Entertainment Industry Continues To Try To Sneak Copyright Expansion Through ACTA

from the more-sunlight dept

We've been pointing out how there needs to be a lot more sunlight shone on the discussion surrounding the new "ACTA" treaty, which is basically a way for the entertainment industry to sneak through new copyright laws without getting Congressional approval. Basically, the entertainment industry writes this international treaty, and the US Trade Representative gets it approved. Then, suddenly you get stories from lobbyists for the industry about how we need to change our copyright laws to live up to international agreements. Sneaky, right?

Now, according to William Patry, the US Trade Rep is resisting calls to open up the process by which ACTA is written, by claiming that ACTA is really pretty minor and won't require any substantive changes in US law. Of course, that's turning out not to be true at all. At that link, Patry looks at the RIAA's suggestions for ACTA, many of which would substantially change copyright law, in rather astounding ways.

It's a laundry list of an ideal world for the RIAA. Basically, everyone else would be responsible for policing any form of unauthorized usage for the entertainment industry. Things that are now civil offenses would become criminal, and the RIAA would have much lower burdens of proof. ACTA is turning into an agreement designed to prop up the RIAA by forcing everyone else to try to force the market to pretend that technology doesn't do what it was designed to do, and to try to hold back the more efficient market innovations that impact the established industry's business model. And they want to do it all in secret and without letting Congress even have a say in the process. And, to make it even better, it's apparently now on the fast track for approval.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Kelster, Jul 8th, 2008 @ 1:12pm

    Who has been paid off?

    Please entertainment industry, take my wallet. No, not you silly Hollywood guys, this is for people on the intertubes! I want to divert money I would normally spend on entertainment to opponents of these congressional representatives! Doesn't that sound like good entertainment?


    Thank you also to the Members present, who have done so much to advance the cause of IP protection, including:
    - Rep. Mary Bono (R-CA)
    - Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)
    - Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA)
    - Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA)
    - Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)


    Who is really behind ACTA? Follow the money:
    Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA)[4]
    Top four campaign contributions for 2006:
    Time Warner $21,000
    News Corp $15,000
    Sony Corp of America $14,000
    Walt Disney Co $13,550

    Top two Industries:
    TV/Movies/Music $181,050
    Lawyers/Law Firms $114,200

    Other politicians listed also show significant contributions from IP industries.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    CN, Jul 8th, 2008 @ 1:28pm

    Isn't democracy wonderful?

    Isn't democracy wonderful?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Grimsby, Jul 8th, 2008 @ 1:34pm

    Just curious

    By changing it from a civil to a criminal offense, the local police departments will have to investigate these offenses. In a day where many governments are nearly bankrupt, and cutting back on essential services like fire fighters, and after school programs, this doesn't make any sense. Then, we as taxpayers pay $80,000 a year to put a person in jail because Walt Disney didn't make their $2 on a DVD?

    Taxpayers shouldn't be stuck with this bill. The copyright interests should pony up the cost to put away the perpetrator. There are people killing people out there that need to be locked up, not someone who is copying the latest animated movie.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    The Best, Jul 8th, 2008 @ 1:40pm

    LOL Wut?

    Who is paying to train the police officers to be internet savvy?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Paul, Jul 8th, 2008 @ 1:59pm

    Establishing Probable Cause for FBI

    Police won't deal with this. The FBI will. Criminalizing copyright violations will just be another way to justify getting into your computers. If so many people download copyrighted content illegally, why should FBI even need a warrant to search anyone's PC?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Steve R. (profile), Jul 8th, 2008 @ 2:00pm

    Burden of Broof on the Defendent

    Here's a good one, suggestion F.3.

    "Provide that the presumption of ownership may be rebutted only if the defendant is able to provide concrete evidence to the contrary.1"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Evil Mike, Jul 8th, 2008 @ 2:04pm

      Re: Burden of Broof on the Defendent

      So, unless I can come up with proof of ownership, then it's stolen?

