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UN Broadcasting Treaty May Restrict Speech

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the really-big-brother dept.

257

ashshy writes "A UN treaty under proposal could lead to unprecedented restrictions on free speech and fair use rights around the world. Ars Technica pulls together what you need to know from multiple sources." From the article: "The proposed broadcasting treaty would create entirely new global rights for broadcasting companies who have neither created nor own the programming. What's even more alarming is the proposal from the United States that the treaty regulate the Internet transmission of audio and video entertainment. It is dangerous and inappropriate for an unelected international treaty body to undertake the task of creating entirely new rights, which currently exist in no national law, such as webcasting rights and anti-circumvention laws related to broadcasting."

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For the love of all that is holy... (-1, Flamebait)

halivar (535827) | more than 8 years ago | (#15263617)

...will France please, please, PLEASE for once grow some balls and stand up us? This IP crap is getting old.

Re:For the love of all that is holy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15263778)

France has nothing to do with this, but that does not stop your idiotic xenophobia.

Re:For the love of all that is holy... (2, Funny)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 8 years ago | (#15264041)

will France please, please, PLEASE for once grow some balls and stand up us?

Good point. If they don't, we might set up them the bomb. They would then be on the way to destruction, at which point they would have no chance to survive make their time.

First!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15263618)

Aaarrgghh!!! First post! FuCK you!

You cannot create rights (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15263621)

Rights are by default. "Creating rights" means lifting bans, not the other way around.

Re:You cannot create rights (1)

SigILL (6475) | more than 8 years ago | (#15263827)

You cannot create rights. Rights are by default. "Creating rights" means lifting bans, not the other way around.

Actually, you'll find both are manmade. Nature has neither concepts.

Re:You cannot create rights (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15263923)

"Creating rights" means lifting bans, not the other way around.

Nonsense. "Creating rights" means restricting rights. Every granted right is a restriction on what other people may do.

Re:You cannot create rights (4, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 8 years ago | (#15264131)

Actually, the default state is that the only "rights" you have are the ones you can physically defend for yourself. The concept of basic rights only comes about because societies collectively protect those rights, in essence creating them.

That said, society can also take rights away without abdicating those rights to the default state, and that's probably a better description of what's intended with this treaty.

This is how the "IP" debate works (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15264226)

Most of why this debate is so difficult is that we are forced to use the term "Intellectual Property Rights" to describe something which are not rights but rather government-granted priviliges, concerning something which is not property but rather leases on government-granted monopolies.

It is unfortunate that the terms of the debate are consistently set by, and only by, the people who want an expansion of the priviliges they enjoy under their government-granted monopoly leases on intellectual concepts.

Re:You cannot create rights (1)

utlemming (654269) | more than 8 years ago | (#15264268)

Rights are "recognized." China for example does not recognize "Freedom of Speech" as a right.

However, rights can be created, when there isn't one. But what it really boils down to is what are our rights. If our right is to act completely in our own self interest and to impunge the rights of others, then where does one person's rights end and another person's right begin? For example, I have a right to be free and the right to make my own choices. Does that mean when I excerise a right to make choices and I rob a store that my right to be free should trump the punishment?

Part of existing in society is that rights are surrendered for saftey, security and the benefit of being a member of society. Screaming about rights and the need to have every one recognized by society is reckless and illresponsable. Some "natural rights" that society may restrict may be for the overall security and benefit of the people based on the values of that society. If a society values security then it may surrender the right to privacy.

What the ArsTechnica article was implying is that an artifical right was being created -- a right that no foundation whatsoever in the realms of what is moral or philisophical. The right being created is one that subjects the rights of an individual; like the right to free speech. Whether you call this attempt at making a right a right, is all a matter of schmantics.

Your statement would read better, "natural rights cannot be created," since artificial rights can and are created.

Um, exactly. (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15263625)

It's an unelected international body. Therefore not binding law. Right?

Re:Um, exactly. (4, Informative)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 8 years ago | (#15263713)

Depends mostly on if our elected officials grant this unelected body the right to govern us. Happens all the time through various treaties.

Congress shall make no law... (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15263791)

True, but "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press." Doesn't this mean that the Senate shall enact no such treaty?

Re:Congress shall make no law... (3, Insightful)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 8 years ago | (#15263860)

Bingo. Although it is against the law to shout "FIRE" in a crowded room. And it's against the law to publish copyright protected works without permission, and it's against the law to make up lies about people that damage their reputation. So "freedom of speech" has some limits.

The senate cannot violate constitutional rights, treaty or no. When you agree to a treaty you generally just agree to make the contents of the treaty a law in your country. If you do not manage to make the treaty legally binding in your jurisdiction then the treaty is not ratified (much to the annoyance of treaty cosigners).

Re:Congress shall make no law... (1)

stupidfoo (836212) | more than 8 years ago | (#15264015)

The "Yelling fire in a theatre" principal is not ingrained in law. It was spoken/writen by a supreme court judge in a ruling that was later overturned (by a later supreme court ruling).

I'm too lazy to google for it right now.

Re:Congress shall make no law... (1)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 8 years ago | (#15264150)

and it's against the law to make up lies about people that damage their reputation.

Actually, it's not - you won't be arrested for calling the president a pedophile, for example.

Now, he can sue you for damages, but that's a civil case.

It's also not against the law to shout "fire" in a crowded room, either... as long as there is actually a fire, of course.

Re:Congress shall make no law... (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15264036)

Doesn't this mean that the Senate shall enact no such treaty?

The Senate may well do what all countries actually do with such treaties, sign the thing as a matter of polity, then either ignore or enforce it as benefits them in any particular situation.

Witness the power of the Geneva Convention Treaty.

KFG

Re:Um, exactly. (4, Insightful)

fussili (720463) | more than 8 years ago | (#15263719)

Depends on the state/situation. I'll simplify things because you don't really need to know all the law and only weirdos like me find constitutional law interesting. Some 'international' legislation is enacted immediately (for instance, in France European legislation of a certain type is automatically a part of French law), however for the most part, there is almost no chance that 'International law' (the phrase itself is an anathema and complete and utter crap btw, anyone who mentions it needs their heads examined or their phony law degree torn up) can be relied upon in domestic courts. There are however situations in which some international agreements would have some legal force. For instance, in the courts of England and Wales there is a presumption at law that Her Majesty's government intends to honour its treaty obligations - a presumption relied upon heavily in the past 20 years as the House of Lords has gone about carving its own Human Right's jurisprudence. As for this resolution however, any assertion made that it will be applicable or enforceable in domestic courts is laughable. In the United Kingdom, as I presume it would be in US courts which are markedly slow to consider international agreements as having any legal force.

