Shining Light On ACTA's Lack Of Transparency

from the don't-a-billion-people-matter? dept

One of the key problems with ACTA is the lack of transparency during its negotiation. That this is becoming a big issue in Europe is shown by the fact that the European Commission has tried to dispose of the question twice -- first in its "10 myths about ACTA", which I discussed recently on Techdirt, and now with a page entitled "Transparency of ACTA negotiations":

This factsheet aims at clarifying the way the European Parliament, civil society and all stakeholders have been informed and involved in the negotiation process.
Note that it insists all stakeholders were "informed and involved". I'd like to explore that a little.

One important group are the MEPs (Members of the European Parliament), since they are the representatives of the 500 million citizens in the European Union. The Commission spells out exactly how often they communicated with this group of politicians:

During the ACTA negotiations, the European Commission has shared the following documents with the European Parliament (see annex for full list of documents):

7 successive draft texts of the agreement
3 detailed written reports on the negotiation rounds
14 notes and internal working papers
But there's a problem with those documents, as the Pirate Party MEP Christian Engström highlighted in a blog post back in 2010: MEPs weren't allowed to pass on any information they obtained.
The ACTA negotiators from the Commission came to the European Parliament today, to inform the Parliament about what happened in the last round of negotiations in Luzern.

However, the meeting where the information was to be given was declared “in camera”, i.e.: closed to the public.

At the meeting, I asked if this meant that there were restrictions on how the information given could be used and spread. At first the Commission seemed unwilling to answer this question with a straight yes or no, but after I had repeated the question a number of times, they finally came out and said that I would not be allowed to spread the information given.
In fact, Engström pointed out that the situation was even worse:
According Article 218(10) of the Lisbon Treaty, the Commission has a duty to keep the European Parliament “immediately and fully informed at all stages of the procedure”.

To give oral information in a closed meeting, with no documents at all handed out, hardly qualifies as keeping the Parliament “fully informed”.

It is obvious that the Commission has no intention of living up to its obligations under the Treaty when it comes to informing the Parliament.

That is disgraceful.
So according to an MEP who was theoretically privy to at least some of those drafts, reports and internal working papers supposedly available, the Commission failed even to inform the European Parliament properly. Moreover, what information there was, could not then be passed on to the people the MEPs were representing.

But there was another route for information to be conveyed to them: via non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Here's the kind of transparency the European Commission says it provided to those groups:

the team of negotiators have invited, met and extensively debriefed NGOs, academia and representatives from political parties such as the Pirate Party during the last four rounds of negotiations in Wellington, Luzern, Washington and Tokyo. These meetings took place on side events during the negotiation sessions. The stakeholders had access to the negotiators' teams and issues and concerns raised by Civil Society were discussed and explained.
That sounds pretty good, but as Techdirt reported about the last of those meetings, the reality was rather different:
For the past month, negotiators had been telling the NGOs that the meetings were starting September 27th. Then, they suddenly announced that it would actually start September 23rd, and the NGO meeting would be on the 24th. Except, by the time they announced it, it was too late for most representatives to get to Japan in time (many had booked flights for the following week), and the Japanese government refused to change the time of the meeting. Then, finally, when the meeting was held and only 2 or 3 NGOs were actually able to make it, it wasn't so much a "meeting" as it was lunch -- and, even then, all the ACTA negotiators sat together, leaving no room for the NGOs.
So, it looks like the only channels of communication that the public had were direct ones. Here's what happened there according to the European Commission:
4 stakeholders' meetings -- open to all citizens -- were organised in Brussels:
23 June 2008
21 April 2009
22 March 2010 and
25 January 2011
That's it: one opportunity a year for 500 million people somehow to find out everything that had happened with ACTA -- based on the five documents that were publicly released, three of which were "speaking points" -- and to make their own views heard.

The European Commission is obviously aware that this is a joke, and desperately tries to mitigate its blatant failure to involve ordinary citizens by adding:

During the whole negotiation process, the European Commission has not recruited any consultants, be it from industry or from NGOs or civil society. The European Commission denies having provided any kind of preferential access to information to any group of stakeholders, be it from industry, trade unions or from other stakeholders.
Even if it's true the EU negotiators didn't provide such preferential access, that's irrelevant, because the US side did:
Apart from the participating governments, an advisory committee of large US-based multinational corporations was consulted on the content of the draft treaty, including the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and the International Intellectual Property Alliance (which includes the Business Software Alliance, Motion Picture Association of America, and Recording Industry Association of America). A 2009 Freedom of Information request showed that the following companies also received copies of the draft under a nondisclosure agreement: Google, eBay, Intel, Dell, News Corporation, Sony Pictures, Time Warner, and Verizon.
So the European Commission's claim that "all stakeholders have been informed and involved in the negotiation process" is true only at the most superficial of levels. Yes, MEPs were told minimal information -- but weren't allowed to pass it on to the people they represent; yes, NGOs were able to sit in the same room as the negotiators for an hour or two -- if they managed to overcome the series of obstacles designed to stop them getting there on the right day; yes, members of the public could express their views – but only once a year, by travelling to Brussels at their own expense, and without access to the vast majority of relevant documents.

