Surprise, Surprise: MPAA In Favor Of Current ACTA Text Before Anyone's Supposed To Have Seen It

from the how's-that-work-now? dept

As we've been discussing, the last round of ACTA negotiations all but finalized the document, and now word is spreading that the full text will be released before the end of the week (I've been hearing Wednesday). There are still a few points where the negotiating parties disagree (and there's even disagreement about how "big" the disagreement is). However, for the most part, the document is close to finalized.

That said, Jamie Love points out that the MPAA has already released a statement endorsing the outcome of the latest round of negotiations (pdf). Now this raises a bunch of important questions. Considering that the document is still secret, either the USTR has already provided the MPAA with a copy of the document before letting everyone else know -- or the MPAA is simply assuming what ACTA says. Neither possibility says much good about either the USTR or the MPAA, but neither is all that surprising either.

As for what is making the rounds in rumors concerning what's going on, it does sound like parties caved on some of the more controversial topics. Apparently patents have been removed from the border controls section, but may still sneak in elsewhere. So-called "private acts of infringement" are thankfully excluded from ACTA, though that's been talked about for a while. Instead, the document claims to be focused only on "commercial-scale" infringement. But, take heed of the definitions, as "commercial-scale" can be a moving target, so watch the definition to make sure it can't include a kid who's filled his iPod with a lot of MP3s.

Negotiators are claiming that third party liability has been removed from the document, and that three strikes has never been in the document. Again, this will require careful scrutiny. While "three strikes" was never directly in the document, at one point it did "suggest" three strikes as a way to avoid third party liability -- and offered no other suggestions, meaning that almost everyone would interpret three strikes to be mandatory. So, while it might be good if third party liability has been removed, the devil is very much going to be in the details.

It certainly sounds like some of the worst of this bill -- the points that many people raised earlier -- may have been removed thanks to the vigilant efforts of folks concerned about the scope of the agreement. That's a good thing -- though, you can bet ACTA supporters will claim this shows that the concerns of everyone was clearly "overblown." That's clearly not true at all. Many of these things very much were in earlier versions and drafts, and their removal is almost certainly the direct result of public outcry (despite attempts by negotiators to keep much of the proposals secret).

So, while the MPAA is cheering on an agreement it isn't supposed to have seen yet, we'll wait to see the final document "officially" before making final judgment. Given the actions of those involved so far, I certainly wouldn't be surprised to see the text written in ways so that people can claims certain aspects aren't in the document, while leaving loopholes and interpretations such that they really are. We shall see later this week...


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
    identicon
    NAMELESS.ONE, Oct 5th, 2010 @ 8:55am

    surprise

    the whole thing is to pander to an elite few and make a global culture tax

     

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  2.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Oct 5th, 2010 @ 8:55am

    Quick Question

    Does ACTA have the ability to be modified after the fact? If so then this could be pushed through before the US mid-terms and finished later.

     

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

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2010 @ 8:56am

    @2

    short answer no...

     

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

  4.  
    icon
    TtfnJohn (profile), Oct 5th, 2010 @ 8:58am

    Re: Quick Question

    Quick answer.

    Voted down now would be better. Much better.

     

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

  5.  
    icon
    TtfnJohn (profile), Oct 5th, 2010 @ 8:59am

    Of course the MPAA has seen it, they paid for it.

    No real need to say anything else.

    Now, where's my anti-cynicism pill?

     

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

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2010 @ 9:03am

    The trade organizations have apparently sent a "thank you for the hard work you are doing". It most certainly did not endorse anything, due in no small part to its recognition that difficult issues remain.

    To suggest otherwise is inaccurate and potentially misleading.

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2010 @ 9:05am

    Anything the MPAA likes has to suck

     

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

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2010 @ 9:09am

    Re: Of course the MPAA has seen it, they paid for it.

    Now, where's my anti-cynicism pill?

    You don't need one - unfortunately you don't suffer from cynicism, but rather just a plain old case of reality.

     

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

  9.  
    icon
    fogbugzd (profile), Oct 5th, 2010 @ 9:10am

    Lessons from on-line gambling?

    The industries that benefit in the short term from ACTA should take a lesson from the gambling industry. How many years will it be before those same industries are struggling (and whining) under the burdens imposed on them by ACTA-related legislation?

     

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

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2010 @ 9:17am

    Re: Lessons from on-line gambling?

    Similar to how they cheered the DMCA as the savior of their industry but now they're whining about how unfair it is for them?

     

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

  11.  
    icon
    slacker525600 (profile), Oct 5th, 2010 @ 9:18am

    Hasn't it been said from the start

    that part of the reason some of the obvious irreconcilable differences have been left in so long is to gloss over the fact that the entire treaty is bad?
    The anti counterfeiting trade agreement covers far more than its title implies.
    Repeatedly telling somebody you are going to break their legs, and then rewarding them with a punch in the face is not a cause for thanks.

     

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

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2010 @ 9:18am

    Re:

    Yeah, negotiating in secret at the exclusion of the public sure is hard work. Almost as hard as willfully misreading the MPAA's statement, as you have done.

