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…

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Comments on “BSA Falsely Claims ACTA Is A Treaty That Has Already Been Signed By 37 Countries”

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21 Comments
Ron Rezendes (profile) says:

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

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

David Johnson (profile) says:

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.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

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?

Anonymous Coward says:

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…..

out_of_the_blue says:

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.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

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.

Niall (profile) says:

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 🙂

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Atkray (profile) says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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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