libel? Find a place where libel laws are very strict. Want to get by a strict EULA? Find a place where click-through EULAs are unenforceable. And, of course, if you're a government this is trivial because you can always re-write your laws in a way that lets you go after the people who are annoying you.

Re:If democratic and elected, not so sad after all (2)

mpe (36238) | more than 13 years ago | (#157124)

I disagree completely. I'm not frightened by the prospect of a world unified government -- in fact I think we desperately NEED one. Global corporations are using jurisdictional differences between nations to avoid child labor and anti-slavery laws. They're misusing tax havens to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.

How would you set up such an organisation such that it has at least some resistance to corporate lobbying (and lobbying from political "crackpots").
Currently if such an organisation were to form then odds on it would be in the pockets of some combination of US big business and sexist and racist lobby groups (again primarily from the US).
Effectivly you'd make most of the world subject to the worst excesses of the US, without even the (theoretical) "protection" of the US constitution.

Biased? How? (1)

maynard (3337) | more than 13 years ago | (#157125)

You call my views "biased" and "highly skewed" yet do not state in what way. Care to elaborate? --M

Re:conspiracy? hardly. (1)

cavemanf16 (303184) | more than 13 years ago | (#157126)

So Microsoft products are being pirated in China and Vietnam at a 95% rate. So what?! Prove to me that that has hurt M$'s business. Their founder, Bill Gates is the richest man in the world, even after the dot-com bubble bursting as of late. Enforce sanctions, or withold monetary aid to those countries, but for God's sake, don't make me obey their laws! I live in America because it's not a lawless society, and that's what makes it one of the richest in the world.

Re:conspiracy? hardly. (1)

-=OmegaMan=- (151970) | more than 13 years ago | (#157127)

"Red China's idea of "buy the people, for the people""

That's a pretty funny typo, given the context. :-)

The nature of laws, and what this implies... (1)

kcbrown (7426) | more than 13 years ago | (#157128)

Mod this down as obvious if you wish, but I'll say it anyway...

Ultimately, what is a law? It's a restriction on freedom.

What the Hague treaty does is to impose some of the laws of every country on earth (or, at least, the signatories) onto everyone. Now each person is subject to the superset that contains all said laws. The result? It minimizes freedom.

Worse, it means that individuals may be simultaneously subject to laws which are diametrically opposed, so the individual can in one country be convicted (or sued) for breaking a law forbidding an action that in his own (or some other) country requires that action.

While I believe the Hague treaty doesn't address criminal law in general (please correct me if I'm wrong), it's a very significant move in that direction. Its passage will set a precedent that will make remote enforcement of criminal law more palatable and thus more likely.

Bad stuff indeed.


--

People of Earth, stop stealing our photons! (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 13 years ago | (#157129)

Seriously, all you people on earth have been stealing our photons for many millenia now. We've kept quiet about the issue because up to last century you really havn't known what a photon was, and frankly we dont have the time to explain it to you, but that's not the point! You dont have any laws that say people have to pay for photons!! They're just rolling around haphazardly, with people giving photons to their friends and selling them at movie theatres -- it's just rediculous! Dont you know that our people have to work very hard to make those photons? It takes significant investment for us to make all those photons and you've essentially devalued the currency by throwing them around willy nilly. Luckily there is an multidimensional treaty being proposed that will combat this photonic piracy and we expect the people of earth to sign it.

Re:The actual effect depends... (1)

arfy (236686) | more than 13 years ago | (#157130)

The problem is that the Judicial branch gets to interpret the Constitution and lately they seem to have no problem at all shoveling the rights of U.S. citizens out the window...

Being your own nation (1)

Peter Greenwood (211400) | more than 13 years ago | (#157131)

Might be worth getting some advice from Michael of Sealand [sealandgov.com] . But it can be quite exciting,as reported here [vnunet.com] .

A modest proposal (2)

skajohan (29019) | more than 13 years ago | (#157132)

Too bad RMS did not propose a way we, the average folk, might apply pressure against this fettering proposal.

