We've still got too much backroom-dealings going on (especially when it comes to things like "Intellectual Property" or "Law enforcement"), where EU regulations are taken over without anyone talking about.
To be fair, it's the duty of the citizens (and representatives) to get informed about these things, and to demand a vote on them, but still, these international treaties get signed quite clandestinely, without much discussion or press reporting.
And the political party the most concerned about "foreign influence" which claims to be anti-EU, is of course the one immediately signing (or even driving the adoption of) any kind of international "Intellectual Property" or "Law Enforcement" treaties.
Well, anyway, the Swiss political system sure got its shortcomings, that's why I'm in the Swiss Pirate Party.
But our democracy sure is a hell lot better than the "winner-takes-all", "two-party", "elect-and-have-no-say-anymore"-system of the USA.
I'd like to recap this from a slightly different perspective:
This isn't "Licensing" at all, because the subject lacks a property -- being subject to copyright -- to make "licensing" even an option.
We're talking about
a) Service. Somebody makes quality photographs of public domain 2D-Art for you.
b) A private contract, in which you agree to give certain compensation (and maybe agree to not use your rights pertaining said material) in exchange to these services.
Evidently, this does not infringe on YOUR rights granted by copyright. You upload the photographs to wikimedia commons, as "public domain" and from this point on everybody will have high quality pictures of that art. However, you might open yourself to a "breach of contract"-lawsuit. This will be entirely your problem. Wikimedia and the public still keep the images, because they did not have any contract...
Still, no matter what the contractor wishes it to be, he does NOT have any copyright on public domain two-dimensional art.
Which brings me to the second point: Of course everyone and their lawyers claim copyrights IN SPITE of not having them. I call this fraud.
And even worse: The publisher in the above case was so indoctrinated by this propaganda, he automatically tried to clear the rights, without realizing that there are no exclusive rights by anyone on copies of two-dimensional public domain art. Instead he could have just copied them out of Stokstad (if of sufficient quality).
Now the problem obviously is that the courts, patent office and lawyers seem to think an algorithm in software is something entirely different than in mathematics. Which is bogus. Sort of like legislating the value of Pi to exactly 3 (Which was actually tried in Indiana in 1897). I can't even fathom the incredible absurdity -- and complete disconnection with science -- that view shows.
So if you really believe that software should NOT be excluded from patents, you're saying mathematics, and by extension, laws of nature, should be patentable. You can't tell me you really mean this.
In short: Yes, if the patent law as it exists would be actually applied, there would be no software patent whatsoever.
Yes, "patent denied" what what those that instituted the system thought was what would happen most of the time.
But then the offices got incentives to grant patents, for instance by making appeals against the patent office denying something possible.
And along come some brain-dead judges which accept a bookshelf full of Moby Dick as a Moby Dick Support Device, and who believe the lawyers arguing math isn't math if it runs on a computer, and you got a pretty good mess.
And of course, add a lot of politicians who are firmly indoctrinated that patents are good, are somehow "acceptable monopolies" and not some mercantilist ploy.
And besides, all the pirate parties have somehow different views. Ours (the Swiss one) stands in for
- copyright lasting 14 years from publication
- every work the state finances must be public domain
- no third-party and additional rights for broadcasters
- no liability for transmitting entities
- no data retention laws
- no mandatory collecting societies, and no mandatory inclusion of the whole body of works for members of such a society.
- strong fair use
- DRM must be illegal
- private copies must be legal
In case of tangible art (sculptures, architecture) photographs could indeed be copyrighted.
However, with texts and pictures, its impossible since reproductions of two-dimensional art are not copyrightable.
5. (1) Subject to this Act, copyright shall subsist in Canada, for the term hereinafter mentioned, in every original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic work if any one of the following conditions is met:
The key point being "original", which a photographical reproduction clearly is not.
This not only applies to Canada, but to just about every country on the world.
There is no reason per se to withold anything related to TPP from the public. Unless you view the public (and congress!) as the enemy. And if you do so, this makes you the enemy of the people, and by extension, the enemy of the state.
The USTR is thus an enemy of the state. I still wonder why the responsible people within the USTR haven't been arrested for treason.
Thomas Babington Macauley already warned us in his 1841 speech
One of the most instructive, interesting, and delightful books in our language is Boswell's Life of Johnson. Now it is well known that Boswell's eldest son considered this book, considered the whole relation of Boswell to Johnson, as a blot in the escutcheon of the family. He thought, not perhaps altogether without reason, that his father had exhibited himself in a ludicrous and degrading light. And thus he became so sore and irritable that at last he could not bear to hear the Life of Johnson mentioned. Suppose that the law had been what my honourable and learned friend wishes to make it. Suppose that the copyright of Boswell's Life of Johnson had belonged, as it well might, during sixty years, to Boswell's eldest son. What would have been the consequence? An unadulterated copy of the finest biographical work in the world would have been as scarce as the first edition of Camden's Britannia.
(Still, his best prediction is this: And you will find that, in attempting to impose unreasonable restraints on the reprinting of the works of the dead, you have, to a great extent, annulled those restraints which now prevent men from pillaging and defrauding the living.)
Still some fucking morons thought extending the duration of copyright to after the death of the artist was a good idea.
In general, telcos are completely incompetent when it comes to security. They've come late to realize that the whole world had already been doing internet over their lines. And they've never had any experience with a hostile world out there.
Telcos never grokked Kerckoffs principle, and that to make something secure, security must only lie in the keys. They still believe in "proprietary" and in "trade secret" and "closed source".
"Cyber Crime" for telcos consists mostly of "fraudulently using our services" (phreaking) and "not paying the bills".
Of course they've learned quite a bit since, but compared to ISPs (or even universities) they're neophytes. And you don't want to put slouches in charge of security.
The "penalty of perjury" part only needs to apply to the claim that the party writing the letter is authorized to act on behalf of the rightsholder.
Yes, but what if this "rightsholder" isn't actually the "rightsholder", but someone falsely claiming a copyright? It means that the party writing the letter is NOT authorized to act on behalf of the rightsholder, but just on behalf of someone trying to defraud somebody.
The way I read this, if you're acting on behalf of a fraudster, you're still liable. You could sue the fraudster, tough, if he told you he was the rightsholder..
Sounds like a classical BGP routing table corruption. Happens all the time, everywhere. Something like three times a year at a typical ISP, but usually they get fixed within minutes to a few hours. But sometimes, every few years, something bigger happens, which takes hours to days to fix, and that's probably what happend there.
You know, they could do it as they did BEFORE the DMCA, when the could not just send a takedown notice.
You'd mail the user politely that he'd infringe on your rights, and he should take the offending content down. If nothing happened, you'd mail the user with the ISP in the Cc. And in 95% of all cases, this worked.
Actually, that's how it still works in most of europe.
And if nothing happened, the content was still there, you get a judge to sign a subpoena instructing the ISP to take down the content of the user. And that's how we do it still in most of Europe.
Really, I'd consider what the USTR does treason. The USTR is an administrative body under congress, and withholding vital information from your directly responsible superior (remember, those two senators are in the immediate commitee tasked with supervising the USTR) sure sounds like treason.
So I'd call upon the attorney general to have the responsible people within the USTR arrested for treason.
That's how Switzerland got its patent law. France had it.
"la loi, est entièrement contraire au progrès industriel, en ce qu'ell nous empeche de lutter à armes égales avec la Suisse et les pays qui ne reconaissent pas le privilége de l'invention" -- Boutarel, ca. 1880.