It's Time To Let Politicians Know That Using Secretive Trade Agreements To Meddle With The Internet Is Unacceptable

from the speak-up,-speak-out dept

Last week, we noted how the anti-SOPA protest had woken up people around the globe to one of the legacy content industry’s favorite tricks: sneaking dreadful IP expansionist policies through international trade agreements. In particular, it woke people up to ACTA, an agreement that was basically a done deal, and already signed by many of the participants. But now there’s a fight on in Europe over whether or not it will really get ratified — and it all comes down to whether or not the EU Parliament moves forward. And even while some are wondering if it’s dead and superpowers like Germany are appearing to at least have some level of second thoughts over the plan… it’s still moving forward.

As we had mentioned, a ton of plans for in-person protests had sprung up across Europe, and most of those are happening tomorrow. Reports are coming in about how these protests are really having an impact, and many people are hoping to ramp up the pressure with the protests tomorrow.

If you want to see where the local protest are being held, the folks over at Access have a great summary page, and Fight for the Future — who was instrumental in organizing the anti-SOPA blackouts — has set up to make it easier to speak out against ACTA as well. Who knows if ACTA can really be stopped, but it’s really amazing to see so many people speaking out against these agreements. International trade agreements are considered boring and rarely do people pay attention to them (outside of big “free trade” agreements that set off certain groups). But to see so many people learning about how these deals sneak in dangerous provisions, it suggests that perhaps we can finally convince politicians that mucking with the internet solely for special interests — and doing it through totally secretive processes — is simply not acceptable any more.

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Comments on “It's Time To Let Politicians Know That Using Secretive Trade Agreements To Meddle With The Internet Is Unacceptable”

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Anonymous Coward says:

That’s odd. When ACTA was being formed up, the copyright/tradegroups were saying the secrecy was not unusual. Despite some of the participants own countries laws saying trade bills would be made public for discussion.

I’d say this is what you get when the pendulum starts swinging the other way with enough is enough. It is beginning to look like this is the straw to start the possible reconsidering of what is and is not protected by copyright.

During all these multiple copyright protection bills, no one has seen fit to see the public represented on it’s concerns that make copyright the deal where the protection drops off and it becomes public domain. No one has addressed issues like DRM that never leave the product meaning that even when it becomes public domain, the song with DRM will never do that.

Anonymous Coward says:


I know right? Those worthless garbage blog owners in their blogospheres and hugboxes what do they know about internets?

They aren’t as skilled as my childhood hero Doctor Chris Dodd with his PH.D in Internetology. Clearly those snot-nosed, butthurt little brats from Reddit should just sit down and shut up while the experts are making authoritative legislation about their communities.

You satans here on Techrape are just denying the inevitable advancement of the internet by those brilliant internetologists. This series of tubes is about to be unclogged and you dirty clogs of techdirt are about to be swept away by the golden waters of our glorious legislative process right into the FEMA camps where you belong.

eat internet and choke on it, mike hussien masnick.

Digitari says:


can those referenced above be ANY WORSE then the current crop of dead heads?

we have a VP of the USA that wants to retrain “cow guards” ya know those things at the end of a road that prevents cattle from leaving a field, and wandering out in traffic.

the folks running the country are made up of people OF the country. Holding a public office or being a Lobbyist DOESN’T mean you get a raise in IQ

(BTW the person in the USA that holds the highest IQ, is a bouncer in a bar, in Long Island)

Anonymous Coward says:


“Yeah, let’s just let a bunch of blabbering blog owners and unregistered lobbyists tell us what is right for the country and the world. They know best!”

“blabbering blog owners” would’nt find life easy if the things they said, didn’t reflect the feelings of its users, so in essence a good blog, is a sum of its users who use and continue to use said blog, because said blog provides them an outlet to share their thoughts and ideas with like minded people

I choose blog(x ammount of users) everytime, when it comes to the approximation off the truth

Good Blog vs a Single Politician
One topic

Anonymous Coward says:


“”blabbering blog owners” would’nt find life easy if the things they said, didn’t reflect the feelings of its users,”

Yup, and you go back in history, and you can find guys like (sorry to use the example) Hitler, who were very good at “reflecting the feelings” of the masses.

That reflected feeling doesn’t make it right, just reflected.

