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Censorship Your Rights Online

Secret Copyright Treaty Leaks. It's Bad. Very Bad. 775

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the you-gotta-be-kidding-me dept.
Jamie found a Boing Boing story that will probably get your blood to at least a simmer. It says "The internet chapter of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, a secret copyright treaty whose text Obama's administration refused to disclose due to 'national security' concerns, has leaked. It's bad." You can read the original leaked document or the summary. If passed, the internet will never be the same. Thank goodness it's hidden from public scrutiny for National Security.
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Secret Copyright Treaty Leaks. It's Bad. Very Bad.

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@nOsPam.gmail.com> on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @09:32AM (#29977820) Journal

    Jamie found a Boing Boing story that will probably get your blood to at least a simmer.

    Well maybe Jamie should read yesterday's Slashdot [slashdot.org].

    I would just like to point out that everyone is getting their information from a single point: Michael Geist's blog. Granted, he's rarely wrong but blogs are blogs. So where is this "leaked document" that the summary alludes to? Every source I find online points back to Geist. Even the articles Geist cites at the bottom of his blog point back to him. Even Wikipedia points back to him [wikipedia.org]. I'm not saying that he's wrong nor am I trying to deflate the severity of this but Geist is even relying on other sources:

    Sources say that the draft text, modeled on the U.S.-South Korea free trade agreement, focuses on following five issues...

    Then following that even he says:

    If accurate ...

    Doesn't leave me a whole lot of confidence that we're getting all the unadulterated facts here. I would seek information better than third or fourth hand accounts of something before I went around screaming about the sky falling (trust me, I speak from experience [slashdot.org] of being fooled by a single blog post).

    Secret Copyright Treaty Leaks. It's Bad. Very Bad.

    So where is the leaked document so that I may judge for myself?

  • So what's new? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @09:34AM (#29977844)

    I still don't know why everyone acts so surprised that this administration has carried on with the exact same Intellectual property and "national security" policies of the previous one. Democrats are just as much in the pockets of Hollywood as conservatives are in the pockets of big business (meaning BOTH support oppressive IP legislation). And Obama loves his presidential power just as much as Cheney did. So why anyone ever expected things to somehow be different with this administration, I don't understand. Cheney may not have been right about many things, but he was pretty much dead on when he predicted that Obama would keep most of Bush's national security policies in place (the same ones he criticized during the campaign) once he got a taste of that power for himself.

    It also doesn't surprise me that they're using a treaty to quietly push this crap through. They did the exact same thing with the DMCA. A lot of people don't realize that the DMCA was just the formal ratification of a WIPO treaty [wikipedia.org] that had been debated and agreed to in secret. The powers that be know this shit would never stand the light of day with the electorate, so they quietly push it through with the kind of obscure international treaties that they know CNN, NBC, et. al. are never going to cover. By the time it actually makes it into Congress, it's already a fait accompli. The mainstream media only notices it when someone's already being prosecuted for violating it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @09:36AM (#29977882)

    The real question here should be where's the original document and why is the Administration hiding behind 'National security' to avoid releasing it. I've had enough of that over the previous 8 years. Change!

  • Re:So what's new? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by NoYob (1630681) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @09:40AM (#29977938)
    Democrats are just as much in the pockets of Hollywood as conservatives are in the pockets of big business (meaning BOTH support oppressive IP legislation).

    It has nothing to do with being "conservative": it's all about money and power. The "liberals" are in the same boat, too.

  • by Spad (470073) <slashdot@spad.YEATSco.uk minus poet> on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @09:42AM (#29977978) Homepage

    It will supposedly mandate 3-strike disconnection laws in all signatory countries without any reasonable standard of evidence because any ISP who *fails* to disconnect you will become legally liable for anything you may have done.

    I call that a bad thing.

  • OH NOES (Score:2, Insightful)

    by PHPNerd (1039992) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @09:42AM (#29977982) Homepage
    And you thought this administration would be different from all the others? Silly you.
  • Re:Copyright (Score:3, Insightful)

    by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @09:44AM (#29978016)
    It's still "We, the people," right?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @09:52AM (#29978120)
    That Obama is just as bad as Bush. Should have voted for Nader folks.
  • Re:So what's new? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @09:52AM (#29978124)

    Cheney may not have been right about many things, but he was pretty much dead on when he predicted that Obama would keep most of Bush's national security policies in place

    USA doesn't have presidents. They have president-like spokespersons.

    Maybe Obama wanted genuinely to change some things, maybe he didn't, or maybe both. It's irrelevant, since his power is only on paper. You can't make a different choice, when you're given only the same options.

    It's a really nice PR stunt, though, works fine for most people. It'll work again in 3 years.

  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @09:54AM (#29978160) Journal
    If this looks like it should pass then we should push for uniformity in the laws. Make telephone companies liable for anything illegal done using their lines and the post office liable for anything it carries and all manufacturers responsible for how their product is used. Send someone a letter bomb? The post office becomes an accessory to murder. Sing happy birthday into a telephone? The phone company is liable for copyright infringement. Kill someone with a gun or a kitchen knife? Murder charges for the gun or kitchen equipment makers too.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @09:57AM (#29978208)

    So by simply claiming someone has violated my copyright I can remove any IP address (or the machine/person behind it) from the internet for a while.

    Thats never going to be abused is it.

    83.138.172.210 www.bpi.co.uk
    76.74.24.200 www.riaa.com

    You could alter elections or worse you could shutoff the porn.

    Hmm I wonder if this law will let me disconnect a router from the internet... or a Root name server.

