by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
acta, eu, luc devigne

EU Negotiators Insist That ACTA Will Move Forward And There's Nothing To Worry About

from the uh-huh... dept

With the EU Parliament overwhelmingly voting against ACTA, you might wonder how the EU negotiators would react. Apparently, the answer is by brushing it off and going right back to negotiations. The EU's main negotiator, Luc Devigne, was involved in an event where he defended himself and ACTA saying that all of the complaints are misrepresenting what's in the agreement, and insisting that the EU has "nothing to hide." Um, is that why the documents are all top secret? He says that he'll request the release of the documents, but we've been hearing that for a while now -- and the recent (leaked, of course) agenda for the next meeting in New Zealand shows just a tiny bit of time devoted to discussing transparency. Furthermore, it appears that, like the US negotiators on this topic, Devigne was being disingenuous with his statements -- and that's giving him the benefit of the doubt that he wasn't being outright dishonest.

The talking points from ACTA negotiators seem clear. When accused of being secretive, deny it and insist that you're being open. If really pushed on the matter, blame mysterious, nameless "others" for keeping the documents secret. Then, when specific items in the text are brought up, insist that these are being misrepresented, and if only you could see the real text (which you can't, because it's a secret) you'd know that it was all blown out of proportion. Then, finally, insist that ACTA won't change any laws. Of course, if that were the case, there would be no need for ACTA at all. The negotiators insist that it's all about "enforcement," but that's (again) being disingenuous. Many of the items in the drafts are created in a way that would lock countries in to certain paths. While they might not definitively prescribe things like "three strikes," the draft makes it clear that three strikes is the only real option to avoid liability. Even for countries that won't have to change their laws, these rules will prevent them from fixing the many problems found in today's copyright laws. Also, what's amusing is we've now heard from the US, Canada and the EU insisting that ACTA won't change their laws. But the US insisted ACTA was needed to force other countries to change their laws. Which countries? The US negotiators have suggested Canada, but Canada has said it won't change its laws for ACTA. So what's the point?

This whole thing is incredibly sneaky. Despite disapproval of many politicians, negotiators seem willing to just keep moving forward with this, and covering themselves by insisting that it won't actually change laws. That way they don't even need approval from politicians. But... when those politicians actually try to reform or fix broken copyright laws, you can bet that those who supported ACTA will be the first to stand up screaming that they can't make those changes because they'll "violate international agreements!" even though those agreements were put in place in secrecy in a back room, written by industry lobbyists and designed solely to limit how countries could fix their copyright laws.

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  1. identicon
    MrSonPopo, 23 Mar 2010 @ 11:22pm

    They're not going to listen. They're just going to keep pretending that people who are unhappy with ACTA do not exist or are insane.

    The EU members of the ACTA committee need to start getting prosecuted and sentenced to jail for ignoring EU parliament decisions.

    This is an outright legal war with the general public. And they're going to cry victory until it becomes the truth. And once that passes, they'll have a stick with which they can slam their critics into lifetime internet jail.

    Under ACTA everyone infringes and everyone can be reached. Share music? Infringement! Share movies? Infringement! Review a movie on your blog? Infringement! Post lyrics to songs? Infringement! Link to news by the AP? Infringement! Post pictures that happen to have a logo or a product on them? Infringement! Mention the Winter Olympics? Infringement!

    This is, indeed, the final boss of the internet.

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