Let's Face Facts: ACTA Is Called An 'Executive Agreement' To Change The Law With Less Hassle Than A Treaty

from the an-executive-agreement-is-a-treaty-without-oversight dept

When concern over ACTA secrecy started picking up a few months ago, one of the industry lobbyist talking points that floated out was "don't worry about ACTA, because it's not a 'treaty' but an 'executive agreement' and thus, it can't impact US law." An IP lawyer in our comments keeps making this point over and over again, and arguing that anyone who argues otherwise doesn't understand the Constitution. Of course, that's silly. In response to that guy in particular, I'd been doing more research to understand the real differences between a "treaty" and an "executive agreement" and realized that pretty much everyone (including people at the State Departement) admit that the only substantive differences is that you don't need 2/3 Senate approval for an executive agreement. Otherwise, in every way, it's just like a treaty. Basically, it's a way to end-run around a treaty that wouldn't get approval. I'd been meaning to write up something about this, but it looks like Andrew Moshirnia of the Citizen Media Law Project has beaten me to it and done an excellent job ripping apart the "but it's just an executive agreement" argument:
When lobbyists and the USTR insist that ACTA won't change laws very much, I feel like I'm taking crazy pills. Of course it changes the law, why else would it need to be negotiated in secret and why else would it attract so much industry attention and support....

Executive agreements essentially give the President a means to unilaterally control the foreign relations of the United States. Presidents have historically used accords with foreign nations to conclude international pacts without giving the Senate a meaningful opportunity to interfere. See The Destroyers for Bases Deal, Yalta, The Vietnam Peace Agreement of 1973.  The constitutionality of this tool is somewhat dubious: the Constitution does not mention executive agreements, nor do the framers discuss the concept in either the constitutional convention or the Federalist Papers. The judiciary has defended the use of congressional-executive agreements*, provided that these do not conflict with the Constitution. See Reid v. Covert, 354 U.S. 1 (1957).   But hopefully the Court would be more likely to strike down unilateral Executive Agreements. But see U.S. v. Pink 315 U. S.  203, 229 (1942). However, the prospect of an executive agreement is rarely an issue because the mere presence of an existing agreement places an incredible amount of pressure on Congress to go along with the deal.

There have been some congressional efforts to restrain the use of executive agreements and to reestablish the primacy of Congress' Treaty Power. In 1954, the Bricker and George Amendments, which would have restricted the president's power to craft executive agreements, failed to clear the Senate, the latter by only a single vote.

While the President has the power to utilize executive agreements, he is not to keep them secret. Eighteen years after the Bricker and George amendments barely failed, and only a few years after the discovery of covert executive agreements with Laos and South Korea, Congress passed the Case Act of 1972. The Act requires the Executive to disclose within 60 days the text of "any international agreement" in which the United States is involved. But this does little to redress the problem of unilateral executive agreements because presidents routinely ignore the statute.
Moshirnia then wonders if the massive unpopularity surrounding ACTA and the process will put renewed attention on this questionable practice of executive agreements:
So to sum up: I am terrified that ACTA is going to be as monstrous as I believe it to be and that the United States will join the agreement by executive fiat. But maybe some good will come out of this--maybe the deep unpopularity of ACTA (trust me, people want their Internet) will force Congress to finally reassert its long neglected Treaty Power and curtail the use of executive agreements. While the Congress has deferred to the President in matters of war, there is no need to maintain such deference if ACTA empowers national ISPs to sever domestic Internet connections. None of this worrying would be necessary if the administration would simply (1) make the ACTA negotiations public, and (2) agree to submit ACTA to the Senate for formal ratification as a treaty. The longer this remains secret, the more users will worry. 

Let your Senators and Representative know that this pointless secrecy is unacceptable. Perhaps your demand will inspire them (either through pride or fear) to reclaim their treaty power and back out of a deal to which they never agreed. 
And... the next time your friendly industry lobbyist insists that ACTA is "not a treaty" so you have nothing to worry about, go ahead and explain why that's incorrect.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2010 @ 5:32pm

    ACTA is not a treaty, it's an executive agreement so you have nothing to worry about.

    ACTA is also 100% about counterfeiting and all this talk about copyright and kicking people off of the internet is stupid. Think about it, why would they kick you off of the internet for counterfeiting?

    Doesn't make any sense now, does it?

    ACTA is also a secret because that's how they negotiated executive agreements back when the Founding Fathers of America were seeking independence from King George.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 9th, 2010 @ 5:33pm

    Just a link to contact your congress man or woman

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2010 @ 5:34pm

    It won't change the law because it's an executive agreement!

    Err...it won't change the law because it will have to be approved by the Senate first!

    I mean...it won't change the law because all it does is suggest that the Congress change the law!

    Umm...it will magically make people start buying overpriced music again!

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2010 @ 5:37pm

    Error 404 Masnick not found

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2010 @ 5:48pm

    Re:

    The era of the shiny plastic disc is over. Just like the cassette tape era, the eight-track era, and the gramophone era before them. Of course, replacing the cassette tape with a compact disc was a smart move.

    The compact disc album with an .mp3 single? You're going to see an obvious reduction in revenue. It happens. So what was the solution?

    "Pirates! It's these pirates! We have to sue and then we'll be fine, against these pirates! These filthy pirates! We are so few and they're over nine thousand strong! Why'd we trade pop hits for bytes & bits? These filthy pirates!"

     

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  6.  
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    Thomas (profile), Feb 9th, 2010 @ 6:00pm

    this is payback..

    For the extensive financial support the media companies have given to the current politicians' election campaigns. Naturally they want something for all the billions they gave to the politicians who are now in office, so they are secretly demanding the ACTA. It's nothing more than payback. The politicians can't acknowledge that it's return for bribes. This is the best government money can buy! Since they can't find a real business model, pay the politicians in money, drugs, and hookers to make laws that "protect" their business model.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2010 @ 6:01pm

    i am curious what techdirt articles he was trying to link.
    couldnt even find any of the keywords in the titles with the search bar

     

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  8.  
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    Chargone (profile), Feb 9th, 2010 @ 6:12pm

    Re:

    I do hope you're being sarcastic. given some of the types of comments that appear hear from time to time, however, it's hard to be sure...

     

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  9.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 9th, 2010 @ 6:19pm

    Re:

    Where to begin ...

    ACTA is being created by people with extremely bad judgement, monopoly status, and exceptionally bad business sense. Every monopoly tends to purchase every smaller competitor that may compete to quash competition and innovation. Monopolies rarely innovate and can not adapt to a changing business landscape. There is no vision for the future only a hope that things can go back to how they were.

    ACTA is very simply a last ditch effort to stop the tide of progress. From the list of people seen at and known to be contributing to the discussion on ACTA they are mainly content owners. It is about copyright, patents, and protecting profits.

    Copyright isnt a right, it is a society granted, limited duration monopoly on an idea, a concept, or a creative work. Copyright is not about making money, it is about advancing creativity in society, the sciences, and the arts.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2010 @ 6:28pm

    Re: Re:

    It's obvious this person is being sarcastic. Duh.

     

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  11.  
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    :), Feb 9th, 2010 @ 6:52pm

    Pirates.

    http://pinktentacle.com/2010/02/snow-sculptures-at-sapporo-snow-festival-2010/

    When ACTA passes maybe they will rain on the pirates from the east that are stealing mickey and michael jackson LoL

    I wonder if those sculptures were done in the U.S. if someone would come and try an collect some.