  • Dreadful. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Crookdotter (1297179) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @10:00AM (#29978256)
    This isn't the end of the internet when passed. But it may be the end of the open wild west attitude on the net. I hope it doesn't come to pass where everyone is afraid of uploading videos because they may have a coca cola logo in it and whatnot. What it won't do is stop piracy. It will move to darkets, or people posting massive gb thumb drives around. A bit of a backwards step but pirates will find a way. Hell, it might even increase it as you'd be generating a community spirit for pirates. All this fuss over Lily Allen CD's isn't worth it. Musicians should move to live performances to make money and accept that they shouldn't be millionaires for 1 album. They should work for a living like the rest of us. DVD's should be released much later after a film's release, and so move people to get back into the cinema. Live performance is where you make the money. Backup and copies should be let go for free (ish).
  • by Wolvenhaven (1521217) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @10:02AM (#29978294) Homepage
    The thing with US Federal law though is that treaties override constitutional laws. Laws Constitution Treaties. So any major unconstitutional idea that Has To Be Passed For Your Safety will be written and signed as a treaty with another country if it is too controversial for the public to accept.
  • by vvaduva (859950) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @10:04AM (#29978328)

    But Obama was to have the most open government in the history of humanity. WTF happened??

  • by whatajoke (1625715) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @10:06AM (#29978348)

    So where is this "leaked document" that the summary alludes to?

    To quote from Geist's blog:

    selected groups granted access under strict non-disclosure agreements and other countries (including Canada) given physical, watermarked copies designed to guard against leaks.

    I hope that answers your question. Unless you want to out the person leaking this document, he can't ever publish a photocopy of it as it will be traced back to him. And if you think such deception is beyond our autocrats, read up on this [wikipedia.org] and this [wikipedia.org]

  • The next war. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jaysyn (203771) <jaysyn+slashdot@NoSPAm.gmail.com> on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @10:06AM (#29978366) Homepage Journal

    We should call this the War on MP3s. It will be about as effective as the War on Drugs.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @10:07AM (#29978372)

    Laws don't have to be legal. They simply have to be obeyed. Whatever the case is behind closed doors it is still up to the population to decide whether or not to obey it. It's always been like this in democracies. Prohibition in America, taxes in Italy... Look around.

  • Re:OH NOES (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @10:09AM (#29978394)

    I didn't think they'd be any different. I just knew the alternative was even worse.

    The only shocker to me is that it's gotten to the point where I can't hate politicians and large multinational corporations enough. Like there's not enough vitriolic words and energy contained within the human brains and body to express adequately what monumental bastards they are. They're fucking blights on society. They're massive drag on the intellectual and economic progress of a country. They are the arch-enemy of freedom and free expression. They are absolutely opposed to anything that advances the state of the average man that doesn't grant a pile of money to the elite in the process.

    Fuck these people and institutions. To quote Joe Pesci in Casino: "Don't fuck me in the ass and tell me it's a blowjob!"

  • by Interoperable (1651953) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @10:09AM (#29978400)

    for once.

    From TFA: "That ISPs have to proactively police copyright on user-contributed material." ISPs will be fighting this one pretty hard. There's no way they want to invest their resources to trying to patrol the internet. It's not their job, it's likely illegal and it's expensive.

    I do, in fact, think that copyright holders have every right to defend their legal rights but they absolutely must not step on the rights of others in so doing. Take-downs without due process, ISPs acting as police and blanket anti-DRM-violation rules are all measures that stomp on the rights and freedoms of the public. This treaty will infuriate everyone other than the content producers and I think will spark some lobbying from groups that haven't previously been seen on the side of openness.

    The general public (that means a broader public than /.) must become aware of the issues here. Most people simply aren't concerned with IP law even if it should concern them. That said, a threat to YouTube or Facebook or Twitter will spark a response. Here's what I propose: start a group that issues indiscriminate take-down notices of all sorts of media. If there is no punishment for frivolous DMCA notices then there's no risk. Start pissing people off, the service providers that have to deal with the requests and the content producers. Piss people off until legislation to prevent such action comes in, then we've own.

  • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @10:09AM (#29978402)

    It's cheaper for the entertainment industry than doing it themselves.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @10:10AM (#29978414)

    Obama is still a politician and politicians lie, they lie to get in to power, they lie to stay in power, can you point to ANY politician in history whom upon rising to power actually DID what what was previously promised?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @10:11AM (#29978418)

    uh, he was obviously lying? If you bought it, that's your problem. He's a politician, that's what they do.

  • by Jurily (900488) <jurily&gmail,com> on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @10:12AM (#29978438)

    The real question is: do we let this sort of secrecy become a precedent? If this thing passes, no matter what it actually says, it will be used to justify the next attempt.

    Informed public is the cornerstone to maintaining democracy, don't let it slip away. (By public I don't mean the redneck sitting in front of the TV drinking beer, but the experts who can at least comment on the proposal and its effects before it's too late.)

  • Re:So what's new? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @10:13AM (#29978448) Homepage Journal

    WIPO should be WIPOed out. Its members are all traitors to their respective counties and should be lined up against a wall somewhere ane shot. In the groin. Before spending the rest of their lives in prison.

    WIPO is pure unadulterated evil, the spawn of Satan.

    Why is this meeting secret? Or rather, why do the respective citizens of its member states allow it to be secret? The world has returned to feudalism, it seems. Personally, I will continue to respect copyright -- under the old pre-20th century, constitutionally legal copyright laws. I won't download new music, but I have no qualms about downloading twenty year old music. Lessig was right and SCOTUS was wrong. When SCOTUS said that "limited time" meant whatever Congress says it means, they effectively said the Constitution is meaningless.

    I still don't know why everyone acts so surprised that this administration has carried on with the exact same Intellectual property and "national security" policies of the previous one.

    The Governor of California stated on "This Week" that "there is no difference between Republicans and Democrats". Refreshingly honest, for a politician.

  • Re:So what's new? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by onefriedrice (1171917) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @10:15AM (#29978472)
    It's a popular and wrong sentiment that Republicans are connected with "big business" and Democrats are connected with Hollywood. Clearly both parties are in bed with big business (see Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Barack Obama). Democrats just have the advantage of support from prominent figures in Hollywood and the old media, but that doesn't at all means that they somehow have no inclination to cater to big business any less than do Republicans.
  • Sigh. You kids today, unawares of your history. [slashdot.org]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @10:17AM (#29978514)

    It's an attitude thing.

    There are people like yourself who feel you should be able to produce something and continue to profit off freely/easily replicated copies of that effectively meaning you can over time make a fair bit of money for relatively little work.

