Obama Administration Reiterates Its Support Of Secretive, Industry Written ACTA

from the this-is-a-problem dept

We've been bothered by the incredibly secretive (except if you happen to be in the entertainment industry) ACTA Treaty negotiations for quite some time now. This is the industry-led effort to get a bunch of nations to agree to draconian and damaging new copyright laws by sneaking them through as a secretive "international treaty," such that countries are then compelled to change their copyright laws to "be in compliance with international agreements." It's a really sneaky trick that Hollywood has used for years. And then it acts all innocent when people accuse it of pushing draconian laws on consumers, claiming "it wasn't us... we needed to be in compliance with our international agreements." They just leave out the part where they're the ones who write those agreements for the various trade representatives. The early drafts of ACTA are no different. They were clearly written by industry lobbyists, and are now being pushed by various trade representatives, and then our elected officials will have "no choice" but to change copyright laws to be in compliance.

Perhaps the most troubling part of all of this is that the negotiations are happening in secret, and when consumers rights organizations ask to be given a seat at the table, they're denied. When those same consumer rights organizations ask to at least be told what's being negotiated, they're told it's forbidden because of "state secrets." However, for all that national security, the administration has absolutely no problem giving industry lobbyists access to the process. Funny how that works.

Either way, it should come as no surprise that Michael Geist alerts us to the news that the US Trade Rep, Ron Kirk, is eager to get ACTA moving forward again. In response to all that secrecy, he claims:
As we proceed with these negotiations, we will ensure that the public is kept well informed and has further opportunities to give input.
Of course, the next meeting will take place in Morocco. How many consumer representatives will be there?

In the meantime, Kirk claims:
"The ACTA negotiations provide an opportunity to toughen international standards for the enforcement of intellectual property rights, making it harder for counterfeit and pirated products to enter our country, and making the world safer for the innovation and creativity that are so critical to the U.S. economy."
But... wait. Is it really true that this is a big problem? Both the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have taken a close look at the numbers thrown around about the "problem" of counterfeiting, and found them to be wildly overblown by lobbyists -- the same lobbyists writing ACTA, not surprisingly. So why is the US Trade Rep agreeing to let this go forward? It's not about "making the world safer for the innovation and creativity." It's about granting special protection to a few powerful US industries with lobbyists.

Isn't that a problem?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 15th, 2009 @ 7:31am

    "Perhaps the most troubling part of all of this is that the negotiations are happening in secret, and when consumers rights organizations ask to be given a seat at the table, they're denied. ...However, for all that national security, the administration has absolutely no problem giving industry lobbyists access to the process. Funny how that works. "

    More proof that these laws aren't designed to benefit (and they don't benefit) the general public. They're designed to benefit industry.

     

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

  2.  
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    Dave Blevins (profile), Jun 15th, 2009 @ 7:39am

    Transparent? Not!

    Sure flys in the face of Obama's tranparency pledges. How do we get OB to see what the hold-overs are doing to his admin and reputation??

     

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

  3.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jun 15th, 2009 @ 7:55am

    Further?

    "As we proceed with these negotiations, we will ensure that the public is kept well informed and has further opportunities to give input."

    Did we have any opportunities to give input?

     

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

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 15th, 2009 @ 8:26am

    Re: Transparent? Not!

    a politician lied! HOW DEVIOUS! I'm sure Obama is the first politician to completely lie about what he's going to do! Gah why did I vote for him! ARRRGH! I am so gullible and stupid I should have voted for McCain!

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    gregbuilt, Jun 15th, 2009 @ 8:58am

    government without you

    the bilderburg group makes the decisions and let all countries know how to implement them, and they do, all in secret.

     

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

  6.  
    identicon
    lordmorgul, Jun 15th, 2009 @ 9:05am

    This is expected. If anyone did not realize Joe Biden was in the pocket of corporate America and a big media supporter that person is simply a fool (meaning they do not want to know the truth).

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 15th, 2009 @ 9:33am

    Re:

    Yeah and Im ashamed to say I hail from the same state he does. He did not have a great reputation in Delaware what with the people he "hung out" with so to speak. A good friend of his, (to hear him say it) our former governor, blew all of the money we had in our surplus when she took office. Raised almost every tax in the state. Some 100%. And we are now so short in our budget its not even funny. So this is the type of money spending policy we can expect to see from him.

    And dont expect him to actually "care" what the people think.

     

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

  8.  
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    The Webb (profile), Jun 15th, 2009 @ 10:02am

    Courts

    Couldn't the consumer rights organizations bring this to court or some sort of congressional hearing? Any 'treaty' to be made with other countries is not a 'state secret'. This isn't some sort of dictatorship and if actions like this should continue, then impeachment should be the end result.

     

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

  9.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Jun 15th, 2009 @ 10:14am

    Kirk

    Kirk is just working hard to ensure himself a very nice cushy position once he is done there.

     

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

  10.  
    identicon
    Thomas, Jun 15th, 2009 @ 10:14am

    all about money

    The content people have the big money to bribe the government, so they will get what they want. Just because the administration changed doesn't mean the content providers don't still have lots of power and control. The money just goes to the newly elected officials, no biggie. One reason people hate being voted out of office is they no longer collect their bribes.

     

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

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 15th, 2009 @ 11:35am

    Re: all about money

    Yeah I read about that on wikipedia.

     

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

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 15th, 2009 @ 11:45am

    Somebody needs to nuke Hollywood, methinks. Or at least the offices of the major studios and record labels. They're all out of control.

     

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

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 15th, 2009 @ 12:16pm

    Re: all about money

    Vote for Ron Paul (and then make sure you protect him against people wanting to kill him).

     

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

  14.  
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    dave (profile), Jun 15th, 2009 @ 12:35pm

    DOJ littered with RIAA lawyer scum

    When the DOJ is littered with RIAA lawyer scum why wouldn't you expect this type of behaviour?

     

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

  15.  
    identicon
    thomas, Jun 15th, 2009 @ 4:03pm

    Re: DOJ littered with RIAA lawyer scum

    No surprise at all! That's why the RIAA bribed the government to hire their shills.

     

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

  16.  
    identicon
    REB, Jun 16th, 2009 @ 10:22am

    Surprise Suprise

    What!!! Obama is just another politician where money talks and shit walks?

    So much Hope and Change.

     

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


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