      Isn't that like "guilty until proven innocent"?

      Isn't that unconstitutional?

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        John Wilson, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 9:10am

        Re: Re: Burden of Broof on the Defendent

        It's called reverse onus and may very well be unconstitutional in the US. It certainly is in Canada.

        As the RIAA wants to criminalize what it considers piracy then it has to prove something actually took place and that they own it.

        The presumption of innocence is intended to protect against rampaging governments or their agents.

        I guess the RIAA and MPAA want to become the government.

        ttfn

        John

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2008 @ 2:26pm

    It's getting to the point where one is tempted to takes one's day in court to assault the representative of the RIAA/MPAA. At least then you get some satisfaction out of being driven to bankrupcy/being thrown in prison. Even better would be compelling the appearance of an officer of the company to provide testimony and assaulting them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    mike allen, Jul 8th, 2008 @ 2:27pm

    Its not just changing

    USA law is not the only country it affects look up ACTA in wikipedia and it includes Europe (all of it including UK) Australia Japan Canada and many more all those countries slaves to the RIAA. wake up world or be in jail for putting a song on your IPOD.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    mike allen, Jul 8th, 2008 @ 2:55pm

    so

    ok i agree not the best source but i do believe the list of countries. prove them wrong in this instance and il retract.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Brian (profile), Jul 8th, 2008 @ 5:01pm

    the RIAA

    If the RIAA gets its way, it will destroy the pinciples underlying american jurisprudence. Especially in the burden of proof area.

    Maybe it wants to be awarded judgment and damages just for filing the damn complaint or mandate a confession of judgment for RIAA infringement cases? the damage it is doing to the court system and the FRCP is amazing.

    Someone needs to sue it for RICO. Only a racketeering org would want to destroy the justice system.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Bobbknight, Jul 8th, 2008 @ 5:15pm

    The 3 Laws

    1) If it's good for business it will pass.

    2) If it's good for business and good for people it will pass.

    3) If it's bad for business it will fail.

    Ummm I guess there are really only 2 laws, lol.

    Good pass

    Bad fail

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    eleete, Jul 8th, 2008 @ 6:03pm

    Someone needs to speak for the people

    Sure it's great to criminalize things, sure it's great to change and amend laws, and most importantly it's great to do within the rules of the system. So we have all these laws being written AGAINST us. Great. Is there anything, anyone can think of in this group to actually DO to change this? I mean look at those contributions, all that MONEY talks much louder than any web site, any post, and any torrent. I could say let's all write our congressmen and women, however, unless we enclose larger checks, they will be totally ignored. HOW do we stop them ? They are acting above the law (and in plain site) how do people who feel the way all these posts seem to, how do we take our country back ? Our System back, and our Government back ? I gotta tell ya, it's been a bad day for me, but I think we're screwed, and should be prepared for the worst. So Sad to even think it. But I believe that money speaks louder than words, and No One seems to represent this side of the argument well.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      BTR1701, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 10:50am

      Re: Someone needs to speak for the people

      > I could say let's all write our congressmen
      > and women, however, unless we enclose larger
      > checks, they will be totally ignored. HOW do
      > we stop them ? They are acting above the law
      > (and in plain site) how do people who feel the
      > way all these posts seem to, how do we take
      > our country back?

      I've been asking this very thing regarding the illegal immigration issue for a long time now. The majority of Americans (the legal ones, anyway) are overwhemling in their consensus that border security needs to be strengthened and immigration law strictly enforced. Yet NOTHING is done. Why? Because both parties are beholden to their own groups of special interests with lots of $$$ who like things just as they are.

      No amount of letter writing will change it and you can't vote them out of office because the folks who replace them will just be more of the same.

