Obama Reiterates Support For ACTA, As More People Point Out How Far ACTA Is From The Purpose Of Copyright

from the bad-thinking dept

A few months back, President Obama publicly stood behind ACTA despite tons of concerns about it from the public. It's disappointing that as more and more concerns and problems with ACTA have been highlighted, Obama has not reconsidered. He still seems to be taking the position that "more copyright must be good, and ACTA therefore is good." That's a naive position. The group Open ACTA points us to a statement made by Obama in Mexico, concerning better trade relations with Mexico, where he again insists that ACTA is a key part of better trade relations:
Innovation and investment in technology and human capital are keys to sustained economic growth and competitiveness in both Mexico and the United States. The protection of intellectual property rights is essential to promote such innovation and investment. With this in mind, the Presidents charged their administrations to work together to formalize and expand the efforts of the existing bilateral Intellectual Property Rights Working Group. These efforts will include industry training (including of small and medium size enterprises); work between Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) to streamline patent reviews; and collaboration, training and increased intelligence sharing among law enforcement agencies to enforce intellectual property rights more effectively. The Presidents also reaffirmed their commitment to the negotiation of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement and charged their administrations to conclude these negotiations soon.
But, this blind assertion that stricter copyright enforcement without key exceptions and consumer protections that actually contribute more value to the economy than copyright restrictions, isn't just wrong, it goes against the very purpose of copyright law.

Hephaestus points us to a submission to the Australian government, by the Australian Digital Alliance, that does a great job highlighting the negative impact of ACTA (pdf) and how it goes against basic copyright law:
"The text of ACTA does not reflect one of the most important objectives of copyright -- to ensure access to information for the benefit of society. Protecting creators to encourage continued innovation is only one half of the copyright equation, ACTA fails to recognise the dual purpose of copyright."
The whole submission is worth reading, as it highlights all sorts of serious issues with ACTA and the impact it would have:
ACTA might have a negative impact on individuals as Internet citizens and as consumers of digital technologies because some of its requirements go beyond Australian law. ACTA will facilitate excessive damages payouts by mandating the controversial 'lost sale analysis' for the assessment of damages and encouraging punitive style statutory damages that set arbitrary amounts for infringement. ACTA will also broaden the scope of commercial scale infringement to criminalise purely private acts that occur in the homes of some Australians....

ACTA might have a negative impact on intermediaries that will damage Australia's digital economy by diminishing Internet innovation, the free flow of information and legitimate commerce. ACTA provides for the unqualified award of injunctions against intermediaries, which creates new rights with significant potential for abuse and cost implications for ISPs. ACTA defines where third party liability will be imposed, which is a highly controversial issue that requires the flexibility of being dealt with at a domestic level. ACTA will burden intermediaries with more onerous requirements for safe harbour protection that may encourage three strikes.
What's most frustrating about all of this is that it really does appear that many ACTA supporters are simply going by the boilerplate myth that "stronger copyright protection" is "good for society," without ever once bothering to understand the details and why such a statement isn't just wrong, but dangerous.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2010 @ 5:33am

    Meet the new boss...

    ...Same as the old boss.

     

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

  2.  
    icon
    Ima Fish (profile), May 20th, 2010 @ 5:38am

    The main problem with all IP treaties is that copyrights and patents are government granted monopolies. Accordingly, governments should not forced or compelled to grant such monopolies. Treaties such as the ACTA turn such monopolies into a mandated inflexible right.

     

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

  3.  
    identicon
    John Doe, May 20th, 2010 @ 5:40am

    Probably no hope for change...

    Unfortunately, IP is about the only left that the US produces so the belief is that if we can stop other countries from copying our IP, we might have a viable economy in the future. Like you said though, IP protection is necessarily needed and most likely is a detriment. But since we don't have a government that looks at the facts but rather the checkbooks of private interests, we have little hope for change.

     

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

  4.  
    identicon
    John Doe, May 20th, 2010 @ 5:47am

    Re: Probably no hope for change...

    That should have read "isn't necessarily needed".

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    Ian_M, May 20th, 2010 @ 5:59am

    Obama will have this as item number one on his agenda during a visit to Canberra next month. But as someone familar with the way things work in Australia and the Pacific region, he knows that not only is this is not going to be easy, it is Australia that holds the key to the Asia Pacific region. Already the major movie companies have lost a landmark case against an Australian ISP and there's not much chance that ACTA's attack on freedom of innovation will be any more cussessful. The U.S. will need to compromise its currently dumb position on this and Obama knows it.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2010 @ 6:49am

    The U.S. really needs to stop trying to bully everyone else into doing things the way it thinks things should be done. I'm so glad I don't live in that backwards ass country.

