Google Lawyer Says ACTA Is 'Cultural Imperialism'

from the going-too-far dept

With the official release of ACTA finally out, it's good to see various organizations speaking out against the many problems found in the draft agreement. We've already covered the detailed arguments against ACTA supported by numerous organizations. And now, a Google lawyer, Daphne Keller, has spoken out harshly against ACTA as well, calling it "cultural imperialism" that had "metastasized" and "grown in the shadows, Gollum-like," from a document that was supposed to just be about dealing with counterfeit goods at the border, to a serious challenge to copyright laws around the globe. And, indeed, it is a form of cultural imperialism, in that it seeks to export certain aspects of US copyright law around the globe... while critically leaving out the consumer protections and necessary exceptions. I wonder if the USTR, who is negotiating the agreement on behalf of the US will put up Keller's words on their website next to the entertainment industry letters in support of ACTA that it's put on the USTR website? Or, does the USTR only listen to Hollywood on this particular topic?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2010 @ 7:02am

    if google isnt liking it, then it is probably a good idea to support acta. no evil indeed.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2010 @ 7:06am

    "from a document that was supposed to just be about dealing with counterfeit goods at the border"

    No, I'm pretty sure it's current incarnation was the intent all along.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2010 @ 7:07am

    Re:

    Why did I mess that up? It's == it is. I mean "its"; possessive.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2010 @ 7:09am

    Re:

    True, what's good for Google isn't good for the people. But is something that is bad for Google bad for the people too? In the case of ACTA, yes.

     

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  5.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), May 10th, 2010 @ 7:19am

    Re: O Rly?

    Quick, (try to) name one way in which Google has screwed you over...

    Now, name 10 ways in which the government has screwed you over...

    Where's is your logic? Do you work for Micro$oft or something?

     

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  6.  
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    out_of_the_blue, May 10th, 2010 @ 7:20am

    Irrelevant objection to make Google appear to be for freedom.

    Instead of substance on ACTA stealing individual liberties and expanding copyright into a police-state tool. Sheer PR.

     

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  7.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), May 10th, 2010 @ 7:26am

    Welcome to the new globalism

    If we learned anything from the past two thousand years or so, it's that globalism via military conquest is difficult if not impossible. In all reality, the idea behind globalism is control and power. In years past, those seeking to control with power were monarchists/despots looking to profit by gripping the world. Today, with the emergence of democracy/republics/socialist states, power no longer rests in single families or dynasts. Now that power rests almost singularly in national and multi-national corporations.

    War is messy. Exerting your control through semi-willing compliance via one-sided trade agreements do what wars never could: they exert influence and control in a way that invites far less pushback. Trade is the new armed imperialism....

     

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  8.  
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    crade (profile), May 10th, 2010 @ 7:27am

    You don't have to dig very deep to see that ACTA's goal is to help force agreement on copyright legislation from countries that haven't been agreeing democratically.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2010 @ 7:27am

    In the ongoing battle between various factions concerning copyright law, in large measure movie and recorded music companies and search engine companies sit on opposite sides of the fence. Thus, it is hardly surprising that one side of the debate supports many of the principles underlying ACTA and the other side does not. Google, of course, is one on the other side, not because of some idealistic principle, but because of the most pragmatic consideration of all as a large corporate entity; namely, minimizing potential exposure to liability.

    Quite frankly, I do not see this as a position by Google in support of the "little guy". Instead, I see it as a position in support of Google. Any benefit accorded to others by Google's position is purely coincidental, and not intentional.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2010 @ 7:27am

    In the ongoing battle between various factions concerning copyright law, in large measure movie and recorded music companies and search engine companies sit on opposite sides of the fence. Thus, it is hardly surprising that one side of the debate supports many of the principles underlying ACTA and the other side does not. Google, of course, is one on the other side, not because of some idealistic principle, but because of the most pragmatic consideration of all as a large corporate entity; namely, minimizing potential exposure to liability.

    Quite frankly, I do not see this as a position by Google in support of the "little guy". Instead, I see it as a position in support of Google. Any benefit accorded to others by Google's position is purely coincidental, and not intentional.

     

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

  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2010 @ 7:28am

    Why the double post eludes me.

     

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  12.  
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    Joel (profile), May 10th, 2010 @ 7:45am

    Google??

    Is Google actually backing this or is this person just stating her opinion??

     

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  13.  
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    Bob Vila, May 10th, 2010 @ 8:18am

    Re: Re: O Rly?

    Well done.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2010 @ 8:22am

    Re:

    Agreed, but coincidental support is better than none at all.

     

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  15.  
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    ChrisB, May 10th, 2010 @ 8:43am

    Re:

    As the old proverb goes: "The enemy of my enemy is my friend". Any enemy of ACTA and the RIAA/MPAA at this point gets my full support.

     

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  16.  
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    Comboman, May 10th, 2010 @ 9:24am

    Cease and Desist !!

    "cultural imperialism" that had "metastasized" and "grown in the shadows, Gollum-like"

    Prepare to receive a cease-and-desist letter from the Tolkien estate for your unauthorized use of their character.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Freedom, May 10th, 2010 @ 9:37am

    Way to go Google!

