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.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Ninja (profile), Mar 18th, 2013 @ 11:13am

    Must... Resist... Temptation...

    Ahem. Cue the typical "WHY U NO DISCUSS ME!" post in 3, 2, 1...

     

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  2. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    out_of_the_blue, Mar 18th, 2013 @ 11:24am

    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!

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2013 @ 11:48am

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

    Just as yours ignores the entire article?

    Cute.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2013 @ 11:48am

    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.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2013 @ 11:49am

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

    Government merging with Google: Bad! Terrible! No Good!
    RIAA merging with Government: Bah. Mere thieves. Pay no mind.


    Does that about sum it up?

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2013 @ 11:52am

    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.

     

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  7.  
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    Nigel (profile), Mar 18th, 2013 @ 11:59am

    Re:

    We the people form opinions about a range of things based on facts. We do not attempt to end run a damn thing.

    You know, we would like some transparency for instance.

    N.

     

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  8.  
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    Jay (profile), Mar 18th, 2013 @ 12:04pm

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

    He's right. Google in '07 linked up with the NSA and won't disclose that relationship.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2013 @ 12:16pm

    Re: Re:

    But, but, but piracy! It would release confidential and commercially-sensitive information to the public. Who the hell is crazy enough to demand transparency on law-making? Any critique not uttered face to face is definately a 4. amendment breach of our constitution!

     

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  10.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 18th, 2013 @ 1:03pm

    Re:

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

    Only the most cynical political opportunist would believe that everyone wants to screw over the public by circumventing transparency through hidden international agreements.

    No, we believe that policy should be made in public -- whether we agree with it or not -- and not behind closed doors where you and your friends get to write the laws for everyone else.

    Sorry to shine some light on your gig.

     

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  11.  
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    pixelation, Mar 18th, 2013 @ 1:08pm

    TAFTA. Let's call it what it really will be... SHAFTA.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2013 @ 1:16pm

    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!

     

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  13.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 18th, 2013 @ 1:22pm

    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.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2013 @ 5:57pm

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

    You claim to be anti-corporation - and then you claim Masnick to be anti-industry?

    Do corporations not form a part of industries in your world or are you simply that much of a jackass?

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2013 @ 6:00pm

    Re:

    Translation: "I'm willing to suck the cock of anyone in power so I can get the laws I want and not for everyone else. Neener neener neener."

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2013 @ 6:41pm

    Re: Re:

    Well, well well. Mike Masnick the moral authority speaks. Let's be honest shall we. Both sides use leverage, deception, propaganda and whatever else helps them win political battles. Remember how SOPA would break the internet? Or how Justin Bieber could be imprisoned. Or how about Marv Ammari authoring almost every one of the seventy five SOPA amendments during the markup? Not to shape the bill, but to derail the timing of its passage. Any time a law or policy is proposed to reign in the wholesale looting of copyrighted content, you and your posse of freeloaders and shithouse anarchists invent a new parade of horribles in the hope on continuing the erosion of the property rights of creators.

    And I know you and your fellow apologists will chime in to inform me that the righteousness of your cause somehow justifies this. The problem is that there are just as many righteous on my side of the debate that hold their beliefs as passionately as you do yours.

    So if you you want to play the game, then play. Put on your big boy pants and join the fray. But spare me the bullshit moralizing.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2013 @ 6:45pm

    Re:

    I don't know where you live but were it not for "the USA entertainment industries" you would have long ago died from boredom from the stultifying gruel your country calls indigenous content.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2013 @ 7:20pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    So you consider Andrew Crossley, Evan Stone and John Steele righteous? Says it all really.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2013 @ 8:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Sorry? What legislative or policy battles were they involved in?

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2013 @ 9:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    They're righteous people on your side of the debate. They're responsible for the biggest wave of copyright enforcement we've seen, since you consider Masnick to be anti-enforcement. They're the best players you have in the game.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2013 @ 10:14pm

    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.

     

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  22.  
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    The Real Michael, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 5:49am

    Re: Re: Re:

    The internet isn't broken; therefore, it does not need more laws, least of all bad laws scripted by big businesses behind closed doors, which directly affect the public. That's called corporate fascism. We're not beholden to the content industries -- they didn't create the internet and therefore have no business laying down its terms of use, let alone dictate that every new piece of technology revolve around them and protect their interests by policing (read: monitoring) users.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 5:49am

    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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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 5:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So most content from the UK, Japan and Korea sucks? Is that really what you'd like to claim?

    No wonder nobody takes you seriously.

     

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