     

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

  7.  
    icon
    Improbus (profile), May 20th, 2010 @ 7:04am

    Disappointment

    I have been disappointed by this man for the last time. I won't be voting for him again.

     

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

  8.  
    identicon
    sam, May 20th, 2010 @ 7:06am

    IP is about the only left that the US produces except for the fact that constant recalls due to toxic and poisonous materials. the cost of shipping from china to america, and the fact that instead of reforming they just execut people and that china is now allowing workers to sue for health problems. a lot of manufacturers are choosing to return to america.

     

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

  9.  
    identicon
    John Doe, May 20th, 2010 @ 7:20am

    Re:

    I am glad you don't either. As for me, I quite like it here. Not a perfect country by any means, but the best one there is at the moment. ;)

     

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

  10.  
    identicon
    Michael, May 20th, 2010 @ 7:20am

    Re:

    "Obama knows it"

    I would not assume he knows anything. So far, he has proven time and again that he is pretty useless when it comes to original thought.

     

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

  11.  
    identicon
    Michael, May 20th, 2010 @ 7:21am

    Re: Re:

    We are just due for a little bit of revolution.

     

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

  12.  
    icon
    crade (profile), May 20th, 2010 @ 7:32am

    Re: Disappointment

    What is your choice? McCain had an even worse stance on the issue as I recall.

     

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

  13.  
    icon
    Dan (profile), May 20th, 2010 @ 8:12am

    The wrong word

    The president is using the word innovation. What he means is invention.

     

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

  14.  
    identicon
    NAMELESS.ONE, May 20th, 2010 @ 8:21am

    drop terms to 14 years or FUCK OFF

    society if you haven't figured it out you twit for brain politicians has had enough of the bribery, the scam profit taking and taxation on culture

    SO 14 year terms OR FUCK OFF

     

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

  15.  
    identicon
    NAMELESS.ONE, May 20th, 2010 @ 8:26am

    AND wihtout ACTA USA tanks economically why?

    WHY? cause they have and are investing so much into IP that to fail means they fail utterly
    the all your eggs in one basket now that literally all manufacturing is done elsewhere

    YOU DID IT TO YOUR SELVES USA
    copyright is granted by society and your abuse and attempts at subverting MY GOVT will fail. TREASONOUS politicians that pander to american interests over there own citizens should be taken out and just shot.

    THAT would end this bullshit once and for all.

     

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

  16.  
    identicon
    NAMELESS.ONE, May 20th, 2010 @ 8:30am

    also "CHANGE"

    it was not supposed to men CHANGE IN THE MPAA/RIAA pockets
    ya know now that avatar has made 3 billion is there not some idea that they could give it away freely now?

    have you not taken enough form society?
    MORE you want more now?

    seriously why not allow 25% profit and leave it at that.
    this also makes things controlled for abuse

    see there are ideas that work

     

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

  17.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), May 20th, 2010 @ 8:30am

    Unintended Consequences and third party liability ...

    "ACTA provides for the unqualified award of injunctions against intermediaries, which creates new rights with significant potential for abuse and cost implications for ISPs. ACTA defines where third party liability will be imposed, which is a highly controversial issue that requires the flexibility of being dealt with at a domestic level. ACTA will burden intermediaries with more onerous requirements for safe harbour protection that may encourage three strikes."

    Everyone is putting forth the bad points of ACTA. I see this as a glass half full scenario. In which there is and accelerated failure of the key players in ACTA.

    Several key points of ACTA, loss of safe harbour for ISPs, three strikes, and third party liability have unintended consequences that are detrimental to the Media production and distribution industries.

    The big one being the possibility of individual ISPs and web sites fully blocking all content from the Music, TV, and movie studios. The technology already exists, it is used to identify songs on the iPhone.

    The second one which we have seen in Australia in bars, restaraunts, and gyms, is the distribution and use of indie-alternate-cc music and videos.

    Both the above scenarios are simple to implement and can make a large profit for the providers of these services. Created as a combined service blocking and providing content it would reduce the liability of the ISPs and web sites, maintain safe harbours, and expose people to non label content. Reducing the relevence of the big media providers.

    JMHO

     

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

  18.  
    icon
    Steve R. (profile), May 20th, 2010 @ 8:46am

    Re: Probably no hope for change...

    And how long will that last? Other countries will soon be producing their own IP. Guess what,they will want us to pay them! End the end, this is going to bad for the US.

     

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

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2010 @ 8:47am

    Some form of ACTA will pass, its detractors will continue to whine, and life will go on.

    Don't like what ACTA says? Then quit infringing and move on to more productive matters that are consistent with the boundaries of law.

