January 27th, 2012, 03:52 PM #1
ACTA PASSED. RIAA/MPAA pass out in ecstasy.
ACTA - the latest threat to internet freedom, just signed by the EU - Pirate Party UK
Loz Kaye, Leader, Pirate Party UK
Yesterday the European Union, the UK and over 20 other countries signed the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). ACTA is an international treaty, disguised as a trade agreement, whose purpose is to increase and harmonise copyright and trademark enforcement. Many of the goals of ACTA are similar to SOPA and PIPA - proposed laws which the US congress recently abandoned following a huge outcry. ACTA is, if anything, even more objectionable.
It is objectionable because of the process it has followed - secret negotiations, conducted without democratic oversight, a process so underhand it led to official criticism from the European Parliament  and the resignation of the Parliament's rapporteur in disgust . It is yet another example of the power of corporate lobby groups, who buy influence starting with the laughably corrupt US political body, and then foist extremist laws on the rest of the world.
It is objectionable in its content, as an assault on civil liberties. It is likely to require unprecedented levels of surveillance of ordinary Internet users by ISPs . It insists that copyright infringement become a criminal offence in a worryingly wide range of situations. It provides for massively disproportionate penalties, including mandatory imprisonment. Anyone who has followed settlements in copyright lawsuits over the past 10 years will find this hard to believe, but it allows rights-holders to make up even more astronomical figures when demanding "compensation" .
The extremist position of ACTA will make the Internet fraught with danger for ordinary users. For example, if a blogger innocently links to another website, and that website, without their knowledge, infringes copyright in some way, they may well face criminal charges and prison time for "aiding and abetting" copyright infringement. For a link.
The provisions on Digital Rights Management ("DRM") are so extreme as to be laughable. ACTA continues to demand that attempts to circumvent DRM be criminal offences, meaning that blind people could face jail time for attempting to read e-books using text-to-speech, for example . But new provisions mean that any tampering with information that identifies "the work, its author(s), producer(s) or right owners" also becomes an offence, so merely renaming a file could become illegal.
 Objections to ACTA
 European official quits / Kader-arif announcement (fr)
 FFII on fundamental rights
 EDRI acta pt 1
 EDRI acta pt 2
 FFII acta analysis
 RNZFB submission
 Avaaz campaignThey say technology slows down for no one. I know it outruns my wallet. I figure its because my wallet isn't light enough yet.
TechIMO Folding@home Team #111 - Crunching for the cure!
dulce bellum inexpertis
January 27th, 2012, 04:03 PM #2
January 27th, 2012, 04:07 PM #3
oh cool, from official swiss website concerning ACTA
. Will ACTA lead to a criminalisation of internet peer-to-peer network users?
ACTA only obliges the parties to ensure that copyright is also enforced in cases of online infringements. How far this right will go in individual cases, which exceptions and limitations exist and which actions a right holder can prohibit, are expressly excluded from the Agreement's scope. The provisions of substantive law are therefore left to the domestic law of the contracting parties. Activities that have been legal in Switzerland up until now (e.g. the downloading of copyright protected content for private use) will therefore remain legal in future.
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