    Then there are those who realise that strong copyright isn't needed, they are the ones who accept that people should work for a living, they're the ones who produce IP as a service- musicians who perform, programmers who write bespoke software and so on.

    Really, this is what the copyright battle comes down to- those who want to do very little work for a decent payoff against those who think that's a rather lazy viewpoint and so work for a living, whilst copying material of those who are too lazy to do so.

    Effectively if you want an easy life, don't be suprised if those who accept that nothing is free disagree with you and pirate your stuff. If you haven't done much work to produce your IP other than the original work involved to create it, why should anyone pay you?

  • by jedidiah (1196) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @10:18AM (#29978532) Homepage

    Government + a few high paid lobby groups?

    Really. ANYONE should be able to put 2 and 2 together here.

    This stuff should be a surprise to NO ONE.

    Really, what did you think they were doing? Of course this is why they were hiding from public view.

    The "national security" consideration is that there are some countries (France) that still riot in the streets over this sort of stuff.

  • by PhreakOfTime (588141) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @10:21AM (#29978586) Homepage

    Yes, there are plenty of people who have filed to run their business as a corporation. You arent a 'corporate owner', that phrase drips with sanctimonious self-importance. I certainly hope you hire a lawyer very quickly to handle your copyright, as you obviously have zero idea what copryright law actually is.

    When 'your friends' create a mix from someone elses music, or use video clips for school work, they are NOT violating copyright. If your friends took someone elses creation, did nothing, and then made a million copies of it to sell for profit, THEN they are violating copyright.

    Seriously, get a lawyer. If you proceed in your misinformed thoughts you are going to find yourself on the receiving end of whats called a 'declaratory judgment' from someone who your all-encompassing ego sent a threat of copyright litigation.

    How do I know this? Well some self-important ass clown tried to send me a cease and desist letter claiming copyright infringement [demystify.info]. So instead of backing down, I hit back harder and filed for a declaratory judgment against them. They obviously lost, as their understanding of copyright is about as accurate as yours. When you dont have any idea what the law is, you better not be making legal threats against people, or spending your time looking for people who you suspect of violating something based on your own inaccurate understanding of the subject.

    If you ever crossed paths with me with that BS in public, I would hang you out to dry in the court system so fast, you wouldn't know what hit you.

  • by jedidiah (1196) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @10:24AM (#29978650) Homepage

    What you call "property" was nothing of the sort a couple of short centuries ago.

    It was typically a sort of monopoly granted by the King.

    If anything "intellectual property" is the exact opposite of what Enlightenment sorts thing of as property such as personal posessions and real property.

    Real property never "expires" and is subject to seizure due to abandonment.

  • by geeper (883542) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @10:25AM (#29978668)
    How do you expect to whip significant numbers of people into an indignant frenzy?
    Tell them this will shut down FaceBook?
  • by metamechanical (545566) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @10:31AM (#29978800)
    Well, after thoroughly reviewing the contents, it's clear that this treaty was actually intended to throw open the flood gates for child pornography.
  • by HeyBob! (111243) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @10:33AM (#29978832)

    Not much of a legal document if they're all a little different

  • by Duradin (1261418) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @10:36AM (#29978874)

    Obama is a politician. This is what professional politicians do.

    I doubt we'll ever see another Cincinnatus.

    As Douglas Adams wisely told us, no one who wants to be president should ever be allowed to become the president.

  • by purpledinoz (573045) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @10:36AM (#29978878)
    Although the parent is modded Funny, I think he makes a good point. If we make this thing sound so horrible, it would have to be made public. We should assume the worst if treaties like this are secret.
  • by FTWinston (1332785) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @10:38AM (#29978930) Homepage
    America is only a subset of humanity.
  • by thisnamestoolong (1584383) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @10:39AM (#29978958)
    Are you serious? You actually believed that shit?
  • by Iamthecheese (1264298) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @10:44AM (#29979034)
    Yes, because congress has been so reluctant to sign legislation like that in the past...
  • by Maximum Prophet (716608) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @10:45AM (#29979050)
    The actual treaty (or law) won't be secret, just the debate leading up to it. They'll try to keep it secret for as long as possible, then slip the ratification into another bill that no politician can vote against. ("Think of the Children" type bills)
  • by benjfowler (239527) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @10:47AM (#29979082)

    I'll wager that the lobbying industry working for Big Content are filled with the same dishonest, shady and corrupt characters that shilled for Big Tobacco decades ago when they tried to deny links between smoking and lung cancer for purely selfish business reasons; or the corrupt rightwing shills who effectively conned the US government in waging wars and terrorism against Latin American countries to "protect US interests" (e.g. United Fruit). The same morally bankrupt individuals who staff lobbying companies and populate rightwing think tanks that are blitzing the world with climate denialism.

    Perhaps it's time for society to start asking who these people are, who they're working for and what they're getting paid. A public open database of paid lobbyists and shills might be useful. Perhaps these weasels might be less keen on trashing our liberties for profit if they know that light is being shone on their corrupt activities.

    Chances are, there will be only several dozen key individuals, who if pressured enough, and "encouraged" to find a more legitimate and honest lines of work, would make a big difference in fighting the onward march of vested interests in eroding our rights for profit.

  • What Do We Know? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bob9113 (14996) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @10:50AM (#29979144) Homepage

    A lot of what we have seen so far on this is second hand, conjecture, etc. The "leaked document" in this case doesn't seem to exist -- it looks like Michael Geist's blog entry is what is being referenced. I think it is reasonable to suppose that the blog entry may be accurate, but we don't really know that it is.

    So what do we know? What conclusions can we draw from the information we have?

    1. It is called the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. The word "counterfeiting" in there seems like an important data point.
    2. It has been quashed by citing national security. National security has certainly become an extraordinarily loose standard, but it still means something.
    3. Lots of copyright bigwigs have signed the NDA.
    4. Three Google representatives have signed the NDA. (not sure what that contributes to this post, but I think it is worth noting)
    5. The Obama administration has appointed a number of high ranking RIAA lawyers to the DoJ. I think that they are prohibited from being involved in official court duties related to copyright issues for two years from leaving the industry.