Re:Um, exactly. (1)

fussili (720463) | more than 8 years ago | (#15263760)

Go Go Massive-Unreadable Block of Legalese! Thank you bad mousing! Here's a better edited one:

Depends on the state/situation. I'll simplify things because you don't really need to know all the law and only weirdos like me find constitutional law interesting.

  Some 'international' legislation is enacted immediately (for instance, in France European legislation of a certain type is automatically a part of French law), however for the most part, there is almost no chance that 'International law' (the phrase itself is an anathema and complete and utter crap btw, anyone who mentions it needs their heads examined or their phony law degree torn up) can be relied upon in domestic courts.

There are however situations in which some international agreements would have some legal force. For instance, in the courts of England and Wales there is a presumption at law that Her Majesty's government intends to honour its treaty obligations - a presumption relied upon heavily in the past 20 years as the House of Lords has gone about carving its own Human Right's jurisprudence.

As for this resolution however, any assertion made that it will be applicable or enforceable in domestic courts is laughable. In the United Kingdom, as I presume it would be in US courts which are markedly slow to consider international agreements as having any legal force.

Re:Um, exactly. (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 8 years ago | (#15264086)

In the United Kingdom, as I presume it would be in US courts which are markedly slow to consider international agreements as having any legal force.
Remember how the DMCA, SonnyBono-copyright-extension act, etc started in USA: as something Congress felt they were required to do, in order to have US law match treaties such as WIPO. Then the treaty was indirectly enforced.

This treaty may be a prelude to weirdo legislation appearing in Congress. How they'll get past the First Amendment is questionable, but one thing we all should have learned by now is: where's a will, there's a way. ;-)

Re:Um, exactly. (3, Funny)

Eccles (932) | more than 8 years ago | (#15264232)

Remember how the DMCA, SonnyBono-copyright-extension act, etc started in USA: as something Congress felt they were required to do, in order to have US law match treaties such as WIPO.

Actually, the DMCA started when the US pushed for the WIPO copyright treaty, then pushed for the DMCA on the grounds that US law had to match WIPO. A handy scheme to get around local objections.

Time to build Dogbertland, I think.

Re:Um, exactly. (1)

halfcuban (972832) | more than 8 years ago | (#15264203)

What do you mean international law doesn't exist? What do you call maritime law, the various treaties that cover human rights abuses (regardless of how little they are enforced), and the litany of trade agreements and other rules/regulations that the WTO promulgates? Last time I checked those had the distinct smell of law and generally dictate alot of the behaviour of states and other actors, particuarly the trade stuff.

While it is true that international agreements have only so much force as the national countries that sign them are willingly to enforce them (witness the many countries that shelter people guilty of human rights abuses), and that any violation of a treaty would NOT be handled by domestic courts, its absurd to suggest that doing so would be without consequences, though I think in this treaty's case, I doubt anyone will go out of their way to enforce it (just like the fact that certain state authorities look the other way with pirated goods, I doubt they'll care about stealing clips on transmission).

Either way, I doubt that this treaty will be passed, because inevitably every third world country will go through the roof complaining about how western media outlets are depriving them of the ability to report news using their video feeds and the like.

Re:Um, exactly. (2, Interesting)

Elemenope (905108) | more than 8 years ago | (#15263720)

True, but not conforting. Treaties are negotiated between the parties (sometimes with an intermediary like the UN). Then, each party goes through whatever its ratifying process is; in the US case, ratification requires the consent of the Senate, for example (and do you really think they wouldn't?). Once it is ratified, it is law. Now, there is some disagreement amongst scholars (notably Akhil Amar as a famous dissenting voice) as to whether treaties under US law should be considered superior, equvalent, or subordinate to Federal law when they conflict, but most agree that treaty obligations make treaty items enforceable by US courts under most circumstances.

Re:Um, exactly. (1)

eviloverlordx (99809) | more than 8 years ago | (#15263757)

It's a little more complicated than that, but in the long run it is unlikely that the UN would be able to enforce their changes.

Re:Um, exactly. (2, Insightful)

QMO (836285) | more than 8 years ago | (#15264078)

I guess that's true. Look at Saddaam Houssein. He defied the UN for years and got away with it. A different group of nations (who happen to be members of the UN) finally got sick of it, but the UN itself pretty much did nothing nothing.

Moral: Unless the US gets mad, the worst you have to fear from the UN is talk.

Re:Um, exactly. (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 8 years ago | (#15263759)

Unfortunately, no. From what I can remember from my intro law class, once signed, such treaties have a high status and can even override local laws.

Don't worry though, the solution is simple: simply pretend no such treaty was ever signed, and the worst case scenario is that UN will be very angry with you and maybe send you a letter saying how angry they are.

Re:Um, exactly. (2, Informative)

badasscat (563442) | more than 8 years ago | (#15263768)

It's an unelected international body. Therefore not binding law. Right?

Right, and after that last sentence I'm not quite sure that the article submitter really understands how treaties work.

Every country handles treaties a little bit differently, but to my knowledge no country allows an international treaty to trump national sovereignty. In the US, for example, treaties must be ratified by both houses of congress and signed by the President to take effect. Thus, there is no danger of an "unelected international body" dictating anything. The supreme court can also overturn any ratified treaty, if it's challenged and is determined to be unconstitutional.

Most other countries that I know of deal with treaties similarly, in that they're basically handled like any other law. A treaty is sort of a master document that guides policy at the legislative level within each individual country. It is not a binding law unto itself, even if it is signed by the ambassadors or even leaders of any country. It still must be ratified by the signatory countries to be binding.

Treaties and (US) Sovereignity (1)

DrVomact (726065) | more than 8 years ago | (#15264297)

Just to clarify a few points: it takes a 2/3 majority of the Senate alone to ratify a treaty (the House has nothing to say about it), and any treaties so ratified acquire the force of law. I'm not sure what would happen if a ratified treaty directly contradicted a provision in the Bill of Rights. My guess is that the treaty would prevail--effectively repealing the Article in question, but I invite any lawyers out there to contribute opinions more authoritative than mine.

Article II, Section 2 of the United States Constitution [usconstitution.net] :

...[The President] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur...

Article VI of the United States Constitution [usconstitution.net] :

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

Consequently, treaties or resolutions passed by the United Nations have no effect on US law unless they are ratified by (some of) our elected representatives. There may be some measure of comfort in this for those who hold the Bill of Rights dear, but the danger is that whoever happens to be President, and those who happen to be present during the Senate hearing on the proposed treaty, effectively have the power to circumvent the procedures required for amending the U.S. Constitution. Considering the quality of those who currently rule in Washington, I am apprehensive whenever I hear of another UN resolution concocted by that strange assortment of Kleptocrats who seem to dominate that body. One of these days, the President may find a UN resolution that he likes.

