What Is ACTA And Why Is It A Problem?

from the a-little-explainer dept

Yesterday I noted that the anti-SOPA/PIPA crowd seemed to have just discovered ACTA. And while I'm pleased that they're taking interest in something as problematic as ACTA, there was a lot of misinformation flowing around, so I figured that, similar to my "definitive" explainer posts on why SOPA/PIPA were bad bills (and the followup for the amended versions), I thought I'd do a short post on ACTA to hopefully clarify some of what's been floating around.

First off, ACTA, unlike SOPA/PIPA, is not "a law." It's a trade agreement, in which a variety of countries agree to deal with intellectual property infringement in a similar fashion. It does have some similarities to SOPA/PIPA -- such as the conflation of counterfeiting physical goods with digital copyright infringement. This is a very common tactic for folks trying to pass massively draconian, expansionary, copyright laws. You lump them in with physical counterfeiting for two key reasons: (1) If you include physical counterfeiting, even thought it's a relatively small issue, you can talk about fake drugs and military equipment that kill people -- so you can create a moral panic. (2) You can then use the (questionable) large numbers about digital copyright infringement, and then lump those two things together, so you can claim both "big and a danger to health." Without counterfeiting, the "danger" part is missing. Without copyright, the "big" part is missing. The fact that these are two extremely different issues with extremely different possible solutions, becomes a minor fact that gets left on the side of the road.

Unfortunately, much of the information and fear-mongering about ACTA is extremely dated. People are asking me why the text of ACTA is hidden away as a state secret. Yes, during negotiations, there was an insane amount of secrecy -- much more than is standard. But the final text of ACTA has been public for quite some time now. We can complain about the process, but saying that the document is still secret is false.

Unfortunately, so much of the focus on ACTA was about the secrecy of the process, and the lack of actual stakeholders being involved (entertainment industry and pharma lobbyists had full access... everyone else? Not so much.), that the actual problems with the agreement have been clouded over. It is worth noting that the final ACTA text was very much improved from what was leaked out early on. In fact, it seems clear that, despite the attempts at secrecy, the fact that the document kept leaking really did help pressure negotiators to temper some of the "worst of the worst" in ACTA.

For example, ACTA initially tried to establish much stronger secondary liability for ISPs, including effectively requiring a "graduated response" or "three strikes" plan for ISPs, that would require them to kick people accused (not convicted) of infringement multiple times offline. One of the key problems with ACTA has been how broadly worded it is and how open to interpretation it is. For an agreement whose sole purpose is supposed to be to clarify processes, the fact that it's so wide open to interpretation (with some interpretations potentially causing significant legal problems) seems like a big issue. For example, while the original draft never directly required a three strikes program, it required some form of secondary liability measures, and the only example of a program that would mitigate such liability was... a three strikes program. To put it more simply, it basically said all signers need to do something to help out the entertainment industry, and one example is a three strikes program. No other examples are listed. Then they could pretend that it doesn't mandate such a program, but leaves little choice for signing countries other than to implement such a thing. However, thankfully, that provision was struck out from the final copy.

So why is ACTA problematic?
  • While it probably does not change US law (with some possible exceptions, especially in the realm of patents), it certainly does function to lock in US law, in a rapidly changing area of law, where specifics are far from settled. Supporters of ACTA continue to insist that not only does it not change US law, but that it cannot change US law, since it's an "executive agreement" rather than a treaty (more on that later). The reality, however, is that to be in compliance with this agreement, the US needs to retain certain parts of copyright law that many reformers believe should be changed. At the very least, it ties Congress' hands, if we want to be in compliance with our "international obligations."

    An example of this is on the question of inducement theory for copyright law. Within copyright law there is direct infringement (you did the infringement) and indirect or secondary infringement (you had a hand in making someone else infringe). In general we should be wary of secondary liability issues, because they can create chilling effects for new innovations. It's why the Supreme Court allowed the VCR to exist, despite the fact that it enabled infringement. Contributory infringement (in which you're more actively involved) has been illegal, but there has been some question about inducing infringement (i.e., leading or pushing others into infringing). There was an attempt by Congress nearly a decade ago, under the INDUCE Act, to make inducement a violation of copyright law, but it failed to go anywhere in Congress. Of course, the Supreme Court then stepped in with its Grokster decision that made up (pretty much out of thin air) a standard for "inducement" to be a violation of the law.

