BSA Falsely Claims ACTA Is A Treaty That Has Already Been Signed By 37 Countries

from the do-they-get-anything-right? dept

Many ACTA supporters get very upset any time anyone refers to ACTA as a "treaty." That's because, technically, it's an "executive agreement." Of course, in reality, it is a treaty. The only real difference is one requires Congressional approval and the other does not. Even the State Department seems to admit that. Of course, technically speaking, a treaty can carry the weight of law in the US, while an executive agreement, by itself, cannot. And yet, in reality (again), there is little difference, as lobbyists will point to executive agreements, often calling them treaties, insisting that we need to "comply with our international obligations" and get lawmakers to change the law anyway.

Still, given how incredibly careful supporters of ACTA have been to scream "it's not a treaty!" every time anyone calls it a treaty, it's quite amusing to see the BSA, an active ACTA supporter, flat out call it a treaty and falsely claim that 37 countries have already signed on and agreed to imposing criminal penalties for software infringement. That's not true. No countries have signed on yet. 37 countries may have been involved in the negotiations, but that's no guarantee that any of them would sign on and some of the text is still very much in flux (thanks to Jamie Love for pointing out the BSA announcement).

Given the BSA's track record on accuracy, it should be no surprise that they would be so sloppy here as well. But, it does show how those involved view ACTA. To them, it's a treaty, and it's a done deal. In this case, perhaps the BSA is being a lot more honest than others in admitting what's really going on...


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Ron Rezendes (profile), Oct 12th, 2010 @ 10:05am

    Email sent to author

    Your article seems to fall woefully short on truth:

    "Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement also commits signatories to set statutory damages
    Washington, October 6, 2010 —
    Negotiators representing 37 countries that together account for more than half of world trade this week agreed to impose criminal penalties for software license infringement and other forms of copyright piracy carried out for commercial advantage."

    There has been no such agreement and in fact many countries are having issues with the language contained in ACTA.


    "ACTA’s signatories include the United States, Australia, Canada, the European Union and its 27 member states, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Switzerland."

    Since no one has yet to sign the unfinished document this is a blatantly false and misleading statement.

    It would be greatly appreciated if you would correct the factual errors in your article rather than project your personal and/or commercial wishes for the future.

    Sincerely,
    Ron Rezendes

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2010 @ 10:07am

    Corruption Test For Politicians

    When the text of ACTA gets finalized (yes, really finalized), then it will be interesting to see how many politicians want to give it a pass. Given that the whole process of getting ACTA has been corrupt from the start, then the only politicians supporting it will be either corrupt or stupid. It can be reasonably assumed, that despite appearances, the vast majority of politicians are not actually stupid. So support for ACTA can be taken as a sure indicator of corruption.

     

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  3.  
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    iamtheky (profile), Oct 12th, 2010 @ 10:11am

    Unless my C-Span Congressional Glossary fails me

    "it requires a simple majority vote of the House and Senate."

    and

    "Congress can express its opposition to any particular executive agreement by withholding the necessary implementing legislation."

    your quote:

    "one requires Senate approval and the other does not."

     

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  4.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 12th, 2010 @ 10:16am

    Re:

    Oops. Changed it to "Congressional approval".

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2010 @ 10:34am

    mexican seante opted out of ACTA now

    ya and canada will most definitely see a charter challenge....with that being said it will be a decade before any ACTA like laws get teeth and by then we all will see how wrong it is to SCAM society this badly....

     

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  6.  
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    ethorad (profile), Oct 12th, 2010 @ 10:39am

    It's a treaty!

    For some reason Admiral Akbar popped into my head there ...

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2010 @ 10:43am

    8000 $ autocad man speaks

    i remember that interview where this BSA guy yapped about the economic harm to the people making autocad and losing 7000$ per each time there was a download then a year later i saw 3 open source and free autocad like software's and laughed thats the result of your over protection....

    @6 ya and im thinking us canucks are the dudes in empire strikes back on the planet hoth.....

     

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  8.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 12th, 2010 @ 11:12am

    What have the Boy Scouts of America to do with this?

    A careful writer e-x-p-a-n-d-s any acronym at least once before using the acronym.

    Anyway, I assure you, it's a treaty in practice, a done deal, and we'll soon hear the old lie that "treaties supersede the Constitution", and that the gov't is enforcing it as if it that were true and it was legally ratified too. The gov't no longer pays attention to laws.

     

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  9.  
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    Josh Taylor, Oct 12th, 2010 @ 11:16am

    Jamie is wrong. ACTA has been secretly signed last week. The NSA was right.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2010 @ 11:20am

    Re: What have the Boy Scouts of America to do with this?

    While I normally would agree with you whenever techdirt mentions the BSA almost always refers to the software group and tend to refer to the other BSA as the boy scouts or scouts

     

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  11.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 12th, 2010 @ 11:27am

    Re: What have the Boy Scouts of America to do with this?

    A careful writer e-x-p-a-n-d-s any acronym at least once before using the acronym.


    And a writer who doesn't want to insult his regular readers knows they're smart enough to know what commonly state acronyms mean.