     

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

  20.  
    icon
    Steve R. (profile), May 20th, 2010 @ 8:48am

    Re: Re: Probably no hope for change...

    In the end, this is going to be bad for the US.

     

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

  21.  
    icon
    Steve R. (profile), May 20th, 2010 @ 8:55am

    Haven't you noticed that the laws are becoming ever more onerous. Seems that the real whiners are those buying from Congress ever "stronger" laws in the name of fighting piracy. Funny how they never seem to be satiated.

     

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

  22.  
    icon
    Joel (profile), May 20th, 2010 @ 9:14am

    Obama...

    is not or has ever been technically inclined, how in the world is he supposed to understand these things?? Maybe he is just faking what he knows while some RIAA/MPAA troll is in his ear telling him what to say...someone ask him where his daughters get their music for their iPods.

     

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

  23.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, May 20th, 2010 @ 9:14am

    Why is anyone still pretending that ACTA is anything other than a blatant power grab by the copyright industry?

     

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

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2010 @ 10:16am

    ACTA? You mean that "trade agreement" that is about counterfeiting? Why is everyone talking about copyright?

     

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

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2010 @ 11:17am

    "What's most frustrating about all of this is that it really does appear that many ACTA supporters are simply going by the boilerplate myth that "stronger copyright protection" is "good for society," without ever once bothering to understand the details and why such a statement isn't just wrong, but dangerous. " - again with the absolute statement with nothing to back it up. the only time we were without copyright is hundreds of years ago. you have absolutely no proof whatsoever that copyrigth is wrong or dangerous. yet, there you go with absolute statement of fact. why do you think more and more people take this blog less and less seriously?

     

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

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2010 @ 11:30am

    Re: Re: Disappointment

    "What is your choice?"

    They try to make you choose between dumb and dumber. You are the one than is being stupid if you let them influence you to do their bidding. You know you can write in the name of someone other than the crappy choices they give you? That is if you are capable of writing, and of a little independent thought.

     

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

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2010 @ 11:46am

    Re:

    How will ACTA decrease copyright infringement? Hell, how will it decrease counterfeiting? And remember, China and India and Brazil are not invovlved with ACTA.

     

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

  28.  
    icon
    chris (profile), May 20th, 2010 @ 12:06pm

    Re: Probably no hope for change...

    Unfortunately, IP is about the only left that the US produces so the belief is that if we can stop other countries from copying our IP, we might have a viable economy in the future.

    except that other countries, specifically brazil, india, russia, and china, have no problems copying our IP, with or without their government's blessing. instead of signing treaties over intellectual property, we should be signing them over environmental protections and workers' rights, that way manufacturing in the west can compete with the third world on a level playing field.

    But since we don't have a government that looks at the facts but rather the checkbooks of private interests, we have little hope for change.

    the problem is one of shortsightedness. with or without ACTA, the market for IP as an export may only last a couple of decades at the very most, and maybe only a few years. when that happens, the US in particular will fall on very hard times since the rest of the world, china in particular, isn't really interested in anything that the US makes.

     

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

  29.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), May 20th, 2010 @ 12:35pm

    Re:

    "you have absolutely no proof whatsoever that copyrigth is wrong or dangerous"

    Two answers to that.

    You have no proof that copyright is right or that it does any good. Except to make money for a select few. Copyright is also about promoting the arts and sciences.

    As to dangerous. It has been estimated by WHO that in excess of 75 million people world wide have died as a result of the high cost and low availability of patent pending prescription pharmaceuticals.

    "yet, there you go with absolute statement of fact."

    Wish you had provided a fact or two yourself...

     

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

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2010 @ 1:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Disappointment

    Bob Barr was on the ballot, course no one knew he was (Libertarian by the way)...

    Major Parties choice: Evil, Less Evil and you decide who is who...

    2012 Wayne Allen Root is running, and he's a pretty good guy, and you would love his IP stance...(Libertarian :))

     

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

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2010 @ 1:26pm

    Re:

    Thanks TAM, guess your just right if you dont like something must be an EVIL PIRATE... till you get kicked because of some mistake and cant get back on...

     

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

  32.  
    icon
    Thomas (profile), May 20th, 2010 @ 5:14pm

    Just Payback..

    Obama and lots of people in congress owe the entertainment industry big for contributions to the elections, so this is just the entertainment industry demanding something for all the money they contributed. Nothing to do with IP or fairness or anything; it's simply payback for favors.

     

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

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2010 @ 6:13pm

    Re: Re:

    "You have no proof that copyright is right or that it does any good. Except to make money for a select few. Copyright is also about promoting the arts and sciences." - without a way to turn ideas into money, who pays for the advancements?