    Item 5 leads me to wonder what those lawyers would be up to if they can't participate in actual proceedings. It seems reasonable to hypothesize that they might be working on ACTA, and combined with item 3 above makes me tend to think that the conjecture that ACTA is related to copyright is true. Yet its title mentions "counterfeiting."

    For years the government has referred to selling fake packaged copies of Windows 95 as counterfeit, which seems fair enough. They are an attempt to pass something off as the genuine article, to deceive the recipient into believing it is the real thing. This is a particularly dangerous thing with money, where the term "counterfeit" is most commonly used, because it devalues the currency. It is also a problem with things like software, in part because the person buying it cannot be confident that they are getting the real product.

    In short, the reason "counterfeit" is worse than mere copyright infringement is because its misrepresentation as the genuine article has extra costs to society. It is on this basis that investigation and punishment of counterfeit products is a more serious issue than of copyright infringement alone.

    So, that makes me wonder: Is the ACTA about what has traditionally been defined as counterfeit, or might it be about redefining all copyright infringement as counterfeiting? If so, it might make the national security issue make sense; counterfeiting is somewhat reasonably considered a national security issue. So if copyright infringement is redefined to be counterfeiting, then all copyright infringement would become, by a wave of a magic wand, a national security issue and would activate sections of the law created to deal with the more serious problem of traditional counterfeiting.

    Heck, if you were sufficiently twisted, you could even think that because this will classify a whole new swath of people as counterfeiters, and because counterfeiting is a national security issue, that disclosing the reclassification of copyright infringement would "tip our hand" to the people who are soon to be defined as counterfeiters. And we wouldn't want to disrupt these enemies of the state before we get a chance to classify their actions as hostile to the state.

  • by HeyBob! (111243) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @10:52AM (#29979188)

    Even drafts (for distribution) are legal documents - they all have to be exactly the same. How else could you sign off on it if everyone has a different copy?

  • by Shatrat (855151) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @10:53AM (#29979202)
    Why funny?
    If those in power won't tell us the truth we should assume the worst very loudly.
    Then later when they come back and say "Look it's not as bad as all that, we're just going to put a harmless chip in everyone's head at birth to monitor their multimedia consumption." at least we'll know.
  • by Gilmoure (18428) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @10:54AM (#29979224) Journal

    I voted for Nader.

    In 2000.

    In Florida.

    My bad.

  • by holophrastic (221104) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @10:54AM (#29979230)

    I'd certainly say you're supporting software patents by holding some. The alternative is obviously to fight them having not protected yourself. But I'm no corporate drone, I own the corporations. They run my way.

    I'm not worried about someone pirating my software -- that just won't happen. I'm worried about someone benefitting from my work, and to a lesser extent, my being liable for what they do with it.

  • Re:So what's new? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gilmoure (18428) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @10:59AM (#29979332) Journal

    Yes! Bob Lassiter (radio commentator in 80's-90's) went on and on about how all the regular cultural divisive stuff (gun, abortion, etc) was just used to keep the electorate distracted while the rich consolidated their kleptocratic hold on the world. The rich (the real rich, that you don't really hear about) don't care what y'all think about such things, as long as the little folks keep toiling away producing money for them.

    There's no left-right axis to anything. That's just an artificial gauge set up in the French revolution as a way of targeting folks for 'wealth transfer'.

  • by holophrastic (221104) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @11:00AM (#29979356)

    You've said the right thing but meant the wrong thing. I'm of the mind that I need to keep working to better my product because it's never finished. But I'm of the understanding that starting a project and getting it to the workable point is the most difficult part. I've spent years in engineering to get my product to pass safety tests and to actually stand up. Now I have to add the features that make it sellable. That's the easy part. Anyone could do that.

    To have someone take my product from me now, they'd be able to do it just as easily -- and they haven't wasted two years and hundreds of thousands of dollars. So they actually have the advantage.

    You've got to give me the chance to finish my work, or I'll never be willing to start it. I'm not asking for 75 years. I am asking for 5.

    What is it that you have to protect?

  • by LandDolphin (1202876) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @11:01AM (#29979370)

    Even if agreed upon as a treaty, will it hold up in any courts?

    The United States Constitution, Article VI, paragraph 2: "...all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby..."

    So, Yeah. If the President and two thirds of the Senate pass the treaty, than it is the Law of the Land.

  • by deathlyslow (514135) <wmasmith&gmail,com> on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @11:03AM (#29979420) Homepage

    No, this is the same people / same industry lobbyists / same secretive, greed-crazed financial companies who control our health insurance *already*. If we had a system of publically accountable, transparent entities running health insurance (as we do with health *care*, thank you very much the hospitals are mostly fine,) then it would be crazy to propose a federal takeover. But the groups presently running the insurance scam in this country are the same financial institutions responsible for all the worst excesses of the commerce department.

    The same could be said for any aspect of government or big business.

    "Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth." Abraham Lincoln.

    Sadly that has long since perished and is now a rotted corpse.

  • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @11:13AM (#29979598)

    Well, if all else fails, we can make this thing sound so horrible that any politician that touches it would be publicly shamed.

    That didn't work for us with the DMCA. I think we lack the clout.

  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @11:14AM (#29979612) Journal

    Well the *internet* wasn't born until January 1, 1981 when the IP protocol took-over, and it was first opened-up to non-military or non-academics.

    But even then most people never heard of it until the Killer Application called Mosaic was released to Amigas, Macs, and PCs, and people first discovered the world wide web. Then suddenly everyone wanted to get online.

    So we're really talking about 1994 to the present, or fifteen years. People 15 or younger don't remember a time when the web never existed. People 15 and up probably do.

  • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @11:19AM (#29979714)

    Your wants are no more important than other people's wants. Especially when your wants are short-sighted, selfish, and lead to a stalled society.

  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @11:21AM (#29979756) Journal

    Well I for one am extremely happy with the actions of Clinton, Bush, and Obama.