    I've discussed this in the past. Redefining acronyms that most readers know is annoying. I assume a certain level of knowledge (or the ability to use Google) on this site.

     

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  12.  
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    David Johnson (profile), Oct 12th, 2010 @ 11:52am

    Re: Corruption Test For Politicians

    It can be reasonably assumed, that despite appearances, the vast majority of politicians are not actually stupid.

    Ye of little faith. I've met officials from local (mayor) to state (state rep). They're smart at double talking and how to raise money for the next campaign, but dumb to giving a fuck about the places they represent.

     

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  13.  
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    Niall (profile), Oct 12th, 2010 @ 12:00pm

    Re: Re: What have the Boy Scouts of America to do with this?

    And I'd say that then what happens to casual readers who aren't so familiar? For the short amount of extra typing involved, it does no harm and /is/ good practice to be in. Anyone who feels their intelligence is 'insulted' is probably going to feel insulted by anything, really.

    Of course, some of these /are/ more common. DRM tends to appear here more often, whereas BSA is fairly rare in Techdirt articles.

    Then we can nitpick about acronyms versus initialism :)

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2010 @ 12:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: What have the Boy Scouts of America to do with this?

    I dunno, a few quick google searches to get a baseline shows this:

    Techdirt and MPAA gets 8,800 results
    http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Atechdirt.com+MPAA

    techdirt and DRM gets 9,390 results
    http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Atechdirt.com+DRM

    techdirt and BSA gets 4,520
    http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Atechdirt.com+BSA

    techdirt and BSA and software gets 3240 of those
    http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Atechdirt.com+BSA+AND+software

    techdirt and BSA and scout gets only 132
    http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Atechdirt.com+BSA+AND+scout

    I think that in comparison, BSA frequently enough to denote the software group that the smart reader can assume that unless otherwise noted BSA does NOT mean the scouts and that they are able to tell the difference and infer from the situation if there is any confusion. I think I also showed somewhat loosely that Mike tends to spell out the acronym often enough that we don't need to harangue him when he doesn't.

     

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  15.  
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    Atkray (profile), Oct 12th, 2010 @ 1:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: What have the Boy Scouts of America to do with this?

    As a casual and relatively new reader I understand your point on my behalf but I'm with Mike on this. The first Article I read with BSA in it I thought it was about the scouting organization until I started reading, it them became apparent it was not about scouting or motorcycles.

    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=what+does+BSA+stand+for+

    The second result lists Boy Scouts of America and Business Software Alliance. I didn't even need to click through.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2010 @ 1:10pm

    Re: Re: What have the Boy Scouts of America to do with this?

    You could use the fact that this is a website and simply link the first use of the TLA to a relevant Wikipedia article.

     

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  17.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Oct 12th, 2010 @ 2:26pm

    Re: Re: What have the Boy Scouts of America to do with this?

    I actually did think it was the Boy Scouts of America. Not to throw bones at you Mr. Masnick, but I do agree on expanding acronyms.

     

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  18.  
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    another mike (profile), Oct 12th, 2010 @ 4:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: What have the Boy Scouts of America to do with this?

    I also think of Boy Scouts of America as the real BSA but that's because I'm a troop leader. However, this blog is about tech news and not camping so I recognize it as an opportunity to googlebomb the other BSA.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2010 @ 4:30pm

    Re: What have the Boy Scouts of America to do with this?

    Dude, I don't want to insult your intelligence, but, BSA, in this context, rings of Business Software Alliance. I wouldn't even think of the Boy Scouts of America. And besides, last time the Boy Scouts showed up around here, it was spelled out.

    I would agree to spelling out acronyms in other types of publications, but spelling them out here every time (especially if they are common acronyms) would quickly become annoying and would only serve to clutter the article.

    Unless the Techdirt crew wants to implement some sort of "tooltip" (I don't know what YOU call them, I call them tooltips) that shows relevant information (including spelling out the acronyms and perhaps some background story?) when you hover the mouse over the acronyms/relevant text. However, I personally find that EVEN MORE annoying.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2010 @ 9:22pm

    I'm a non-regular reading and I don't know what the number "37" means. Is it the number after 36, or three and seven countries, or a group of countries who are shaped like this "37" thing? I just don't know!

    Please define these things for me next time!

     

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  21.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 8:03am

    Re: mexican seante opted out of ACTA now

    "it will be a decade before any ACTA like laws get teeth"

    Really very cool in my opinion. Think of it as a race.

    On one side you have old media trying to maintain a monopoly by creating laws meant to protect them. Laws that will not come fully into effect until 5-10 years down the line.

    1) Digital sales of music going flat this year and beginning to tank with in the next 6 to 12 months.
    2) No further ways to monetize old content.
    3) Fewer artists being signed to the labels.
    4) CD sales diving towards 0.

    On the other hand you have business evolution in action that will take roughly the same 5-10 years to iron out the kinks in promotion and business models.

    1) CC being used more and more.
    2) More artists trying newer and better business models with out the support of the labels.
    3) Free music being used as a promotional tool.

    In the end its pretty neat. Who reaches the finish line first and takes the prize?

     

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


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