    Normally, if Congress decides the Supreme Court got something wrong, it can pass a law to clarify. However, under the terms of ACTA, countries need to consider inducement a violation of copyright law. There's no way to read this other than to tie Congress' hands on the question of inducement. That's a big issue because we're still sorting through the true impact of considering inducement as against the law. I know it's tough to believe Congress could ever push back on ever more draconian copyright law, but with the SOPA/PIPA backlash, there's at least a sliver of hope that some are aware that these issues impact innovation. Should Congress realize that greater liability through inducement is a mistake, under ACTA, their hands are mostly tied if they want to fix it. That's a problem.

  • Beyond just locking in parts of copyright law, ACTA also expands it. First, it takes things that would normally be considered non-commercial file sharing (which is potentially against the law), and turns it into commercial scale criminal infringement. Similarly, it appears to broaden the definitions around inducement/secondary liability to make what had been a civil (between two private parties) issue into criminal aiding and abetting. Basically, there are parts of ACTA that effectively seek to take what would normally be civil infringements, dealt with between two private parties, and allow the entertainment industry to offload the policing to government law enforcement (paid for by tax payers) and leading to a higher likelihood of jail time.

  • Copyright law is, by its very nature, a bundle of forces -- some that incentivize good behavior, and some that are bad. There should be no question that copyright has some good effects and some bad effects. The real question is in weighing the good and the bad and making sure that that the bad don't outweigh the good. Often, copyright law has used exceptions (fair use, public domain, de minimus use, first sale, etc.) to act as a "safety valve" in an attempt to make sure the bad doesn't outweigh the good.

    However, ACTA pretends that copyright is only good and there's no need to minimize the bad effects. That is, it only talks about the enforcement side, and completely ignores the necessary exceptions to copyright law that make it function. Basically, it exports the punishments from the US, but leaves out the safety valves. That's pretty scary. It may be (well, not really) okay in the US where fair use is clearly established, but most other countries don't have fair use at all (if they have anything, it's a much weaker system known as "fair dealing"). Exporting strict enforcement without exceptions is dangerous and will lead to unnecessary limitations on creativity and speech.

  • There are serious health risks associated with ACTA, especially in the developing world. In this case, Europe pushed strongly to include patents under ACTA (something the US actually preferred to leave out). This has complicated matters for some countries. Under existing international agreements, countries can ignore pharmaceutical patents to deal with health emergencies. That is, if you have an outbreak and need a drug that pharmaceutical companies are unwilling to supply at a reasonable price, governments can break the patent and produce their own. That becomes much more difficult under ACTA, which could be a real threat to health around the globe.

    Similarly, there are very reasonable concerns that ACTA will be used to crack down, not on actual counterfeit medicines, but on "grey market" drugs -- generic, but legal, copies of medicines. Some European nations, for example, already have a history of seizing shipments of perfectly legal generic drugs in passage to somewhere else. For example, say that a pharmaceutical company in India is shipping drugs to Brazil that are legal in both countries. However, those drugs violate a patent in Europe. If, during transit, those drugs pass through Europe, customs agents may seize them. That's already been happening, but the fear is that there's greater power to do so under ACTA.

  • ACTA presents certain requirements for border patrol agents in determining what is and what is not infringing. This is a big issue for a variety of reasons. First, as we've seen in the US, ICE/border patrol isn't very good at figuring out what is and what is not infringing. Traditionally, there are significant questions of fact to be explored in determining if something is infringing, but under ACTA, border patrol often will be in a position to make a snap decision. Believe it or not, Homeland Security itself was worried about ACTA, because of fears that it would actually make it more difficult to be effective on intellectual property issues -- and might require them to spend more time trying to figure out if something is infringing, rather than if there's a terrorist trying to get into the country.