    Their ever-increasingly central control via government of private citizens' lives, homes, and communications will make it MUCH easier for me. I and my brownshirts will be able to sweep-in to the Congress, declare emergency powers, turn-off the communication networks, and consolidate power with ease. Thank you Bill, George and Barak.

    Signed,
    Napoleon the X

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @11:21AM (#29979760)
    This is pretty consistent with his behavior since even before he was elected. Remember the FISA bill that he voted for? (I do; it was at that moment that I resolved not to vote for him. Those who seek to deprive us of our rights are not to be compromised with - and a vote for the lesser of two evils is still a vote for evil). Or the MPAA-inspired choice for that "copyright czar" position? The RIAA lawyers he's placed in the Department of Justice? His administration's continued dismissal of the warrantless wiretapping cases? Judge politicians by their actions, not by their rhetoric. Talk is cheap.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @11:24AM (#29979818)

    Incidentally, do you own a business? Or is your opinion worthless to me?

    See? That's the sort of attitude right there that makes me even more certain that putting you up against a wall and shooting you would be a pleasure.

  • by aztracker1 (702135) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @11:30AM (#29979914) Homepage

    George Washington wasn't really a politician.

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @11:30AM (#29979926) Homepage

    Supporting copyright is far more important to me than supporting fair-use, and I'd certainly sacrifice the latter entirely in order to improve the former.

    I'm not a corporate owner, but I am a musician, and I have to disagree with you on your view.

    Here's why: most musicians don't make their money from CD sales. Paul McCartney might, but for every Paul McCartney there are thousands of good musicians who make their money from performing, and use recordings primarily as a way to get recognition and more gigs. So in the case of recorded music at least, musicians have a very viable alternative to a strong copyright system. The Grateful Dead in particular did quite well for themselves despite actively encouraging their audience to tape their shows, while hip-hop artists are regularly taking small snippets of each others' work to make something completely new.

    Musical composers who aren't also performers also frequently make far more by teaching, commissions, and awards than they ever earn via royalties. And most also do quite a bit of performing as well. I'll put it this way: my grandfather was a fairly prolific and successful composer in his day, with several hundred works still under copyright and performed every once in a while, and as a result my family gets about $25 a year of royalty payments.

  • by Civil_Disobedient (261825) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @11:32AM (#29979976)

    Don't know why this was modded funny, since that's the actual concern. As for circumvention: just rewrite it using your own language.

    --e.g.--

    I'm not sure as to why this was modded funny as this is precisely the concern. Circumventing it would be as simple as rewriting it in your own words.

  • by Critical Facilities (850111) * on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @11:33AM (#29980010) Homepage

    Sorry. You are a minority. A corporate drone without creativity and/or life. Please, move along. Don't let the door hit you.....I do not support neither software patents (even though I hold some)

    Oh come off it, you're full of it. If you don't support the idea, then perhaps you can explain why you hold the software patents at all?

    You people with your condescending, borderline ecclesiastical defense of this "everything must be free" mentality are completely bereft of any rational perspective. I'd wager that your oh_so_much_more_evolved_than_the_rest_of_you attitude would change dramatically if the "software" you sell were subject to much more piracy, and if you were to find your ability to provide for yourself as a result.

    Guys like you spout off on this tip that you'd "rather lose more sales than lose more freedoms" as though it were that cut and dried. All of you would sing a different tune if you lost all or most of your sales, and were suddenly trying to pay your bills.

    Mod me down if you want, I don't care. I just get tired of this idea that anyone who creates anything should be demonized for wanting to protect it from being stolen and from wanting to be able to recoup some of his/her expenses associated with the creation.

  • by mrdoogee (1179081) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @11:36AM (#29980072)

    Coming soon to a legislature near you:

    Now the House will consider HR 666: The Baby Rape Ban and ACTA Ratification bill.

  • by mea37 (1201159) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @11:37AM (#29980084)

    What you and several other posters are missing is, TFS says specifically "you can read the original leaked document". Those words are a link, even. But to what do they link? The blog -- which oddly enough is not "the original linked document".

    When someone promises something and doesn't deliver, I instantly stop trusting them.

  • by clone53421 (1310749) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @11:37AM (#29980090) Journal

    The document doesn't appear to have ever been posted. All we have is word-of-mouth from people who have apparently seen the documents.

  • by sabernet (751826) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @11:45AM (#29980258) Homepage
    I wonder if an OCR combined with a spellcheck and gramar check run through babelfish would be caught by the watermarker :P
  • by lorenzo.boccaccia (1263310) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @11:48AM (#29980312)
    that is truly a nice loophole around that democracy stuff.
  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @12:01PM (#29980568)

    There is a section in the agreement allowing the RIAA or MPAA to confiscate all of your possessions if they find a single infringing item on any PC you own. If you don't believe me, just ask the government to show it to you and prove me wrong. Tell all your friends.

    Secrecy cuts two ways. If they want to keep it a secret because it benefits their agenda to do so, then I don't have a problem with rumours like that being passed around because it benefits everybody else's agenda. A couple of good rumours like that may be what it takes to make this treaty dead on arrival.

  • Re:Dreadful. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @12:13PM (#29980768) Homepage

    But it may be the end of the open wild west attitude on the net.

    The open wild west attitude *is* the Internet. Take that away, and you just have a broadcast network.

  • by mcgrew (92797) * on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @12:19PM (#29980876) Homepage Journal

    I hold two registered 25 year old copyrights and am all for copyright protection, but damn it, art is like technology -- everything new is built on something old. Copyrights last way too long and are way too restrictive.

    Imagine how slowly technology would progress if patents lasted as long as copyright.

    This journal [slashdot.org] is either infringing a thirty five year old copyright, or is fair use. Either way, the work would not be as good without the "infringement" which in no way could possibly cause Pink Floyd to lose any album slaes; in fact, it could possibly enhanse them. But I'd bet if their record label found it I'd be slapped with a lawsuit and slashdot would be given a takedown notice.

    The copyrights I hold certainly have code in them that was used by someone else, and I was fine with that even when they were new, so long as they don't try to sell my whole programs. If you wanted to give copies away, no problem. It would just generate sales later on, just as file sharing of music creates sales for the artist. They do give it away on the radio, now don't they?

