Tag Archives: Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

EFF sues US gov over secret ACTA plans

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Public Knowledge have filed suit against the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), demanding information about a secret intellectual property enforcement treaty that the government has put on a fast track to completion.

The United States, Canada, the European Community, Switzerland, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Jordan, Morocco, and the United Arab Emirates are currently actively negotiating the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

However, all the negotiations so far have been shrouded in secrecy, even though its claimed the agreement could put into effect serious changes in the law.
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100 groups demand to see ACTA treaty

“The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is on a fast-track process as rich nations hope to wrap it up by the end of the year. Unfortunately for everyone who cares about the outcome, it’s midway through September, and no draft text has yet emerged,” Ars Technica reports.

“The secrecy and the delay have inspired many conspiracy theories, none helped by leaked sets of corporate “wish lists” and public comments making outrageous demands.”

Leaked documents suggest the treaty could require Internet service providers to monitor all consumers’ Internet communications, interfere with fair use of copyrighted materials, and criminalize peer-to-peer electronic file sharing.
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World without fire

It’s insane. In the early days of human evolution, someone invented fire. Fire was a scary thing, it would destroy trees and doubtless threatened the shamanic rulling class, at least at first. Can you imagine if they banned it? Well, file-sharing is a kind of fire – and just like that elemental energy, we haven’t learned how to use it in a way that doesn’t destroy livelihoods quite yet. Now some bunch of lunatics in government in countries across the planet plan to ban it, wholesale, and without public consultation. The new shamanic ruling class, getting it dead wrong. In the future they will be derided, as the Spanish Inquisition or the anti-Catholic UK protestant witch-hunts.

What’s all this about? See, Wikileaks has the full text of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, a draft treaty side-steps trade-negotiations at the United Nations, avoids input from citizens and public interest groups in favour of secret closed-door meetings where entertainment industry giants get to tell governments what to do, without accountability. And among other proposals (such as outlawing even legitimate use of P2P – hence the fire analogy) and giving ordinary policemen the right to search iPods for so-called “stolen media” – not that we’ve quite defined what that means yet.

All this madness is taking place in private. A fait accompli by the kind of people described in the Hit Men.

Who is behind this utterly frightening Orwellian legislation?

Republican Howard Berman. Who pays him?

 Top four campaign contributions for 2006:

Time Warner: $21,000

News Corp: $15,000

Sony Corp of America: $14,000

Walt Disney Co: $13,550

Top two Industries:

TV/Movies/Music: $181,050

Lawyers/Law Firms: $114,200

Do something. This isn’t about saving an industry now. It’s about building a new one.