  • Again, while ACTA supporters insist that it won't require changes to US law, there are a few parts of ACTA that are so vague that you can definitely see how they could be interpreted to require changes to US law. One key example is where certain kinds of patent infringement cases protect against either injunctions or damages... whereas ACTA would require one or the other.

  • Even the signing parties don't agree on the purpose, scope and nature of ACTA. This may be the scariest part. Part of the debate in the US is over the USTR and President Obama's claim that ACTA is not a binding treaty, but rather a sole executive agreement that doesn't need Congressional approval. Many believe that this is unconstitutional, and Senator Ron Wyden has asked the President to explain what certainly appears to be a violation of the Constitution. However, over in Europe, they're insisting that it is a binding treaty. The US, on the other hand, has already said that it can ignore anything it doesn't like in ACTA. If you think that's a recipe for an international problem, you get a gold star.

  • Finally, international trade agreements are a favorite tool of the copyright maximalist. You see it all the time. If they can't pass legislation they want, they resort to getting these things put into international trade agreements, which get significantly less scrutiny. This also allows for two tricks: the first is leapfrogging, where you get each country to implement the laws required by these agreements in slightly different ways, and then push other countries to match (or better yet, exceed) the rules in the other countries to stay in compliance. Then you use those agreements to demand the same thing from other countries to "harmonize" international laws. It's already been admitted that ACTA was done outside of existing structures for IP-related international agreements (like WIPO and the WTO) because a few countries wanted to negotiate it without input from Brazil, Russia, India and China... but the plan has always been to get ACTA approved, and then pressure those other countries to join.

    The sneaky part is that once you have some of these "international obligations," it's almost impossible to get out of them. Copyright maximalists love to shout about how we must absolutely respect our "international obligations" on these kinds of treaties, to limit the government's ability to fix copyright law.
All that said, for folks who have just discovered ACTA, it's important to note that this is pretty much done. Many of the countries involved, including the US, have already signed on, and ACTA will go into effect soon (even if the other countries don't sign on). It's a bad agreement, but it's pretty late in the ball game to step in. If the EU can be convinced not to sign, that would be a big deal, but at this late stage, that seems unlikely.

In the meantime, for folks who are just getting up to speed on ACTA, you really should turn your attention to the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP), which is basically ACTA on steroids. It's being kept even more secret than ACTA, and appears to have provisions that are significantly worse than ACTA -- in some cases, with ridiculous, purely protectionist ideas, that are quite dangerous.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    icon
    Yartrebo (profile), Jan 24th, 2012 @ 1:33pm

    Shifting Standards

    Why is it okay to unilaterally pull out of treaties such as SALT (Strategic Arms Limitations Treaty), but any trade treaties are sacrosanct?

    Besides, if the US can use arm-twisting to get the countries to enter into the treaties in the first place, surely it can do the reverse if it truly wanted to.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Christy B, Jan 24th, 2012 @ 2:00pm

    What about GMO foods?

    I've read that there will be a standard for farming and food production and that would be to GMO

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2012 @ 2:12pm

    "What Is ACTA And Why Is It A Problem?"

    Does ACTA retroactively shorten copy protection lengths (and if no one cares about older works then why does copy protection keep getting retroactively extended)? Does it reduce infringement damages and increase damages for false infringement claims? Does it make copy protection opt in requiring all works to be registered and listed in a centralized database for others to reference while having those works be stored in several distant databases so that when the works finally enter the public domain the public can have access to them? Does it do anything to ensure that copy protection laws aren't abused to prevent restaurants and other venues from hosting independent performers and to ensure that these laws aren't abused to prevent bakeries from allowing children to put custom drawings on their birthday cakes (the horrors!!!!)?

    No? Then it's not addressing any of the problems with copy protection laws and hence there is no good reason to pass it.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2012 @ 2:14pm

    all these type of Bills are basically written to increase copyright protection but done so under the disguise of whatever is thought needed at the time. as they are always done in secret, in just about all countries, it's obvious what the intentions are. to take away the rights of citizens, whilst increasing the rights of businesses. if there were nothing under handed going on, all parties concerned would be involved in each stage of the process. as everything going on is completely underhanded, then only those that benefit from the Bills are included in the writing. as the people are going to be the ones that are adversely affected, it would be nice to know the extent to which we will be penalised and for what, before others decide our fate out of hand!