     

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    DH's love child, Feb 9th, 2010 @ 6:53pm

    And yet again

    When presented with the truth, TAM is conspicuously absent...

     

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  13.  
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    NAMELESS.ONE, Feb 9th, 2010 @ 7:23pm

    Movie: above the law

    "because presidents routinely ignore the statute. "

    and when you have laws that presidents dont follow and never get penalized DO YOU HAVE DEMOCRACY.NO

     

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  14.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 9th, 2010 @ 7:31pm

    Re: And yet again

    Couple possible scenerio's for TAM not being here ...

    1 - TAM is at the latest secret ACTA meeting :P

    2 - TAM is in India and couldnt pay his ISP because his paypal account was locked up ;)

    3 - TAM has seen the error of his ways and has become a Flagellant and is now marching around europe whipping himself

    4 - TAM took the red pill tonite instead of the blue pill and is no wandering around outside of the internet ... going WTF

     

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  15.  
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    NAMELESS.ONE, Feb 9th, 2010 @ 7:36pm

    can a PERFECT copy be counterfeit ( NO )

    If i take a red marble and magically down to the last molecule make the exact marble is it counterfeit and the answer is no.

    SO when i am watching a movie that CAME form the original if i lesson quality its still that movie and thus is not counterfeit also. ITS the movie, its the product. NOW in reverse if i make a counterfeit pear of jeans that is not same quality and slap a levis logo on it and it will wear out quick then that is what this should be about.

    YOU CANNOT counterfeit a DVDR by making a duplicate copy of it as the original still exists for one and hte copy is the same EXACTLY without its lock ONLY.
    IN fact if your all up the butt about it YOU COULD LEAVE OR PUT A LOCK ON THE NEXT COPY.

    This is wear it fails to think and as were seeing its all about tryng ot move the scammers form that failed housing scam into intellectual wannabe property so they can run a scam into anohter industry.

    SCAM ( shitheads cocksuckers assholes morons )is what ACTA should be renamed.

    AND i will add that lil slide by the aussie guy means they are as i said to one of the supporters of ACTA get your butts back and start re-writing your little treaty ( he stated that suddenly acta may go into 2011 where it should be done in end of 2010 ) lil things and slips like that tell you they are scampering now. WE have over 1000 signups for a facebook site in Canada alone and watch that grow massively as this gets closer and closer to make that fair copyright look like a puny little leaf. WHY the push here is to take this particular group INTERNATIONAL. you want to see a few million people join facebook? what happens if you piss off a few million people mister president with your executive powers? THINK your getting another term? Think conservatives world wide ever want to get elected again?

    AND wha about that music industry ripping off all its artists in CANADA, and us paying 500 million in cdr levies to them and they just what? RIP OFF EVERYONE IN CANADA THEN TURN ROUND AND HAVE BALLS TO CALL US PIRATES.

    if there scamming then fuck it pirate away everyone cause its all corrupt.

     

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  16.  
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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 9th, 2010 @ 7:43pm

    Re: Re: And yet again

    Condo board meeting, sorry.

    ACTA is whatever it is. If you don't like it, vote the bums out next time, that is the nature of democracy.

     

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  17.  
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    NAMELESS.ONE, Feb 9th, 2010 @ 7:45pm

    @Hephaestus

    actually copyright is a right like driving if your bad society will punish you and take it away
    copyRIGHT
    by definition its a right for a creator to make money for a limited time to keep inventing/creating. NOT to price gouge for eternity, NOT to be lazy and leave your great great grandchildren somehting so they never have to work or contribute to society. After this limited time which started out as 14years it goes to public domain so that many more minds can have access to the work freely so its potential to create new works increases.

    THUS by extending term lengths you stop the public domain form access of the works to help create more works on that work, and thus limit innovation. im glad in a way the USA is utterly insane on copyrights. ALL any other nation now has to do is say screw you and in 30-50 years THERE will be no mor einnovation coming fomr the usa as it will be going on everywhere BUT THE usa as Canada for example will NOT ratify acta. IT ISNT gonna happen even if you held it on the moon your meetings. UNLIKE hteusa parliament must ratify it. WON'T happen in canada cause of the current parties we have and that is extremely unlikely to change.
    so go ahead world the big experiment will begin. ONCE we have the lowest patent and copyright laws anywhere, when your country needs a generic drug to save millions of your citizens COME OT CANADA for a supply. COME to canada to be creative and innovate and use that kinda directors idea to make film and music.

    IT CAN WORK

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2010 @ 7:46pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    It's obvious this person is being sarcastic. Duh.

    Was that sarcasm?

     

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  19.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 9th, 2010 @ 7:47pm

    Questions

    "Basically, it's a way to end-run around a treaty that wouldn't get approval."

    Questions ...

    Do other countries leaders have the same 'Executive Agreement' abilities?

    If not wouldnt that require them to go through a commitee or legal process before passing into law?

    What about places where parts of these laws have been struck down? 3 strikes, ISP monitoring (wire tap), 2cnd party liability (guilty for what your kids have done), human rights violatons, etc.

    How could they be implemented in those cases?

    Do the ISP's have to pay for the monitoring?

    How do you prove a specific person or IP address is the one responsible?

    etc, etc, it seems unworkable on so many levels.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2010 @ 7:48pm

    Re: Re:

    The era of the shiny plastic disc is over.

    But the era of their new business model, lawsuits, is alive and well.

     

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  21.  
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    King George, Feb 9th, 2010 @ 7:54pm

    IMA find you treasonous rabble in amerca yet

    yes we have to negotiate treaties in secret cause king george and the english army of 1700's is still chasing the yankies around.

    ( HEY we could make a movie based on undead that rose from the dead and chased suits form hollywood around so much they had to make deals in secret )

    YEA donate to mike and make this movie happen
    HAHA

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2010 @ 7:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: And yet again

    So after all the laws are changed, then the people can just change the politcal landscape to one that's more condusive to changing the laws back to where they were previous to ACTA changing the laws, wait, what?

     

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  23.  
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    NAMELESS.ONE, Feb 9th, 2010 @ 8:00pm

    only way in canada is parliament

    The current govt prorogued govt ( put sit in cancel mode ) so it could fill some senate seats this has effect that should they get agreements form the liberals they can quickly pass legislation
    Those two parties hold majority
    and conservatives now hold majority senate seats.

    THIS is worry some only in fact that the last attempt to pass copyright laws before the conservatives came form the liberals themselves.

    GOOD thing we have the ndp watch them really grow in power as people get pissed at liberals should they try and support such legislation.

    SO you can take the bribe and never be in govt again or do something for your country and stand up and say "I DONT TAKE NO STINKIN BRIBES FROM FOREIGNERS"

     

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  24.  
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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 9th, 2010 @ 8:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: And yet again

    That is pretty much how a representative democracy works. You elect someone, you don't like the job they do, 4 years (or whatever) later, you vote them out and replace them with someone else (who probably won't do the job either).

    You can kick up a fuss now, but unless it really gets national attention and people care, it is unlikely to change what will happen.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2010 @ 8:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And yet again

    Well, not with that attitude.

