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Once Again, Entertainment Industry Looks To Force Massive Copyright Changes Via Int'l Treaties

from the how-the-game-is-played dept

By now you should know that one of the entertainment industry's favorite tools for forcing ever more draconian copyright laws around the world is to use international treaties. Such treaties are not put together by elected officials, but appointed diplomats, often with tremendous input (to the point of allowing them to write the details) from industries that are protected. Then, once those treaties are in place, copyright maximalists just get to sit back and say "but we must make our copyright laws stronger if we ever expect to live up to our international obligations..." The latest such attempt is the infamous ACTA bill, which the entertainment industry has had a heavy hand in crafting -- but the public is told that the treaty negotiations are matters of national security and cannot be revealed. Uh huh.

Apparently, in a recent "Working Group" on intellectual property issues in Washington DC, one area of "concern" is Canadian copyright law -- because Canada appears to be one country where (thank you Michael Geist!) the public has been galvanized to speak up and explain that copyight law is a deal between the public and content creators, and the public shouldn't be ignored in the process. But, no worries. Apparently, one lobbyist said that perhaps the best way to deal with those rebellious Canadians thinking for themselves is just to use ACTA to force Canada to implement its own DMCA-like law, something that Canada has (thankfully) rejected in the past few years. So here we go again...


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
    icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Sep 25th, 2009 @ 12:59pm

    Yup

    It's the leapfrog strategy. They've been doing this for decades. Country A won't do it? Go to to Country B. Now there's a reason to equalize. Only it never really equalizes, so you go to Country B, Rinse, Lather, Repeat.

     

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  2.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Sep 25th, 2009 @ 1:02pm

    Commentors of Tech Dirt...Unite!

    "The latest such attempt is the infamous ACTA bill, which the entertainment industry has had a heavy hand in crafting"

    Is there anywhere we can go for a list of the lobbying groups, or better yet the industry groups, that were involved in writing the ACTA Bill?

    I have a hunch as to who might be involved in crafting this bill on Foreign Relations....

     

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  3.  
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    Brooks (profile), Sep 25th, 2009 @ 1:18pm

    Sure, go for it

    It's asinine, but ultimately futile. It doesn't matter if you use laws, initiatives, or treaties -- you can't legislate against economic reality any more than you can against gravity.

    The sad thing is that these people really, genuinely believe that the world would work they way they wish it did, if only there were draconian enough laws. It's sad that so many resources and opportunities are wasted on crap like this.

     

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  4.  
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    Tor (profile), Sep 25th, 2009 @ 1:38pm

    Re: Commentors of Tech Dirt...Unite!

    "Is there anywhere we can go for a list of the lobbying groups, or better yet the industry groups, that were involved in writing the ACTA Bill?"

    Here you are: http://keionline.org/blogs/2009/03/13/who-are-cleared-advisors

     

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  5.  
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    Mechwarrior, Sep 25th, 2009 @ 1:42pm

    I feel like I need to join a massive protest just to get these bone heads out of congress.

    Seriously, if ACTA is passed, I will get everyone I know, everyone they know and any people who want to go protest in front of Congress, 24/7 for as long as it takes.

     

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  6.  
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    yourrealname (profile), Sep 25th, 2009 @ 1:55pm

    Re: Sure, go for it

    You're totally right, but the problem is the same as things with the drug war. People believe that by making things illegal the activity stops, and when it doesn't they believe that making the punishments more and more harsh is the answer. I think we're going to have a war on internet piracy to add to our list of ridiculous wars that can't be won but sound great it political speeches.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2009 @ 2:16pm

    Meanwhile, aboard the SS Titanic...

    You have to be smart enough to know when the ship is sinking. There are too many people on the bow of the ship, and bringing more will just result in the ship doing a barrel roll. You got to put more people on the stern. But the current silo/stovepiped approach to artificially improve valuations of content via a set of political reforms won't be the best solution. So break thru the silo mentality, and then figure out how to make the business profitable.

     

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  8.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Sep 25th, 2009 @ 2:38pm

    Re: Re: Commentors of Tech Dirt...Unite!

    Thanks, Tor, and that was actually easier than I thought. I went through the first 15 orgs listed, and 14 of them have ties to either the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, or both.

    Yay! Non-government entities making foreign policy!

     

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  9.  
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    teknosapien (profile), Sep 25th, 2009 @ 2:40pm

    This may have worked if

    the US had actually honored the treaty already in place

     

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  10.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Sep 25th, 2009 @ 2:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Commentors of Tech Dirt...Unite!

    Oh, and by ties I mean either the companies are direct members of, or one of their "O" execs is.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2009 @ 3:33pm

    This is just more evidence that intellectual property has little to do with the will of the masses and more to do with the will of the rich and powerful who use intellectual property laws to exploit the general population.

     

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  12.  
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    kirillian, Sep 25th, 2009 @ 3:38pm

    Re: Meanwhile, aboard the SS Titanic...