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    ewfsdef, Jan 24th, 2012 @ 2:35pm

    I think there is still time, **** the bill.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Alex Macfie, Jan 24th, 2012 @ 2:59pm

    ACTA is in the hands of parliament in the EU... same is not true elsewhere

    One reason the EU hasn't signed yet, and why it may be possible to get the EU to reject ACTA, is that in the EU, any treaty actually has to be approved by parliament before being signed. In most other countries that were involved in negotiation, it appears that signing was by executive fiat: the relevant government minister has the authority to sign with no need for approval by the legislature. Since the EU Parliament got this power (quite recently, via the Lisbon Treaty), it has actually vetoed one treaty (the original EU-US SWIFT transfer agreement, which consequently had to be rewritten). The EU is almost the only place where there is some democratic scrutiny over the signing of treaties, and thus where the people do actually have some influence over the politicians who will make the decision whether or not to sign. [This is also true of Mexico, where the legislature unanimously rejected ACTA a few months ago, which is probably why Mexico hasn't signed... it may well be true of Switzerland also.]

     

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

    •  
      icon
      TtfnJohn (profile), Jan 24th, 2012 @ 7:40pm

      Re: ACTA is in the hands of parliament in the EU... same is not true elsewhere

      There seems to be a movement in Poland to reject ACTA which would, under EU rules, sink ACTA there. At least that's what ACTA opponents in Poland are saying. And Poland's legislature has to approve the treaty.

      Just why anyone would want a treaty that leaves out South Africa, Brazil, India, China and Russia of this kind is beyond me. They'll continue to ignore all of it just as they do now :)

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        anonymous, Jan 24th, 2012 @ 8:44pm

        Re: Re: ACTA is in the hands of parliament in the EU... same is not true elsewhere

        I agree with you whole heartedly.After seeing the ones that will be left out you have to ask yourself what this really is about because the ones that were left out are the problem. China did more than just sell fake goods, hell they set up fake apple stores, and sold fake goods. They had three fake Apple stores within four blocks of each other. I thought that was the end of it, but no it wasn't there was twenty-two total fake stores shut down that were selling fake goods.

        Then a friend of mine said that was nothing. China ignores business as long as they are not killing each other on the street or close to it. Chances are those same stores are probably running today in another town in China. They rarely go after them only if someone ruffles some feathers, then they act like "Oh NO!" Sad part is they have rules, they just don't enforce them. But unfortunately walk down a business district in China for every store you see about 60 percent sell fake goods, some of the stores sell nothing but fake goods. They don't hide this fact at some of the stores either. My friend said if he can afford it he wants to go back to China and see if he can find those fake stores. He is not planning to go back until next year though. He did say if he owned a business that sold goods he would not ship to China. I myself don't think that would help if they want it bad enough they will get it.

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-14503724

         

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

        •  
          icon
          CJ (profile), Jan 24th, 2012 @ 9:07pm

          Re: Re: Re: ACTA is in the hands of parliament in the EU... same is not true elsewhere

          This pdf is from 2006. What I want to point out though is I heard also from someone that has been there that it is three times as bad today from the year 2006. China is nothing but a bootleg Country. They sell, trade, and ship overseas, and are the number one major player when it comes to pirated goods.
          http://www.uscc.gov/hearings/2006hearings/written_testimonies/06_06_08wrts/06_06_7_8_chow_daniel.p df

           

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

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 2:45am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: ACTA is in the hands of parliament in the EU... same is not true elsewhere

            More than that I'm afraid, China is a developed country that is finding its foot again.

            They don't have huge special interests there that have organized yet so competition flourishes there and people can become rich, there is little to no red tape unless you mess with state business, they are what America was at the beginning of the 1900's.

            They are also today the #1 player when it comes to any manufacturing legal or otherwise and are in a wealth growth cycle that is not impeded by legacy players because they had none before.

             

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

  •  
    icon
    CJ (profile), Jan 24th, 2012 @ 4:15pm

    How bad is this?

