Here's what the UK said to me when I put in a FOI request regarding ACTA:
"I regret that the other draft negotiating and further texts that you have requested are withheld as they are exempt under the following sections of the Freedom of Information Act: s.35(1)a (formulation of Government policy) and s.27(2) (international relations).
I put my request in for ACTA documents after negotiations had finished. There were previous FOI request while negotiations were ongoing but they were refused for the same reason Australia has given, because negotiations were ongoing.
Seems citizens are buggered either way - no docs while negotiations were ongoing, no docs afterwards for other reasons.
"Even though the ACTA text is now finalized, getting details from national governments about what exactly happened during the negotiations is proving extremely difficult, with information still trickling out slowly."
Tell me about it, I put the following FOI request in to the UK regarding ACTA negotiation documents:
I had put the request in as earlier request sited the fact that ACTA was still under negotiation and so the negotiating documents could not be released. I figured that since negotiations had finished, they could not use that excuse again. I was right, they used a different excuse and still refused to be transparent.
The thing that annoys me the most is when EULA have in them clauses which say the EULA terms can change at the whim of the business.
When I buy tech, I want to buy the product and lock in the terms and conditions at the time of purchase.
I do not want the terms & conditions changed a some future point(s) as for me that may mean the product does not meet my 'fit for purpose" criteria ("fit for purpose" as a bit of UK consumer legalese). Also, I don't want to have to read changes to T&C over and over again, life too short.
I want to analyze whether the product and the T&C's at a point in time (when I purchase) are adequate for my needs, and if so, I want to be bound by those T&C while I use the product.
Thanks. I think I must have had brain flatulence yesterday as today the difference seems crystal clear. (What confused me even more was that rubbish definition I found and posted!)
As an aside, it also help me understand a reason why the EU did not want patents included in ACTA.
Patents (inventions) could stifle innovation if the patents granted are too broad (like the "slide-to-unlock" concept patent). I can now understand why the EU made a big kerfuffle did not want to be bound by stifling US patents and make EU innovators criminals for innovating off US patent holders.
Listening to EU authority actors, they often make a big deal about innovation, now I think I understand why.
I have just created a user account on Path.com. There was no "I agree" button to click nor any link to an EULA.
Does this mean they have not snooped on me, ie, not collected personal information on me such as Internet Protocol (IP) address, my operating system, my browser type, the address of a site that may have referred me, etc, because I have not clicked on any "I agree" button linked to their EULA?
"There was some controversy a month or so ago, when it came out that app maker Path was secretly uploading your entire address book to its servers. The company apologized and deleted all the data."
I think it safer to believe the the company did not delete all the data.
"The lawsuit kicks off by quoting Robert Fulghum's "All I really Need to Know I Learned In Kindergarten," saying, "Don't take things that aren't yours." Of course, as with many such class actions, this one is all about getting the lawyers paid. This isn't to say that I think the actions in uploading the address books were ok, but worth a lawsuit? Seems a bit extreme. It seems that the public pressure about all of this has caused pretty much all of these companies to change how they work, and it's unlikely any real significant "harm" came from this."
When it becomes OK for some citizen to say "OK, sorry, I'll delete any data I have snatched during my hacking" and have no further action taken against them, then I would consider it ok for business to do the same. Until then and while citizens are being locked up and/or attempts are made to extradite them and lock them up (for years), then I think businesses should be nailed to the mast financially via class action law suits and their executives thrown in the same hole some citizen hackers are finding themselves.
"Finally, while some will claim that forcing these companies to invent around the patents can lead to new innovations, there's little evidence to support this claim. Certainly it might happen accidentally, but letting developers come up with new innovations based on their own experiments and what the market tells them is always going to be more efficient than stumbling on some innovation because you're trying to avoid the artificial monopoly of a patent."
I'm having difficulty getting my head around the different between inventing and innovating. I had to use Google:
"Invention is the first occurrence of an idea for a new product or process while innovation is the first attempt to carry it out into practice." http://www.ipfrontline.com/depts/article.aspx?id=16295&deptid=5
So, an innovation is merely a practical implementation of an invention?
Mark Mulligan is quoted as having said, "If the service providers are serious about wanting to heed the industry's concerns then instead of assuming that all of the content is legitimate until found otherwise, they should actually assume that most of the content is illegal and take action."
In his clarifying view, he says, "My comments were entirely and squarely aimed at the site, not users."
It seems to me Mark is indeed "entirely and squarely" aiming at the user and not the site, more specifically, the users' uploaded content and not the site created content.
He goes on to say, "I have never suggested, nor would support the position, that someone's personal content is anything other than their own."
Yet he does say that a users' uploaded content to Hotfiles should be assumed to be illegal. The extension of this is that content that a user uploads should not be considered "personal" content until it has been checked by Hotfiles for infringements - deemed guilty until, somehow, deemed innocent.
Mark has got himself into a muddle, his comments were squarely aimed at users and the content they upload.
"the Trade Minister is even more aggressive in claiming that ACTA is still needed. She says "it's unfortunate" that she had bad information and it's "a pity" that the 95% number is so wrong because now it makes her argument look bad. That it does. But she's not willing to let go or rethink her position. She immediately jumps into the ridiculous comparison of how it's "just like" the fact that "you may not steal an orange in the supermarket." The second anyone (especially a politician) argues that making a copy of a file is the same thing as physically stealing an object from a store, it shows that they have no business taking part in such a debate, because they clearly don't understand the issues at play."
Presenters and interviewers should pull out their smart phones, take a picture of an apple/orange, and then ask the pro-ACTA interviewee whether the presenter/interviewer has just stolen an apple/orange and for their reasons.
I visual demonstration of the absurdity is very quick to accomplish and would demolish the copying is stealing argument quite quickly, and would hopefully educate/embarrass others into stopping use suck a stupid argument.