Negotiators Get Close On ACTA, And Continue To Mislead About It

from the too-bad dept

All last week, what negotiators hoped to be the “final” round of negotiations on ACTA were taking place in Tokyo. It was odd that little was heard from the negotiations, but late Friday, word came out that an agreement was still “weeks” away, as there were still substantial differences to be worked out. However, then an announcement was released suggesting that the deal is almost done as “participants in the negotiations constructively resolved nearly all substantive issues and produced a consolidated and largely finalized text of the proposed agreement.”

Of course, in typical ACTA fashion, the statement itself was blatantly dishonest as well. It tried to claim that “all stakeholders” were heard from with the following sentence:

During the week, the Government of Japan hosted informal meetings with stakeholders, including representatives from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and business leaders, and the participants in the ACTA negotiating round.

Except, as we detailed, that’s not being intellectually honest. 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. If that’s how the negotiators “meet with stakeholders,” who represent consumer rights, you can get a sense of how much ACTA cares about consumers.

Either way, the negotiators are promising to release a final text shortly, in take-it-or-leave-it fashion. It would be nice if countries were smart enough to “leave it,” but I’m sure that there’s too much lobbying money on the table for most politicians to stand up for what’s right here.

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Comments on “Negotiators Get Close On ACTA, And Continue To Mislead About It”

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lfroen (profile) says:

Re: Re: Rebelion?

Are you for real? Please check your history book about this “rebellion” thing you’re talking about.

People will not rebel for stupid movies. Most of the world have bigger problems to care about: wars, economics, natural resources, etc.
Note to US residents: please use map to check where’s “most of the word” is located. Hint: it’s not even in Europe.

This “most of the world” will sign whatever treaty US will pressure them, and people will silently ignore it no matter what government officials say.

In same “most of the world” local ISP’s have money, while so cutting customers will not fly.
Recent example: one Israeli newspaper published rumor that some ISP throttle bittorent. In _same_ day ISP representative issued statement where he insured customers that such thing will never happen; while other ISP’s issued statements about their ability to handle any kind of load without need to throttle.

cc (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Rebelion?

ACTA is about a lot more than stupid movies. If it were just about stupid movies _I_ for one wouldn’t care… but unfortunately I *have* to care about something like ACTA.

I do feel very powerless, however, because the people who understand or even care to understand what ACTA really is are very few. If only more citizens of the world would step up to their *duty* of making sure the world remains democratic and our rights remain our own… unfortunately most are too concerned with today’s problems, and have entrusted tomorrow to their governments — who are have seized the opportunity to become selfish and corrupt.

Humanity will have to go through another bout of medieval feudalism before its next renaissance. I guess that’s how the world of man improves itself: two steps forward, one step backwards (an infinite loop, at least until history stops repeating itself).

I can’t believe I’m typing this shit up…

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Rebelion?

“Humanity will have to go through another bout of medieval feudalism before its next renaissance. I guess that’s how the world of man improves itself: two steps forward, one step backward”

That’s actually really interesting, because, at least in the cause of freedome, I think what you’re saying is absolutely true. Look at the way that the world has progressed throughout time from despotism to modern government today. It makes perfect sense that the American Republic today is less free than it was a hundred years ago, but we’re still a “step” ahead of where we were 200 years ago.

It seems we’re do for a bound forward. I’m looking forward to it….

cc (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Rebelion?

Human society appears to re-invent itself every few centuries. It follows this cycle: a new “pure and righteous” political system is put in place that should work in theory, and at first everything is amazing for everyone. But, people are selfish creatures, and the system is slowly turned into totalitarianism/aristocracy. The majority of people suffer for many years, and conditions get increasingly worse. Eventually, a breaking point is reached, which leads the masses to rise up, reclaim power and a new “pure and righteous” political system is put in place that should work in theory, and at first everything is amazing for everyone.

This has undoubtedly repeated itself thousands (millions?) of times throughout human history, and it’s how we got from living in caves to where we are today.

What alarms me is that today we have the technology to introduce a very real thought police, and ACTA, COICA, the Gallo report etc etc are all early signs of that happening. That would make it much easier for the powers-that-be to prevent anyone from standing up against them — it could break this loop.

In other words, I’m afraid we might not be anywhere near the “revolution”. I’m afraid we might be standing at the edge of a cliff, ready to take a big plunge.

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Rebelion?

You’re correct in your cyclical assumptions about human governmental experiments.

If you look at it you’ll see relative periods of stability which are shattered by sudden changes in how governance takes place. They also happen to be periods of relatively sudden technological change.

The introduction of what we know as democracy occurred in Athens during such a period, largely driven by the Greeks themselves, borrowed by the Romans who picked up on what the Greeks did and improved the living daylights out of it.

Rome itself changed to a tyranny under the successors to Augustus, no democrat himself, as the Empire expanded and stabalized.

It all fell apart when Rome did, in the west, and the period we call the “Dark Ages” when tyranny returned with a vengeance.