     

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  26.  
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    Andrew Moshirnia, Feb 9th, 2010 @ 8:12pm

    The broken links

    The broken links refer back to some previous articles on ACTA. It appears that the URLs were changed when the excerpt was hosted on this site. No worries. I have provided the correct links below.

    http://www.citmedialaw.org/blog/2009/online-odyssey-internet-use-age-hadopis-scylla-and-holders- charybdis

    http://www.citmedialaw.org/blog/2010/what%E2%80%99s-box-piercing-pointless-secrecy-acta

     

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  27.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 9th, 2010 @ 8:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: And yet again

    "ACTA is whatever it is. If you don't like it, vote the bums out next time, that is the nature of democracy."

    If ACTA anything like the UK's Digital economy bill. There is great sorrow in my heart for everyone involved. The ACTA meetings list of people and corporations they represent is huge. The ACTA names and corporations list pdf is over 190 pages.

    I picture this as a public relations nightmare for Pharma, media distribution, and news organizations. You are standing in the dark doing a deal that corrupts the constitution of the US, pisses off the Canadian public, violates EU human rights and laws, and gets every internet user on the planet pissed off at you. The lights come on when ACTA is shown to the public, everone knows who you are, and the phone numbers and email address to reach you at.

    Unintended consequences are what the people pushing ACTA should be concerned with if it is anything like the UK's DEB.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2010 @ 8:35pm

    "I am increasingly persuaded that the earth belongs exclusively to the living and that one generation has no more right to bind another to it's laws and judgments than one independent nation has the right to command another." sorta Thomas Jefferson

     

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  29.  
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    TAAM, Feb 9th, 2010 @ 8:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: And yet again

    "ACTA is whatever it is. If you don't like it, vote the bums out next time, that is the nature of democracy."

    You statement should be "I don't know what the hell ACTA is, but I thought I would put my two cents in anyways.'

    Vote them out!!?? Are you kidding? Last time I checked the meeting involves a majority of non-elected officials.

    TAM - Open mouth and insert foot

     

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  30.  
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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 9th, 2010 @ 8:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: And yet again

    Who do you think appointed the non-elected officials?

    Look, just past your nose... it's reality. No, wait, it's just mike's butt.

     

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  31.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 9th, 2010 @ 9:00pm

    Re: Just a link to contact your congress man or woman

    This was in reference to ....


    "Let your Senators and Representative know that this pointless secrecy is unacceptable. Perhaps your demand will inspire them (either through pride or fear) to reclaim their treaty power and back out of a deal to which they never agreed."

     

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  32.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 9th, 2010 @ 9:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And yet again

    Dude post a response ..... or are you afraid


    "ACTA is whatever it is. If you don't like it, vote the bums out next time, that is the nature of democracy."

    If ACTA anything like the UK's Digital economy bill. There is great sorrow in my heart for everyone involved. The ACTA meetings list of people and corporations they represent is huge. The ACTA names and corporations list pdf is over 190 pages.

    I picture this as a public relations nightmare for Pharma, media distribution, and news organizations. You are standing in the dark doing a deal that corrupts the constitution of the US, pisses off the Canadian public, violates EU human rights and laws, and gets every internet user on the planet pissed off at you. The lights come on when ACTA is shown to the public, everone knows who you are, and the phone numbers and email address to reach you at.

    Unintended consequences are what the people pushing ACTA should be concerned with if it is anything like the UK's DEB.

     

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  33.  
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    Henry Emrich, Feb 9th, 2010 @ 9:11pm

    There's another (more likely) option:

    5. the spineless little shit-sack behind TAM has grown bored with the nearly-continuous correction of It's sadly-misguided corporate drivel, and relentless -- deserved -- "personal" attacks directed at the TAM sock-puppet.
    As a result, It has decided to hide out like the cowardly little troll that It is, while it struggles feverishly with how to fabricate yet ANOTHER suck(oops, I mean "sock)-puppet persona which isn't so blatantly, transparently stupid.

    Don't worry, folks -- unless we're really lucky (or their was an auspicious accident of some sort) -- the Shit-Troll formerly known as TAM will be back.

    (It obviously has no life -- else it wouldn't be lurking around 24/7, so as to get to post it's inane gibberish *first*, on nearly every article.

     

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  34.  
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    Henry Emrich, Feb 9th, 2010 @ 9:13pm

    Re: There's another (more likely) option:

    TAM(pon) lives in a CONDO(m)?

    Sorry....couldn't resist.
    (Not as funny as I originally hoped).

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2010 @ 9:16pm

    So what ever happened to checks and balances? Oh, wait a minute, the present is being checked and balanced by the big corporations and the big corporations are also checking and balancing each other. See, the system works!!!

     

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  36.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 9th, 2010 @ 9:26pm

    Re: Re: There's another (more likely) option:

    Yeah it was obvious ... I stopped myself

     

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  37.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 9th, 2010 @ 9:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And yet again

    "Unintended consequences are what the people pushing ACTA should be concerned with if it is anything like the UK's DEB."

    Oh I forgot .... Go Lord Lucas!!!

     

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  38.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 9th, 2010 @ 9:43pm

    Some interesting links ...

     

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  39.  
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    ant anti mike, Feb 9th, 2010 @ 9:45pm

    CANADA

    doesn't have a govt right now. leave a message at teh beep and hte harper govt wil get back to you in ...2 months LOL
    hes so freaked out he canceled govt
    add ACTA and afgan prisoners being tortured and they knew.
    YUP
    conservatives are history and all the cash they had in alberta also appears gone 5 billion debt.

    there toronto head quarters burns to ground and one of there media buddies the VTC office burns.
    PETA pies one right in face BIG TIME

    YEA prorogation is great.
    quote form elections Canada..
    "WE need to find a way to get more people to vote"
    I think harper govt is perfect...
    JUST KEEP IT UP STEVIE
    ya know them liberals if they had a leader that had that spark it would be a done deal. WORSE he'd be prime minister if he didn't screw over layton and that PQ pary guy in a alliance coalition.PROB is he wants power and dont want to share either.

    this is why YOUR never going to see copyright change in Canada and if your hollywood idiot friends want to keep trying to bribe people go for it YOUR gonna have to pay off 300 politicians large sums , large enough they get past ethics committees and large enough to retire on.

    IT SHOULD BE A CRIME IF NOT TREASON TO ACCEPT A BRIBE OR LOBBY MONEY FORM ANY ENTITY WITH FOREIGN ROOT LIKE THE RIAA AND MPAA

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2010 @ 9:54pm

    The same tired arguments from the same small groups within the US. Seriously, a second year law student citing such impeccable legal resources as Billboard, Wired, Techdirt, etc. represents "...an excellent job ripping apart...". Yes, other groups such as the Berkman Center, EFF, Public Knowledge are mentioned and linked, but once again these other groups trod well worn ground that reflects little more that a "chicken little" mentality based upon "what if's", "Gee, it might...", etc. ad nauseum.

    Outside of the US ACTA may present issues of substantive law since there is no such thing as "Copyright Law of the World". Within the US, however, ACTA is not the "demon" so may of these groups would have people believe. Fear mongering appears to be their modus operandi, and their arguments are disingenuous, if not outright dishonest.