    If you want to read one of Cory Doctorow's best selling books, they're on his website for free perusal. Nobody ever lost money from noncommercial copyright infringement, or fair use, but many artists have starved from obscurity.

    How is having high school kids remix your work going to cost you anything? Sorry, but you and your ilk are greedy idiots who don't realise the value of getting your work in front of the public. You're cutting off your nose to spite your face. Nobody is going to buy your stuff if they're pissed off at you, or if they think you're an evil greedhead.

  • by Kz (4332) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @12:23PM (#29980974) Homepage

    As Douglas Adams wisely told us, no one who wants to be president should ever be allowed to become the president.

    That was actually Plato, in "The Republic" (written almost 2,400 years ago!).

  • by gknoy (899301) <gknoy@@@anasazisystems...com> on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @12:32PM (#29981142)

    I don't care about the reasons for keeping this from us, nor whether the current administration is the same as the old, or more (or less) truthful than the old one.

    I care about how to prevent this. What can I do? Are senators and representatives in on this? How can I make an argument about this, over the phone to some staffer, which doesn't make me sounds like a lunatic, or someone who's only upset that they can't torrent the latest movies? What concerns can I highlight which will motivate OTHER people to contact their representatives? How can I pitch this in such a way that my representative will be inclined to listen to my reasoning?

    I don't mind calling my reps, I just have no idea what the hell to say.

  • by s73v3r (963317) <s73v3r AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @12:36PM (#29981206)
    The media loved Palin too.
  • by s73v3r (963317) <s73v3r AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @12:42PM (#29981370)
    You mean the victory in a state against a governor who people hated so much they would have voted for just about anybody with a pulse against him?
  • by Random BedHead Ed (602081) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @12:50PM (#29981496) Homepage Journal

    Each copy has slight changes in that if he just publishes the paper it will be traced back to him. A typo here or there maybe, change of wording, etc.

    It's just like a draft screenplay for a new Star Wars movie or an episode of LOST. But come on, if the writers and producers don't take take these kinds of security measures, the treaty will be spoiled for its fans well before its release date. I for one am glad the Obama Administration has the same spoiler policy I do: I want to be surprised at the way my Internet connection is cut off by unregulated industry thugs. It's no fun if I already know how it happens.

  • by fnj (64210) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @12:59PM (#29981696)

    You use the word "intellectual property" like you think the phrase is more than an oxymoron. Sorry, but you can't own insubstantial things. Any law that seeks to give you that right is bankrupt and immoral and void in the mind of any honest and realistic thinker.

  • by HeronBlademaster (1079477) <heron@xnapid.com> on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @01:00PM (#29981732) Homepage

    I disagree - I think DMCA takedowns have been a disaster. When the WB music group issues takedowns on things it doesn't even own - and YouTube meekly complies without even bothering to do a trivial search at copyright.gov for ownership - something has gone terribly, terribly wrong.

    When TI issues DMCA takedown notices for something that isn't even covered by the DMCA - and they don't get fined as a result - something has gone terribly, terribly wrong.

    When MTV can play on television a youtube clip copyrighted by a man without permission, but turn around and issue a DMCA takedown notice for that man's later youtube clip of that MTV segment showing his youtube clip, something has gone terribly, terribly wrong.

    Sure, you could probably point to instances of legitimate uses of DMCA takedowns. But that doesn't mean its harmful effects are irrelevant.

    It's a lot like the RIAA's lawsuits. Sure, they've probably caught lots of active music pirates, but that doesn't mean they should be allowed to continue harassing people like they're doing now (especially when their investigative methods may be illegal).

    In other words, the ends do not justify the means; the DMCA and the RIAA's lawsuits both work under the opposite assumption.

  • by Aradiel (1631073) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @01:02PM (#29981774)
    But if the actual content is not a threat to national security, couldn't any attempts to arrest the leaker for distributing the document be appealed?
  • by bonkeroo buzzeye (711311) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @01:06PM (#29981838) Journal

    Amending the Constitution requires ratification by the legislatures of 3/4 of the several states. Ratifying a treaty, I believe, requires only 2/3 of the Senate alone. Not exactly comparable. If you wanted to end-run the current Constitution, these twisty little passages are not alike.

  • by s73v3r (963317) <s73v3r AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @01:07PM (#29981870)

    US Style Takedown Notices have been more or less a disaster here. Just look into any of the cases of abuse of the takedown system. There's the video of the little kid dancing to the Prince song in the background. The point of the video was the little kid, and nobody who wants to hear the Prince song is going to go to that video just to hear it. And yet, it received a DMCA takedown notice.

    There's Michael Savage, who made several anti-Islamic comments on his radio show. The Council for American-Islamic relations posted these on its website, along with commentary. This falls under Fair Use. That didn't stop Michael Savage from trying to file a takedown notice and suing them.

    There's also several cases where a takedown notice was issued, and the person who put up the video responded, saying it fell under Fair Use, or the takedown notice was issued in error. At this point, the law says that the video should be put back up, and if the rightsholder still isn't convinced, they are to file suit. Instead, the rightsholders will just issue another takedown notice. So yes, the DMCA takedown system is deeply flawed

  • Re:The next war. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bentcd (690786) <bcd@pvv.org> on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @01:11PM (#29981930) Homepage

    We should call this the War on MP3s. It will be about as effective as the War on Drugs.

    Call it what it is: the war on culture.

  • by Duradin (1261418) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @01:12PM (#29981954)

    An "Honest" professional politician can't exist.

    If they are honest, they won't be a professional politician.
    If they are professional, they won't be a honest politician.

    Honesty means they are either admitting they are the pawns of their paymasters, which means the public won't be voting for them (even though it's a given for politicians, they just aren't supposed to be open about it), or they are admitting they won't be the pawns of lobbyists, which means they won't have enough money to win against the guy that does dance to the lobbyists' tune.

