Join The Conversation On Keeping International Agreements From Restricting Internet Freedom

from the this-is-important dept

For quite some time, we’ve talked about how the entertainment industry has used international agreements as a way to force their agenda through various governments. There’s a great book, Information Feudalism: Who Owns the Knowledge Economy?, which details some of the history of how the entertainment industry has often driven international agreements, and then used those international agreements — which they had a hand in writing — to then demand changes to various laws to “meet our international obligations.” Just law week, I saw Bruce Lehman (at Santa Clara University’s DMCA summit), the architect of the DMCA, flat out admit that he intentionally went to WIPO to get the 1996 WIPO Copyright Treaty passed as an “end run around Congress,” since Congress wasn’t interested in passing the DMCA.

Just last week, we also highlighted how existing international free trade agreements make it difficult for Congress to fix something as simple as making it legal to unlock your mobile phones, even if the White House has come out in favor of it. I’ll have more on this little horror story shortly, but these kinds of examples should have us tremendously worried about various international agreements, from ACTA to TPP to the upcoming TAFTA covering Europe and the US.

Given those concerns, the folks at Open Media have set up a day of discussion about how the public can stop international agreements from restricting internet freedom.

So we want your input: What do you think is the best way to stop these threats to Internet freedom? How can we best reach and engage more people in the battle to stop Big Media lobbyists and bureaucrats from censoring expression online?

They’re hosting a Reddit AMA to discuss this (I’m participating for part of the day), along with asking people to discuss anywhere else they would like as well: Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, or right here in the comments. The entertainment industry has had more or less free rein in helping to craft international agreements that pressure governments into passing laws in their favor for decades. It’s time we took that out of the secret back rooms, and let the internet-using public have its say in the matter.

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Comments on “Join The Conversation On Keeping International Agreements From Restricting Internet Freedom”

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24 Comments
out_of_the_blue says:

Governments aren't unwilling to censor, Mike.

You go wrong from the start to shoehorn this into your anti-industry agenda: “For quite some time, we’ve talked about how the entertainment industry has used international agreements as a way to force their agenda through various governments.”

Your premise and then slant omits the actual and present danger of gov’t merging with “internet” corporations — Google for instance — which is FAR greater menace than mere thieves wanting to control entertainment and get paid too much for it.

Take a loopy tour of Techdirt.com! You always end up at same place!
http://techdirt.com/
If Mike supports copyright, why are the pirates here? They take him same as I do: PRO-PIRACY!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Governments aren't unwilling to censor, Mike.

“actual and present danger of gov’t merging with “internet” corporations — Google for instance”

Huh?

I’m thinking citation is needed to show the government has any desire let alone done anything to collaborate with Google (or any other said internet corporation) on anything other than NSLs.

Anonymous Coward says:

Just law week, I saw Bruce Lehman (at Santa Clara University’s DMCA summit), the architect of the DMCA, flat out admit that he intentionally went to WIPO to get the 1996 WIPO Copyright Treaty passed as an “end run around Congress,” since Congress wasn’t interested in passing the DMCA.

While you dopes are kicking yourselves for not thinking of this first.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re:

While you dopes are kicking yourselves for not thinking of this first.

Since I’m not a criminal who is trying to twist the rule of law to allow me to expand my criminal activities, no, I am not kicking myself for not thinking of this first.

The people who did think of this first should be kicking themselves. But since they lack a conscience, they won’t.

Anonymous Coward says:

the best bet would be to prevent anyone from the USA in any way, shape form or function from being involved in any discussion anywhere over copyrights and patents. at least then other countries would be dealing with things ‘locally’ and, hopefully, what would be best for their own people and own economies rather than being forced to but the wants, the needs and the demands of the USA before everything and everyone else! if that cant be achieved, just hand the world over to the USA entertainment industries, let them take everything they want from everyone, everywhere and see what happens when they make such a monumental fuck up that nothing ever works properly again. we’ve already seen the disasters they have instigated for their own artists, a few more should just about clinch things!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Yes, because there’s no indigenous content industries in the UK, Japan or Korea. Absolutely nothing. All content is exclusively produced by the US and any possible suggestion that content can come from anywhere else is sheer nonsense.

I didn’t say there was no content. I said it mostly sucked.

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