    Just to say this in the same terms as your analogy...You have to be careful though...putting too many people on the stern of the ship could cause the ship to split into two with both halves going down faster. In the same, way, we can completely sink ourselves if we're always fighting against something by advocating the extreme opposite position.

    It can be hard to see, but, advocating complete individualism to combat the corporatism that we see could be unhealthy for us as a nation also. Yet, I, for one, still struggle to find that happy medium in the middle. For certain, corporations today have FAR exceeded their constitutional rights at the expense of our rights as citizens. This grievous issue can't be overlooked. However, it's kinda scary to see some of the extremes that people advocate to address this. If only it were easy...

    Still, I am completely of the presence of mind that congress, big business, and the big media need to wake up and get out of bed with one another or we as the citizens need to force them out.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Vincent Clement, Sep 25th, 2009 @ 4:18pm

    The best part is, that despite not having DMCA-style legislation, Canada constantly comes near the top in terms of have some of the strongest intellectual property laws and enforcement in the world.

    But why let the facts get in the way?

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2009 @ 9:55pm

    Re:

    The best part is, that despite not having DMCA-style legislation, Canada constantly comes near the top in terms of have some of the strongest intellectual property laws and enforcement in the world.

    Actually, due to "not having DMCA-style legislation", Canada constantly winds up on international intellectual property watch lists.

    But why let the truth get in the way?

     

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  15.  
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    Tor (profile), Sep 26th, 2009 @ 4:45am

    Re: Re:

    Really? So how many countries in the world have DMCA-style legislation then?

    I live in Sweden which is often criticized for having lenient copyright laws. However, according to the laws in my country it's doubtful whether a service such as YouTube could've been developed and run from here. The reason is that the person responsible for a web page with user generated content is obliged to actively supervise the contents supplied by users. Passively responding to take-down notices is not necessarily enough. And then we don't have any concept of fair-use (except some very narrow exceptions regarding for example quoting). So in several ways our laws are stricter. Thankfully we have a much less litigatious culture than that in the US.

     

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  16.  
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    Marc, Sep 26th, 2009 @ 5:33am

    Re: Re:


    Actually, due to "not having DMCA-style legislation", Canada constantly winds up on international intellectual property watch lists.

    But why let the truth get in the way?


    If you mean the USTPR when you say international, then yes. Otherwise, Canada is ranked above the US in a recent international (i.e. non-US) study on the matter.

    As you say, why let truth get in your way!

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2009 @ 9:15am

    Re: Re: Re:

    If you mean the USTPR when you say international, then yes.

    Absolutely. The USTPR international watch list.

    As you say, why let truth get in your way!

    And as you can see, I told the truth (unless you're now trying to deny that Canada is on that list). You, on the other hand...

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Yeah - another list of boogie men, Sep 26th, 2009 @ 11:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Watch List ... what a joke.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Marc, Sep 26th, 2009 @ 1:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Absolutely. The USTPR international watch list.

    And as you can see, I told the truth (unless you're now trying to deny that Canada is on that list). You, on the other hand...


    It's more than a little disingenuous of you to pass off a US copyright industry report as anything other than pandering to Hollywood interests.

    In any event, if that's driving your desire for Canada to adopt the DMCA. I think we'll pass and opt for a free market approach as opposed to corporate welfare.

    Why you would allow any industry to unduly constrain innovation in the marketplace is beyond me.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Luci, Sep 26th, 2009 @ 4:16pm

    Re: This may have worked if

    Perhaps you can expand upon this so it makes sense to those of us who haven't any idea what you mean?

     

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  21.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Sep 26th, 2009 @ 6:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Absolutely. The USTPR international watch list.

    Which is based almost entirely on industry recommendations...

     

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  22.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Sep 26th, 2009 @ 7:01pm

    Re: Sure, go for it

    Truthfully I want to see ACTA sign, sealed, and delivered to the public.ACTA pdf at Wiki leaks. The greater the support for an artificially maintained monopoly the greater the crash in the end.

     

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  23.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Sep 26th, 2009 @ 7:03pm

    Re: Re: Commentors of Tech Dirt...Unite!

    yes go to wiki leaks wiki leaks....................

    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

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 27th, 2009 @ 8:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It's based entirely on industry agenda ehem recommendations.

    While were at it, I'll bet you Linux is on Microsoft's list of most disruptive and dangerous technologies. If they "donate" enough to incumbent campaigns...

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    jbay, Sep 29th, 2009 @ 10:35pm

    dvd copies

    Over here in Vietnam, I get my dvd's sent in from the states, dvd player is all code,
    If they come in via DHL, UPS, FED-EX, they will copy them right there with the customs men working the copy machines.
    I've seen this in the DHL building while picking up 2 expansion tanks.
    DHL building, a small yard, then a customs building (small)
    each carrier has there own customs office and they all work together.
    There suppose to be looking for subversive dvd's, BUT.
    This does not happen when I use the USPO and the VN post office.
    When using the uspo, into VN, the main box is open, but the dvd's are still sealed from the factory.

    jbay

     

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


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