It's a treaty. Period. End of story. (1)

C10H14N2 (640033) | more than 8 years ago | (#15264101)

It's an attempt by a group of national governments to synchronize their understanding and treatment of [fill-in-the-blank]. It is _not_ "creating" ANYTHING. It is simply a document that says "we're all going to agree to do things the same way so we don't have confusion."

If people would actually READ the !#%$ing document, they'd see that it is not all that spectacularly upsetting:

http://www.wipo.int/meetings/en/html.jsp?url=http: //www.wipo.int/edocs/mdocs/sccr/en/sccr_14/sccr_14 _2.doc [wipo.int]

As NATIONAL laws change, all this treaty is basically saying is that each contracting member of the treaty will apply those laws uniformly, not playing favorites to anyone.

Big flipping whoop-dee-do. I wish people understood better how these things work instead of trotting out the "OMG!!1!11!! THE UN IS A SUPERSTATE!!!!" bull that is so far from the truth it isn't even laughable--it's just sad.

Take a deep breath (1)

Zeinfeld (263942) | more than 8 years ago | (#15264164)

The Web site has a second hand account of a somewhat bizare interpretation of the treaty. The treaty does not extinguish fair use rights, does not bar the Daily Show from using clips of Fox News, does not provide the degree of control described.

What the treaty does appear to be trying to do is to extend geographic rights limitations currently enforced through the limitations of broadcast media (TV signals only go so far) to the Internet.

An international treaty has no effect unless the member states agree to ratify it. The UN is certainly not working outside its scope by proposing the treaty, the entire reason for WIPO and the UN to exist is to draft treaties.

What is a concern is the use of international treaty making to perform an end run around the legislative system. Its a way of avoiding accountability. In the UK a frequent bleat from governments of both colours is that they are forced to do something because of the EU. What they fail to mention is that they were the primary movers in getting the directive they are now complaining about passed.

2002 - 2003 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15263641)

I thought we liked the U.N.

A direct attack (3, Interesting)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 8 years ago | (#15263658)

On Comedy Central I'd say. Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have made fun of traditional media- and this attacks their primary way of getting their fake "news" (by Tivo'ing the other channels and picking out stuff to make fun of).

Uh +1 funny? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15263873)

You have got to be joking me. You think that a UN treaty is designed such that satire shows on Comedy Central will not be able to use clips from other shows? If anyone mods this as insightful or informative, you are a fucking idiot.

Re:Uh +1 funny? (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 8 years ago | (#15264072)

They moded it as "interesting" so far. I just thought that the juxtaposition of Stephen Colbert's recent pro-Bush-anti-Media diatribe (or was it anti-Bush-anti-Media) and this obviously corporate-written treaty coming to light in the same week was pretty wierd.

Hey, I have a dumb conspiracy too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15263946)

Uh, I think that this is Bush's attempt to control the media so that he can convince little girls to go to the White House where he will then canabilize them.

Hey look, I posted a completely inane right wing conspiracy too, can I get a +1 intersting mod too?

Re:Hey, I have a dumb conspiracy too! (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 8 years ago | (#15264095)

I think my +1 interesting was pointing out the use of Tivo'd material in the fake news industry, not the weak conspiracy theory, but hey. Would be better if you jumped one better than me and pointed out that this whole thing was just writing into international law what the Big Media companies alreay write into their contracts anyway: This Game may not be taped or shown publically without the express permission of Major League Baseball and NBC. Been happening for YEARS.

American influence (-1, Flamebait)

clevershark (130296) | more than 8 years ago | (#15263659)

I don't so much mind when Americans muck things up in America -- because I can stay out of it reasonably easily -- but when they overreach like this it just pisses off people like me.

Re:American influence (1, Troll)

Chicken04GTO (957041) | more than 8 years ago | (#15263853)

Blame Bush!...

Instead of using your supposedly more intelligent non-american brain and realizing this is about international media companies simply trying to remain releveant in an internet enabled world.

Newsflash to all the euro-trolls and other US-haters, the US does what it does because of a fundemental flaw in our governmental system...lobbying and other forms of influence on our elected officials.

the world is now run by huge international financial interests...not dubya.

But, if it makes you feel better and superior to ignore the real problem, as well as corruption and in BS in your own countries, feel free to blame Bush until you get blue in the face.

Re:American influence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15263878)

looks like you need a bit of anonet [nyud.net] . can't really intrude on a private network can they, and even then, who was it? :)

Re:American influence (3, Insightful)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 8 years ago | (#15263957)

If it is just the USA that wants this then Europe should have no trouble getting it removed...

Right?

The old joke: Whats good about America? (2, Funny)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 8 years ago | (#15264054)

Its where you keep Americans! .. Ba-da-boom

Yes .. its a joke .. its meant to be funny (well at least to the majority of the world (6 billion or so minus 300 million). Besides, I'm living here now, so I am poking fun against myself - nyah nyah nyah. Thats sad really .. can I go home now??

Re:The old joke: Whats good about America? (1)

Chicken04GTO (957041) | more than 8 years ago | (#15264149)

Thats OK! We like the way we have our little corner of the world setup. In fact, most of us don't agree with our government policies either, esp with regard to foriegn policy. Americans would much rather leave people alone, be be left alone. Unfortunately, we have zero control over our government, contrary to popular belief.

American? (3, Funny)

C10H14N2 (640033) | more than 8 years ago | (#15264318)

Well if by "American" you mean "the AmericaS," well, maybe, but last I checked, Nantes was not in the Americas.

From the agenda for this week's meetings:

http://www.wipo.int/meetings/en/html.jsp?url=http: //www.wipo.int/edocs/mdocs/sccr/en/sccr_14/sccr_14 _1_rev.doc [wipo.int]

Protection of broadcasting organizations

- Including introductory presentations of Professor Delia Lipszyc, Buenos Aires University and Chair, InterAmerican Copyright Institute (IIDA), Buenos Aires, Argentina and Professor André Lucas, Nantes University, Nantes, France.