    I'm not sure why there is a growing tide of a fear with Google. Yes, they are extremely competitive and yes they are extremely capitalistic, but those things aren't evil. If/when they grow too big, they'll be knocked back a peg or two just like Microsoft was. Until then, at least they are balancing the cr*p coming out of Apple and giving us some options for a change. I don't know about you, but living in a would of Apple Nazis isn't for me.

    One of the awesome things I've seen out of Google that encourages me to believe that their core DNA is still intact is their pull out from China and now this.

    You may not like a company that makes money or competes, but Google is one of the few companies I know that is able to balance pure self interest/profits vs. 'do no evil'.

    Freedom

    P.S. If Google is evil, what does that make Steve Jobs/Apple - uber evil x 5? I don't see them speaking out against this... Oh that right, they are too busy going off on Adobe.

     

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  18.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), May 10th, 2010 @ 10:04am

    Re: Welcome to the new globalism

    "Exerting your control through semi-willing compliance via one-sided trade agreements do what wars never could: they exert influence and control in a way that invites far less pushback. Trade is the new armed imperialism...."

    I agree but do have to point out one thing. It works for material items, it does not work for information. Information doesnt have a material form, it is the song running incessantly through your head, one plus one equals two, a poem by T S Eliot, gossip, and any idea or concept. Information is intrinsically, and by it very nature, something that can not be embargoed. Any attempt to prevent the spread of information has historically not worked or caused the loss of infomation.

    Humans are social creatures that for about 100,000 years as we have shared information. In 1440 the first movable type printing press was invented. By the late 1600's the printing press had spread all over europe. In on 10 April 1710 the Statute of Anne entered into force. Copyright is an artificial restriction on the flow of information that only came about due to the creation and spread of the printing press.

    It is in our nature to share information, and any artificial attempts to prevent this sharing are doomed to failure. Which is why I dont really worry much about ACTA. In 20 years when ACTA is shown to be an total and complete failure that doesnt deter or even slow down infringement a smarter form of copyright will evolve. More than likely way before 20 years.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2010 @ 11:32am

    Re: Welcome to the new globalism

    globalism by google is simple. soon you will use your google phone to call your google friends at the google pizza place to come meet you at the google bar and talk about new google betas, from anywhere in the world. the borg will assimilate you.

     

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  20.  
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    Bengie, May 10th, 2010 @ 11:36am

    Crimes against humanity

    "In 20 years when ACTA is shown to be an total and complete failure[...]"

    At which point everyone involved with this should be charged with crimes against humanity and all records of them and their families should be removed such that they "no longer exist".

     

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  21.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), May 10th, 2010 @ 11:42am

    Re: Crimes against humanity

    Actually you could probably do the crimes against humanity thing against the pharma companies. How many people have died because of their quest for profits and peoples inability to pay 5 dollars for a pill that costs 5 cents to make. All because they have a monopoly on the sale of a specific drug for 15 years.

     

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  22.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), May 10th, 2010 @ 12:28pm

    Re:

    In the ongoing battle between various factions concerning copyright law, in large measure movie and recorded music companies and search engine companies sit on opposite sides of the fence. Thus, it is hardly surprising that one side of the debate supports many of the principles underlying ACTA and the other side does not.

    Hmm. That would only be true *if* you're admitting that the gov't is picking one particular industry to prop up. That doesn't seem right, does it?

    Besides, I didn't say it was surprising that Google is against ACTA. I said it was good that many companies are speaking out against ACTA, because the gov't had positioned this as "supporting industry."

    Google, of course, is one on the other side, not because of some idealistic principle, but because of the most pragmatic consideration of all as a large corporate entity; namely, minimizing potential exposure to liability.

    Who said otherwise?

    Quite frankly, I do not see this as a position by Google in support of the "little guy".

    Again, who said otherwise?

     

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  23.  
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    crade (profile), May 10th, 2010 @ 1:03pm

    Re:

    It's still the truth. Don't believe Google, check.

     

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  24.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), May 10th, 2010 @ 3:04pm

    Re: Re: Welcome to the new globalism

    Right. Utter monopoly.

    Because it would be impossible for you to, instead, use your (Apple/Nokia/Symbian/HP Palm/MSFT/Samsung BADA) phone to call your (Facebook/Twitter/Foursquare/Gowalla/LinkedIn) friends at the (Pizza Hut/Domono's/Little Ceasars/Papa Johns) pizza place to come meet you at the (Ghost/Rain/Tangerine/TGIF/corner) bar and talk about new (Justin Bieber/Timberlake/Rihanna/50 Cent) riffs, from anywhere in the world.

    All Google products have viable competitors, with low switching costs between them, and low barriers to entry in most cases. Nothing like Telecom, desktop OS, local utilities, Ticketmaster, or other monopolies. Study the differences between "monopoly" and "search industry market share".

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2010 @ 4:42pm

    Re: Re: Welcome to the new globalism

    You are wrong.
    That is all.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    A Crill, May 10th, 2010 @ 7:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Welcome to the new globalism

    Who is 'you'?

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    Marcel, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 8:08am

    Re: Re:

    No Acta is definatly bad, itīs worse than SOPA assuming you are familiar with it

     

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


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