In reality, the only stakeholders that were truly informed and involved were the copyright industries who were present right from the start. ACTA is simply the implementation of their one-sided demands without any meaningful checks or balances for the benefit of the billion people who will be most affected by it, but who were consistently ignored during its negotiations.

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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 6:41pm

    Next time the world powers need to negotiate something, they should do it on a whiteboard in the middle of a park. Then we can be sure all of the stakeholders are there.

    Don't forget to bring something for the homeless stakeholder.

     

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  2.  
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    ken (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 6:42pm

    Where is the "transparency" the White House Promised?

    The United States is no longer an exporter of democracy or human rights nor are we a significant exporter of goods and services. Our #1 export is now our draconian and ever expanding copyright and patent enforcement policies that run rough shod over the interests of other nations particularly developing nations as well as subordinating human and civil rights in the process.

    This is a huge issue in Europe where the United States is rightfully being seen as an aggressor nation imposing its will on the rest of the world.

    The White House Strategic Plan on IP Enforcement.

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/assets/intellectualproperty/intell ectualproperty_strategic_plan.pdf

    Among some of the gems in this document is the call for more transparency in framing our IP laws and International agreements.

    Yes, like the transparency in negotiating ACTA in secret and signing without any input from the public, Congress, or effected Industries except for the Movie and Music industries.

    Yes, like the transparency in the currently negotiated Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) which is also being held in secret without any input from effected parties except of course for the Movie and Music Industries.

    Yes, like the transparency in trying to push through SOPA where Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Lamar Smith of Texas shut out Tech Companies and Internet Experts referring to them condescendingly as "nerds" but of course giving full credence and input from the Movie and Music Industries.

    Promote Enforcement of U.S. Intellectual Property Rights through Trade Policy Tools ~
    The U S Government has traditionally sought to use the tools of trade policy to seek strong intellectual property enforcement Examples include bilateral trade dialogues and problem-solving, communicating U S concerns clearly through reports such as the Special 301 Report, committing our trading partners
    to protect American intellectual property through trade agreements such as the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and, when necessary, asserting our rights through the World Trade Organization (WTO)
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/assets/intellectualproperty/intellectualpro perty_s

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 7:28pm

    I guess we don't have to mention little items like Canada requires all treaties that will be negotiated to be put to the public for open discussion and that is a national law. Somehow it was more important that secrecy be held than it was to obey these various laws about open negotiations that various nations have.

    Seems to me I remember that various groups tried to represent the public or at least find out what was going on with the progression of the treaty in Mexico, only to be told they would not be able to be present unless they signed a non-disclosure agreement.

    What is really missing here is any participation in these treaties in the making by those to represent the public, any consideration about public domain, or any negotiations that the public gets something out of this. It's been the main thrust to avoid this all together by the parties involved while at the same time claiming that the secrecy involved was not unusual, where in fact almost no treaties have been this secret.

    It is very obvious that not much of the public likes these proposed rules and that it was known at the start this would be so. This is why now all the politicians are trying to cover their butts. They've been caught behind the wood pile and suddenly when the population is rising up to tell them just what a screw up it is, suddenly they are all trying to Cover Their A$$e$ to prevent their voters and citizens from holding them accountable.

    Nothing has been learned from that as the TPP is following right along in the same foot steps. Only this time I doubt it will get as far with as much disgust as the public displayed for the present ACTA.

    It is not up to the governments nor the politicians to make some special allowances for the copyright gang. They've already had enough with the 15 major changes to copyright laws in the last 30 years. It's time for them to grow up and learn how to deal with the market instead of how to protect themselves through laws.

    If there is a more hated group I don't know who they would be. I know I won't buy from them. I hate what they do and how they do it. I won't be party to financing that.

     

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  4.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 7:28pm

    It seems very clear, to me.