And let's see

http://www.wipo.int/meetings/en/details.jsp?meetin g_id=5762 [wipo.int]

"Treaty on the Protection of Broadcasting Organizations and Cablecasting Organizations (submitted by Singapore)"

Nope, not America.

http://www.wipo.int/meetings/en/details.jsp?meetin g_id=5022 [wipo.int]

"Protection of the Rights of Broadcasting Organizations. Comparison of Proposals of WIPO Member States and the European Community and its Member States Received by September 15, 2003"

America? Where are you?

http://www.wipo.int/meetings/en/details.jsp?meetin g_id=4823 [wipo.int]

"Proposal on the Legal Protection of Broadcasting Organizations (Submitted by Kenya)"
"Protection of the Rights of Broadcasting Organizations (Submitted by Egypt)"
"Protection of the Rights of Broadcasting Organizations (Proposal Submitted by Canada)"

Oh hey! FINALLY!!! Canada! That's American!!!

Honestly, folks, dig a little deeper, okay?

Don't like this, do something about it (4, Informative)

kratei (924454) | more than 8 years ago | (#15263677)

If you don't like this, do something about it. What? Contact your representatives. I don't know what to tell those outside the US, but for those of you inside it:

https://secure.eff.org/site/Advocacy?JServSessionI dr011=kftdaz9nm1.app13b&cmd=display&page=UserActio n&id=163 [eff.org]

Re:Don't like this, do something about it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15263724)

If you don't like this, do something about it. What? Contact your representatives. I don't know what to tell those outside the US, but for those of you inside it:

Congress has no power over treaties, and if it happens to be a self-effectuating treaty, well, then Congress doesn't even have to pass a law for it to take effect in this country.

Re:Don't like this, do something about it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15263735)

Those of you outside the US who wish to affect US policy, seek to help educate those who are in it. If you know anyone on the inside, ask them their opinions and discuss it with them. Make sure they understand the implications their vote and opinions can have.

Live vicariously through others.

MOD PARENT UP (1)

Antimatter3009 (886953) | more than 8 years ago | (#15264286)

Even though Congress has no direct power over these treaties, let your reps know that you're concerned. That, plus the Senate will have to ratify it for it take effect here. If you're not in the US I recommend you do whatever your equivalent is...this is important.

So the UN is relevant now? I'm confused. (4, Insightful)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 8 years ago | (#15263686)

First we say the UN is irrelevant and we won't send any of our people to the UN International Court of Justice because the UN has no authority over us.

But, then we say that the UN gave us the ok to invade another country.

However, then we say that the head of UN is corrupt and the whole system needs to be replaced.

But now we're asking this corrupt body who has no authority over us to impose rules on other countries and how they transmit items over the net and elsewhere.

Someone stop the spinning! I'm gonna throw up!

Re:So the UN is relevant now? I'm confused. (0, Offtopic)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 8 years ago | (#15263739)

The word is you're. As in, "You're an asshole if you spell it as your."

What if I'm talking about your asshole?

Or perhaps assholes of yore?

Re:So the UN is relevant now? I'm confused. (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 8 years ago | (#15263763)

Also, the US ambassador to the UN, Bolton, is publicly opposed to the existence of the UN. Who better to represent us in an international assembly than a person who believes the assembly should be abolished? Brilliant.

Re:So the UN is relevant now? I'm confused. (1)

rabbit994 (686936) | more than 8 years ago | (#15263928)

Sometimes it's extremely benefitical to bring in someone who hates your product/organization to figure out any problems. Bolton does that now for UN instead of just sending a bunch of fanboys. Many Open Source projects could learn this.

Neitherless, UN is corrupt, mostly worthless organization who would should kick out of New York and put all the diplomats back on boats and send them back to where ever they came from.

It's relivant for what it was orignally intended (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 8 years ago | (#15263798)

A forum for international debate. According to Article 6 of the Constution, "all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land." Means if we enter in to a treaty, it is a law up there on the same level as the Constitution itself and has to be obeyed as such. Most countries operate similarly, even if they don't have a constitution that explicitly spells it out.

So the UN has power in that respect. Countries get together, they hash out an agreement, they sign it, and everyone agrees to obey that. Of course if you aren't a country that signs it, the UN is fairly powerless to do anything about it.

The concern isn't really anything to do with the UN, but that the US might enter in to this treaty, making it law regardless of how the citizens feel. Of course another thing about treaties is they are much harder to do away with than normal laws. If you make a federal law that says something, the next congress can just eliminate it if they want. However a treaty is harder to get out of.

"Authority of the United States" is restricted (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15263885)

all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land.

But amendment 1 restricts "the Authority of the United States" using the following language: "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press."

Re:It's relivant for what it was orignally intende (1)

softweyr (2380) | more than 8 years ago | (#15263891)

Means if we enter in to a treaty, it is a law up there on the same level as the Constitution itself and has to be obeyed as such.


Er, no. Welcome to Civics 101. All laws and treaties in the USA are legal only in that they do not conflict with the Constitution, as amended. Plus the US Govt has never been particularly good at sticking to treaties, except when it suits the fancy of the current administration, so words like "binding" and "obey" have a pretty dubious application here.


That said, there is nothing in this proposed law that would be unconstitutional, it's just the usual corporate greed legislated on a worldwide rather than national scale. But hey, multinationalism is good, right? That's how Europe is teaching the unwashed heathens in America how to be patricians to the rest of the world, right?

Re:It's relivant for what it was orignally intende (1)

Pope (17780) | more than 8 years ago | (#15264236)

Plus the US Govt has never been particularly good at sticking to treaties,

Yes, but how many have actually been approved and passed by Congress as law? Seems to me that the President goes out, signs something to make nice, but Congress never actually passes it, so by all technicalities, the USA doesn't have to abide by the treaty.

Re:So the UN is relevant now? I'm confused. (1)

ADRA (37398) | more than 8 years ago | (#15264088)

1. Yes, America just as every other country are full of hypocritical people led by hypocritical leaders. This isn't news. They'll Slam the UN one day when they don't want to participate (Iraq war), and praise them the next when it serves their purposes (Strong media conglomerates).

Why the US -won't- fight this is simple. When it comes to entertainment (Audio/Visual) economies, the US is way ahead of the rest. Why would they stand up to a resolution that allows other governments to police their income? It doesn't make sense. Why would the US say NO, we don't want you to punish up all those stealing Mission Impossible 3, or Britney Spears newest album?

2. The law is from WIPO, which is known for making invasive treaties. I'm not surprised that they'd cook up something like this.

The UN is just so 20th century (-1, Troll)

0123456 (636235) | more than 8 years ago | (#15263728)

I mean, seriously, it's a club for sad old socialists and communists who are still dreaming that they'll one day run the world. Why didn't we close it down years ago?

You'd think that Bush would at least have the balls to kick them out of New York.

