EU Politicians Get Serious Demanding ACTA Transparency And No Three Strikes

from the excellent-news dept

Last week, there were reports that the EU trade policy folks had decided to stand up for ACTA transparency, and now it looks like they're really doing it. As various reports are noting, a joint resolution was put forth by nearly all party groups in the EU Parliament demanding that ACTA negotiations be opened up. It also goes further, demanding that there be a ban on imposing "three strikes" laws included as well and a promise that ACTA will not impose personal searches at the border. This is tremendous news, and if this gets approved, it could reshape ACTA in a positive way. But, of course, let's see how the US reacts. While repeatedly insisting that it wasn't the US that was trying to keep negotiations secret, at this point, it looks like the only countries that are actively opposed to transparency in negotiations remain South Korea and Singapore -- with the US remaining silent. This would be the time at which the USTR needs to stand up and either open up the negotiations or admit that it's the reason they've been so secretive all along.

Filed Under: acta, eu, three strikes, transparency


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Mar 2010 @ 6:55pm

    "EU Politicians Get Serious Demanding ACTA Transparency And No Three Strikes"

    Yes, because the documents (or at least the parts that they want to keep secret the most) have already leaked there is no more point in not demanding transparency anymore.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Karl (profile), 9 Mar 2010 @ 7:11pm

      Re:

      Actually, I think it's because most EU politicians genuinely had no idea what was going on themselves. Once they found out, they all got pissed off.

      Hopefully that starts to happen in the U.S. as well. A man can dream, can't he?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Mar 2010 @ 7:24pm

    Why would one get kicked off of the internet for being accused of counterfeting three times?

    ACTA just doesn't make sense.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Mar 2010 @ 7:25pm

    Perhaps once they get some visibility it may be worthwhile for all the governments involved to legislate that all future trade agreements must be passed by their legislature.

    That should at lest place some sort of checks and balances in place (though i have little hope they will be quality ones).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Hephaestus (profile), 9 Mar 2010 @ 7:30pm

    "This is tremendous news, and if this gets approved, it could reshape ACTA in a positive way."

    This is pretty neat actually and not what I expected. What would be funny is if ACTA gets openned up in europe and they actually do something right with copyright and patents.

    Limiting length of copyright and patents.

    Declaring the default bare minimum terms (number of words, seconds of video or music) of fair use for books, music, and video.

    Requiring publishers of books, music, and video to disclose with in the publication their fair use terms if they exceed the minimums.

    Removing automatic copyright and requiring initial and periodic re-registration and payment for registration of copyrighted works.

    Allowing format shifting of media.

    Declaring moding and DRM hacking legal. This one is realy needed, security researchers are afraid to come forward with what they discover allowing exploits to be used by criminals. Making us all less secure.

    etc

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Mar 2010 @ 7:47pm

      Re:

      “Declaring moding and DRM hacking legal. This one is realy needed, security researchers are afraid to come forward with what they discover allowing exploits to be used by criminals. Making us all less secure.”

      I actually agree. Security through obscurity is not security. It just prevents law abiding citizens from being able to learn about the exploits in order to be able to avoid them and it prevents corporations from correcting exploits because the public is too unaware to demand such corrections be made. but it does nothing to keep exploits out of the hands of criminals, they are criminals and will break the law regardless in turn enabling them to use those exploits against law abiding citizens.

      Security through obscurity does not work. What we need to do is encourage security by design.

      Just like with gun laws. Many of them do little to stop criminals, they will get guns regardless and adding more laws that say, “you can’t have this gun” will not stop a criminal from obtaining a gun when there were already ten laws that says he can’t have a gun before the new law was passed. The only thing it’s gonna do is cause him to break eleven laws that say he can’t have that gun instead of the ten that he broke before the law was passed. Often times the laws only serve to keep guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Mike Raphone, 10 Mar 2010 @ 6:01am

      Re: Copyright and Sonny Bono

      To bad Sonny Bono did not hug that tree before sponsoring the Copyright Term Extension Act, even though it was enacted after his passing. See this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonny_Bono_Copyright_Term_Extension_Act

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Mar 2010 @ 9:00pm

    It would be a welcome relief to find here reliance on sources other than the all too predictable few...namely, Geist, KEI, PK and the EFF.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Mar 2010 @ 9:16pm

      Re:

      "It would be a welcome relief to find here reliance on sources other than the all too predictable few...namely, Geist, KEI, PK and the EFF."

      Good point. So link some or provide a meaningfull counter-point. Thats what a discussion is for... contrasting viewpoints :)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Mar 2010 @ 10:05pm

        Re: Re:

        These sites are constantly relied upon simply because they seem to suit techdirt's message.

        There are other sites available that discuss these very issues, but each time they are identified the immediate response is to state "Yea, another IP shill." This is hardly the case, but what the heck...let's not get informed and unbiased commentary in the way.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Mar 2010 @ 9:24pm

      Re:

      Yeah! Those sources are totally bankrupt because everyone know that Geist is a communist! The Electronic Frontier Foundation?

      More like the Electronic Fear Foundation, am I right?

      It's strange that the mainstream media doesn't take an interest in ACTA. I mean, it's not like the major media companies have a hand, or some sort of stake, in ACTA?

      Right?!?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 9 Mar 2010 @ 11:55pm

      Re:

      It would be a welcome relief to find here reliance on sources other than the all too predictable few...namely, Geist, KEI, PK and the EFF.