    Honest politicians tend to be one shots. If they get in, they soon find they can't get anything done since the regular politicians don't want the upstart rocking the boat and either make him completely ineffectual so he won't be re-elected or they turn him to their style of politics so he's not a problem anymore.

    And those lizards, they've come up with quite the scheme to be sure one of them always gets elected...

  • by eples (239989) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @01:17PM (#29982052)
    Thank you, thank you, thank you! It amuses me how many people forget what powers any President ACTUALLY has under the U.S. Constitution.


    They seem to believe there is a "magic president wand" that fixes problems. CONGRESS makes the laws that the President then enforces.


    Thank you again for pointing this out, and please continue to repeat as often as necessary.
  • by harl (84412) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @01:21PM (#29982144)

    That there is no due process. If you neighbor is angry at you they can make a claim and have your internet shut off.

    What are the provisions for false claims? I suspect much closer to none than some.

    Call the newspapers. Call the TV stations. Lay out exactly how trivial it will be to have their internet shutoff. The ISPs aren't going to follow up or verify these letters. They'll pull the switch, grab the immunity, and let you deal with your problem at that point.

  • by psydeshow (154300) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @01:25PM (#29982250) Homepage

    Well, if all else fails, we can make this thing sound so horrible that any politician that touches it would be publicly shamed. They can't prove us wrong unless they publicize the details of the treaty... ...

    A reliable source told me that the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement will make it illegal to read the bible online.

  • by IllForgetMyNickSoonA (748496) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @01:31PM (#29982380)
    Well, once upon a time, a certain republican candidate was voted against even though his opponent had NO pulse whatsoever... :-)
  • by demachina (71715) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @01:36PM (#29982496)

    There is irony that you hear this same line after the election of every new President with the only variation being to replace the part about what they promised to get elected and didn't deliver once they were elected.

    After extensive research I've established that four years is beyond the outer limit of the human brain's ability to retain political history, so we keep getting screwed exactly the same way over and over, and then we just do the same thing again in four years and throw away our votes on the same two completely worthless parties.

    If you actually want "change" you will need to have the elections approximately once a year while we still remember how much we screwed up in the last two when we put in a Republican and then a Democrat, in which case a true maverick, third party/independent will start winning every time and completely trash Washington.

  • by Bob9113 (14996) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @01:46PM (#29982738) Homepage

    I completely agree with your cynicism. I feel much the same way, but wanted to avoid sounding too far over the edge to avoid scaring off more moderate (or less aware, if you prefer) folk.

    I have a hard time seeing how "counterfeit" is meaningfully different than "illegal copy" when it comes to digital goods,

    From one angle, I agree. If you start with the question, "Suppose there is a case of a digital download which is a case of counterfeiting, how (if at all) would it be distinguished from copyright infringement?"

    However, I think that is a leading question. I think the first question is, "What makes counterfeiting different from copyright infringement, and are there cases of digital downloads which meet that definition?"

    I think it is not that infringing digital downloads are both copyright infringement and counterfeit because it is hard to distinguish them. I think it is that it is hard to distinguish them because one does not have any common examples to reflect upon (at least not yet). The closest example I can think of that would fit the true spirit of counterfeiting would be if a new competitor to Hulu emerged that claimed to be sourcing their content with the approval of the television studios, but was not.

    That is; copyright infringement is infringing distribution of a copyrighted material, even if you make no pretense that the source is legitimate. Counterfeit is attempting to deceive the recipient into believing that a good is legitimately sourced, even if the good itself is a perfect reproduction. The reason that counterfeit is unlawful is because it eliminates the ability of honest people to purchase honest goods. The reason copyright infringement is unlawful is because it is a case of dishonest people choosing not to purchase honest goods. There are cases which satisfy both, but conflating the two is not beneficial to an efficient system of justice.

    That's my best effort anyway. It is a very interesting point to attempt to defend. Thanks for challenging it!

  • by dgatwood (11270) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @01:50PM (#29982818) Journal

    It's not a complete picture, but it's actually worse than the GP said, not better. The U.S. actually has a trade deficit, which means that we have more money going out to other countries than we have coming in. Therefore, in effect, every dollar that goes to American businesses came out of the pockets of the general public. That's not perfectly precise, but that's the net effect. (Plus we're giving a little bit beyond that to foreign companies.)

    Thus, it's entirely correct to divide dollars of debt by the number of American households to give a debt per household figure. The only way that would be wrong would be if we had a positive trade balance such that other countries were helping to pay off that national debt. As long as we have a trade deficit, we're paying for it, and whether we pay for it directly through our own taxes or in the form of higher prices for goods and services caused by business taxes, the net result is the same. We're paying for it. All of it.

  • Re:Dreadful. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @02:11PM (#29983240) Homepage Journal

    Musicians should move to live performances to make money and accept that they shouldn't be millionaires for 1 album.

    Very, very few musicians get rich no matter how talented they are. They should learn to realise that. If you love music, become a musician. If you love money, become a thief.

  • by Cyberax (705495) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @02:26PM (#29983604)

    "Ah, I see. So you're in a position where you don't actually have any skin in the game. No wonder you don't care about protecting "your" work, it's not you that's going to potentially lose any revenue, it's the company you work for. Got it."

    I own more than 50% of shares of the company I work in.

    "Regardless of whether one's entire livelihood depends upon the work in question, I see no reason why it should be so frowned upon that one should resist being compelled to offer it for anyone to use at any time in any way, including for their own profit."

    You are not 'compelled to offer it for anyone to use at any time in any way'. You can simply stop selling your works, so no one can use it in any way.

    And selling a copy of your work is no different than selling a hammer. You customer might use it for any purpose, including building a masterpiece which then will be sold for $10000000.

    Of course, unauthorized commercial redistribution (aka piracy) should be forbidden. As it is forbidden under the current copyright law.

    "I understand the argument for not wanting to allow people to artificially inflate the value of their product(s), but to exhort that any form of protection is equal to greed is a false comparison indeed."

    Remember, that you enjoy a government-mandated monopoly on your works not because you are entitled to large profits but to stimulate useful arts.

