If Negotiators Still Don't Want To Release ACTA, It'll Still Get Leaked

from the leaky-old-boat dept

So, we now know for certain that the ACTA negotiators’ promise of “transparency” over negotiations was an outright lie. They fought it every step of the way, falsely claiming that if the draft were public, some members would leave the table. It was only after a pretty massive smack down from the EU Parliament and the fact that the draft was already leaked that negotiators finally agreed to release a draft that left out lots of pertinent information.

But what was most interesting is how negotiators have acted since then. First, they pretended that the released draft proved all the complaints about ACTA were unfounded, but the details showed something quite different, which has even supporters of stronger intellectual property crying foul.

And how have negotiators responded? Rather than living up to their promises of transparency, they’ve gone back into secrecy mode. They admitted that the draft release was a one time deal, which was made even clearer when the last meetings concluded without a release of the new draft — and not even a mention of the fact that they wouldn’t be releasing it.

Of course, this is the internet age, and keeping stuff secret tends to backfire badly. Via Michael Geist we’ve learned that the latest ACTA draft has been leaked once again. You can read it below:

Clearly, some of the parties involved in the negotiations agree that the drafts should be public, and the more some (we’ve heard it’s mainly the US negotiators) want to keep the document secret, the more ridiculous they look. What’s even more ridiculous, of course, is how the US negotiators keep denying reality. They claim they’re being transparent, when they’re not. They claim that the release answered all questions, when it clearly did not. They claim that the concerns of various groups are unfounded, but have failed to respond to their questions. It’s as if they think that as long as they keep saying stuff, someone somewhere will believe them. That’s not quite how it works.

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Comments on “If Negotiators Still Don't Want To Release ACTA, It'll Still Get Leaked”

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32 Comments
Ryan says:

Re: Sigh...

Interesting, I knew of that as the Big Lie. Glad to know the official term for it.

Although, these lies are certainly propagated willfully by the government and not the media; the mainstream media are so lazy now, and it’s much easier to simply roll over for government instead of starting a fight. But it’s malice in the first case and apathy in the second.

And of course the only reason why it works is because people are stupid, lazy, and unwilling to question their own stances or to actually develop their own opinions on policy; easier to just identify with some popular group and become indoctrinated by their group ideology, or just ignore it altogether.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re: Sigh...

“Although, these lies are certainly propagated willfully by the government and not the media; the mainstream media are so lazy now, and it’s much easier to simply roll over for government instead of starting a fight. But it’s malice in the first case and apathy in the second.”

Sorry, but I don’t agree. In our system of government in which people move freely between industry positions and appointed government offices, they’re all the same people. Don’t even get me started on how the same bankers that sit on the boards of these companies also lend the government money through the Fed….

Jim says:

What should we do?

I keep reading about ACTA and everything that’s terrible about it. I want to know what I can do as a citizen. I see a lot of hype around how bad this is going to be, how it’s circumventing certain legal processes in the way it is being done, and all I seem to get out of it is “we cannot stop this.” Is that really true or am I misinterpreting things? Is the best I can do to contact my state reps with my concerns over this thing? Surely there’s something we can do besides read about this and despair.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: What should we do?

Actually, I am surprised the Republicans have not made an issue of the RIAA et.al.’s ownership of several White House Offices and the fact that they have their very own, bought and paid for Vice President. If the Republicans want a populist issue, this one could be ready made for them.

Free Capitalist (profile) says:

Re: What should we do?

Definitely contact your U.S. Senators and your representative in the House. You may also consider a letter to the White House or the USTR. The concern many have is that by labeling this as an “executive agreement”, its acceptance does not require debate or ratification in Congress. Let your reps know you don’t appreciate their being sidelined in legal debates that affect their constituents.

Many other people take issue that the very name “Anti Counterfeiting Trade (executive) Agreement” implies that the discussions are focusing only on criminals profiteering on counterfeited goods. The formal draft release made it perfectly clear that copyright enforcement is a major subject.

I’m reading the latest draft and kind of amused they’re retaining the “copyright piracy” term (right after counterfeiting) to describe all copyright infringement. Again this is misleading, as mass copyright infringement for personal use is freeloading gluttony, not theft or profiteering – no actual product is lost, nor any sale intercepted.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: What should we do?

Yes, there is something you can do. Spread the word far and wide. Link to it on your blog. Pass it on to your twittering friends. Mention it to your coworkers. And do so in a way that they in turn will pass it on.

The more people think of ACTA as an horrible thing, the more likely supporting it will be seen as political suicide by the politicians. And even if it passes, the more people dislike it, the greater the opposition and the greater the chance it will be repealed, ignored, or willfully and openly defied.

(This comment is licensed under Creative Commons CC0; feel free to pass it along too!)

Jay (profile) says:

Re: That's nothing...

Look at 2.2 Damages:

Basically whatever number the rights holder makes up is the amount you have to pay.

Let’s not even think about the fact that market value may be overpriced. Nosiree bob… You price it, it’s a consideration. I swear, you can tell that there isn’t one economist on the US side.

Damn… trying to read this only depresses me. Especially with knowing that Japan (major economic recession) and the US (majorly in the hands of the big CEOs) can’t be made to see reason, only that this enforcement strategy will weaken their country on the whole.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: Re: That's nothing...

“Look at 2.2 Damages: Basically whatever number the rights holder makes up is the amount you have to pay. Let’s not even think about the fact that market value may be overpriced.”

I read a copy of this from another source. The whole document is a nightmare that uses all the failed enforcement, penalty, and re-education techniques of the past 100 years. It is basically a stick to wave at the public and say “now you have to buy our crap, you have no choice!”

Here is a bit of history. Years back the IRS was seizing properties left and right. It caused a backlash and basically the IRS was slapped down because of its abusive methods. This will cause the same thing.

If I wanted to create a document to cause a backlash and swing the copyright to what it is supposed to be, this is what it would look like. It has so many constitutional violations there is no way for it to stand the legal system of the US or the EU.

It is going to piss off pretty much everyone. Police are not going to want to arrest a mother of four and give her kids to the state for listening to music or watching movies. ISP’s are not going to want to do deep packet inspection to prevent infringement (I think ISP’s as copyright enforcers is still buried in there, I was reading the old one and this new version side by side, I might be wrong).

Risk aversion will also kick in and cause people to err on the side of caution. This in turn will create a huge surge in the usage of Creative Commons Licenses. People will use less music from the labels on youTube and the like. People will start setting up databases dedicated to freely usable media.

NAMELESS ONE says:

and dont even try this in canada

ONLY way it could get made law is if the prime minister ( whose in minority govt) uses the not withstanding clause and suspends TONS of CIVIL RIGHTS
like about 9 that i can count easily….FAIL
no EPIC fail and i concur if you want a revolution to truly begin this is the type a crap to get things rolling

remember remember the 5th of november

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