Re:The UN is just so 20th century (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 8 years ago | (#15263914)

I mean, seriously, it's a club for sad old socialists and communists who are still dreaming that they'll one day run the world. Why didn't we close it down years ago?

What is with you Americans and this view of the UN? It is the only framework we have for having nations try and work together peacefully, and establish the way they'll play together. It's not a perfect system, but it's better than saying "fuck it, just invade anyone you wish".
You'd think that Bush would at least have the balls to kick them out of New York.

Well, it was the US who helped to create the UN, after they said the League of Nations was no longer relevant. You can't throw away the only even remotely-functionaly international treaty organization every time you feel like throwing a temper tantrum because you didn't get your own way.

The US uses the UN to give them legitimacy when it suits them, and flagrantly disregards the fact that's a signatory to some of those treaties when they wish.

Walk away from it, and you could find yourselves a pariah state, and your relationships with your allies could become rather tenuous. Although, they've been becoming tenuous over the last few years due to the protectionism/xenophobia your leaders are putting forth to the rest of the world.

Le't hope America doesn't decide it want to go it alone so it can become the asshole/bully of the world -- though we see shades of that now.

Re:The UN is just so 20th century (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15264139)

I wish I had mod points right now. That's some awesome truth you're posting right there.

Re:The UN is just so 20th century (0, Troll)

JavaLord (680960) | more than 8 years ago | (#15264172)

What is with you Americans and this view of the UN?

We aren't socalists and we are stuck funding this anti-american establishment via our tax dollars.

It is the only framework we have for having nations try and work together peacefully, and establish the way they'll play together. It's not a perfect system, but it's better than saying "fuck it, just invade anyone you wish".

Do you think if the UN went away everyone would just say "FUCK IT"? Did the UN does not stop aggression at all.

Well, it was the US who helped to create the UN, after they said the League of Nations was no longer relevant.

Which it wasn't.

You can't throw away the only even remotely-functionaly international treaty organization every time you feel like throwing a temper tantrum because you didn't get your own way.

If we pay for it, we should be able to throw it away.

The US uses the UN to give them legitimacy when it suits them, and flagrantly disregards the fact that's a signatory to some of those treaties when they wish.

So why would you object to the US pulling out?

Walk away from it, and you could find yourselves a pariah state,

Get over your anti-american wet dream of things going badly for the US.

and your relationships with your allies could become rather tenuous.

Doubtful, they will still need us, and we will still need them which is why they are allies.

Although, they've been becoming tenuous over the last few years due to the protectionism/xenophobia your leaders are putting forth to the rest of the world.

Yeah, that protectionism is really hardcore in America, that is why they have such a large trade deficit with China. The xenophobia is really big too, I mean we have politicians right now trying to decide how to baby illegal immigrants correctly.

Le't hope America doesn't decide it want to go it alone so it can become the asshole/bully of the world -- though we see shades of that now.

Lets hope America pulls out of the Anti-American UN. It does not serve our national interests to be part of such an organization. Let Europe rot and become Eurabia, fuckem.

Re:The UN is just so 20th century (0, Flamebait)

tinkerghost (944862) | more than 8 years ago | (#15264249)

Le't hope America doesn't decide it want to go it alone so it can become the asshole/bully of the world -- though we see shades of that now.
I think it's too late for that --- Bush already took us down that road.
[waves to the nice HS officer reading the post][meta style='mocking' content='offensive' text='hopehediesofapapercutrippingupthebillofright s']

The Smell of Desperation. (4, Insightful)

alphasubzero949 (945598) | more than 8 years ago | (#15263738)

The traditional mass media is becoming more and more irrelevant with each passing day thanks to the advent of blogs, podcasts, independent music, and films. You can bet your bottom dollar that the conglomerates have been looking for ways to thwart this "revolution" in mass media and get pieces of the pie - albeit unsuccessfully. This is the **AA's "last stand" - if you will - on a global scale because they want that control back and will do anything by any means necessary.

Seriously, how are they going to crack down? File John Doe lawsuits in Albania?

Get real.

Re:The Smell of Desperation. (1)

laughingcoyote (762272) | more than 8 years ago | (#15263905)

The lawsuits that shut down Suprnova weren't too many miles away from there, if I do recall correctly. I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the reach of multinational corporations with obscene amounts of money, even if I do dislike them just as much as anyone. This is exactly what this is-they want to try and shut down Bittorrent and other such trackers in Albania, or Sweden, or Slovakia, or what-have-you.

Absolutely agreed that this entire issue is about control. It's pretty difficult to maintain artificial scarcity in the face of natural infinite availability, so it's hardly surprising that the **AA's are resulting to very draconian (and seemingly irrational) measures-what they're trying to do is totally and inevitably doomed to failure, so anything but accepting that and changing radically is irrational. Bit like standing with your hand out in front of a freight train-you really have two choices, keep putting yourself in a "better position" to try and stop it-or get the hell off the tracks, figure the train's getting through no matter what, and find something better to do.

Re:The Smell of Desperation. (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 8 years ago | (#15263940)

The traditional mass media is becoming more and more irrelevant with each passing day thanks to the advent of blogs, podcasts, independent music, and films. You can bet your bottom dollar that the conglomerates have been looking for ways to thwart this "revolution" in mass media and get pieces of the pie - albeit unsuccessfully. This is the **AA's "last stand" - if you will - on a global scale because they want that control back and will do anything by any means necessary.

Maybe in your eyes, but not in reality. In the world 99% of us live in, most music listened to is RIAA, most movies watched are MPAA, and most television shows viewed are produced by studio conglomerates. Most people don't read blogs regularly - if ever - and fewer still keep them. And *very* few people even know what a podcast is - fewer still listen to them.

So I don't know when this alleged revolution took place, but I think it's still in the future. I also bet that by the time it takes place, it will be controlled by the mass media who will have, by that time, gotten their collective shit together. Don't mean to rain on your parade, but methinks you're dreaming.

Re:The Smell of Desperation. (2, Interesting)

c41rn (880778) | more than 8 years ago | (#15263972)

I really hope this is the *AA's last stand as you say. I also hope this treaty doesn't go anywhere. However, if it does, this is how I could imagine it going:

Treaty is passed --> US begins to enforce the treaty as US law --> To "protect the rights of content creators," compulsory registration of US web sites, blogs, etc. is passed

I realise that this is a slippery slope argument, but I also believe that this could actualy happen in the next decade or so. I think that the internet is more free (as in speech) today then it will be in the near future.