  • by Rich0 (548339) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @02:27PM (#29983618) Homepage

    Yup - for starters just look at the National Electric Code. EVERYBODY is required to follow it, and yet it must be purchased from a private entity.

    IMHO any document referenced in legislation should automatically enter the public domain. People shouldn't have to pay to read the laws they are subject to.

  • by cdrguru (88047) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @02:38PM (#29983846) Homepage

    The problem that I think a lot of people are missing is quite simple. Distribution of copyright materials - books, movies, music, software, everything - became a source of revenue before 1900 in US and Europe. The "publisher model" where the publisher fronts all the costs and takes the lion's share of the revenue became quite common. This model allowed for considerable growth of book and music publishing over more than 100 years.

    Today, for the people on one side of the Digital Divide, the publisher doesn't seem to be all that necessary. There may be smaller role in the area of promotion, but the driver of the promotion was the big revenue that was possible from the combination of mass distribution and mass promotion, usually at significant cost. One problem with the idea of the publisher being obsolete is the people on the "other" side of the Digital Divide. Without publishers, and without broadband Internet, they are going to be left out of all media in the future.

    But even without publishers, creative people that are producing copyright materials deserve something for their efforts. Sure, hundreds of years ago their compensation was in the form of patronage. They produced works that their patrons wanted and got a living from it. This produced a particularly stilted kind of works for quite a while. It would be a shame to think that only the likely jaded tastes of the rich and powerful would be represented by future creative works under a reincarnation of a patronage system.

    But how else are creative works going to be produced? It is apparent from where I sit that people that grew up with the Internet simply will not pay. If free materials of their liking aren't available, pirated works will be and they will be used. User-generated and most free content has shown it to be worth precisely what is being charged for it. While some is good, most isn't. As are most things that the owner is willing to part with for free.

    The answer for the masses isn't going to be that everything is free, because this will leave the masses without much new materials. The "oldies" will always be with us - e.g., 1970s music and Project Gutenberg - but to get new works of "value" something has to be exchanged. And most people find it difficult to live off fame and reputation.

    So how do creative people replace the revenue that controlling the distribution of their work gave them? It doesn't matter if this distribution was direct or through a publisher, there was some revenue there. The answer isn't that this revenue just disappears, because if it does just evaporate some (probably large) fraction of these creative people will end up doing something else that does pay. Failing to come up with a real answer for this leaves the whole system in limbo, as it is today - everything is free to the Internet generation leaving the oldsters to pay. This arrangement isn't going to last forever, and may not last very much longer.

    So what is a reasonable answer?

  • Re:Ungh... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by OrangeTide (124937) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @05:20PM (#29986880) Homepage Journal

    When copyright laws are used to prop up profits, it stifles creativity.

    Things are going to have to get much worse before they get better. Eventually anti-democratic copyright treaties will have to blow up in everyone's face, but it may take a generation of lost art before it happens.

  • by darthwader (130012) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @05:52PM (#29987352) Homepage

    Call the newspapers. Call the TV stations. ...

    And that's exactly what the problem is. Call the media companies, the same ones that have a huge financial incentive to back a "copyright" law which gives the media companies unprecedented powers to take and keep our money. The media organizations are the ones that have been lobbying for this kind of power. Why would they shoot themselves in the foot by telling the public about it?

    People keep saying "We'll just tell the general public, and the general public will revolt!" That's silly. The general public is very strongly influenced by media, advertising, propaganda. The people who are the best at producing this propaganda as well as the communicaiton channels are under the control of those who have a financial stake in getting more and more control.

    Asking "the media" in general to work against stricter copyright controls is like asking Fox News to work against the Republican party. It ain't gonna happen.

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Wednesday November 04, 2009 @06:40PM (#29988060) Journal

    What you call "property" was nothing of the sort a couple of short centuries ago.

    It was typically a sort of monopoly granted by the King.

    Well, this applied to some kinds of real property too in feudalism: the fief isn't yours, you only get to use it subject to the license agreement with the vassal, which typically requires you to provide certain services in return. Break the license agreement, and you no longer have any rights to the fief.

    In reality, all property is a product of the society. There's no concept of ownership in nature, apart from "yours is everything you can obtain by any means, and defend against others".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 05, 2009 @06:06AM (#29992972)

    No, you're just short sighted and stuck on one rather small minded view of how to do business.

    You miss the point that there are other products like yours that deal with this day in day out- there isn't one single company in the world that sells cabinets, there are tons of cabinet makers and they stay in business by making a better cabinet.

    They do not have the advantage by copying you because you understand the product better, you know what's needed to improve it, you can sell a better product. Furthermore, they have to reverse engineer it and get their version to pass safety tests to which means you get a massive amount of extra time to build a brand ahead of their product going to market. You can have 10,000 units out there on sale before they're even ready for production.

    If you provide a good product, with good service, and can make sure your product is ahead of the competition using your innate superior knowledge of the product then you can easily outperform the competition.

    But what you're saying is you don't want to do this, you don't want competition, you want a monopoly on your product, you don't care about the consumer getting a good deal, you don't care about good service, because you want your product to be the only one on the market that if people need it they have to come to you no matter how crap a deal you give them and no matter how stagnant you leave the product, refusing to improve it because there's no need- there's no competition. Most importantly, the trademark system is valid in the eyes of even the most anti-copyright protestors so your brand will be protected- if people have the choice of Coca-Cola or Ultra-budget Cokeo they'll take the Coca-cola, because they recognise, trust and are faithful to the brand.

    You want to be lazy and expect people to subsidise that, it's that simple. You again miss the fundamental point that no one is going to work their arse off simply so that you don't have to.

    You ask what business I have to protect like you keep asking everyone, this is a loaded and idiotic question because our point is that like you we make money, but unlike you we do it using a method where there is no need to protection because we realise protection is a weak and flawed business model. I am a software developer, I do not write software which I then try to sell copies of because that's stupid, I write software and keep writing software for my employers, I get paid to actually do work and don't need to worry about people copying my work because they'll always be behind the curve, I'll keep creating, and keep getting paid.

I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when you looked at it in the right way, did not become still more complicated. -- Poul Anderson

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