    Governments and special interest groups now negotiate treaties in secret. Particularly if said special interest groups are wealthy and donate tons of money to politicians the world over.

    If it hadn't been clear before it is now. The citizenry means nothing to politicians. The people mean nothing. Just the money means something.

    It's sad. And infuriating.

    It's also sad that even if the US wants to toss it's weight around in special 301 reports there's less and less weight to throw around.

    Supporting largely legacy industries that don't contribute all that much to the American GDP at the expense of industries that are contributing a larger and larger part of American GDP directly and indirectly is senseless.

    But it happens when politicians become captive to the big spending lobbyists rather than the good of the country as a whole.

     

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  5.  
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    Jay (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 10:36pm

    Failing of our democracy

    The sad part is... We can't really fix this in the next four years. Our country is so controlled by special interests that we have to change the entire system. It's one of the reason that I don't believe the "money in politics" issue will never truly solve the problems of government. We still have the same people in the bureacracy of democracy. That's the problem.

    What would need to occur is to get our system off of the two party electorate and allow more parties to have a say in what's going on. If you're a Green party candidate, you would be very concerned with drug legislation and gain an audience. If you're a Justice candidate, you'd be very concerned with civil liberties. Our government has been usurped by polarized fights as well as weak elections meant to maintain the status quo.

    What I would propose to people is finding a way to punish political parties. If you begin to do that, then find ways to have judges that are not nominated by only the two party system, you won't see so much corruption. Unfortunately, the two party system and our electoral system is to blame for everything else. Once those two things are changed, I'm sure a lot more people could focus on their daily lives instead of this ridiculous fight with our government over what the Constitution tells them they can't do.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 12:42am

    ac: wipe boards in the park

    not sure if you are trolling or not, but yes, if thats what it takes to be open, a park would be good. they are our servants and we should be able to know exactly what they are doing in our name.

     

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  7.  
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    Josef Anvil (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 1:19am

    Interesting comment and sooooo true

    I was just reading an article about the TPB's response to SOPA. What stood out was one of the comments about the article. Besides echoing a lot of things said in this forum, the commenter (who was obviously a displeased consumer), made an extremely valid point that the MPAA and RIAA do not want to hear.

    The commenter's argument is centered around piracy as previewing content, which studies have shown is a valid point. If consumers preview and like, then they tend to buy. I love how this guy frames his opinion of SOPA/PIPA/MPAA/RIAA....

    "All they want to do is stop US from stopping THEM from ripping us off"

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 1:53am

    the European Commission as a body as well as the members of that body need to be fully investigated and severely punished.

    'Even if it's true the EU negotiators didn't provide such preferential access, that's irrelevant, because the US side did:'

    if that's not taking the piss, i dont know what is! what right has the US to influence decisions and laws that affect millions of people that are outside the US? outrageous dictatorial-ism!

     

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  9.  
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    crazylilting, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 2:45am

    transparency

    One day we will wake up to a world where everything we take for-granted today is gone. And it is clear to me that all we are doing is playing a cat and mouse chase game with our governments with the onslaught of measures to change what we value the most. When we react we cannot take action so we need to fight on more then one front at a time. It is one thing to oppose such treaty's as ACTA, bills like SOPA/PIPA, etc... But we should also be fighting for transparency, all stake holders and users of the internet should be represented, and no new laws should be created without a clear harmonized treaty on IP and fair use of that IP.

    The thing that bothers me the most about Activism is that people aren't active enough nor is there any collective voice on matters that affect everyone. I started a petition United States Trade Representative's Freedom of Information office: to make the supporting text of the ACTA public: http://www.change.org/petitions/united-states-trade-representatives-freedom-of-information-office-to -make-the-supporting-text-of-the-acta-public and in three weeks there have only been 113 signatures. One of the furthest reaching treaty's done in secret and all it's supporting documentation hidden under the guise of national security? I call bullshit. How much national security is involved when the entertainment industry knows more about it then the MEP's of European nations?

    There should be ten million signatures on that petition and yet even after e-mailing reddit, the pirate party starting a google+ account to try and network, nothing. Do people really care or just want to complain?

     

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  10.  
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    Violated (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 3:05am

    Horror in the Shadows

    It is nice to see my claims validated in that none of us, including the vast majority of MEPs, actually know what went on during the creation of ACTA.

    So I will make my points again...

    1. International law clearly states that such an agreement will override national laws. An example is already how they say that Congress will be denied setting the IP laws it wants due to living up to this trade agreement.