The problem with too many fronts (2, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 8 years ago | (#15263764)

This is a real problem. We have to fend off the US Congress, the FCC (they will be back, Congressional authority or no), the EU, the UN, etc. and as soon as we defeat one attempt another is introduced. We have to win every battle, they to win once. One step is to cut the number of fronts. Just oen more reason to burn the UN building to the ground and send those idiots home.

The UN is useless anyway so it isn't like it wouldn't be a good thing all around. The indisputable fact that it is a 'Parliment of Tyrants' where the unfree votes outnumber the Free by a goodly margin is only mitigated slightly by the fact that the instituition is incapable of action on major issues. But as this attempt makes clear they do have a great potential for mischief on less visible issues, especially when you get a perfect storm of agreement between third world pestholes wanting to control their people and the 1st world wanting to let their **AA organizations control their subjects.

Re:The problem with too many fronts (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 8 years ago | (#15263930)

Just oen more reason to burn the UN building to the ground and send those idiots home.

Are you suggesting that the 9/11 hijackers hit the wrong target?

Re:The problem with too many fronts (1)

aemain (678301) | more than 8 years ago | (#15263955)

The indisputable fact that it is a 'Parliment of Tyrants' where the unfree votes outnumber the Free by a goodly margin is only mitigated slightly by the fact that the instituition is incapable of action on major issues.

WTF are you talking about? About 120 [ppionline.org] (depending on who you ask) of the 191 member states of the UN are democracies. What you're saying was true 50 years ago when it the UN was founded, but far from true today. While the 'tyrants' may have too much power in the UN, they by no means form a majority. Occasionally you'll see a nasty majority come up on a committee, but by and large its the larger powers (many of which are democracies--think the US, France) that tend to block action.

Boycott *YAHOO* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15263776)

UN is just the meeting place, the culprit that lobbied hardest for this is Yahoo. They're the piece of shit thats pushing it as a treatry proposal to bypass the national law making process.

what if... (1)

celardore (844933) | more than 8 years ago | (#15263777)

What would happen if local laws contradict the UNs proposals, even if they did pass?

Re:what if... (1)

HumanisticJones (972339) | more than 8 years ago | (#15264242)

By the way the United States government was supposed to work, the National Constitution was to set the ground floor on rights. A person could never have less freedoms than were defined within. States were then allowed to make their own constitutions in which they could grant more rights and change the ways certain regulations worked, but never take away things granted nationally.

By the very sound of this, some governmental group that is outside of the whole system is now going to set a ceiling on freedom of expression (no higher than this please or we'll have to hit you in the head). So by the system America was founded with, this won't fly and will be rejected within the US outright.

I mean after all, our current administration is all about protecting the America that our founding fathers wanted... right? Yeah, that's where this scares me, we currently have a "Big Brother and State Religion for All" administration that spins history to suit its whims and uses fear to gain powers it should never have had. I have a feeling this is going to be praised as one of the greatest moves against world wide terrorism.

Inappropriate? I'll tell you inappropriate (4, Insightful)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#15263785)

It is dangerous and inappropriate for an unelected international treaty body to undertake the task of creating entirely new rights, which currently exist in no national law, such as webcasting rights and anti-circumvention laws related to broadcasting.

It is also dangerous and inappropriate for even elected national officials to undertake the task of destroying rights they are specifically not allowed to destroy (see Constititution, definition of "no law" means "no law").

The rights of the people are best protected when regulations are created and enforced close to home. The International government has no rights to give preferential treatment to one person or party over another. The bigger that government is the, less it should do to try to level any playing field. In the long run, more power at the upper levels of government are almost always abused to create paternalism and cartelization, not to actually protect rights.

Our own Congress in the U.S. has overstepped their bounds with the FCC and the myriad of unconstitutional laws affecting speech. These laws, if wanted by the people per the 9th and 10th amendments, are better suited for the state or the village to create and enforce.

The interstate commerce clause was not meant to give Congress the right to regulate trade or commerce on a control level -- it was written to give Congress the power to penalize states that infringe on a person's right to trade freely with other states within the union of states. Don't read more into simple words than is necessary.

The UN is just as irrelevant in my life as the US is. I'm an Illinoisan first and foremost. Even that group is too big to treat me with respect and to protect my rights from those looking to trample on them. What other people want to do in other countries, states or even cities is none of my business: I have no desire to prevent them from harming themselves or encouraging them to be lazy by paying for their failures. The UN is the epitome of wealth transfer and power transfer, and if you look at the corruption that has occurred that we know about, it only makes me wonder what corruptions have occurred that we don't know about.

Re:Inappropriate? I'll tell you inappropriate (1)

robertjw (728654) | more than 8 years ago | (#15263961)

The UN is just as irrelevant in my life as the US is. I'm an Illinoisan first and foremost. Even that group is too big to treat me with respect and to protect my rights from those looking to trample on them...

Your statement is excellent. If there is one thing I wish we would all learn about politics it's the point you made. Your local government is what matters. Local government has the ability to make decisions to protect your rights. That's why the constitution was written the way it was. 200 years ago, with a population a fraction as large as the one we have now, no one trusted the federal government. Now, when most states have more people than the whole country did then, we give more power than ever to the feds. Everyone gets so worked up about federal elections, but doesn't even bother to vote for their own mayor or attend their local city council meetings.

Re:Inappropriate? I'll tell you inappropriate (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15264028)

I just got off the phone with the ghost of Abraham Lincoln. He would like me to remind you that he 'kicked their secessionist asses' and to 'not let them forget it'.

Seriously, local government ceased to matter the day Lee signed his surrender at Appomatox.

Re:Inappropriate? I'll tell you inappropriate (1)

brother_b (16716) | more than 8 years ago | (#15264147)

Just a question, Mr. Dada, outside of the discussion but relevant to your topic. Why do you, a freedom-loving anarcho-capitalist wish to continue residing in the People's Republik of Illinois? I, for one, would not wish to consider myself a citizen of King Daley's liberty-hating state. (Yes I know he's the mayor of Chicago and not the governor, but Chicago practically runs things up there from what I've head about Illinois.)

Re:Inappropriate? I'll tell you inappropriate (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#15264277)

Why do you, a freedom-loving anarcho-capitalist wish to continue residing in the People's Republik of Illinois?

Good question. I've found various loopholes in the State and Federal tax laws based on income if you're paid in US Minted gold and silver. It seems that the State of Illinois is happy to accept the loophole (probably because it is used by many elite politicians, I am sure), but many other states won't give me a clear-cut answer.

I've worked very hard to extricate myself from the state entirely (including not using state roads, and criticizing state officials and state police officers every time I see one anywhere), and I believe Illinois has some hope in offering anarcho-capitalists the chance to extricate ourselves even more. I am currently pursuing some legal requests to see if what I think the law says is true, and if that is the case, things might change fairly quickly.