    Yes, executive agreements (which, BTW, do have the approval of the Supreme Court) do not require the advise and consent of the Senate. However, unlike a treaty, they do not carry the force and effect of law (See: Article VI of the US Constitution). This is an important point in that if any executive agreement may contain provisions in tension with substantive US law, those provisions can only be given the force and effect of law if they are enacted via our customary legislative process and signature by the President.

    Now, some will say "But, boy, will Congress be put under pressure to cave." Maybe some in Congress will feel such pressure, but almost certainly those members are not members of the Judiciary Committees for the House and Senate. These committees have primacy over patent, trademark and copyright matters and are by no means pushovers in these areas of law. They protect their Article I "turf" (industry lobbying notwithstanding) from Presidential intrusion. Time and time again bills have been introduced proposing legislation that gives the "chicken littles" grist for their mill, and time and time such bills die in committee.

    At some point in time a document may formally issue (its issuance is not a given), at which time no matter what it may say, it is the Congress that decides what will become and what will not US law.

    Sorry, but the arguments presented in the linked article and in its own links are not particularly persuasive since they are based on pure conjecture based upon early stage drafts that will be amended, and amended, and amended repeatedly to reflect issues raised by all parties to the ongoing discussions, not to mention that some of the documents repeatedly cited by the "chicken littles" are nothing more than hearsay summaries that are of dubious accuracy.

    Why not wait until a real text is presented before raising a hue and cry that demonizes ACTA? Personally, I much prefer to have facts in hand before casting aspersions at people. I am prepared to let them do their job and critique their work later when I have something real in hand to examine.

     

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  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2010 @ 10:08pm

    Re:

    "Why not wait until a real text is presented before raising a hue and cry that demonizes ACTA? Personally, I much prefer to have facts in hand before casting aspersions at people. I am prepared to let them do their job and critique their work later when I have something real in hand to examine."

    If you don't want ACTA to be demonized, perhaps it shouldn't be negotiated in secret due to imaginary national security reasons.

     

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  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2010 @ 10:22pm

    Re:

    The mainstream media is the worst source of information. If you have a problem with techdirt or others you can correct them, no one is stopping you. The fact that you are unable to correct Mike on anything and, instead, proclaim inaccuracies without substantiation, is telling.

     

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  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2010 @ 10:22pm

    Re:

    The mainstream media is the worst source of information. If you have a problem with techdirt or others you can correct them, no one is stopping you. The fact that you are unable to correct Mike on anything and, instead, proclaim inaccuracies without substantiation, is telling.

     

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  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2010 @ 10:29pm

    Re:

    "The same tired arguments from the same small groups within the US. Seriously, a second year law student citing such impeccable legal resources as Billboard, Wired, Techdirt, etc. represents "...an excellent job ripping apart..."."

    I've taken law courses with law teachers who had Ph.d's and what Mike says about the law is (basically) true.

    "reflects little more that a "chicken little" mentality based upon "what if's", "Gee, it might...", etc. ad nauseum."

    What if the government didn't pass treaties in secret, wouldn't that negate all our what if's? Instead you expect us not to complain until it's too late. The rich can do whatever the heck they want, in secret even, and no one should complain whatsoever.

    "Sorry, but the arguments presented in the linked article and in its own links are not particularly persuasive since they are based on pure conjecture based upon early stage drafts that will be amended, and amended, and amended repeatedly to reflect issues raised by all parties to the ongoing discussions, not to mention that some of the documents repeatedly cited by the "chicken littles" are nothing more than hearsay summaries that are of dubious accuracy."

    and you know this how? You don't know this, because the whole documents are being done in secret. and once a law is passed that's designed to allow the rich to exploit the poor it's very hard to overturn (ie: look at the broken IP laws in the U.S. passed by industry lobbyists at public expense). MANY of the laws in the U.S. are designed to unfairly benefit the rich at public expense, why should I believe that the government has suddenly decided to do anything different? I have no reason to believe such, it would even be unreasonable for me to believe such nonsense given the current legal system and the current laws in place. The current laws in place speak volumes as to the intent of our government and these evil corporations.

     

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  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2010 @ 10:32pm

    Re: Re:

    (ie: the length and dynamics of IP laws, government sanctioned Taxi cab monopolies, government sanctioned cableco/telco infrastructure monopolies on who can use existing infrastructure or who can build new infrastructure, etc... The U.S. is substantially lagging behind in broadband speed and prices because of the government sanctioned lack of competition that we must tolerate thanks to industry lobbyists with no regard for morality).

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2010 @ 10:40pm

    Re:

    So many laws are designed to enable the rich to unfairly exploit the poor, I see no reason, absolutely NO reason, to believe that these ACTA negotiations are any different and I have every reason to believe that they are intended to further enable the rich to unfairly exploit the poor.

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    TAAM, Feb 9th, 2010 @ 10:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And yet again

    Speaking of gay attraction "The Anti-Mike" !

    Lol, I will leave it there :)

     

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  48.  
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    herodotus (profile), Feb 9th, 2010 @ 10:56pm

    You don't have to believe in conspiracy theories to think that things like ACTA are creepy.

    It's like our so called public servants aren't even trying to pretend that they serve the public interest anymore.

     

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  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2010 @ 11:19pm

    The United States Trade Representative is seeking public comments on ACTA. Deadline for filing is February 16, 2010 by 5 p.m.

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2010 @ 11:23pm

    Re:

    Public comments on a secret treaty protected by NDA?

    Sounds like a trap!

     

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  51.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 9th, 2010 @ 11:39pm

    Re: The broken links

    The broken links refer back to some previous articles on ACTA. It appears that the URLs were changed when the excerpt was hosted on this site. No worries. I have provided the correct links below.

    Sorry, fixed. I didn't realized you didn't use the full path URLs in the part that I quoted.

     

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  52.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 9th, 2010 @ 11:50pm

    Re:

    The same tired arguments from the same small groups within the US

    Which you do nothing to respond to. Telling.

    Seriously, a second year law student citing such impeccable legal resources as Billboard, Wired, Techdirt, etc. represents "...an excellent job ripping apart...".

    Heh, when you have nothing substantive at all, denigrate the source, but fail to explain why any of them are wrong. Telling.

    Within the US, however, ACTA is not the "demon" so may of these groups would have people believe.

    How do you know this? I asked you this yesterday and you did not answer. None of us know this, because the USTR will not share what's in the document. How can you possibly claim that it's not when none of us know what's actually in the document?

    However, from what has leaked, it absolutely is bad, bad news. Perhaps the final document will be different, but for you to insist it's nothing to worry about is the most intellectually dishonest thing I've seen from you in a long long time -- and you have a long history of being intellectually dishonest in these discussions.

    Yes, executive agreements (which, BTW, do have the approval of the Supreme Court) do not require the advise and consent of the Senate. However, unlike a treaty, they do not carry the force and effect of law (See: Article VI of the US Constitution). This is an important point in that if any executive agreement may contain provisions in tension with substantive US law, those provisions can only be given the force and effect of law if they are enacted via our customary legislative process and signature by the President.

    Ha! You keep repeating that as if it's true, when even people I spoke to in the State Department admitted it's not the case at all. They said that an executive agreement is a treaty for all intents and purposes, and Congress treats it very much as such. You can keep pretending it's not, but that's intellectually dishonest. Pretty much everyone admits it's the same thing, and Congress absolutely will be heavily pressured to "comply with our international obligations."