    It is so bad that people on G+ are organizing a boycott against anyone that supports this Bill, and any business too involved. Including:

    MPAA six big Hollywood studios:

    Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group (The Walt Disney Company);
    Sony Pictures Entertainment (Sony);
    Paramount Pictures (Viacom);
    20th Century Fox (News Corporation);
    Universal Studios (NBCUniversal)
    Warner Bros. (Time Warner)

    RIAA The board is currently made up of:

    Cary Sherman - RIAA
    Colin Finkelstein - EMI Recorded Music
    Bill Hearn - EMI Christian Music Group
    Deirdre McDonald - Sony Music Entertainment
    Terry Hemmings - Provident Music Group/Sony Music Entertainment
    Kevin Kelleher - Sony Music Entertainment
    Thomas Hesse - Sony Music Entertainment
    Julie Swidler - Sony Music Entertainment
    Luke Wood - Interscope Records
    Jeff Harleston - Universal Music Group
    Zach Horowitz - Universal Music Group
    Mel Lewinter - Universal Motown Republic Group
    Craig Kallman - The Atlantic Group
    Paul Robinson - Warner Music Group
    Bob Cavallo - Buena Vista Music
    Glen Barros - Concord Music Group
    Mike Curb - Curb Records
    Michael Koch - Entertainment One U.S.
    Tom Silverman - Tommy Boy Entertainment
    Steve Bartels - Island Records

    The boycott is being scheduled for the whole month of March.

     

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

  •  
    icon
    ChronoFish (profile), Jan 24th, 2012 @ 5:10pm

    Bite in the butt

    I'm anxious for the day when Apple can't sell any of it's products, Sony can't import Playstation, Artist can't record music for record companies, and drugs can't be made by anyone.

    When Fox Searchlight is kept from production because it's getting sued by Disney, when Pixar can't create new rendering techniques to show off in a new movie because they violate software patents, and the NFL can't be broadcasted over the air because it contributes to piracy.

    That will be a good day. Because then all these media-moguls and patent abusers die. What will survive? The coming (3d) desktop revolution, indie productions, and direct-to-consumer goods, services, and entertainment.

    As soon as as the law favors copy-right holders to the extent that simply thinking that someone is infringing requires a take-down notice, the first thing I'm going to do is write a script to send take-down notices for everything Viacom produces, everything Clear-Channel broadcasts, everything Disney exploits, and everything Fox reports on.

    -CF

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Loki, Jan 24th, 2012 @ 5:50pm

    ACTA presents certain requirements for border patrol agents in determining what is and what is not infringing.

    Then all we need is some new law classifying TSA as part of border control and we can all be royally and officially buggered.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      TtfnJohn (profile), Jan 24th, 2012 @ 8:06pm

      Re:

      And new scans set up to automatically detect infringing materials on or in your person. What do you mean that pacemaker isn't infringing in The Netherlands now get you ass behind that screen while our highly qualified paramedic Igor over there takes it out. Never mind the meat cleaver. It's a precision instrument in his hands!

       

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

    •  
      icon
      Idobek (profile), Jan 25th, 2012 @ 5:47am

      Re:

      "Then all we need is some new law classifying TSA as part of border control and we can all be royally and officially buggered."

      To think, your ancestor's fought a war of independence so you would never again be royally buggered.

       

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

  •  
    icon
    Violated (profile), Jan 24th, 2012 @ 8:14pm

    One thing I don't get is why they are allowing them to steam-roll these laws or agreements?

    So here they are just passing ACTA into law and now they are already birthing "son of ACTA". Does anyone else find that there is a stage missing called "watch how ACTA operates and after a few years make a review to then decide what needs to be changed in ACTA#2"

    All they are like doing is getting an icecream, wanting a large icecream, then once they have their large icecream wanting a jumbo icecream. But even with all that they have yet to taste the icecream.

    Well it may be too late to stop ACTA (the fish) but we will not allow TPP to pass.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      The eejit (profile), Jan 25th, 2012 @ 4:47am

      Re:

      Perhaps the nuclear option is in order - "force us out of business, and we'll take you with us!" FRom Google and everyone else against these bills.