Allow me to suggest how to apply pressure against proposals like this. Organize. Agitate. Educate. Resist. Take it to the streets if that is what it takes.

One does not need to study that much history, to come to the conclusion that it's through direct action that all advances of freedom and human rights have been made. And it's through direct action we have to defend and further advance our rights.

In the so called western world, things have been sleepy for quite some time. But the powerful people that have everything to gain by taking our rights away have not been at rest. This one-sided war can not go on for ever. People everywhere are taking up the many struggles that need to be won. This have been visible recently in places like Seattle, Nice and Prague. And this very weekend, in Gothenburg, it will happen again. [motkraft.net]

But it's not at the top meetings the battles are won. So find some like-minded people and start making some trouble!

Re:The UN needs to go. (2)

SoftwareJanitor (15983) | more than 13 years ago | (#157133)

One of the law enforcement agencies around here (midwest) actually uses black helicopters (only markings a small round white seal with red letters on the side and the N-numbers are smaller than normal and in dark grey on the black background). They are not easily confused with the National Guard's similar sized helicopters which are dark green and clearly marked with visible white normal sized N numbers. They are neither much quieter than a UH60 and certainly not invisible as some of the conspiracy theorists claim. They do, however, fly slowly, at low altitudes and in sweeping arcs, and have a large electronics pod mounted on one of the skids. What they appear to be looking for is electromagnetic signatures of large amounts of flourescent tubes and other such equipment used in grow houses and clandestine drug labs.

Sometimes there is tiny grain of truth in conspiracy theories if you dig far enough.

What's your alternative? (1)

maynard (3337) | more than 13 years ago | (#157134)

Do the world's nations then continue ceding soverign authority to private organizations like the WTO to form treaties like MAI without any public review? Is this a better solution to these problems than elected transparent government? I understand that a world elected body would be subject to all the problems of lobbying, abuse, and corruption which exist in any other congress or parliment, but it seems much better than just giving up and handing world policymaking over to unelected and undemocratic private institutions which meet and act in secret. --M

Re:FBI in Russia anyone? (1)

GPLwhore (455583) | more than 13 years ago | (#157135)

It is not the same thing. I believe stealing and breaking into someone's property is still illegal even in Russia.
The difference is that Russians chose not to act simply because, well the rule of law there is close to non-existent.

Re:Jesse Helms: half right (2)

Trepidity (597) | more than 13 years ago | (#157136)

I don't see how that's hypocritical. What we're talking about here is opposition to forcing US courts to enforce foreign laws, or forcing say German courts to enforce US laws. Having US courts enforce US laws, even if against non-US companies, is not the same thing, and is done by nearly all countries (take for example France's attempt to enforce its censorship laws against the US main branch of Yahoo).

Re:Biased? How? (1)

Temkin (112574) | more than 13 years ago | (#157137)

You call my views "biased" and "highly skewed" yet do not state in what way. Care to elaborate? --M

I can probably think of a couple cases...

Let's say there's a vote on copyright infringement... The ballot gets printed up with the various options... In China, the ballot gets printed with only one option. One fifth of the world gets it's vote chosen by the local government. You're assuming that it's even possible to hold a fair worldwide election. This isn't the case at the moment.

Temkin

Re:Patents: (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 13 years ago | (#157138)

You did not get it:
It's just to prevent/resolve this type of conflict that the The Hague treaty was devised.
And there are plenty of lawyers specialising in "international conlict of law", no worry to were to put your money :-).

Re:If democratic and elected, not so sad after all (1)

DrDave (2161) | more than 13 years ago | (#157139)

Last time I checked, the government in every country is a monopoly. There is no competitor. You are compelled (sometimes at gunpoint) to obey the laws and pay taxes.

However, corporations, even multi-national corporations must have customers to exist. Unless a company colludes with the government to be awarded a monopoly, they can be boycotted out of existance. Nobody is forced to purchase their products or services.

