UK Gov't Tells MPs They Can't See ACTA Details

from the you-only-represent-the-people dept

While there have been more and more calls for transparency on ACTA negotiations, it seems that even government officials are being stymied. Some UK Parliament Members have asked for the details and are being told they cannot see the document because mysterious, nameless "others" require it to be kept secret. Of course, if you're an industry lobbyist, it's not hard to see the document. But, if your job is to represent the people? Get in line. You'll see it once it's been signed, sealed and delivered.


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  1.  
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    Brendan (profile), Jan 21st, 2010 @ 3:43pm

    Completely unacceptable.

    How is this even allowed?

    I hope the same is not true in Canada. And here I thought the Conservatives were conspiring to screw us on copyright, but this would mean they aren't even SEEING what they're agreeing to.

    Completely unacceptable.

    This agreement needs to get blown out of existence. Also I wouldn't mind if a few conspirators found themselves as collateral damage.
    "Proper application of explosives, etc."

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 4:22pm

    I should pretend to be an industry lobbyist, see the documents, maybe take some pictures with my phone, and then expose them to the public. Oh wait, can I go to jail for actually representing the general public and not just the top one percent?

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 4:25pm

    Re:

    I'm sure that will be a crime once ACTA is passed.

     

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  4.  
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    Karl Bode, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 4:29pm

    I really like to be reasonable about this, but honestly -- how does this path we're on where corporations secretly craft law in complete disconnection from both the public and lawmakers not result -- eventually -- in violent revolution?

    I really don't say that to be coy or hyperbolic.

     

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  5.  
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    Sean Ness, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 4:48pm

    Re: Completely unacceptable.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 5:02pm

    Re:

    Why is everyone so worked up over a secret treaty about counterfeiting?

     

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  7.  
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    iamtheky (profile), Jan 21st, 2010 @ 5:21pm

    I think a Counterfeit Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is equal to a Secret Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. If we publish say a couple hundred different ACTAs and send them to lawmakers everywhere......

     

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  8.  
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    Brendan (profile), Jan 21st, 2010 @ 5:21pm

    Re: Re: Completely unacceptable.

    Oh, I am fully aware of that.

    I mean I hope that at least _somebody_ in the government is actually reading this piece of shit. Clement or one of his goons.

     

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  9.  
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    DanC (profile), Jan 21st, 2010 @ 5:23pm

    Re: Re:

    Because it covers quite a bit more than just counterfeiting, despite its title.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 5:35pm

    "This would harm our ability to protect, promote and secure an outcome in the UK's interest, and the premature release of documents that are not agreed and not fully developed may also have a negative effect on the government's reputation."

    That pretty much says it all. They don't want anyone with the ability to oppose it to see the details until it's to late to do anything about it. That and "we're not showing you because you won't like it".

    How is this in any way, shape or form acceptable?

     

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  11.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jan 21st, 2010 @ 5:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Completely unacceptable.

    "_somebody_" is, obviously. It just may not be the "_somebody_" you elected, of course...

     

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  12.  
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    Richard Corsale (profile), Jan 21st, 2010 @ 5:43pm

    Wellll

    Where do I start.. First of all, the counterfeiting bit is a misnomer. It's about a gross expansion of power for those that allready have far to much power. Power which is not regulated by the people but by the ones with said power. That has never worked out throughout all the history of mankind.

    Second Treaties can be used to tranced laws established by governments and their people LONG after the party that made them is out of power. Meaning regardless of public sentiment our "international obligations" come first.

    Third ACTA is far more reaching than even an expansion of Copyright, it's an expansion of TRIPS. TRIPS is a way of pushing our hopelessly broken patent system on the planet Earth. Many companies have withdrawn from entire markets in which they were just entering, because once TRIPS was signed they found themselves in violation of imagination patents on concepts and methods that were broadly used throughout a given industry. Liability is the anti-innovation. Small Database vendors and Chip makers are particularly susceptible to infringement given the thickets in those two sectors. You wont see many if any new players in those markets for sometime to come.

    ... Do you see why were all so worked up?? Take something that doesn't help anyone other than the already powerful, and kick it up a notch (Please don't sue me) and you get a global cooling of free markets. This is baaaaaad for small business and startups. Big players have pounded down companies in the US with patents, not because they win in court, but because they win in bankrupting the little guy with litigation fees. Which are now in the tens of millions of dollars to defend yourself against "one click checkout" inventions.

     

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  13.  
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    Rasmus, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 6:27pm

    Re:

    I like that. It has a lot of similarities to a method described by the author Stanislaw Lem (mostly known for writing Solaris) in his book Memoirs Found In a Bathtub.

    Basically if you make 200 different versions of a document no-one can tell which one of the documents that is the real one. Or even if any of them is real, or maybe all of them is real.

    Eventually one must choose between disregarding all of them or to assume all of them is real and react to everything.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 7:35pm

    Re: Re:

    If the government has nothing to hide then why are they hiding something?

     

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  15.  
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    Bob V (profile), Jan 21st, 2010 @ 7:50pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Can we use the if they aren't doing anything wrong they should have nothing to hide ploy?

     

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  16.  
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    Nick Taylor, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 8:00pm

    Who are these people?

    Does anyone who the people doing the actual negotiations are?

    Anyone in govt who feels the need to negotiate treaties that are kept secret from the people who will suffer the consequences should be sacked.

    I think we should know who these individuals are.

     

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  17.  
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    Dementia (profile), Jan 21st, 2010 @ 8:17pm

    Re: Who are these people?