Why Illinois? For me, convenience. We have private FBO airports everywhere (and cheap ones) which means I may never need my car or public roads ever again (sounds crazy, but who knows). When people ask me what we would do if government didn't provide roadways, I'd point them to the fact that I don't think cars would exist like they do today if it wasn't for government subsidies -- maybe we would all be flying around, who knows? I recently flew about 85 miles because it was faster than my car (and cheaper!)

Most of Illinois is outside of Mayor Daley's domain, and much of Illinois is still gun-toting, get-off-my-law paleoconservatives. I may not agree with their political views, but most of them hate public education, detest unionization of publicans and want to have nothing to do with the high tax rate of the megalopolis. I can live with it, for now.

In the near future, if things go well in my life (as planned, hah!), it won't matter where I live. I've started to embrace the idea of owning my own little plane and just traveling by air as much as possible. The freedom to cover 500-600 miles in 4-5 hours of flying is amazing to me, can you imagine how much more my market would open up with almost no increase in cost?

Re:Inappropriate? I'll tell you inappropriate (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 8 years ago | (#15264208)

"Our own Congress in the U.S. has overstepped their bounds with the FCC and the myriad of unconstitutional laws affecting speech. These laws, if wanted by the people per the 9th and 10th amendments, are better suited for the state or the village to create and enforce."

You know...I've really started wondering how the Fed's have so much power over the states...even with the Interstate Commerce act.

I was watching something from the History channel the other night about illegal drugs...and how Nixon got the laws passed assigning drugs to 'schedules'...and creating the DEA. How does that law on drugs superscede the states' laws? If trafficing drugs across state lines...ok, possibly, but, what about within each states borders? I wonder how Fed law works over states on so many other topics too...

I know they use the collected tax dollars to blackmail states into things such as the National (ID) Drivers license thing...and raising the drinking age to 21...etc. They threaten to withhold hwy. funding...but, really other than that, how has the Fed. gotten away with so many 'national laws'?

Why yes, it is unelected. (3, Insightful)

Distinguished Hero (618385) | more than 8 years ago | (#15263801)

"It is dangerous and inappropriate for an unelected international treaty body to undertake the task of creating entirely new rights, which currently exist in no national law, such as webcasting rights and anti-circumvention laws related to broadcasting."

So, someone has finally noticed that the UN is unelected. Quite interesting how nobody seems to mention that when they agree with what the UN is doing.

In related news, (1)

Distinguished Hero (618385) | more than 8 years ago | (#15263883)

The genocide in Sudan is still going on, and the Holocaust denying leader of Iran is still making nuclear headway, but yeah, I guess if you had to mention the most important thing going on at the UN, I guess this proposed treaty that nobody has to abide by anyways (like most of the other UN treaties) is it.

Defending your rights (2, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 8 years ago | (#15263866)

Without the ability to defend your rights, you have no rights.

Without the ability to defend yourself, you have no Constitutionally protected right of self-defense.

Only when they silence the First Amendment, will you need the Second Amendment.

The Internet has been the most democratic invention in human history. Anyone who can get on it has a potential world-wide voice, which is why some countries censor it to heavily. But they can't censor it in secret. So who are these clowns at the UN, and how do we get them thrown out?
[/soapbox]

Re:Defending your rights (1)

HoosierPeschke (887362) | more than 8 years ago | (#15263929)

Very well said.

A lesson on how the UN feels about your rights (1, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 8 years ago | (#15263870)

(3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

In other words, you have rights only when we like how you're using them. I wish I was making it up, but it's in the official text [un.org] .

The sooner we abolish the UN, the better. If its "peacekeeping operations" and the standard procedures of its international court are any indication, it'd be an organization matched in its evil toward decent people around the world only by its bitter and vicious incompetence. And please, spare me the bullshit about them being hampered by member states. If they can barely ever get anything right with only occassionally being asked to keep the peace, just imagine what their bureaucrats would be like when tasked with doing it as the official, one world body.

Re:A lesson on how the UN feels about your rights (0, Flamebait)

pete6677 (681676) | more than 8 years ago | (#15263988)

I'm just relieved that the UN has as little power as it does. Imagine what a mess they would make if they were empowered to do more than just pass resolutions.

Trapping the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15263875)

This is it folks, if you needed proof the **AAs are losing the battle on a global scale, it's on display at the UN. They are trying to push their repressive agenda in a move to effectively trap the entire world in one fell swoop.

Can we finally start a revolution now?

Just to get the other side's take... (3, Informative)

the_skywise (189793) | more than 8 years ago | (#15263881)

http://www.digmedia.org/content.cfm?id=7223 [digmedia.org]

Since 1997, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has been considering a treaty that would modernize broadcaster protection provisions of the Rome Convention to account for digital broadcasting and the challenges of online networks. The focus has been to protect broadcasters against signal piracy, particularly related to the unauthorized commercial retransmission of signals captured over-the-air or intercepted from satellite transmissions. One example of this was in 1999, when a company called iCraveTV captured U.S. television stations' signals and retransmitted them over the Internet without permission or license. Though a Canadian company, iCraveTV had registered its domain name in the U.S. so a U.S. court was able to exercise jurisdiction and end this piracy.

The iCraveTV episode demonstrated the vulnerability of broadcasting to unauthorized retransmission over the Internet that reduces revenue to broadcasters and the copyright owners whose works are being transmitted. Given the risks of signal theft and the potential harm to the broadcast industry, the United States has supported enhancing legal protections for broadcasters by updating the rights addressed in the Rome Convention.

Re:Just to get the other side's take... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15264343)

So this case was taken care of in 1999. Doesn't that indicate existing laws handled the situation just fine?

Stop blaming the UN! (5, Informative)

MikTheUser (761482) | more than 8 years ago | (#15263887)

This is a _proposal_ by the United States, so if you want to go and cry blue murder (which I think _is_ appropriate), don't take it to the UN, take it where it belongs - to the Bush administration.

Re:Stop blaming the UN! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15264001)

Of course it's a USA backed agenda, who the fuck else allows their government to be run by entertainment corporations?

Re:Stop blaming the UN! (1)

blazematrix (972829) | more than 8 years ago | (#15264027)

I agree with this, first the old internet will be killed off, than internet 2 will take over with full content control.

I have an idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15263952)

Let's give UN control of the root servers! After, we can trust the UN [slashdot.org] , can't we?