      Imagine, fi you will, that everyone does nothing fopr a full day in terms of purchasing non-essential items. Nothing ordered, nothing bought, nothing sent.

      A single day of no non-essential economic activity should be anough to get it through their thick skulls. They want to hold economic growth hostage? So can we.

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    Victor, Jan 24th, 2012 @ 10:14pm

    What does this mean? I don't have to worry about acta?

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Gary, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 9:01am

    Maybe keep petitioning them some might get the idea.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    JR, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 9:27am

    Treaties and US law

    Treaties override US law even if their provisions are unconstitutional. George Sorus pioneered this approach. Lucky the US hasn't signed ACTA as Obama violated the constitution by signing it as an Executive order—plenty of grounds for impeachment.

     

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

  •  
    icon
    Gene Cavanaugh (profile), Jan 25th, 2012 @ 10:39am

    ACTA

    Well written article, well thought out. It highlights a problem, but like the remark "gets left on the side of the road", it causes us to focus on a big problem while we ignore a BIG problem - "No New Taxes (for the wealthy)". I added the stuff in () because OBVIOUSLY taking money away from education, "slimming down government" (which is admitted to be defunding EPA and FDA, etc., so that unscrupulous people can poison us, as is true in China) - these things are a burden on the middle class - A TAX! As long as we recognize that a "tax" is a burden, whether money out or money withheld, we have to recognize that "No New Taxes" means increasing taxes on the middle class so you can give the financial benefit to the wealthy!

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    blargh, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 3:32pm

    pull the plug on this regim-- I mean administration

    Time to boot the religiously-confused moron and replace him with hopefully someone who won't be a carbon copy, a bill clinton clone, or a religious zealot.

    aka Ron Paul, who would undoubtedly find ACTA unconstitutional.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    The Cat, Jan 26th, 2012 @ 3:21pm

    This

    um well idk what to say except it should be in effect

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Meh, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 5:43am

    ACTA = CLOUD

    Some people need to get their heads out of the water, call it whatever you will I'm sure some folks thought the same way about DMCA before it was too late.

    Down with ACTA!!

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Nicholas Eckert, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 12:07pm

    Consent of the Senate?

    All treaties require a Senate vote. I would presume the wish to classify this as an "executive agreement" is to avoid putting this before the Senate, which is not a place that needs such votes. (Especially now that PIPA is getting pigeonholed due to peasant uprising.) The hope, then, is that the Supreme Court hears the matter and throws this to the Senate, at which point we can call and harass Senators into a no vote that forcibly withdraws us from the treaty.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Nevermore669, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 6:46pm

    You Say Treaty, I Say Treaty.

    It's apparent you've studied the "treaty" very well. In contrast to your excellent analysis, Pirate Party notable Rick Falkvinge suggests in a recent piece that we can't really know what the provisions of ACTA are because the negotiation protocols, which define many of the new terms, remain secret. He explains it best in an answer to a comment:

    The point of my post is that the actual meaning of ACTA is still secret, since it defines many new terms. These will not be subject to interpretation by the national courts and politicans. According to the Vienna Convention, we learn that this will be subject to interpretation according to the original negotiation protocols, where the copyright industry participated in negotiations. In the same convention, we learn that the interpretations of these protocols will supersede national law.

    But these protocols are secret. Thus, there is no way of knowing what the black box contains – this black box that the copyright industry tries to have supersede national law. Rather, we must see what the people who fight for this agreement aspire to in other contexts.


    The post itself is a straightforward of listing of some past actions of the copy"right" industry, asking the question, "Should we really trust a treaty that these people so badly want passed?"

    Here it is: http://falkvinge.net/2012/01/28/the-only-thing-you-need-to-know-about-acta/

    As to ACTA basically being a done deal, I certainly hope not. The people have a lot of power if they're motivated enough - perhaps even enough to "unratify" a "treaty"?

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Nevermore669, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 6:47pm

    You Say Treaty, I Say Treaty.