      I regularly link to other sources. But, this is a factual issue. Are you suggesting that Geist is lying here?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2010 @ 8:14am

        Re: Re:

        Lying? Of course not.

        Mine is but a simple observation that he and groups such as those noted tend to be quite one-sided in such discussions, and KEI in particular seems to feel that publishing a mere snippet without context is perfectly acceptable.

        Individuals and groups such as these do very little to foster informed discourse because only rarely (very rarely) do they take the time to present both sides of a position so that readers are better informed about the pros and cons.

        Doug Litchman pokes and prods to try and bring out both sides of an issue. Ben Sheffner attempts to place such issues in context by articulating the important issues and noting statutory law and case law lending support to divergent positions. Contributors at The Volokh Conspiracy tend to do likewise, as do many others who have devoted their professional careers to the study of the development of copyright law within and outside the US. Unfortunately, their analyses are largely lost in my opinion because what they have to say do not readily admit to sensationalistic headlines and sound bites.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Mike Masnick (profile), 10 Mar 2010 @ 12:38pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Doug Litchman pokes and prods to try and bring out both sides of an issue. Ben Sheffner attempts to place such issues in context by articulating the important issues and noting statutory law and case law lending support to divergent positions.

          Ha! Wow. You pick two people notable for making misleading and biased arguments in favor of stronger IP. Both regularly ignore the points of view from the other side or take them way out of context (Sheffner especially).

          Having followed all of these, I'd argue that Ben is significantly worse at presenting one-sided biased out of context arguments than anything Geist or Jamie Love has ever done.

          Clearly, you side with Lichtman and Sheffner. That's fine. But don't pretend that they're unbiased parties when they are not. Yes, I link to Geist, PK, KEI and EFF, and I do so because their arguments are convincing, very much in context, and supported by the facts.

          The very fact that you are attacking the source, rather than the substance, is quite telling. It's not the first time you've done this either.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2010 @ 1:30pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I "side" with no one. I merely mentioned these two persons, among many, who actually take the time to try and understand, explore, and articulate competing interests. The same typically can not be said for the sites that are regularly linked to here.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jens Ayton, 10 Mar 2010 @ 2:20am

    The EU vs. the EU

    This is not a case of “the EU trade policy folks” suddenly getting it. This is (yet another) turf war between the European Parliament and the European Commission. The Commission has paid lip service to ACTA transparency but refused to actually do anything about it, and the EUP is putting its (historically rather lightweight) foot down.

    In general, an EUP resolution is nothing but a bag of hot air, but under the Treaty of Lisbon, the EUP actually has (since December) the power to block trade treaties and a right to oversee progress in the negotiations, which the Commission has not been respecting. This resolution is backed by the threat that the EUP may block ACTA ratification at the EU level if isn’t mollified. (That wouldn’t necessarily stop the member states from adopting it individually, as long as it doesn’t directly conflict with existing treaties and directives.) As such, the big picture question is whether the Parliament’s new power will actually mean anything in practice.

    The resolution is a good thing, and more practical power to the elected parliament is a good thing. But representing it as the [Commission-controlled] “EU trade policy folks” changing position is misleading and/or ignorant.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Bas Grasmayer, 10 Mar 2010 @ 3:29am

    Wooh!

    633 vs 13!! YES! :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 10 Mar 2010 @ 3:46am

      Re: Wooh!

      633 vs 13!! YES! :)

      Wow. Nice.

      Of course, according to our friend commenting above, none of this matters, because it was reported on by Michael Geist, rather than someone in the copyright cartel. :)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        nasch (profile), 10 Mar 2010 @ 9:20am

        Re: Re: Wooh!

        Yeah, we really need to bring out the other side of the debate, like all the great reasons why ACTA negotiations should be secret, and why due process isn't important.

        Can anybody think of one?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Mar 2010 @ 10:11am

          Re: Re: Re: Wooh!

          Heaven forbid that one receives relevant information from different perspectives before forming his/here opinion, whatever that opinion may ultimately be.

          This is intellectual laziness at its worst. Why think for yourself when you can have someone else do it for you?

          As for your reference to "due process", if you reside in the US and understand how our system of laws work, then you are certainly familiar with the requirements of the APA...which is one of the linchpins for due process in matters such as this.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Duke (profile), 10 Mar 2010 @ 5:42pm

    If you're wonding why...

    If you are wondering why the EP has taking this position, it is partly because they are getting fed up with being messed around by the Commission. After the Lisbon Treaty was passed the Parliament was given more power and authority, and it looks like they are finally beginning to use it.

    Of course, this could also be something to do with there being a Pirate in the European Parliament - hopefully the first of many.

    For those interested, the Parliament voted 633-13 for this motion (with 16 abstentions). Of those 13, 3 Dutch members apparently changed their votes to "yes" rather quickly and the remaining 10 were the members of the UK Independence Party - who vote "no" on everything because they don't want the UK to be in the EU (ironically voting for excessive external powers). Similarly, of the 16 abstentions 2 were also from the UK; the members of the right-wing British National Party who didn't vote either due to not bothering to turn up (one is running in our upcoming general election) or just not understanding all the fancy long words in the resolution. Anyways, on behalf of the British people I apologise for these 12 who thought their personal politics were more important than the Internet.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Show Now: Takedown
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.