The wrong way (2)

SpeelingChekka (314128) | more than 13 years ago | (#157140)

You could fight it technically, sure. But the problem with that is, you wouldn't be solving the problem - you may be fixing some of the symptoms of the problem, but the problem would still be there. Symptomatic treatment is a lousy substitute for a cure. This is a political problem, it should be solved politically. The problem is with the lousy ideological reasoning and motivations behind the treaty. By attempting to fight this technically, you allow the ideology to pass, and in doing so you lend it weight, people will believe "ok the ideology can't be all bad because this passed as law". Circumventing the law after the fact by technical means is hardly going to have any benefit. Parodies, whistle-blowing etc all have their valid place, and the fight should be to have these things maintain their status of validity (or in places where they are not valid, to teach others why they are valid). Such things should not be made illegal in the first place. Why allow it to become illegal and then make weak attempts to patch the problem afterwards? There shouldn't have to be a need for networks like freenet in the first place. The existence of such networks implies that their is something at fault with the non-"underground" technologies - the more popular something like freenet becomes, the more sure a sign it is that "above-ground" technologies and laws have problems that should rather be addressed. Why do people always seem to want to treat things symptomatically instead of solving the real problems? Is it because its usually easier?

Re:Why is it ... (2)

rgmoore (133276) | more than 13 years ago | (#157141)

Well, sadly, Stallman is probably right in this case. The problem is not that "only the bad laws propagate, and not the good" in some abstract sense. The problem is that the law of the place where the suit takes place are allowed to take precidence over those of the place where the alleged offense may have taken place. For a person or organization that is able to practice jurisdictional shopping (i.e. a multi-national corporation) or change the law to suit its purpose (i.e. a government) that will almost always mean the more restrictive law.

One other thing that's potentially very worrying about this is that it may open the door to real legal abuse of another type. If your web site offens a multi-national corporation, they may very well decide to sue you in every country where they do business. There's nothing in particular to stop them from doing this, and they would only need to win one of those suits to put you in a world of hurt. That's nasty.

Re:If democratic and elected, not so sad after all (2)

mpe (36238) | more than 13 years ago | (#157142)

I happen to live in a country (USA) that recognises rights and freedoms available no where else in the world. I'm not about to willingly let someone in another country vote away my freedoms.

The USA, in terms of it's written constitution protects rights and freedoms. However in terms of it's historical record on human rights it isn't especially notable.
Problem is that whilst there might be plenty of people who can recite the US Constitution there are rather fewer who understand what it means and why it exists in the first place.
As for voting, remember the last US election was viewed as a "joke" by the rest of the planet.

Prove your numbers (1)

stonewolf (234392) | more than 13 years ago | (#157143)

Last time I tried to verify numbers like those you are quoting it turned out that the people quoting them, BSA, were assuming that if you bought a computer without Windows on it you were going to steal a copy of Windows.

As I understand it, the countries you list also happen to be countries with very high levels of free software usage (Linux, FreeBSD...) and would therefore have large sales of PCs without Windows. And the folks at Microsoft and the other BSA members would assume they were stealing what they are getting legally for free.

So, I say to you: Prove it, put up or shut up.

StoneWolf

Re:This only proves... (3)

csbruce (39509) | more than 13 years ago | (#157144)

YOU GOTTA FIGHT...FOR YOUR RIGHT...TO PARODY!!!!

You'd better watch it, buddy, because right after finish outlawing parodies, they'll outlaw puns.

Re:The Hague isn't a friend to human rights (1)

Demerara (256642) | more than 13 years ago | (#157145)

If a US (or UK, or Irish, or Italian) soldier shoots a civilian in a military engagement that's one thing. But if they commit rape or torture - well, I hope you agree with me that this is something entirely different.

In an ideal world, anyone committing a crime against humanity would be answerable to an international court.

In practise, the big boys (your US Presidents, your Chinese leaders) get away with it and the little boys (your Milosevic, your [name your own little despot]) will scapegoat anyone they can.

We have allowed international institutions to be weakened because we didn't like the medicine they prescribed for us (by us I mean US, UK, and other developed countries).