M says:

Selective Enforcement

All those who can never shut up about the injustices the corporations are suffering, nobody seems to care at all about all the injustices to the individual. Where are the provisions protecting fair use? Where are the mandates for content lost through destroyed media to be replaced? Why not? Lose any software purchase–you’re allowed to get it for the price of the physical media–usu. $5 or so. Why not with music and video? The reason? They want you to pay for what you own over and over again–regardless of your rights. Selective enforcement is not justice. Why jump straight to correcting the injustices harming those who care nothing for our rights, and profit by abusing us? The media–as the mouth of the corporations never seem to talk about these injustices. I doubt if this complaint will even see print.

Killercool (profile) says:


This blog is now, and always has been, a personal blog (now a a group of blogger under a single Label) used to sell a product: TechDirt’s time & expertise.

Even beyond that, there is not and never has been a law/rule/whatever saying that a “reporter” of ANY caliber has to only report the facts of the news.
There is no “equal airtime.”
There is no “neutral reporting.”

I mean, really. Even when a weatherman does a report, he gives a prediction of how “nice” the weather will be.
I happen to like cold, gray days.

Oh me, oh my, what is this news channel coming to, if they can’t even stop themselves from putting a slant on the weather?

Will says:

If not for the internet, the music labels and Hollywood studios would not have made nearly as much as they did. They claim copy write breaches, pirating, etc etc, but have they made tone more than they have lost, most likely. The US politicians aren’t doing what’s right for the country. They are doing what’s right fir their bank account. How can censoring and restricting innovation and technological advancement be good fie a country. How would the us and the rest if the world react if they boycotted the internet? I know fir fact the government would lose out on A LOT OF TAX MONEY. Why? Oh ya, because they are making corporate and salary taxes for payroll, only allowed over the INTERNET.

Get all he heads out if ur ignorant Republican asses. If you think by policing something like the internet, which was granted a HUMAN RIGHT BY THE UNITED NATION is good fir us, then you’re just as damned as this country. Grow a pair and have an opinion.

Believe the media, so it. Its not because the government and lobbyist control them. Not at all. They speak the truth and don’t tell u what they want u to hear.

Anyone who is pro sopa, pro acta either has not read the bill and only believes the government, or is a politician who doesn’t know what the internet is…. anyone else who’s for it well, you’re just an idiot.

Michael says:

Selective Enforcement

I like your post, M. The mega corps are just using copyright/IP infringement as an excuse to take control of something they didn’t put in the hard labor and funding to help create and develop: the internet. People have been recording/copying media for decades now. I used to record music, films, TV shows, you name it. Heck, I used to rent games and record the music from them. Question: was I committing theft? I don’t believe so. The original media which I copied from was still left 100% intact. So how is the internet any different?

Speaking as a practicing Catholic, I have a moral obligation not to steal. If somebody releases a game, movie or music album that I want and I can’t acquire/afford it, I won’t download it out of sheer greed. Instead, I’ll try to obtain a physical copy. However, as far as old stuff is concerned (meaning decades’ old), such as antiquated music or so-called abandonware, i.e.. old VG software, I’m not sure that there is a moral consequence involved in DLing said content. This is why I keep making the point that there should be an unrenewable 10-year digital copyright on all *new* content (*new* meaning any wholly original work released within the past ten years to the date) in order to keep copyright from being used as a tool to abuse the common wealth.

Anonymous Coward says:


A good student of history and someone versed in even anything remotely resembling some semblance of intelligence and/or knowledge, would know that Hitler DID NOT reflect the feelings of the masses.

Instead, he pretty much dictated his will to the people and was able to, through the use of speeches and propaganda, push his beliefs onto the people.

There were problems at Germany at the time, obviously, and Hitler used those problems and his means to eliminate and/or combat them as a rallying point to garner support from the masses, at which point he begun to spin things in a manner that was not truly support by the masses.

Then again, you are a shill, and shills aren’t known for being able to state facts. Merely spin and disinformation.

Congratulations, you just got schooled on a bit of history. Maybe you’ll take the time to study up on it, rather than just regurgitating whatever incorrect information you’ve been fed at some point in your life.

The eejit (profile) says:


You’ve clearly read The Art of War and not actuall;y realised that it applies to more than war. Knowing your opponents allows you to swiftly develop stratagems that obliterate your opponent.

This was somewhat aptly demonstrated by Bruce Lee in his development in the martial art Jeet Kune Do and Lee’s teachings, to “be like water, always on the easiest path past your opponent’s defenses.”

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