Have you read the treaty? (3, Informative)

Logger (9214) | more than 8 years ago | (#15264051)

The article is written to make you think this treaty will steal copyrights away from content creators if they choose to broadcast content through some broadcaster of some sort. It does not do that. So the article is being alarmist to attract attention. (That or they probably didn't read the treaty either.)

The Bad: Looks like it would put an end to PVRs as we know them. I'm sure ABC would allow Comcast to rent you a PVR which enforces ABC's rebroadcast requirements. YUCK! So the article got that much right.

The not bad: The so called restrictions on the original content creators don't exist. Basically the treaty states FOX can state terms to Groening that if they are going to broadcast the Simpsons on their network it is going to have the broadcast flag and be restricted according to their policy. Groening could of course not agree to those terms and tell them to fly a kite. Fox may then come back to groening and say OK we won't do the broadcast flag. That my friends will never happen, because Groening wants FOX to get the add revenue (which is of course how they pay him). Even with the broadcast flag on every episode of the Simpsons there would be nothing preventing Groening from hosting a webcast of the show himself without the broadcast flag. That is unless his contract with FOX prevents him from doing so, which I think it already does anyway.

The unclear: The webcast amendment doesn't appear to read like Comcast can tack on a broadcast flag to a home movie my parents stream from my .mac account. It seems to be giving the webcaster the right to impose such restrictions if they wanted to. In this example .mac would have to add the broadcast flag to the video. Comcast simply being the conduit, could not. So this has the same restrictions as over-the-air broadcasters, I could still chose not to use that service and set up my own server if I didn't agree to the terms.

So, for content creators the sky is not falling, but for PVR users it probably is. This isn't really anything new, just more of the same. I am not sure what to think about this actually. I don't think it's evil as some would like to suggest. If everyone skipped all commercials, networks would go out of business as we know them. That wouldn't cause an end to media, it would just transform the way we get it. Content would end up being sold pay-per-view for everything. We already seem to be starting that transition. So if you don't want to pay for everything, and are willing to live with ads to pay for some content, allowing things like the 'broadcast flag' may be the necessary evil. Just a thought.

** Names of companies and TV shows were pulled out of thin air for the purposes of illustration. Don't read anything this post as implying these particular companies are or aren't behind this treaty.

Read the fine print (4, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15264083)

The US proposed this as an UN treaty. It's not yet signed.

Actually everyone (well, every nation that's a member and has the right to, but let's ignore the details for now) can make a proposal. China could propose to have everyone shot that dares to speak up against the ruling bodies of the nations.

What's scary is, it might even get a majority... but let's ignore that detail too.

In fact, if you want to get irate, at least pick the right target. It's not the "UN" who proposed it, it's the US. Or, rather, its leaders.

And I find it quite amusing, in a grim way, that the US government turns to the UN to push through their copywrong internationally. Whenever it goes against their ways, the UN is brushed aside, but suddenly it becomes interesting again.

Face it. The UN is a tool to some countries. No wonder pretty much everyone ignores it.

limit what ? where ? (1)

C0vardeAn0nim0 (232451) | more than 8 years ago | (#15264098)

limit broadcasting over the internet ? right.

dudes, that's what SSL tunnels exists for. if this thing passes, we'll soon see underground encrypted networks bcasting all kind of contents. with open source software, of course.

then they'll come with regulations on open source, because it "promotes criminal activities". that's when i'll start shouting "stop the world, i wanna get out".

Did anybody RTFA? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15264116)

I've scanned all the visible, non-threaded comments and none (including the /. blurb) mention what is most troubling to me:

broadcasters such as cable companies, radio stations, and Webcasting operators would essentially take over the rights to control material broadcast over the Internet, to the point where the original content creator would have to "beg permission from broadcasting companies in order to make any use of their own performances."

(emphasis mine)

If you think this is unlikely, remember that if you make up a song and sing it without writing it down or recording it, you have no US rights to that song.

And should you make a major label record, the label owns the copyright to the song you wrote and performed!

AFIAC, both major US political parties are my enemies. I intend to protest by splitting my vote amongst any third parties on the ballot this November. Clearly, my government, as well, it seems, as every other government are in the multinational corporations' back pockets.

Is it going to take an armed revolution to get our countries, our world, back? My country's declaration of independance starts with "We, the People." We, the people aren't being represented at all any more.

Fucking slashdot, I was already in a bad mood today >=(

Treaties don't "just become law"... (2, Interesting)

Hamster Lover (558288) | more than 8 years ago | (#15264192)

In any democratic nation a signed treaty is not law until Parliamnent or its equivalent passes enabling legislation. Just because representives sign a treaty doesn't make it law or even certain that Parliament will pass the treaty legislation. Even though Canada has signed on to the WIPO protocols (the alleged impetus in the U.S. for the hated DMCA act) we still haven't passed the required enabling legislation, although the preceding Liberal government did introduce legislation as required by the treaty before it died. Most treaties contain language stating the minimum requirements to meet treaty obligations and dates for compliance. The United States signed the Kyoto Protocol yet President Bush later reversed that decision, so it's not like Kyoto became law in the U.S. the second Clinton signed the treaty.

I know in the U.S. the Senate holds exclusive authority over treaty legislation and once passed treaty obligations are considered equivalent to domestic law, if memory serves. I don't see how the Senate could pass treaty legislation that violates the constitution, but I am not a contitutional expert.

Re:Treaties don't "just become law"... (1)

dowobeha (581813) | more than 8 years ago | (#15264240)

From US Constitution, Article VI:
This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.

enforcement? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15264221)

i am ignorant of how this treaty would affect any real laws like here in the u.s. or india or wherever. could someone explain that?

as far as i can tell, the un doesn't have crap for authority (as it shouldn't...countries should be able to decide for themselves how to do things), so how would this thing even be enforced?

Huzah! Huzah!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15264305)

Send in the Libertarians!!!

From the Fine Article (2, Interesting)

Aqua_boy17 (962670) | more than 8 years ago | (#15264338)

"Despite the benefits, and despite the fact that the data is available to everyone, the use of illegally obtained records in a law enforcement investigation is highly dubious and fundamentally antithetical to the principles of due process. Privacy and civil liberties advocates point out that purchasing private phone records allows law enforcement agencies to circumvent judicial oversight and other applicable constraints."

Well, if it's good enough for the Bush administration and the NSA, it's good enough for your local gendarme. Nice job, break the law to enforce the law. In the post 9/11 era, we've finally adopted that old Marxist maxim that the end justifies the means and two wrongs actually do make a right.

I get tired of saying that we can't pretend to uphold the constitution with one hand while trampling on it with the other.
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