    2. ACTA is about the most vague document you will ever have seen with many vague sections. It would have been nice had each country been allowed to decide for itself the meaning of these vague points but this so wont happen.

    3. International law is very clear on how to define vague points when it says to refer to the original negotiations at the time of creation.

    This all means that Governments are aiming to sign up and be honour bound to a vague agreement THAT THEY DO NOT KNOW THE TRUE MEANING OF BECAUSE THOSE CREATION DOCUMENTS ARE LOCKED UP IN SECRET.

    There are many huge dangers here seeing that they are aiming to unify copyright enforcement laws to an international level under their control. Sure enough TPPA is already on the way.

    Then who can say what a vague term like "commercial infringement" means? Is this sites like TPB and MU or simply any commercial operation they do not like? We will only find that out when the court cases start and they release a few of these secret creation documents.

    I used to believe ACTA was not as bad as SOPA then thanks to a random meeting involing the above revelation I can now see that ACTA is a thousand times more dangerous.

    ACTA must die.

     

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  11.  
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    Josef Anvil (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 3:13am

    Re: transparency

    Great comment. You are 100% absolutely correct.

    If the supporting documents for ACTA are classified for national security, that would mean that representatives from the entertainment industry that have been in on ACTA from the beginning, have access to information regarding national security. WTF????

    So either Hollywood lobbyists are involved intimately in the War on Terror OR the US is using national security as an excuse to prevent embarrassment.

    The scary thing is that both seem plausible.

     

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  12.  
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    Violated (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 3:54am

    Re: Where is the "transparency" the White House Promised?

    The United States has much changed in recent years. Like they used be the number one country to lend money to others where now they hold the world's largest debt, money owed to others.

    The US national debt back in 2000 stood at only $5.629 trillion but under George W(armonger) Bush just 8 years later this debt had climbed to $9.986 trillion. That is a 77.4% increase and to give you a comparison then most Presidents aim for an 8% increase. Clinton proved to be a rare President who did a 0% increase.

    President Bush ruined your economy but what about President Obama?

    Instead of fixing the problem he only made the situation even worse. The $9.986 trillion debt he was passed has now grown to $15.3 trillion. That happens to be a 53% increase on only THREE YEARS.

    The US national debt now increases by about $3.8 billion each and every day but they still have to borrow $5 billion every day.

    The funny part of all this is that this $15.3 trillion is not even real money when it is only numbers in accounts on computer systems. However had you had this $15.3 trillion in $50 notes, taped end to end, then this line would wrap around the entire World all of 116 times.

    The budget deficit for 2013 is projected to be $901 billion as the US aims to reduce its huge debt through creating even more debt! The only good news there is a reduction when the past 4 previous years were all over $1 trillion including the $1.33 trillion budget deficit for 2012.

    The United States now has to borrow 43 cents for every 1 dollar they spend. That is four times the rate it was back in the 1980s.

    Well if the United States continues on this path of destruction then life will only get much worse. Their only solution is to ramp up taxes while making massive cuts in spending with welfare and the military being the top two.

    We can begin to see that if the likes of China can get themselves organized they could take over being the World's number one power. This year it is true to say that China will over take the US on science spending years ahead of schedule.

     

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    awbMaven (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 4:01am

    We need a Transparancy Matrix regarding #ACTA (and related) negotiations

    Various actors were involved to various degrees at various times in various parts of the ACTA negotiations.

    We need a matrix of who they are (names of companies, NGO's, individuals, etc);

    when they were involved (dates of meetings);

    how involved they were (active negotiators, mere observers, etc);

    what documents they had access too (with granular analysis of docs, ie, how redacted the docs were), etc.

    and issues that cropped up (such as the EP demanding more access on such and such a date, etc)

     

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  14.  
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    Violated (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 4:57am

    Titanic scale

    I am surprised society would ever want to turn IP enforcement of the Internet over to a bunch a shadowy figures meeting in secret behind closed doors with only making public (under great reluctance) vague documents that no one will know the true meaning of until they come to be enforced.

    Them needing to hide their creation only highlights that they have something to hide. Then when have these copyright cartels ever been reasonable or even to understand the technology of the Internet which they aim to control?

    This is to me is like the Titanic on course to hit the iceberg and here you are knowing the disaster that is soon to unfold and screaming out "turn you fools" while people simply go about their business totally unaware or caring.

     

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  15.  
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    gorehound (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 5:39am

    Re: Where is the "transparency" the White House Promised?