    Now, some will say "But, boy, will Congress be put under pressure to cave." Maybe some in Congress will feel such pressure, but almost certainly those members are not members of the Judiciary Committees for the House and Senate. These committees have primacy over patent, trademark and copyright matters and are by no means pushovers in these areas of law. They protect their Article I "turf" (industry lobbying notwithstanding) from Presidential intrusion. Time and time again bills have been introduced proposing legislation that gives the "chicken littles" grist for their mill, and time and time such bills die in committee.


    You have a lot more faith in the Judiciary Committees than I do, having seen how they've handled many of these bills. Given how many times they've expanded copyright law, to suggest that they will suddenly push back? You clearly are looking at a different group of people.

    At some point in time a document may formally issue (its issuance is not a given), at which time no matter what it may say, it is the Congress that decides what will become and what will not US law.

    And, yet, if I recall correctly, you are one of the IP lawyers who always insists that we need to "live up to our international obligations," which is the dirtiest lobbying trick in the book. They write the agreements and then tell Congress we need to "live up to them."

    Sorry, but the arguments presented in the linked article and in its own links are not particularly persuasive since they are based on pure conjecture based upon early stage drafts that will be amended, and amended, and amended repeatedly to reflect issues raised by all parties to the ongoing discussions, not to mention that some of the documents repeatedly cited by the "chicken littles" are nothing more than hearsay summaries that are of dubious accuracy.

    Not persuasive, and yet you present NO evidence to the contrary. You just insist that day is night because you say so. Sorry, I would argue that the article, with detailed citations and explanations is a HELL of a lot more persuasive than a heavily biased IP lawyer who makes his living from such laws, too cowardly to sign his own name, simply claiming it's not persuasive, without a single citation, explanation or detail.

    Is that how you normally do business with your clients?

    Why not wait until a real text is presented before raising a hue and cry that demonizes ACTA?

    If you hadn't noticed, by then it's TOO LATE. By the time the "real text" is presented, it's been agreed to, and there's nothing that can be done. Do you really, honestly, not see that as a massive problem of democracy?

    I am prepared to let them do their job and critique their work later when I have something real in hand to examine.

    After it's too late to make any changes?!? Really? You are a piece of work.

     

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  53.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 10th, 2010 @ 12:00am

    Re:

    "The United States Trade Representative is seeking public comments on ACTA. Deadline for filing is February 16, 2010 by 5 p.m."

    Got a link?

    I have several comments on copyright and counterfeiting ... Big ole Grin ...

    Not knowing what ACTA is about "ahhem" I will use the UK's digital economy bull, future criminalization with jail time for copyright infringement, the total removal of fair use, three strikes, the loss of millions of lives due to pharma patents, etc as an outline to quote law and common sense.

    As I said before have you got a link to the USTRs request for public comment?

     

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  54.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 10th, 2010 @ 12:02am

    Re: Re:

    I have to do tee shirts like that ...

    GOT
    LINK?

     

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  55.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 10th, 2010 @ 12:18am

    Re: Re:

    "How do you know this? I asked you this yesterday and you did not answer. None of us know this, because the USTR will not share what's in the document. How can you possibly claim that it's not when none of us know what's actually in the document?"

    I had a great idea someone should ask the chinese government for under the table information. I mean they have hacked every computer sytem on the planet and it would be in their best interest to disclose ACTA to us. An increase in ISP monitoring would cause them all sorts of problems.

    Just a weird 3 AM thought.

     

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  56.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 10th, 2010 @ 12:26am

    Re: Re:

    Okay I have to do this from a psyche perspective ....

    AC - "Seriously, a second year law student citing such impeccable legal resources as Billboard, Wired, Techdirt, etc. represents "...an excellent job ripping apart...".

    MM - "Heh, when you have nothing substantive at all, denigrate the source, but fail to explain why any of them are wrong. Telling."

    Your comment is right on the money, no substance. He is extremely fearful and lashing out.

     

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  57.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 10th, 2010 @ 12:26am

    Re: Re:

    Okay I have to do this from a psyche perspective ....

    AC - "Seriously, a second year law student citing such impeccable legal resources as Billboard, Wired, Techdirt, etc. represents "...an excellent job ripping apart...".

    MM - "Heh, when you have nothing substantive at all, denigrate the source, but fail to explain why any of them are wrong. Telling."

    Your comment is right on the money, no substance. He is extremely fearful and lashing out.

     

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  58.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 10th, 2010 @ 1:05am

    Re: Re:

    Okay hit return twice wanting line feeds ... you guys have to take care of that flaw in your site ...

    Back to psych analysis ...

    AC - "Within the US, however, ACTA is not the "demon" so may of these groups would have people believe."

    MM - "How do you know this? I asked you this yesterday and you did not answer."

    A statement like AC's often is used to mis represesent the facts as a statement. "ACTA is not the "demon"" is actually a freudian slip the quotes give it away. If he slips up and believes it ...

    AC - "Yes, executive agreements (which, BTW, do have the approval of the Supreme Court) .... customary legislative process and signature by the President"

    This person is rationalizing to no end. He is probably a person with limited legal experience or a business type that doesnt understand the law. There is a bit of delusion there also.

    AC - "At some point in time a document may formally issue (its issuance is not a given), at which time no matter what it may say, it is the Congress that decides what will become and what will not US law."

    Yes that is true in some ways. Praying that your feeling of entitlement will exist for everdoes not mean it will go on. You were given a temporary monopoly one hundred plus years ago that will end. For ever and a day does not exist in an age of information and ever expanding storage capacity.

    "amended repeatedly to reflect issues raised by all parties to the ongoing discussions"

    This one is so easy. media-IP types are the only ones contributing to ACTA. So there are no other parties in the ongoing discussions.


    Conclusion ... this person does not see further than their pocket book. this person does not see the bigger picture that control is an illusion and control of others is impossible. This person believes that ACTA will save "the" industry, which ever industry that might be. There is a fear of exposure. There is a fear that this will break into prime time.

     

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  59.  
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    Mr RC (profile), Feb 10th, 2010 @ 2:24am

    Found on Slashdot

    http://www.publicknowledge.org/node/2891

    "Any member of the public is free to file comments. If you believe in the importance of balanced copyright policies, file comments with the USTR and make your voice heard."

    and

    "Comments can be filed electronically via http://www.regulations.gov, docket number USTR-2010-0003. You have to include the term “2010 Special 301 Review” in the “Type Comment and Upload File” field. More information about the Special 301 process is available here. Deadline for filing is February 16 by 5 p.m."

    Get to it... pass it around!

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    secret meetings, by Pinky and the Brain, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 5:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And yet again

    TAAM -> "Vote them out!!?? Are you kidding? Last time I checked the meeting involves a majority of non-elected officials."

    TAM -> "Who do you think appointed the non-elected officials?"

    - The non elected representatives appear to be from both the government and corporate worlds. I understand the reference to voting out those who appointed the gov reps ... although it is a rather silly suggestion. Not sure if it is being suggested that the same is applicable to the board room. Because shareholders have little influence in the selection of board members. It tends to be a good old boy circle jerk.

