A Little Sunshine Brings Out Rapid And Well Deserved Anger Towards ACTA Treaty

from the spreading-the-word dept

Last week, I wrote a post highlighting the faulty premises behind a secretly negotiated treaty between the US and many other countries, the so-called Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). Since then a bunch of news articles have been written about ACTA, with most of the focus on how it will have border guards going through your iPod and computers to see if you have any infringing content. A bunch of folks have been submitting stories on this all week, despite the fact that we wrote about it last week. However, what's most interesting to me is how quickly this turned from a little story -- first posted to Wikileaks and a few blogs, into something that's been in major newspapers (oddly, mostly focused in Canada).

Even more interesting, however, is how this has so quickly turned into activism, with some newspapers already already calling for people to stand up against ACTA to protect our privacy rights. Think about that for a second. This was a treaty on the "boring" topic of copyright, that was basically pitched by the entertainment industry to politicians who wrote it up in secret. It leaked out to a single website, and within a week there were major newspaper editorials calling for people to stand up against it, and thousands, if not millions, of people informed about the potential harm this treaty could cause. So much for slipping it under the radar.

This is really the culmination of a few different factors, including the entertainment industry's misguided and rapidly backfiring battle against consumers, that has catapulted copyright from a boring "wonkish" issue into one that people recognize effects so many aspects of their daily lives. Combined with the wonderful communications ability of the internet, it makes it harder for the entertainment industry to simply pull one over on people like this. Of course, as we've noted, the industry keeps on trying, and they love sneaking through legislation and treaties before anyone recognizes it -- but the rapid response to ACTA (which is far from over, of course) suggests that some of the industry's advantages are slipping away. Hopefully, this issue will continue to receive the attention it deserves so that there's a real debate on whether or not such a treaty is needed (it's not).


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    identicon
    eleete, May 29th, 2008 @ 9:52pm

    The USofA

    It desperately needs activism here, people are acting like lambs led to slaughter. Its a tragic exploitation of our government by thugs and thieves. Lobbyists giving 'spiffs' to politicians to get there way, and the greedy fools eat it up. Awful, but I am thankful for the action Canada is leading with, they should stand as a beacon to the world though.
    eleete

     

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    Matt (profile), May 29th, 2008 @ 10:22pm

    how many more?

    How many more hidden treaties are there that have been passed without people knowing?

    Is there any way to look at all of the trade agreements the US is a part of, to examine what else is faulty?


    I remember when the Us shoved our copyright policy down australia's throats among other countries, so this is just as disappointing as ever.

     

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    Rose M. Welch, May 29th, 2008 @ 11:09pm

    WTF?

    How the hell are they going to know if I purchased it legally or illegally???

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2008 @ 11:22pm

    Go through an iPod at the border?

    How many additional border patrol people will have to be hired to support this mess? I mean, really now. Your talking after training, salary and benefits about $200k/yr per border patrol guard, add 10 additional border patrol at each border crossing, and you start to realize this is just plain pork barrel politics.

    This is just a waste of time, money, and effort for something that's broadcast on the radio for free, eh? That "Bridge to Nowhere" looks like a great investment- there's something to show for the effort!

     

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    Bah who needs one, May 30th, 2008 @ 4:02am

    It's fascinating to watch the internet systematically destroy the ability to engage in the mushroom-farming style of management (i.e. keep 'em in the dark and feed 'em $H!+) in the more democratic parts of the world.

     

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    Giovanni, May 30th, 2008 @ 5:17am

    Proud of my iPod files

    Who's behind all that? Who pays for all that? What's the real goal of this effort? I can't believe it's just a question of copyright infringment or counterfighting (or, if you prefere, and old and out of market industry fighting to survive).
    Please give some suggestion to this mess if you have some.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2008 @ 5:39am

    Free Flashlights for Everyone

    This is a good example as to why the internet is seen as such a threat by those who would like to conduct their business in the dark.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2008 @ 8:04am

    But, ACTA is "for the children!!!" Anyone who is against it is for terrorism!!! how can it be bad then?

     

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    KD, May 30th, 2008 @ 8:34am

    Proofread, proofread, proofread ...

    Last paragraph: effect -> affect

    Proofread, please.

     

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    Tin Ear, May 30th, 2008 @ 9:03am

    Tunes on phone

    My phone has my music on it. It also has an internet browser. Somewhere on the internet is a page with plans to build a bomb. Because I have access, does that mean I'm a terrorist?

    I recently read that searching someone's computer (without a warrant) was an invasion of privacy. Would this not fall under the same category of reasonably expected privacy?

     

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    ulle53, May 30th, 2008 @ 11:29am

    # 10 the following comes from an article in the Washington Post which shows what the US government wants ;
    The U.S. government has argued in a pending court case that its authority to protect the country's border extends to looking at information stored in electronic devices such as laptops without any suspicion of a crime. In border searches, it regards a laptop the same as a suitcase.
    "It should not matter . . . whether documents and pictures are kept in 'hard copy' form in an executive's briefcase or stored digitally in a computer. The authority of customs officials to search the former should extend equally to searches of the latter," the government argued in the child pornography case being heard by a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in San Francisco.

     

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    pat donovan, May 31st, 2008 @ 4:54am

    area163 youtube.ca

    net neutralizing privacy, copyright, etc..?

    companies filtering, throttling and ad-insertion (all money maskers)

    all lead to a un-free net.(but profitable one. Bell started video on demand weeks after filtering)

    they HAVE killed kenny already.

     

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    Kick Em Out, Jun 3rd, 2008 @ 2:52pm

    flap your gums all you want. THAT

    or

    KickThemAllOut.org (or dot com, i can't remember)

    I wouldn't plug someone else's site, but geez, STOP TALKING AND START DOING.

    THE PEOPLE HAVE (HAD) THE POWER!!

     

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