Fast forward to the Renaissance and the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution in England. Another period of rapid technological change came about along with the pressure from the House of Commons to take power from the monarchy and the Lords. Along came a nutbar King named George III and the American Revolution which the Commons, by and large was sympathetic to but couldn’t overturn the Lords or the nutbar King, who ignored it and financed German mercenaries to fight in America when the Commons turned off the financial tap.

The US Congress and the British Parliamentary system which reformed itself into it’s current form by the the 1860s or so, have served as the model of democracy in action ever since.

Now we’re in a period of rapid tech change again and, guess what?, the forces of what historians call reaction are screaming and yelling that the sky is about to fall. These forces, being the creatures of the previous stable period and getting filthy rich from it, grab control of government and create things like ACTA which serve no purpose but to ensure the reactionaries continue to reap the largest part of the economic pie.

Eventually the attempts to freeze or control tech change fail, as they did first in England and America fail during industrialization then in Europe and eventually globally.

Not without, I ought to point out, a lot of bloodshed along the way. (See Franco-Prussian War, the U.S. Civil War).

The other thing is that these periods of stability/revolution are becoming shorter and shorter though out history and I rather suspect it will be much shorter this time out.

What’s the change now? The ability of the “masses”, “commoners” or “mob” to communicate freely.

What made the American Revolution successful was the ability of the colonists of the time to print pamphlets, for example, that set our their grievances and solutions. Americans knew this and ensured that it could continue by making a (very healthy) fetish of a free press and free speech.

It’s against this background where there are pockets of freedom which aren’t going to go away easily that the forces of reaction (in the historical rather than political sense) will find impossible to control.

This time around, I suspect, it’s going to be the ability of the “masses” to get around reactionary forces like those behind ACTA by communicating using the Internet as the tool. For example the ability to penetrate the great firewall of China or the more moronic notions going on in that “democracy” we call Australia.

This time, I pray, without the ocean of bloodshed required to unseat the reactionaries (in the historical sense again) the printing press and the industrial revolution needed to get them unseated.

It’s about power, folks. Real, imagined or desired by the sponsors of ACTA. And don’t look to current political parties to resolve that without revolution within their structures or their near complete collapse. They sold their souls long ago.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Rebelion?

“It seems we’re do for a bound forward. I’m looking forward to it….”

This time around lets put time limits on laws, a constitutional review council on every law, a six month public debate period on all laws before they may be voted on, traceability on every line in every law leading back to the indiviual politicians. Basically lets keep the politicians from rushing crap through, using fear mongering, reducing our civil liberties, and removing the pork.

out_of_the_blue says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Rebelion?

“Humanity will have to go through another bout of medieval feudalism before its next renaissance.” — You are an *optimist*. My view is that lessons from all the statist experiments of the past have been combined with high-tech and will produce an *actual* Panopticon surveillance state that’s comprehensive and effective. Orwell was necessarily limited in his technology vision, but with the help of all-but-mad “scientists”, even more than “1984” is in almost upon us.

And by the way, there may not be easily available *energy* for another Renaissance; it’ll have been burned up to fuel war machines, besides outright wasted by — at best — incompetence: BP spill.

Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Rebelion?

First: it was a joke.

Second: I was referring to a hypothetical 1984esk future where people’s houses are confiscated on accusation of infringement over sneakernet. It’s not likely to happen, but if it did, a rebellion is the logical conclusion.

If you would like me to explain further, I would love a chance to practice writing fiction.

Anonymous Coward says:

Not at all unusual that yet another delay has cropped up. Such is the nature of all complex negotiations, and particularly among governments.

It is good to see, however, that debate continues as all parties hopefully move to closure so that the document can enter into force.

Over time I believe it will prove to be the case that ACTA is not the devil incarnate, but rather a set of guiding principles that are not set in stone and hand-tying as so many here appear to believe.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

With all the “released” copies floating about after each prior meeting, groups have expressed criticisms that to varying degrees appeared in subsequent agendas.

If I recall correctly, you were among those who chastised anyone for commenting on the report until the final version was out.

Funny that you now change your tune. Sad, really. Your agenda is so transparent.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

No, I chastised those who keep calling it a treaty and wailing that it will both mandate changes to US copyright law and preclude Congress from making future changes.

That is not correct. You directly scolded us for commenting on ACTA, saying that you would wait until the final version was released before it was worth commenting on.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“With all the “released” copies floating about after each prior meeting, groups have expressed criticisms that to varying degrees appeared in subsequent agendas.”

By “released”, you mean “leaked” right? And by “leaked”, I mean “involuntarily released, because if it was up to them, we would still be in the dark since they don’t care about what you, me or anyone says, as long as the money keeps flowing their way”.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

The point is that copy”right” law is already very very bad. ACTA is not going to make it any better, it’s only going to make it worse. Why should we pass laws that make already bad laws even worse. Instead, what congress should be focusing on is correcting our broken laws by repealing copy protection laws.

“I have no reason to believe that this and later meetings will be any different.”