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 5:27am

    Re: Re: Re: And yet again

    "Condo board meeting"

    I can imagine what that was like, with you in attendance

     

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  62.  
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    martyburns (profile), Feb 10th, 2010 @ 5:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And yet again

    I thought you elected people to represent you. People who you can contact and let them know your opinion on different issues, people that (you're right) can choose to listen to me or not. The thing is.. How the f**k do I form an opinion on an issue if it is discussed secretly. How can my MP (or whatever the US has) make an informed opinion?

    How can there possibly be an arguement FOR secrecy?

     

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  63.  
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    martyburns (profile), Feb 10th, 2010 @ 5:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And yet again

    Having re-read after posting, Im wondering how anyone can 'make an informed opinion'...

    Mike can you add a grammar check to the edit box?

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 5:34am

    Re:

    Your links have nothing to do with ACTA. The USTR is seeking public comment on a different matter.

     

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  65.  
    identicon
    Paul Keating, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 6:31am

    Freedom Of Information Act

    Why has no one sued to obtain a copy under the FIA?

    And, as to executive agreements, recall that the copyright Czar is about to be (or has been) appointed in the UK. If I understand it correct, the UK law allows him to revise legislation regarding copyrights. So, while in the US there may be some issue of change of law, there certainly is no such barrier to the "agreement" becoming law in other jurisdictions.

     

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  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 6:44am

    Re: Re:

    I believe it is fair to say that most who provide comments to articles pertaining to ACTA are taking at face value what the author's of such articles are presenting concerning the so-called "leaked documents". The "best evidence" of a document is the document itself, and how one can denounce a document without even having read it is, to use your term, "intellectual dishonesty".

    Unlike most commenters, I actually read documents before expressing my views. In the case of ACTA, I have read all of what has been "leaked" to see for myself what all the fuss is about. The information I have gleaned from these documents has at best been underwhelming.

    My goodness, the documents reflect a desire by at least the US to consider secondary liability. I guess this means we here in the US will have to add this to our laws should secondary liability be incorporated into what may result from these discussions. Oh, wait, we already have secondary liability per Grokster. Seems a shame this little tidbit of information is not being passed along by all these article writers to those in the US who may be led to believe this would result in a change to substantive US law.

    Oh my gawd, they talk about ISP liability. Perhaps just as bad, they talk about anti-circumvention. What are we to do if these get into the final document? Ooops, we already have that in place in the US under the DMCA.

    Wow, "three strikes" is looming on the horizon and may very well become a legislative mandate. Oh no, why we might have to actually write the Fifth Amendment's requirement for due process right out of the Constitution.

    How horrible, the darn thing talks about fair use. Never mind, of course, that fair use in the US is already embodied in law and that the Supreme Court has this quaint notion that the First Amendment actually applies in matters dealing with US copyright law.

    Why this thing called ACTA might actually force the US to adopt law and procedures dealing with the importation of things into the US. Silly me, and here I thought this was firmly esconsed in US law...your know, that law that is well known to unfairly give patent holders an alternative bite of the infringement "apple".

    The list goes on, and on, and on ad infinitum.

    Let's cut to the chase. Of course content industries in the US are concerned that outside the US certain foreign countries pay lip service to certain obligations specified in long ago negotiated formal treaties. How dare they think that other countries should stop paying lip service and get with the program? How dare they think that foreign citizens are enabled to secure within the US the very same rights under US law provided to US citizens? How dare they think that reciprocity should even be a part of any discussions under a trade agreement?

    I feel like a complete dinosaur thinking for even a moment that US law embodies a system of checks and balances, all of which in the final analysis must comport with that pesky document we call the US Constitution. Hey, the thing is only a statement of policy that the executive and legislative branches are free to ignore whenever it conflicts with a course of action they desire to pursue.

    Color me singularly unimpressed with the contents of these leaked documents as they relate to US law.

    Perhpas it is wishful thinking, but how nice it would be for just one of these article writing "chicken littles" to actually focus their hue and cry arguments to explain why they believe US law will have to be changed to incorporate legal concepts that are already incorporated into US law. Or is it, perhaps, that they it easier to toss their ramblings against a wall and hope that one of their "the sky is falling" arguments sticks and strikes a responsive chord with commenters to their articles. This is fear mongering at its worst, and for this they should be ashamed.

    If they have a valid, substantive point then they should raise it and demonstrate by reference to federal statutes and judicial interpretations of those statutes why their point truly conflicts with US law. Thus far they have failed miserably in this regard, with their "this is terrible" rants being little more than internet gossip.

     

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  67.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Feb 10th, 2010 @ 6:55am

    Question

    What is the difference between an Executive Agreement and an Executive Order? Because if the answer is nothing, BOY do I have some information for you....

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    bikey, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 7:01am

    Re:

    I hope someone is paying you to say all this. Otherwise, do go out and get a real job (and I'm willing to bet good money it won't be as a lawyer) - it's getting a tad boring for the rest of us.

     

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  69.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Feb 10th, 2010 @ 7:07am

    Re: Secrecy

    > Why not wait until a real text is presented before raising a hue
    > and cry that demonizes ACTA?

    Why not open up the process to public discussion and participation instead of just lobbyists and industry reps-- you know, the way it's supposed to work in a free society?

     

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  70.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 7:29am

    Re: Question

    Two different things altogether. The former pertains to dealings with foreign governments, whereas the latter are limited to application within the US and typically pertain to guidance provided to lower echelons in the executive branch.

     

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  71.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 7:40am

    Re: Re: Question

    PS - Executive Orders signed by the President are typically not a big deal. If, however, you are inclined to level significant criticism at the executive branch, you may want to read up on Presidential Signing Statements. In essence Congress passes a law, the President does not like what some of the law says but signs it anyway, and then notes along with his signature those portions of the law he essentially plans to blow off and go his own way.

     

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  72.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 7:49am

    Re: Re: Secrecy

    Transparency is a laudable goal, but in matters of foreign policy (of which trade agreements are a sub-class) the surest way to ensure nothing ever happens (ACTA or otherwise) is to bring several thousand people to the table.

    What in my view should happen in the case of ACTA is a non-binding Agreement in Principle between the various countries, which agreement would then be presented for public comment and legislative input within each country. Areas of contention could then be examined and direction provided for needed amendments so that ultimately an acceptable binding agreement is prepared and signed.

     

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  73.  
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    yozoo, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 7:57am

    realistic

    "will force Congress to finally reassert its long neglected Treaty Power and curtail the use of executive agreements."

    Thats funny, if its not about filling thier coffers (bringing pork home - assisting doners) todays congress wont touch it. Congressmen wont risk exposure on an issue simply becuase its good or bad for the country.

     

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  74.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Feb 10th, 2010 @ 8:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Question

    "Presidential Signing Statements"

    Those I know all about. Bush had some kind of sick number of them....

     

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  75.  
    identicon
    Andrew Moshirnia, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 8:08am

    Re: Re: The broken links

    No worries. Thanks Mike.

     

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  76.  
    identicon
    Anony1, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 8:51am

    @TAM: Hey you really are pathetic. You can't make a substanative argument, so you go and make ad hominem attacks on Mike? You really are above the fray right?
    Spare us from your ilk please and bash your head into a wall please. That will at least give us five minutes without you while you're passed out...

     

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  77.  
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    anymouse (profile), Feb 10th, 2010 @ 9:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Nothing to see here... move along

    Nothing to see here folks, just move along, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

    WOW, I feel so much better now that you have cleared everything up for me. I mean obviously if everything in ACTA is covered by existing laws, then nothing will change and there is no reason for ACTA at all, right?