      The system is broken in a big way.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jul 10th, 2008 @ 11:24am

        Re: Re: Someone needs to speak for the people

        Yes the system IS broken, and this is why we must disregard it as a whole. Nothing less than storming the Capitol Building and murdering each and every one of those bastards will change ANYTHING. But the people do not yet seem ready for such drastic action. For now we must prepare and stockpile. There is another war that can be waged right now and thats here on the internet. If you care about your freedoms, then look up Denial of Service and attack the RIAA's website.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    eleete, Jul 8th, 2008 @ 7:17pm

    Re:

    You took that ball to the wrong court to play.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Sam I Am, Jul 8th, 2008 @ 7:29pm

    I suspect that were this entire enterprise not underpinned and compelled by the greatest industrial looting in business history, it might be regarded differently. As it is, the pirates have little to blame but themselves. Stop buying and an industry fades. Grab everything you can get your hands on illegally while using precious privacy laws for anonymity and you get what you get. The great irony is that pirates say they want to bring the entertainment industries "down". Instead, they are 1) hurting artists far worse than any industry ever did, 2) creating the climate wherein the laws will virtually institutionalize these industries and worst of all 3) setting the stage for future ISP taxes that will cycle back to the industries, removing all risk and any future need for investment or innovation. Normally, I'd be horrified. Under these cowardly and loathsome conditions created by the filesharers themselves, I'm okay with this now. This is what rampant illegality inevitably begets. At least the thieving will stop. And the legacy of online piracy will be an online police state, because piracy gave the governments of the world little choice. Thanks folks. Really deep, forward thinkers you are. Hope you're happy with your petabyte of contraband. You traded your liberty for it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2008 @ 8:41pm

      Re:

      whose tool are you yes most people have stopped buying because of the exhorbant price of a cd how much of that actually goes to the artist and what government ever could find it's ass from a whole in the ground

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Xanthir, FCD, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 7:28am

      Re:

      I suspect that were this entire enterprise not underpinned and compelled by the greatest industrial looting in business history, it might be regarded differently. As it is, the pirates have little to blame but themselves. Stop buying and an industry fades.

      Yes, this is true. If you stop buying from an industry, it goes away. However, there are two important points obscured by your rhetoric.

      1) Just what industry are you talking about? You want us to assume that the "music industry" is the one fading. This is incorrect, as people are spending *more* money on music than ever before. The music industry is doing great, and is as healthy and vital as ever. The industry that is fading is the recording industry, that is, the industry of making and selling plastic discs.

      2) Industries fading is a natural part of the business cycle. To pull out an old saw, the buggy whip industry isn't exactly an international powerhouse these days. Why? Because people stopped buying! And so it faded away. Industries must justify their existence by making things that consumers want to buy; they don't get a free pass that states that they must survive, unless they are truly a national necessity that would harm our economy to be without. You'd need a mighty convincing argument to make anyone believe that pressing plastic disks with patterns that correspond to music and movies is an industry of national importance.

      Instead, they are 1) hurting artists far worse than any industry ever did, 2) creating the climate wherein the laws will virtually institutionalize these industries and worst of all 3) setting the stage for future ISP taxes that will cycle back to the industries, removing all risk and any future need for investment or innovation.

      1) Please, justify this statement. Mike gives examples all the time of artists both big and small who are prospering under the new regime of digital sharing. Your statement is a bald-faced lie, and you should be ashamed of yourself for uttering it.

      2 & 3) You almost sound like you believe if everyone just followed the law and acted like good little citizens, the industries would wither away on their own. I'm sorry, but "Sit down and shut up, 'cause I know what's good for you" has never resulted in anything good for the people on the receiving end.

      The copyright industry (that is, the RIAA, MPAA, and related) aren't a bunch of charitable folks that want everyone to just get along. They are not just 'reacting' to the infringers. They are trying their very best to not only protect the status quo, but change it to benefit them further. They are trying to eliminate Fair Use. They already act like it doesn't exist, and argue that it doesn't in court. These are not the actions of a poor beleaguered industry just trying to defend itself, they're the actions of a fat, powerful industry trying to ensure that nothing can ever harm it, even and especially at the expense of the average consumer. After all, it's been said time and time again (because it's true) that DRM doesn't do a thing to a tech-savvy person, as they can just get around it or find a cracked version. All it does is harm the ability of the average consumer, who doesn't even know what a torrent is, to use the media they purchased the way they want to use it.

