CETA Is Now Slightly Less Like ACTA (But Still Similar, And Still Secret)

from the i-suppose-it's-progress dept

Earlier this week, we wrote about the revelation (via a leaked text) that the Canada-EU Trade Agreement, which is nearing completion, contains provisions in the IP chapter that are extremely similar to ACTA. It's a pretty clear attempt to reboot the ACTA process via a back door, and Michael Geist's coverage drew a lot of attention to the issue in Europe. Now, it looks like damage control is already underway: Geist reports that the European Commission has made a weak attempt to assuage concerns by announcing that two of the ACTA-like provisions in CETA have been dropped. Unfortunately, those provisions only represent a small fraction of CETA's similarities to ACTA:

The European Commission, which initially indicated that it would not respond to the posting of the leaked CETA IP chapter, has now responded by saying that the two ACTA provisions involving Internet providers have been dropped from CETA. When asked whether those were the only changes, EU Trade spokesperson John Clancy said there may be other changes but that this was the biggest one.

While the removal of the Internet provider provisions is a good step, the European Parliament's overwhelming rejection of ACTA was the result of far more than just the Internet provider provisions. Indeed, there has been concern about digital locks, damages, criminal provisions, and border measures. All of those provisions also appeared in the February 2012 CETA draft and Clancy's response suggest that most, if not all, remain there.

So... some of the bad stuff has been removed from the leaked draft that we weren't supposed to see in the first place. Also there may be other changes—who knows? Certainly not the public, and apparently not the EU Trade spokesperson either. You probably see the real issue here: even if they removed all of the controversial provisions from CETA, there would still be the little matter of how they were trying to quietly push through all the exact same stuff that citizens and politicians across Europe rose up and rejected mere weeks ago. The public still had to learn about it via a leaked document. New information comes in the form of vague descriptions, not new public drafts. This is not how you negotiate an international agreement in the 21st century, and that's what people are reacting to.

I suspect the people behind CETA are really, really annoyed: they were so close to slipping this one through, and now they might have another ACTA on their hands. How many times does this have to happen before politicians, diplomats, and the special interest groups that drive these agreements realize they no longer get to operate without public scrutiny?



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  1.  
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    Spyder (profile), Jul 11th, 2012 @ 4:12pm

    How many times?

    We need to stop them every single time they try. They need to sneak it through only once. They'll keep trying until some obscure treaty dealing with pond scum removal is passed that contains everything they want. Then they'll stop pushing this particular crap through and move on to the next iteration.

     

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  2.  
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    TDR, Jul 11th, 2012 @ 4:23pm

    To paraphrase Rufus Shinra:

    "Human culture courses through our society, ever flowing between ideas and innovation. If that cycle is the very proof of our existence then, history too, will inevitably repeat itself. So, go on. Bring your ACTA's and your CETA's. We'll do as life mandates. We won't let you win, we'll stop you."

     

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  3.  
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    Beech, Jul 11th, 2012 @ 4:41pm

    It's getting to the point where it's almost pointless to fight against whatever laws they want to pass. let the morons write as much legislation as they want. basement coders will write around it faster than they can rubberstamp the new bills through. it's going to take the average joe getting screwed by these dumb laws before they decide its time to maybe time to pull their heads out of their asses and stop voting for the big 2 parties.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2012 @ 5:01pm

    If they continue to ignore a big part of their constituency then we are just gonna assume the system is broken and not worth a damn............good luck when people start thinking like that on masse, if people are getting worked up over this, think what kind of ressistance they'll get when they've closed the doors on diplomacy entirely

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2012 @ 5:02pm

    Re:

    Thing is: Disproportionate damages in civil court cases are kind of hard to scribble around...

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2012 @ 5:10pm

    Someone please remind me: what was the definition of insanity again?

     

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  7.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Jul 11th, 2012 @ 5:22pm

    So, they removed the copypasta sections that were taken from ACTA, and rewrote them elsewhere in the bill in their own wording, still in secret. Awesome.

     

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  8.  
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    Cerberus (profile), Jul 11th, 2012 @ 6:05pm

    Re: Re:

    They have scribbled up darknets...and many other things will follow.

     

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  9.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jul 11th, 2012 @ 6:20pm

    Just bouncing through the pages of CETA is scary (warning pdf).

    I was wondering if anyone had compared CETA to the leaked sections of the TPP to see if there are similarities.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2012 @ 11:34pm

    CETA, GTFO.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 12th, 2012 @ 1:47am

    until all lobbying (bribing) is stopped and whatever new bill/law/treaty is discussed completely in the open and all parties are included in the negotiations, this type of underhanded practice will continue. imagine the shit storm that would erupt if the people started negotiating deals that ended the entertainment industries monopoly on music and movie distribution? there would be hell to pay! so why is it ok to do things the industries want, in secret, that will fuck up the lives of ordinary people, with no discussion?

     

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    Henk ter Heide (profile), Jul 12th, 2012 @ 3:34am

    the next trade agreement

    I'm actually far more worried about the next trade agreement.
    These people seem very determent to get this stuff in an agreement.
    So how many more agreements would they have lined up to get, a little bit at a time, through?

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 12th, 2012 @ 5:06am

    Re:

    Remember remember the fifth of November...

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 12th, 2012 @ 6:08am

    I suspect the people behind CETA are really, really annoyed: they were so close to slipping this one through, and now they might have another ACTA on their hands. How many times does this have to happen before politicians, diplomats, and the special interest groups that drive these agreements realize they no longer get to operate without public scrutiny?

    1 billion three thousand & sixty eight, I'm a afraid.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 12th, 2012 @ 6:29am

    Keep it secret, keep it safe.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 12th, 2012 @ 8:07pm

    PETA should sue CETA for being too close. It would not be anymore outrageous than some of the shit going down right now lol.

    They could throw some blood on the supporters then Louis Vuitton could sue them for it landing in a pattern similar to one of theirs. They could use Charles Carreon! Then he could sue the internet again for talking shit. Then a few weeks down the road he could say he was owned again. Opps wait I mean he could claim victory.

     

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  17.  
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    Dave, Aug 9th, 2012 @ 2:04pm

    Re: Anonymous Coward

    It's doing something over and over again and expecting different results, right? That's great! And I agree.

     

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  18.  
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    Roger Harrison, Aug 17th, 2012 @ 8:23am

    CETA

    PC's: Stop giving away Canada- Water is for everyone it's not for sale to Corp. Buy local support Canadian Manufacturing. CETA is not in our benefit!!! Advise you local Gov. to opt out NOW!

     

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


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