So your basing the governments minor compromises to criticisms based on leaked documents (and only released after being leaked). In other words you admit the government is not being transparent and would not have slightly alleviated some of the problems with ACTA if it weren’t for the leaked documents. So then the government hasn’t been transparent exactly because they want these problems to exist and the fact that they want these problems to exist within the law is evidence that they are not intending to act in our interest. They have not been acting in our interest with their lack of transparency and the bill has not been in the public interest. Copy”right” is not in the public interest. So, since they are not intending to act in the public interest, then why should I believe that they will suddenly act in our interest from this point on? I have no reason to believe it and I have every reason to believe they will not. They are acting in the interest of lobbyists and campaign contributors and whoever has given and will give them and their family members a job now or after they leave office, not in the public interest.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Oh, and regarding a “compromise,” I don’t want a compromise. I want the govt to pass laws in the public interest. I understand this is a difficult concept for selfish special interest groups to grasp, but the govt should act in the public interest, not in the private interest. It’s not the govts job to compromise by passing laws that are bad for the public in opposed to passing laws that are worse for the public. I want the govt to pass laws that are good for the public. That is, IP laws should exist only to the extent that they serve the public interest and the public should accept no compromises.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“Over time I believe it will prove to be the case that ACTA is not the devil incarnate, but rather a set of guiding principles that are not set in stone and hand-tying as so many here appear to believe.”

Dude!! I laughed so hard I burped … I didn’t think that was possible.

If you want I can e-mail you my analysis of the future of the record labels, TV studios, Cable TV, Movie Studios, newspapers, and magazines. It has their future charted out for the next 15 years. The future for them is very grim.

No amount of creating new laws in an effort to force people to purchase “stuff” has ever worked and has always backfired. ACTA will do the same and it is the end of the road for the copyright crowd. There are no further laws that can be passed. Unless you want to open up the death penalty for infringement.

With ACTA you get your three strikes, you get your perp walks of 14 year old kids with full iPods doing “commercial scale infringement”, you get people searched and arrested at the borders, you get your no knock warrents on old ladies who dont own computers, you get your education campaigns.

What you also get is the backlash of having pushed to far. If you haven’t heard one company in India set off a huge backlash admitting to doing DDOS on several sites. Imagine what will happen when you inconvenience, annoy, and begin cutting off 2-3 billion internet users.

May you live in interesting times …


Anonymous Coward says:

Get ready to be ripped off again. I hope you all are stupid and elect Republicans so they can finish raping the country. I got mine so who gives a shit about you. I’m ready to let the Republicans finish off the country. Then maybe when the government has finally fallen we can get something done that really works for the people. The only President that even came close to representing me in my lifetime was Clinton and I just turned 65. All of them were losers. No one represents me.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“I also fail to see what their post has to do with anything in this topic in general. Perhaps just an off topic rant?”

More than likely a democrat that sees the democrats are going to loose in the midterms and is trying to make people believe the republicans are actually responsible for obamacare, the trillion dollar bail out, etc.

Killer_Tofu (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

No. Not really at all. His post in no way makes any reference to ACTA for me to infer that the AC was claiming that the republicans were behind ACTA. I think its just a rant in general. While one would normally be correct in guessing that the person there is a democrat, I could and probably would make a very similar rant against the republicans. The only thing is is that I am not a democrat either. I simply hate them all.

While mentioning the bailouts though, I was under the impression that the republicans really were behind a lot of the bailout money (certainly not all, by any means). I seem to recall Bush running to Congress saying “I need lots of money for the banks!” and them giving it to him.

Anonymous Coward (user link) says:

WASHINGTON ? The following is a statement by Greg Frazier, Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer of the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA), regarding the recent round of negotiations on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

?ACTA is an important step forward in strengthening international cooperation and enforcement for intellectual property rights. It is also an important signal that the world?s largest economies recognize the critical value of intellectual property rights to their global competitiveness and are committed to moving ahead together to protect the jobs of the millions of men and women working in film and other creative industries.

We continue to believe ACTA must include robust protections for intellectual property online, building on established international norms if it is to meet its potential as a state-of-the art agreement to combat counterfeiting and piracy.

We commend the U.S. Trade Representative and the other international negotiators for their hard work in resolving nearly all major issues.

The ability to finance, create and distribute entertainment, and the livelihood of the more than 2.4 million talented and dedicated men and women who work in our industry are dependent upon our ability to protect the intellectual property that is the lifeblood of our industry. No business can sustain itself if forced to compete against the widespread theft and unlawful distribution of its products.?

Josh Taylor says:

Rebellion? Revolution? Rely on Jesus

I rather rely on Jesus than Rebellion or Revolution. ACTA is just another accord to bring in the New World Order.

I think you should all forget about rebellion or revolution, and except Jesus your personal Lord and Savior and rely on him.

The End is near.

Your online habits will be recorded, but your life is already recorded. One day you will stand at the Great White Throne Judgment and will give an account to everything you do, and you will be cast into the Lake of Fire for all eternity.

But Jesus paid the price for what you did in your life by dying on the cross for you.

Will you accept Him today? Accept Him now by saying the Sinner’s Prayer.

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