      And the legacy of online piracy will be an online police state, because piracy gave the governments of the world little choice.

      I'm sorry, infringing gave the governments of the world little choice? We see yet again the explicit conflation of "what's good for the industry" with "what's good for the country". Filesharing has no effect on the government of the United States or any other country whatsoever. If we end up with an online police state, it's because our governments are weak, filthy things that bow to the whims of their corporate donors rather than their people. Let me repeat this for emphasis: filesharing has no effect on the government of the United States or any other country whatsoever.

      Normally, I'd be horrified. Under these cowardly and loathsome conditions created by the filesharers themselves, I'm okay with this now.
      ...
      Hope you're happy with your petabyte of contraband. You traded your liberty for it.

      You trade your liberty to protect the recording industry. You accept and embrace horrifying intrusions of the government into our private lives at the request of the recording industry. You refuse to speak up and say "That's not right" because you assure yourself that as soon as everyone just stops filesharing the recording industry will stop all these silly lawsuits.

      It won't stop. The recording industry is engaged in one of the most powerful erosions of privacy and personal liberty in the history of America, and the world is following suit. You won't get those rights back when this is finished. It'll be law, actual law taught to judges and lawyers and written in big books, and it won't easily change. Look at what's being done. Look at how the recording industry is trying to remove "innocent until proven guilty" because they don't have the ability to search our computers deeply enough to find sufficient legal proof. Look at how the recording industry is trying to make it legal for them to search your computers deeply enough, not so they can find the proof they want, but so they can find even more partial 'evidence' against you for further 'crimes'. Look at how they choose to recoup their losses by suing millions of ordinary, innocent people. Look at how they are so sloppy and indiscriminate in their methods that they send cease-and-desist notices to networked laser printers.

      The recording industry doesn't care about you. They don't care about what they're doing to you. They don't care about what the laws they are pushing will mean in the future when an FBI agent can enter your house at any time and demand you allow him to search your computer, demand that you give him any encryption keys or you go to jail, demand that you allow him to install government-sponsored spyware on your computer to monitor your actions online. This is not crazy conspiracy-mongering, it is exactly what the RIAA wants to be able to do. The recording industry doesn't care about what the laws they are pushing mean right now, where it may be illegal to watch the DVD you just bought on your computer, or cut a ringtone from music you own, or get that computer game you bought working again after you installed new hardware (because you've already used up your 'allowed' registrations on previous hardware upgrades) or just because the game company folded and isn't running their authentication servers anymore.

      They don't care about you.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Stephen Adams, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 9:34am

        Re: Re:

        Well said, accurate assessment. Thanks for explaining to the lemmings who continue to think this is about file sharing. I suspect that a high percentage of those who see nothing wrong with the behavior of the RIAA and MPAA, also see nothing wrong with warrantless wiretapping.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Mike Allen, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 12:16am

    post 17

    Do you work for the RIAA. its not over till the fat lady signs and she cant the royalities are to high.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Warstar77, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 2:00pm

    ok and ACTA need to change laws first and need ideas too

    but the real pirates are ones who put the illegal copyright on the internet in the first place the and we users were the fish and encourage us to illegal and the kids and teens and adults who dont do crime dont see this and the file sharers are onces for illegal we must tell the goverments to lets the public have a say in it and we have to come up with good guys for this ACTA thing but the have to leave the cartoon things out. legal file sharing is good but illegal file sharing such as movies and music with out companies permission and the kids and teens and adults and old guys who listen to there old music who be caught and thats not fair and the fans are in the way too. We have to find way to make online sharing better for companies and file sharing users. We need to give RIAA and MPAA lesson in fans who listen to music with smashing and destorying lap tops in the process ok.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This