    It's apparent you've studied the "treaty" very well. In contrast to your excellent analysis, Pirate Party notable Rick Falkvinge suggests in a recent piece that we can't really know what the provisions of ACTA are because the negotiation protocols, which define many of the new terms, remain secret. He explains it best in an answer to a comment:

    The point of my post is that the actual meaning of ACTA is still secret, since it defines many new terms. These will not be subject to interpretation by the national courts and politicans. According to the Vienna Convention, we learn that this will be subject to interpretation according to the original negotiation protocols, where the copyright industry participated in negotiations. In the same convention, we learn that the interpretations of these protocols will supersede national law.

    But these protocols are secret. Thus, there is no way of knowing what the black box contains – this black box that the copyright industry tries to have supersede national law. Rather, we must see what the people who fight for this agreement aspire to in other contexts.


    The post itself is a straightforward of listing of some past actions of the copy"right" industry, asking the question, "Should we really trust a treaty that these people so badly want passed?"

    Here it is: http://falkvinge.net/2012/01/28/the-only-thing-you-need-to-know-about-acta/

    As to ACTA basically being a done deal, I certainly hope not. The people have a lot of power if they're motivated enough - perhaps even enough to "unratify" a "treaty"?

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Dmitriy Konstantinenko, Feb 9th, 2012 @ 1:00pm

    Bad concept.

    "three strikes" plan for ISPs - what is it? It is to collect additional information about user-client? It is crime. It is work for courts, not for trade dealers.
    It's no good project.
    If anybody make soft for Apple - for heals support with part to work at Apple servers - Samsung disconnect|kill any at Earth sattelit - by reject unlikely IP packets? And at court will told - "by trade agreement".

    Farma, cinema - so many money, so many fools.

    But I do not have read "project".

     

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

  •  
    icon
    Yahushasgirl (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 10:08am

    brazen ACTA and other bureaucracies masquerading as having your best interests at heart.. LOL

    Many people don't realize how far ACTA and other "treatise" or Agreements (or mega corporations and bureaucracies) have gone. The power hungry control mongers have way overstepped their 'boundaries'...one example that I can give here is about a substance on this earth that is very inexpensive, natural and very very effective (I have not only read testimonies, but have also tried this myself) and YET...the FDA and Health Canada have arbitrarily gone in and confiscated the products and shut down websites...WHY??? because they want to hoard money for themselves and control the people. They don't want to allow people to make their own God given right to choose for themselves.

    There is a product that I have bought and used and it is called MMS, by Jim Humble. This substance is called sodium chlorite, it is actually used in water treatment plants to clean our water and so we are ingesting it already but not in the form that can and does heal many diseases.

    Just recently Health Canada did exactly what the US FDA has been doing for some time now and that is close down people's websites and confiscate their products as though they were criminals. Then 'someone' posts lies about the product as though it is a dangerous deadly product. I know for a fact that the pharmaceutical drugs that are prescribed to people every day often makes their health worse...sure there are some cases where it helps but their success rate is very poor. MMS (and I am not promoting this or selling it or anything) but MMS has a very good track record...the numbers are astronomical. YET they are being constantly bombarded, shut down and have their products 'confiscated' just because they are healing people.

    There was also a recent incident from a well known company in US who promote and sell as one of their products fresh WALNUTS still in the shell...and this company claimed a fact that walnuts can lower cholesterol...the FDA...took action...oh boy don't tell people the facts about how food can heal or help you or the FDA will shut you down and make it very difficult for you to be in the business world. This is a small (yet very huge) example of how the peoples rights are being forcefully taken away by bureaucracies...ACTA is just another one of them.

    We, the people, need to stand up and take action for what is RIGHT and TRUTH. I don't know what this message will do, but I have a Heavenly Father who is taking care of me and protecting me, whatever happens to me it is in HIS hands and I accept it. Anyone can check out what I am saying and see for yourselves....if you dare...there is a saying "if you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything"...I can't give the credit for where that statement came from because I don't know, it is not my own, but it sure is true.

     

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

  •  
    icon
    Robert W. (profile), Sep 25th, 2012 @ 1:49pm

    Controling the internet...

    Governments all over the world (and corporations) want to control the Interwebs. The UK is now facing the prospect of "The Data Communications Bill". The Internet will come under fire from all angles...

     

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This