     

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

  13.  
    identicon
    Dr. Claw, Oct 5th, 2010 @ 9:23am

    I'll get you next time Gadget!!!

    You can bet, the next subsidy will not involve officials acting in an official capacity. They've had more success convincing corrupt officials to impose those laws onto their people, than they would have gotten with ACTA. Look at Brittan... that's a woeful situation there.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2010 @ 9:26am

    Re: Re:

    "reading"

    There, I have corrected your typo.

     

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

  15.  
    icon
    Tor (profile), Oct 5th, 2010 @ 9:35am

    My country's (Sweden) implementation of the IPRED directive and its mention of "commercial scale" is quite telling of just how fluid this concept is. In our law the act of making a work available to the public is explicitly mentioned as an example of something that is normally to be treated as commercial scale and hence open the door for privacy invading measures. In order words, sharing a single song via BitTorrent is regarded as commercial scale since it involves uploading the song in a way that makes it accessible to many.

    Regarding ACTA one should keep in mind that even if the agreement were to be watered down to the point where it essentially just expresses what our laws already say it will significantly increase the difficulty with which these law can be changed in the future.

     

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

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2010 @ 9:36am

    Re: Re: Re:

    This is so childish, it is actually amusing.

     

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

  17.  
    identicon
    TDR, Oct 5th, 2010 @ 9:45am

    Re: Of course the MPAA has seen it, they paid for it.

    Now, where's my anti-cynicism pill?

    Don't you mean the blue pill? ;)

     

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

  18.  
    icon
    Derek Bredensteiner (profile), Oct 5th, 2010 @ 9:46am

    Re: surprise

    ... is what you'll say once the final draft has been released, right?

     

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

  19.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Oct 5th, 2010 @ 9:51am

    Re: Re: Quick Question

    "Voted down now would be better. Much better."

    Agreed. The question I am asking is can they just implement it now and then use this alternate to the new org (internation answers to nobody ACTA org) they are creating to change the rules and finish the agreement.

     

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

  20.  
    icon
    Designerfx (profile), Oct 5th, 2010 @ 9:52am

    here's what it really translates to

    "the MPAA would like to celebrate a curb-stomping of culture, freedom, and liberty for the sake of our corporation"

     

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

  21.  
    icon
    crade (profile), Oct 5th, 2010 @ 9:58am

    "It certainly sounds like some of the worst of this bill -- the points that many people raised earlier -- may have been removed thanks to the vigilant efforts of folks concerned about the scope of the agreement. "

    Hopefully that means they got rid of the "Thou shalt not breaketh or have the ability to breaketh the holiest of holies." part.

     

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

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2010 @ 10:07am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Thank you for confirming your cognitive dissonance.

     

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

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2010 @ 10:30am

    So, while the MPAA is cheering on an agreement it isn't supposed to have seen yet, we'll wait to see the final document "officially" before making final judgment.

    Nothing's stopped you from spreading the FUD so far. Why pretend?

     

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

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2010 @ 10:31am

    Creepy redirection

    The MPAA link redirects to a url that includes my ip address in the path. Granted, they have my ip address without the redirection, but its still creepy.

     

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

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2010 @ 11:14am

    Re: Creepy redirection

    Just stop the redirect (there is an advanced option on Firefox for it) and replace the IP address on the URL for another one. For the lulz.

     

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

  26.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Oct 5th, 2010 @ 11:34am

    Re: Lessons from on-line gambling?

    "The industries that benefit in the short term from ACTA"

    They won't benefit from ACTA at all. Its a policy based on guess work, hunches, false studies done by them, and beliefs not founded in any sort of reality.

    "How many years will it be before those same industries are struggling (and whining) under the burdens imposed on them by ACTA-related legislation?"

    Actually everything they have done has painted themselves further into a corner. They are setting the rules in stone making themselves incapable of reacting to any changes. They have legal contracts, the laws, the collection societies, its an extremely convoluted and complex web to navigate. This spans multiple rule sets in multiple countries. All in an attempt to prevent any sort of competition. It makes them inflexible and unable to compete or adapt.

     

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

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2010 @ 11:35am

    Re:

    I was unaware that discussing what is actually in a document is FUD. Interesting.

     

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

  28.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Oct 5th, 2010 @ 12:44pm

    Re: Re:

    People will claim it is when other point out the parts that make them look bad. The way things seem to be working these days I'm rather surprised they didn't try to sue Mike and others for defamation.

     

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

  29.  
    icon
    BigKeithO (profile), Oct 5th, 2010 @ 2:25pm

    Re: @2

    Nameless.One - Your comments would be easier to follow if you used the "Reply" function instead of the "@2" system you are using now.

    Reply is there for a good reason, people use the threaded option.

    My $0.02 - back to ACTA talk now.

     

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

  30.  
    icon
    Beta (profile), Oct 6th, 2010 @ 12:10pm

    wrapped in an enigma

    Wouldn't it be funny if there were a mole among the negotiators, and the final document were a sweeping reform of bad intellectual property laws?

    Maybe I've been reading too many le Carré novels.

     

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


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