    That would be the US Trade Representative. Can't remember his name offhand, but Mike has mentioned it several times. More to the point, Obama is aware of this, but has done nothing to bring about the transparencies he promised during his campaign. So tell me, where should the buck stop?

     

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  18.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jan 21st, 2010 @ 9:14pm

    Re: Re:

    Read the UKs Digital Economy Bill it almost the same thing as ACTA.

     

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  19.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jan 21st, 2010 @ 9:32pm

    Re:

    "How is this in any way, shape or form acceptable?"

    Its not in any way, shape, or form acceptable. What it is how ever is simply a way of maintaining control. All the information middle men are going to die off because of the internet. That includes Newspapers, broadcast news, and Cable news channels. Imagine you got into power using the current way of doing things. You pay for access to broadcast your message. You are now up against an obama style internet campaign that is grass roots and not bought and paid for by corporations. People are watching the news on TV less and news and information is finding them sent by friends and family. You lose your billion dollar run for president because os one guy with an internet connection ...

    That is what ACTA is about, maintaining existing corporations because free communications scares alot of people.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 9:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Could it be possible that we shouldn't be supporting the 'music industry' or the 'movie industry'? Vote with your feet and stop consuming the content which is paying for the restriction of your liberty.

    If your elected representatives aren't behind the wheel (and you don't like what's happening), stop supporting the people who are. I know I'll be a happier person not seeing Avatar than seeing it.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 10:41pm

    Re: Re:

    But the supreme court ruled that corporations can spend as much as they want on campaigns. Yet the limitations to individuals still remain if I understand this correctly? Since when do corporations have more rights than individuals.

     

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  22.  
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    mike allen (profile), Jan 21st, 2010 @ 11:51pm

    somebody

    get this thing on wiki leaks before it is signed

     

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  23.  
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    Doge (profile), Jan 22nd, 2010 @ 12:01am

    The UK Digital Bill

    If it is of any comfort my politician assured me that due to the impending election in UK, non of the current bills going through are likely to become law in this parliament. And the Digital Bill will have to be reconsidered by the next elected government... let's see of they behave any differently. Hope so.

     

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  24.  
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    Idobek (profile), Jan 22nd, 2010 @ 3:21am

    The UK has no say in ACTA

    "The European Commission, also involved in negotiations"

    If the EC is involved then no EU country has any real negotiating power; the EC is all.

    David Lammy knows this but doesn't want Parliament to realise it, especially with an election coming up.

     

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  25.  
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    The eejit (profile), Jan 22nd, 2010 @ 5:02am

    Re: The UK has no say in ACTA

    Correction, all the countries involved in the EU have a 'say'; just not the legislators.

    This is a problem.

    Can we not just find the negotiator and leak their location to Al Qa'ida? It would save us a lot of effort fighting ACTA in the courts and parliaments. :p

     

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  26.  
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    uhuh, Jan 22nd, 2010 @ 5:08am

    capitalism and couterfeiting go hand in hand

    levis overprices its jeans
    someone goes i can make a reasonable pair cheaper BUT where they go wrong is they place a levi symbol same as the originator

    if this is all thats wrong , i have a solution thats far better for society.

    A) expose very public this counterfeiter
    B) show the quality of both items if same ALLOW the counterfeiter to continue as long as they remove symbols

    as to music and movies and such htink about this
    as i said before a counterfeit cdr you wont be able to tel leasily it is really a fake

    while lil johnny makes a music cdr and a custom label its pretty easy to tell

    the latter become illegal under acta EVEN with our cdr levy
    and when the CRIA is commerically infringing on 300000 artists it really starts to piss people off.

    ALSO the types a people create the truer fakes are nto lil johnny's and they dont give two shits about all the laws you make, THEY WILL KEEP DOING IT CAUSE 30$ MUSIC CDRS as i saw at futureshop in 2005 WILL CREATE A MARKET FOR THEM
    go back and read about the levis example.

    all this does in fact is put the entire piracy thing into counterfeit hands and real criminals and of the conservatives really do care for kids they'd not be handing there cultural habits to the real gangsters.

    no one can debunk this i've seen it and lived it.

    if your a reporter go find out about the plastics recycling plant in Pickering ontario that was to be melting down 75000 pirated cdrs/dvdrs a month and didn't , just turned round and resold them in stores EVERYWHERE

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 22nd, 2010 @ 5:22am

    Re: Re: Who are these people?

    "Can't remember his name"

    Jar Jar Binks

    Der be some bombad clankens comin' dis way!

     

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  28.  
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    jjmsan (profile), Jan 22nd, 2010 @ 7:40am

    Corporations

    I am so happy we are recognizing that corporations should be treated as people with free speach rights and everything. I have just one question.Does this mean bankruptcy is now the same as murder?

     

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  29.  
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    kirillian (profile), Jan 22nd, 2010 @ 8:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I think it's ok to use this reasoning with the government as opposed to individuals since the government is actually, supposedly, accountable to individual citizens. That's a very interesting problem however.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 22nd, 2010 @ 3:49pm

    Re: Corporations

    And if a corporation is a person then would a corporation owning another corporation be a form of slavery?

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 23rd, 2010 @ 2:52pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Since they paid for the privilege.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2010 @ 11:35am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Individuals can (and have been able to) spend as much as they want supporting a political candidate; they just can't give more than a certain amount of money directly to a political candidate

    I think corporations still cannot give *ANY* money directly to a candidate, until the SCOTUS strikes that law down too, anyway). Of course, they can just spend millions buying ads so the candidate can spend their other money on other things.

     

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