    "As to dangerous. It has been estimated by WHO that in excess of 75 million people world wide have died as a result of the high cost and low availability of patent pending prescription pharmaceuticals. " - would more or less people be helped if the pharmaceuticals were not developed at all? would the people who are currently helped by generic medications in fact be helped if nobody has made the initial efforts to discover them? both of your points require that some magic genie came down and did all the work for nothing, or aliens teleported the knowledge here. so you are dealing with half facts, sort of like people enjoying foisgras without considering how it was made.

     

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

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2010 @ 6:40pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Look at the internet. What magic genie created the internet?

     

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

  35.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, May 21st, 2010 @ 4:31am

    Re: Re: Re:

    would more or less people be helped if the pharmaceuticals were not developed at all? would the people who are currently helped by generic medications in fact be helped if nobody has made the initial efforts to discover them?

    Would more or less people have been helped if Jonas Salk had patented his Polio vaccine and companies had charged high prices for it?

     

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

  36.  
    identicon
    haiku, May 21st, 2010 @ 4:43am

    Obama is, after all, simply a politician ...

     

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

  37.  
    identicon
    Jose_X, May 21st, 2010 @ 11:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Probably no hope for change...

    will he could bend, annul when..

     

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

  38.  
    identicon
    Jose_X, May 21st, 2010 @ 11:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Probably no hope for change...

    Well, we would end the law then.

     

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

  39.  
    identicon
    Jose_X, May 21st, 2010 @ 11:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Probably no hope for change...

    no to justicy the law no

     

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

  40.  
    identicon
    Jose_X, May 21st, 2010 @ 11:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Probably no hope for change...

    Not to justify the law now

     

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

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 21st, 2010 @ 2:29pm

    Re: Re: Disappointment

    'but he stole x+6 candy bars' is not a case for not critiquing x.

     

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

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 21st, 2010 @ 2:39pm

    Re:

    youre saying 'dont like the law? then obey it' makes no sense. the boundaries of law are not just when they are bought with money.

     

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

  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 21st, 2010 @ 2:44pm

    Re:

    "why do you think more and more people take this blog less and less seriously?"

    Asking for proof and then making unqualified statements yourself doesn't do much for YOUR argument either. The threat of extreme copyright is essentially the mental version of bondage. Why? because the only way to maintain a huge economy that lacks natural scarcity is via a police state. the only thing stopping these people is the limits of technology and those are always receding. go watch minority report. that could come to pass in the next 50 years.

     

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

  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 21st, 2010 @ 9:43pm

    no one's even that aware of ACTA in singapore...

     

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

  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2010 @ 1:30am

    There's a forum dedicated to stopping ACTA: http://stopacta.org/

     

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

  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2010 @ 12:35am

    Re: Re:

    The problem is that many of his thoughts are original. No one shares his thoughts, they're so silly why would anyone share them. The idea that 2 + 2 = 9943 is an original thought, but the only reason no one really bothers to think up this thought is because it's a nonsense thought.

     

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

  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2010 @ 12:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Disappointment

    I wonder why Ron Paul wasn't on the ballot. Yeah, Bob Barr was on the ballot, I did vote for him.

     

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

  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2010 @ 12:41am

    Re:

    You mean like trying to change the boundaries of law?

     

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

  49.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Jun 11th, 2010 @ 9:37pm

    The problem

    There's been little forum for the ACTA. Even when we had it, the consumer and technology sector had very little influence in it. How can we fight when the ones with the paper can't even see us?

     

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

  50.  
    identicon
    Rezultate live, Mar 28th, 2011 @ 1:16pm

    I can see the advantages of certain business monopolies to protect long-term investments in innovation and the creative industries, but every such monopoly comes with a price, and whenever that price tag is rewritten, we need to reevaluate the deal and consider whether the advantages still outweigh the disadvantages.

     

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

  51.  
    identicon
    Rezultate live, Mar 28th, 2011 @ 1:16pm

    I can see the advantages of certain business monopolies to protect long-term investments in innovation and the creative industries, but every such monopoly comes with a price, and whenever that price tag is rewritten, we need to reevaluate the deal and consider whether the advantages still outweigh the disadvantages.

     

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

  52.  
    identicon
    RE_Q, Jan 24th, 2012 @ 12:13am

    Revolution

    Rich is just going to get richer...while we in the Middle and Lower, well you get the drift...need to replace governments with those that can actually run one

     

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

  53.  
    icon
    fodder99 (profile), Jun 30th, 2012 @ 10:31am

    Its exactly the same state of affairs over here too

     

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


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