    The very fact that ACTA is being pushed as hard as it is gives credibility to the fact that some insiders feel that things need to be changed and this is the way to make those changes, or why bother with a secret 'executive agreement' that's not going to change anything in the first place?

    The sheer amount of time and effort that's going into ACTA (and 'trying' to keep it a secret until it's already passed) pretty much guarantees that it's going to change things (or why bother with it in the first place).

    I'd love for some of the article writing 'chicken littles' to be able to focus their arguments on the laws that will actually be changed, and as soon as the actual documents are released, I'm sure they will, but since everything is being done in secret, there's not much they can actually focus on right now is there?

    Intellectually Dishonest much?

     

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  78.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Feb 10th, 2010 @ 9:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Secrecy

    > the surest way to ensure nothing ever happens (ACTA or otherwise)
    > is to bring several thousand people to the table

    But you have no problem bringing several hundred industry reps to the table, all the while claiming it's because copyright agreement is a matter of national security and the discussions are classified.

    Well, if that's the case, then allowing a bunch of reps from the entertainment industry into the proceedings is a crime because none of them have the security clearances necessary to have access to classified intelligence information.

    Basically this whole thing is nothing but a huge put-on, surrounded by lies and bullshit. There's no national security issues involved here. It's just a bunch of big business lobbyists meeting in secret to figure out the best way to push through their agenda into law and the last thing they want is public scrutiny or public participation because they see the public as their adversary.

    That's not the way this government is supposed to run.

    > What in my view should happen in the case of ACTA is a
    > non-binding Agreement in Principle between the various
    > countries, which agreement would then be presented for
    > public comment

    Fine. Then kick the industry lobbyists out of the process and let the government officials do their jobs uninfluenced by either side. If it's too "messy" for the public and the media to be involved, then it ought to be too "messy" for the industry as well.

     

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

  79.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Feb 10th, 2010 @ 9:39am

    Re: Comment

    > The United States Trade Representative is seeking public
    > comments on ACTA.

    The USTR isn't seeking public comment in nearly the same way it's seeking entertainment industry comment. The public is invited to make a filing with the bureaucracy which will likely never even be read. Just shoved in a cabinet somewhere by a low-level functionary.

    The industry is invited into the actual negotiations and invited to comment to the actual government officials as they write the agreement. The industry is invited to wine and dine and play golf with those officials and press their case over a 4-star feast.

    The public is afforded no such direct access to either the proceedings or the officials.

    Pretty much the opposite of the way the government is supposed to work.

     

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  80.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 10:11am

    Re: Re: Re:

    ACTA won't change anything so don't worry about ACTA? Then why even waste all that taxpayer money on secret negotiations that won't change anything?

    That's fucking retarded.

     

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

  81.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 10:12am

    Re: Re:

    You can still mention ACTA. They have to read your submission.

     

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

  82.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 10:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The impact of ACTA is largely directed to foreign countries having laws and/or practices that tend to deviate from the laws and practices of the countries currently involved with ACTA. In a very crude sense, it reflects an attempt to establish basic rules that other countries will be expected to generally follow if the want to engage in the import/export business with the "big boys".

     

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

  83.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 10:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Secrecy

    In an earlier article on this site is a link to the various persons and their affiliation who have been provided access to the ongoing negotiations. Some are from the content industries. Some are from the ISP side of the house. Some are members of public interest groups that have been calling for transparency.

    To suggest that only the content industries are involved is inaccurate.

     

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

  84.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 10:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So that's why China and India aren't involved. That makes total fucking sense!

     

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

  85.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 10:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Secrecy

    Who wrote ACTA? Was it Public Knowledge? The EFF? The people? No?

    Then who wrote ACTA?

     

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

  86.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 10th, 2010 @ 11:16am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I believe it is fair to say that most who provide comments to articles pertaining to ACTA are taking at face value what the author's of such articles are presenting concerning the so-called "leaked documents". The "best evidence" of a document is the document itself, and how one can denounce a document without even having read it is, to use your term, "intellectual dishonesty".

    You are confusing two different points in an effort to mislead people, and that's incredibly intellectually dishonest.

    There is the secrecy aspect and there is the contents of the document. The leaked documents do suggest attempts to push US law beyond what it currently is, often by removing safe harbors and consumer protections. We agree that the documents may change over time, but the initial leaked drafts were certainly worrisome.

    But the bigger issue is the secrecy, which shows what the INTENT of these negotiations are, which is to hide what is being put into the content.

    No one doubts that at the end the documents may be different, but think that the public should be a PART of those discussions to make sure what comes out at the end is reasonable and does not impact US law.

    That's why we and others have raised serious questions about what HAS leaked -- because it IS of such great concern.

    Your response is, frankly, disgusting. You say that no one should comment on the document until it's too late?

    Sorry, that's now how democracy works.

    Unlike most commenters, I actually read documents before expressing my views. In the case of ACTA, I have read all of what has been "leaked" to see for myself what all the fuss is about. The information I have gleaned from these documents has at best been underwhelming.

    That is an opinion and we disagree. Perhaps you are unfamiliar with how these processes usually work (most likely, from your explanation here), but the word choices and what's NOT included is quite telling. This is a carefully orchestrated attempt to push certain elements directly into US law that are NOT here now, often by REMOVING protections. So, of course they worded the document so that folks like yourself, unsophisticated in how these things work, might say "but that's no different than current law," but what it actually does is set up the mechanism to require changes to US law that remove consumer protections and safe harbors.

    My goodness, the documents reflect a desire by at least the US to consider secondary liability. I guess this means we here in the US will have to add this to our laws should secondary liability be incorporated into what may result from these discussions. Oh, wait, we already have secondary liability per Grokster. Seems a shame this little tidbit of information is not being passed along by all these article writers to those in the US who may be led to believe this would result in a change to substantive US law.

    Um, now you're just outright lying, which is really slimey. We have discussed secondary liability, at great length, including how it has entered into US law via Grokster. But what is included in ACTA drafts goes beyond what is currently the standard under US law.

    Oh my gawd, they talk about ISP liability. Perhaps just as bad, they talk about anti-circumvention. What are we to do if these get into the final document? Ooops, we already have that in place in the US under the DMCA.


    Again, this is blatantly misleading. We do have ASPECTS of that in the DMCA, but the DMCA has built in consumer protections (not enough, mind you), where what is proposed in ACTA DOES NOT.

    And that's on purpose.

    Wow, "three strikes" is looming on the horizon and may very well become a legislative mandate. Oh no, why we might have to actually write the Fifth Amendment's requirement for due process right out of the Constitution.

    Ha! If only that were true. And yet, as you say this, the MPAA and RIAA have been lobbying for a non-due process three strikes effort around the world, including in the US. I just spoke last week to some folks on Capitol Hill who had a proposal FROM THE MPAA to push for three strikes.

    Due process? Sounds good, but there are plans underfoot to remove it.

    Hopefully the courts will block it, but ACTA is a part of the process to get it done. The RIAA and the MPAA are both quite certain that with ACTA's help, they will have a wedge to push for three strikes laws in the US. I've heard this from people involved directly, that the RIAA looks to ACTA as the lever to push through 3 strikes.