    Guess that Copyrights/Patents/Agressive Actions will take the place of all the good Manufacturing Jobs we once had.
    That is until a bunch of asshole greedy pricks in the Western World started buying into "Sweatshops" located in 3rd World Countries.I still remember Protesting these things in the early 70's.
    Now it is going to be time to pay the piper !
    USA my Country is angering me more than before.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 7:15am

    Re:

    yea, you're totally right dude. We should return to the feudal age, when only those with wealth and land got rights.

     

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  17.  
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    Richard (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 8:19am

    Re: Re:

    We should return to the feudal age, when only those with wealth and land got rights.

    and that would be different from what we have now , how?

     

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  18.  
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    Richard (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 8:29am

    International agreements

    International agreements used to be a compromise between the interests of the different countries involved. These kind of agreements pit the interests of groups within the countries against each other. The secrecy that might have been appropriate in the old type of international agreement is totally inappropriate with these nwer types. In truth these agreements are not international agreements at all - they are trans-national legislation.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 9:43am

    Re: Re:

    I'm been arguing we're had back to feudalism for over a decade now. Except instead of land owners, it'll be physical property (and/or intellectual property) owners.

     

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  20.  
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    Loki, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 9:53am

    So basically what they said can be summed up that nobody from Europe, neither the public nor even European business interests, were privy to the negotiations. And that the drafters were "advised" by a select group of exclusively US corporate interests.

     

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    DinosaurHunter (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 10:34am

    Re: transparency

    I signed the petition! You're right though, very disappointing response.

     

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  22.  
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    Chargone (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 10:43am

    Re: Re: Re:

    well, it'd be easier to tell who you needed to assassinate to bring about an actual change in the way things were done...

     

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  23.  
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    Al Bert (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 10:45am

    And yet they're publicly unquestionable.

    The only thing transparent surrounding ACTA and the actions of a corrupt corporate state are the unabashed lies.

     

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  24.  
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    Chargone (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 10:48am

    Re: Failing of our democracy

    ... i figure the USA would have an easier time not failing at non-corupt government if it weren't larger than pretty much every empire Ever, with the exception of the British and Russian empires (Russia always had problems, and Britain cheated by running most of it's colonies as semi-independant entities Anyway.)

     

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  25.  
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    Al Bert (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 11:19am

    Re: transparency

    I'm on there.

    But let's be realistic about the effectiveness of the public voice. Let's say somehow we're able to pry the facts from their keep. Even if we uncovered something so dazzlingly incriminating as video of associated parties agreeing upon the unsaid, but well-known underlying purpose for the treaty; even if they were openly discussing illegally influencing foreign governments to get it ratified -- not a person would be held accountable. It took millions and months just to shake the more fickle congressbeasts off SOPA/PIPA temporarily. It took widespread public protests across several countries just to get government officials to apply some critical thinking skills and see that they're being hosed by a foreign power grab.

    If we get the documents we need to support our claims, it's not enough to just know the facts. The next step would be to take actual punitive action against those with a history of being able to dismiss any claim of corruption with a single public lie. The thing is, I have no idea how many millions of people it would take to accomplish that.

     

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  26.  
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    Boo Boo, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 1:30pm

    watch out

    Note to political persons in Belguim and elsewhere.

    Looks like your very own music publishing body ( SABEM )
    has some pretty heavy criminal accusations laid against them.
    http://torrentfreak.com/sabam-charged-with-copyright-fraud-embezzlement-money-laundering-1202 18/

    Just a reminder to you that the big content and music industries are not exactly squeaky clean.
    Its why they should not be telling you how to draft things like ACTA, PIPA,SOPA or any other self serving crap like them.

    In fact if governments in any country take a quick a look at the music publishing business you will see most labels are in the process of being sued by their some of their own artists for ripping them off on legal digital downloads.

     

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  27.  
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    Al Bert (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 2:08pm

    In fact, if the US government would stop turning a blind eye to the entertainment industry here, i'm sure they'd notice that SABEM isn't an exception at all.

     

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  28.  
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    ECA (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 2:28pm

    i HAVE TO HAND IT TO THEM...REALLY..

    Think about it tho..
    200-300 LAWYERS get into a room to decide what should be in ACTA..
    It TAKES YEARS, to figure it all out.
    Then you put it to the company and they agree..

    WHAT a way to get paid to SIT on your but, and get paid.

     

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    yellow flash, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 7:05pm

    keep up the good work anon......

     

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    Atkray (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 9:05pm

    IIPA

    "International Intellectual Property Alliance (which includes the Business Software Alliance, Motion Picture Association of America, and Recording Industry Association of America)"

    Axis of evil?