Here endeth the rant.

Clarified shit still stinks (2)

Spamalamadingdong (323207) | more than 13 years ago | (#157146)

This treaty does not apply to the following areas....Only civil and commercial law are included.
So the clown buying himself a verdict against you in a kangaroo court in Morocco can't have you thrown in jail, he can only take everything you own and throw you and your family out on the street. That's a big reassurance.
--

Re:If democratic and elected, OK with me!. (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 13 years ago | (#157147)

I second your motion!
It would be a bad world were only the bullies could set the rules.

Re:Why is it ... (1)

arfy (236686) | more than 13 years ago | (#157148)

A number of items that were public domain became unavailable in the U.S when we hooked into the G.A.T.T. Treaty. That is bad law and a good example of the sort of thing RMS is warning us about.

And as far as getting specialists in international law to write about this subject, I suppose we could fund two of them and get twelve opinions but I have a great deal of respect for RMS, despite/because he's been such a pain-in-the-ass about the GPL over the years and now (it appears) proven absolutely correct in having done it the way he did.

A different view (1)

Loundry (4143) | more than 13 years ago | (#157149)

[Why is it] that, according to Stallman, only the bad laws propagate, and not the good?

Maybe (if I may put words in his mouth) his point is that all laws propagate, and the vast majority of them are bad, some of them egregiously so.

I believe that any law which makes illegal an activity that doesn't deprive another of life, liberty, or property is a bad law.

Re:Interesting times (1)

rampant poodle (258173) | more than 13 years ago | (#157150)

Sharing laws and other things can be good. Having laws and other things forcefully inserted is not good, (well - maybe if you are the goatse guy). I get the feeling this treaty wiil fall into the not good category.

Re:Disclaimers, EULA, & Legality (3)

csbruce (39509) | more than 13 years ago | (#157151)

It'll be neat when Fidel Castro sues the US government for violating the ideals of communism, and wins.

Re:conspiracy? hardly. (2)

mpe (36238) | more than 13 years ago | (#157152)

What matters is what gets codified into law by the treaty, and what the unexpected side-effects of that law may be.

e.g. completly ignoring a treaty. (Which incidentally also originates from The Hague). When domestic politics in the most critical state in the US were a factor.


Laws get applied according to the need of the lawyers. There are a lot of dramatic cases of this.

Probably not just "lawyers", police and elected politicans (though in places such as the US elected politicans are quite frequently lawyers anyway.)

For example, Operation Rescue (radical anti-abortion group) was prosecuted under RICO statutes -- a law created to control organized crime. Similarly, Blue Cross Health Insurance is being sued under RICO because they control how physicians deal out healthcare to their clients. Appropriate?

But Microsoft isn't, even though their OEM pricing (and telling OEMs what they can and can't sell with Microsoft software) dosn't sound too difficult from a health insurance organisation telling physicans how to do their job.

That's why there's a constitution... (1)

Odranoel (186929) | more than 13 years ago | (#157153)

I don't care what any treaty says, it has to be ratified by congress before U.S. citizens can be affected by it, regardless of what the CIA,FBI, or NSA would like to think. Further, if it's unconstitutional, the Supreme Court can render a treaty invalid. Write your senator/House representative and say 'No' to any international treaties you dislike!


http://www.sheepdot.org

Re:Biased? How? (3)

zpengo (99887) | more than 13 years ago | (#157154)

You make assumptions such as:

A global government would be elected. This is virtually impossible, considering the variety of nations that would be participating. We can't even get an accurate election in the United States.

A global government, if elected, would be elected by the people. More likely, it would be elected by governments or corporations.

A global government would have something resembling the Freedom of Information Act, which makes their affairs and paperwork public.

A global government would be democratic and capitalist. Should I go on?

"same treaty process that gave us the DMCA dept." (2)

Trepidity (597) | more than 13 years ago | (#157155)

You do realize that the DMCA is a US law, not a treaty, don't you?
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