    Pretending otherwise is being willfully ignorant.

    Let's cut to the chase. Of course content industries in the US are concerned that outside the US certain foreign countries pay lip service to certain obligations specified in long ago negotiated formal treaties. How dare they think that other countries should stop paying lip service and get with the program? How dare they think that foreign citizens are enabled to secure within the US the very same rights under US law provided to US citizens? How dare they think that reciprocity should even be a part of any discussions under a trade agreement?


    Wow, spoken like a true lobbyist. Have you really signed up for their program? That's a really nice positioning statement and if it had any basis in reality, it might be nice.

    See, but even you are proving my point. Once you have "international obligations" you get lobbyists who twist them into protectionism.

    Perhpas it is wishful thinking, but how nice it would be for just one of these article writing "chicken littles" to actually focus their hue and cry arguments to explain why they believe US law will have to be changed to incorporate legal concepts that are already incorporated into US law. Or is it, perhaps, that they it easier to toss their ramblings against a wall and hope that one of their "the sky is falling" arguments sticks and strikes a responsive chord with commenters to their articles. This is fear mongering at its worst, and for this they should be ashamed.

    No, we've explained in great detail why this is of concern. That you appear to be willfully ignorant of how this process works, well, that's really not our problem.

    If they have a valid, substantive point then they should raise it

    We did, and you said to shut up until the document is done.

    That's not how this works.

    demonstrate by reference to federal statutes and judicial interpretations of those statutes why their point truly conflicts with US law. Thus far they have failed miserably in this regard, with their "this is terrible" rants being little more than internet gossip.

    *Sigh* This has been done repeatedly. But bringing up specific statutes misses the point, again, which is the ability to use this as a wedge to make existing law worse by removing protections and safe harbors.

    I recognize that perhaps in your role as a patent attorney, you aren't familiar with how these things work, but taking their side through ignorance is just a shame.

    But

     

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

  87.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Feb 10th, 2010 @ 11:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Secrecy

    > In an earlier article on this site is a link to the various persons
    > and their affiliation who have been provided access to the
    > ongoing negotiations.

    The only article I remember where anyone other than the favored industry lobbyists were given access was the one in Mexico, where the public attendees were told they had to sign NDAs (fat lot of good it does giving "the public" access when you won't let their reps talk about anything they see or hear with the world at large) and a blogger got kicked out for daring to send a Twitter message about the proceedings.

    If this is what you mean by "public access", then I can only conclude that you have a significantly different definition of that term than the rest of the English-speaking world.

     

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

  88.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Feb 10th, 2010 @ 11:25am

    Re: Found on Slashdot

    As mentioned, this is not about ACTA: "2010 Special 301 Review: Identification of Countries Under
    Section 182 of the Trade Act of 1974". It's about identifying countries that permit raporism.

    http://www.regulations.gov/search/Regs/home.html#documentDetail?R=0900006480a7dc9b

    T here is info up about ACTA, but as far as I can tell it's just comments by corporations.

    http://www.regulations.gov/search/Regs/home.html#searchResults?Ne=11+8+8053+8098+80 74+8066+8084+1&Ntt=USTR-2010-0003&Ntk=All&Ntx=mode+matchall&N=0

     

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

  89.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 12:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Probably for the same reason they are not, so I understand, involved in the AGW debate and greehouse emissions cap discussions. As time passes, however, they will have no choice but to become involved.

     

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

  90.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 12:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It is at times like this when I long for Tom Sydnor to weigh in with his admittedly "unique" style of debate.

     

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

  91.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 1:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    How will they have no choice? Can you see into the future?

     

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

  92.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Feb 10th, 2010 @ 2:13pm

    I think it would be much easier to point out to these so-called 'terrorists' the location of all the meetings about ACTA.

    Leak it to the Underweb or something similar, and watch the sparks fly.

     

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

  93.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 2:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No (as much as I wish it was possible); however, I can look at the past and draw from it the likely outcome of a future event. In matters pertaining to international trade this is not particularly difficult to do.

     

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

  94.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 10th, 2010 @ 3:00pm

    What we should do ...

    ...is ask mike to create a page and post the UK's digital economy bill section by section to it. Since ACTA and UK's DEB are so similar in theory, and where ACTA might go further we add to it. We could then crowd source our response to it, which companies should be notified to take a stand, the reasons why these companies bottom lines will be impacted, a contact list for these companies to get them involved, the legal and constitutional ramifications of each section, the unintended consequences.

    Or instead of mike doing this we could do it as a wiki blog combo. Can someone send me a link to a good free wiki site and free blog site.

     

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

  95.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 4:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Now try the same thing regarding art and culture. It's going in the opposite direction that the lawyers feel it should go.

    Who do you think is going to win? The public and the artists or the governments and the lawyers?

     

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

  96.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 10th, 2010 @ 5:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It is at times like this when I long for Tom Sydnor to weigh in with his admittedly "unique" style of debate.


    Heh. Does he still have a job? I've yet to find anyone who actually takes Tom seriously. Last time I was in DC whenever his name came up -- even from people who are *on his side* of the debate, eyes rolled and everyone said "no one takes anything he says seriously."

     

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

  97.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 6:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Actually, people do take him seriously...it is just his "unique" style of debate that may raise some eyebrows.

    Once you are adept at casting aside the rhetoric and focus just on the points being made it becomes quite clear that he does know what he is talking about. As with any discussion, there are always opposing views...and particularly among lawyers who seem to enjoy playing "what if" games. However, just because one may be on the opposite side of an issue from Tom, it would be a serious mistake to dismiss his substantive comments.

     

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

  98.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 10th, 2010 @ 6:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    However, just because one may be on the opposite side of an issue from Tom, it would be a serious mistake to dismiss his substantive comments.

    If he had substantive comments, that would be great, but they seem pretty rare. In my experience, when you actually dig into what he says, he takes things totally out of context, misquotes people, and then makes conclusions totally the opposite of what was actually said.

    I wish it were otherwise, but every time I've dug into anything he's written, the real facts are so far off the mark, that it makes him a joke.

    I am curious, though, as to who takes him seriously? I mean, I used to think people did too, but in talking about it with people who support what he's tryign to do, I honestly had multiple people say that they couldn't take him seriously after some of his work was torn apart so thoroughly. Some people who have relied on him in the past got seriously burned, and they regret it now.

     

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

  99.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 11:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Actually, people do take him seriously...it is just his "unique" style of debate that may raise some eyebrows.

    Hi, Tom!

     

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

  100.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Feb 11th, 2010 @ 8:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "If you toss out most of his argument, it makes sense!"
    FTFY

     

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

  101.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2010 @ 9:25pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "The "best evidence" of a document is the document itself, and how one can denounce a document without even having read it is, to use your term, "intellectual dishonesty"."

    It is not dishonest to criticize or reject a document that passes laws without public consent. In fact, it's not only not intellectually dishonest, it's the right thing to do.

     

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

  102.  
    icon
    maxi666 (profile), Nov 25th, 2010 @ 1:04am

    RE

    Executive Agreement would just make it easier for corrupted politicians to do what they want.

     

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

  103.  
    identicon
    Pigeon Racing, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 8:48pm

    RE

    So whether it's Asian countries or European countries or even in the US, we can't seem to escape corruption.

     

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


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