     

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  31.  
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    francis gerard, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 9:21pm

    We Want to SHARE With Each Other

    As the entertainment industry grew, an unholy alliance developed between Hollywood and Congress. Politicians have become corrupted by contributions from the entertainment industry, and now seem to be falling all over each other in their eagerness to serve their Hollywood directors. The Rights Groups with their political allies are now so powerful they have governments the world over jumping to placate their every whim, negotiating secret treaties just for them, even as they conspire to control our computers and cripple the internet to enhance their profits.

    Every time a change to copyright law is proposed, it is in response to demands from powerful lobbies. When have you ever seen a grass roots demand for broadened rights, stricter enforcement, or longer copyright duration? Never! Legislation reflects neither the will nor priorities of the majority. People see this happening over and over again, feeling helpless while watching their rights being eroded away. They are not organized, have no lobbyists working for them and no money to buy the politicians with - nor should they need any of that! Their representatives have failed them.

    visit website below to continue reading:

    Copyright legislation is out of control
    http://whynotaskme.org/

    Zen and the Art of Copyright Legislation
    http://whynotaskme.org/zencopyright.htm
    ---
    WE WANT TO SHARE with each other. THAT is the POINT!

    SHARING is exactly what the INTERNET is intended for. otherwise, why bother??

    we've been brainwashed into a depraved lifestyle of profligate greed and conspicuous consumption... war is peace, ignorance is strength, freedom is slavery, greed is good, sharing is piracy, corporations are 'people'??

    well to hell with all that inhumane depravity.

    if the greedy corporate parasites can't figure out an economic model that SUPPORTS SHARING - instead of criminalizing normal human behavior - then too bad for the parasitic middlemen & degenerate profiteers. good riddance i say!

    as one Digg commenter put it:

    "it sucks being a candlestick maker in a electric light world. UNLESS you can 'get control of the government' to pass laws to 'protect candle sticks' and attack electric lights. that is what the recording industry is doing; paying congress to protect their candle-making whilst attacking the electric light makers and internet users of the world."

    SHARING is NOT piracy - it is precisely what we SHOULD BE DOING.

     

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

  32.  
    icon
    Violated (profile), Feb 19th, 2012 @ 4:54am

    Re: i HAVE TO HAND IT TO THEM...REALLY..

    Not to forget that they travelled all over the world to top destinations and stayed in 5 star hotels while sitting on their butt next to the pool and pondering ACTA between sips.

     

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

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2012 @ 7:16am

    Re: We Want to SHARE With Each Other

    "SHARING is exactly what the INTERNET is intended for. otherwise, why bother??"

    If you want to share, share a link to something. I saw this great movie, check out the website and check the trailer. You might want to go see it.

    I heard this great band, check out their website, I think they have some great sample tracks.

    Did you read the news? Check out the story on this news site.

    ---

    You can share to your heart content when you share the pointer. In the pirate world, it looks like this:

    hey everybody - download this free copy of a movie I downloaded yesterday, it's good.

    Check out this hot band - here is their latest CD for free.

    Did you hear the news? Check out Google news for more.

    ----

    It's no longer about sharing the ideas, it's about "sharing" the product. That isn't sharing anymore, that's just giving it away.

    Plus remember, the internet was made for porn, not sharing.

     

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

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2012 @ 10:42am

    Re: Re: We Want to SHARE With Each Other

    What does copyright have to do with the Anti-COUNTERFEITING Trade Agreement?

    Are counterfeit medicine and counterfeit baseball jerseys making it into songs and movies and news?

     

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

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2012 @ 10:45am

    Re: Re: We Want to SHARE With Each Other

    What does Google News have to do with piracy? That had to have been the furthest stretch on a list that's already out of proportion.

     

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

  36.  
    identicon
    PS London, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 12:13am

    Apathy..

    Previous posters have it dead right, the general population is sleepwalking the rest of us into a locked down state of disaster. The majority of people absolutely don't want the future being prepared by the MAFIAA MPAA RIAA etc yet even amongst friends and colleagues dissatisfied with the status quo, that I would otherwise consider intelligent and capable, the level of apathy and disinterest in actually doing anything is staggering!

    The laws are being changed so that even attempting to play 'the game' and fighting back legally will be impossible. I'm starting to believe that in the future, the only way to root out corrupt politicians in thrall to corporations will be some kind of revolt, basically the modern equivalent of the French revolution lol. There's millions of us, only thousands of them.. ;-)

     

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


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