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Secret Copyright Treaty Timeline Shows Global DMCA 184

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the only-a-matter-of-time dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Michael Geist, a leading critic of the ACTA secret copyright treaty, has produced a new interactive timeline that traces its development. The timeline includes links to leaked documents, videos, and public interest group letters that should generate increasing concern with a deal that could lead to a global three-strikes and you're out policy."
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Secret Copyright Treaty Timeline Shows Global DMCA

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  • Emailgate (Score:5, Insightful)

    by plopez (54068) on Monday December 14, 2009 @12:06PM (#30431938) Journal

    If any organization needed an emailgate, this is one of them. We need to see who is manipulating and bribing who. Just like the open docs. fiasco.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      12 trillion on red it gets tucked into the climate bill that will pass in the US very shortly after Copenhagen is over
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Sylver Dragon (445237)
        I'd take that bet, I'm figuring that it'll get attached to the defense spending bill which is still waiting to be passed for this year (or next year's, if it takes that long). The Republicans are going to fight anything which comes out of Copenhagen which isn't an obvious hand-out to the oil companies. On the other hand, they won't fight a defense spending bill even if it had a "we're going to kill babies and stick them on spikes" rider in it.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by lgw (121541)

          The health care fiasco is in a defense appropriations bill. The "we're going to kill babies and stick them on spikes" rider (aka, federal abortion funding) was a subject of some debate among Dems, although I honestly can't follow the health care proposal at the rate it is changing (wait, it's "Medicare at 50" now?), so I don't know where the whole spiked baby thing ended up. At any rate, the Republicans will fight, at least against things being added to the bill.

          As more and more "adjusted, homogenized" cl

          • The health care fiasco is in a defense appropriations bill.

            I thought the health care fiasco was in the Health Care Fiasco bill which we've been hearing so much about in the news. Got any actual citations on health care stuff being pushed into the defense appropriations bill? Or is this just more Limbaugh/Beck bullshit?

            Have you seen the latest on the Antarctic data adjustments? The data from 63 temp sensors was "homoginized" by simply discarding the data from 62 of them and replacing those 62 with the
          • by sowth (748135) *

            although I honestly can't follow the health care proposal at the rate it is changing (wait, it's "Medicare at 50" now?)

            I'm Offtopic, but it is interesting how they are lowering the age to qualify for medicare, but I haven't heard anything about lowering the wait time for getting medicare after being declared disabled. It was two years last time I saw. Since medical insurance is tied to employment these days, you have to wonder what the poor saps who become disabled and potentially have to go two years witho

    • by wall0159 (881759)

      Yes, I agree. If only there was a wealthy and powerful opposition to the global DMCA to fund such a thing (like probably occurred with the global warming docs).

  • Doubleplusnotgood! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by filesiteguy (695431) <kai@perfectreign.com> on Monday December 14, 2009 @12:15PM (#30432032) Homepage
    I get a very bad feeling about international DCMA. It is bad enough the US citizens bent over and allowed the DCMA to be delivered, but now?

    Next thing, I'll be sitting in jail for trying to solve a Rubik's Cube by taking it apart.
    • by Wrexs0ul (515885) <(mmeier) (at) (racknine.com)> on Monday December 14, 2009 @12:31PM (#30432228) Homepage

      This isn't a jail policy, they can't imprison you on allegations yet.

      Unfortunately they can kick you off the internet for a period of time by allegation alone. You know, that little novelty some of us run hobbies off of, or maybe send the occasional "electronic" letter to our hip friends in other cities through Prodigy.

      Let's get real about this. Internet for many people is an integrated part of daily life, you wouldn't cut power or phones from people who allegedly do bad things with it without proving guilt first (or in the rare case preventing immediate harm to someone else). This isn't any different; sure I can survive just fine without internet or power (for a while), but the consequences to my life and livelihood would be apparent pretty quickly.

      Worse yet, the authority for removing essential services has an established track record for casting really big nets. The American cousin of the CRIA uses big lawsuits to make up for inadequacies like a city-bound guy with a Hummer... We already have enough issues in this country with a self-governed federal police force, thank-you. Let's sort those bumps out before putting law in the hands of the private sector.

      -Matt

      • by tuxgeek (872962)

        You'd be surprised just how simple your life would become without internet or power ...

        For one, you would probably read more books
        And you would certainly expose yourself to a lot less red slime from Fox news corp

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          And you'd have a hell of a time finding employment if you want to do more than local burger flipping and dish washing.

        • by WCguru42 (1268530)

          For one, you would probably read more books

          One of these days I want someone to explain to me why reading more books is so important. Not everything that isn't reading books is bad (take that grammar nazis).

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 14, 2009 @12:52PM (#30432494)

        Unfortunately they can kick you off the internet for a period of time by allegation alone. You know, that little novelty some of us run hobbies off of, or maybe send the occasional "electronic" letter to our hip friends in other cities through Prodigy.

        That also means anyone could remove any other IP address simply by accusing them of copyright infringement.

        By simply sending 3 letters I could remove the computer running RIAA.COM or WHITEHOUSE.GOV
        Sure they can move it to another IP address but the time and effort to do so makes printing a few cut & pasted letters seem
        worth it. What would happen if a group of individuals got together and started a letter writing campaign claiming copyright
        infringement by a whole block of addresses. I cant wait to see how these laws will be abused.

        If they add something allowing the person disconnected to sue the accuser (effectively requiring you to pay to prove your innocence)
        then set up a limited company and fold it right before any lawsuits start.

        • by HungryHobo (1314109) on Monday December 14, 2009 @02:01PM (#30433378)

          Simply put

          1: Your letters will be ignored if they're accusing someone important.
          If you accuse a senator there's no way in hell they're getting disconnected.

          2: If the RIAA accuse everyone in a network block of copyright infringement with no proof then so what?
          In theory there are penalties for sending fraudulent DMCA notices but you have to have deep pockets to make it stick and there's probably some crap whereby they only have to prove that they *believed* you were violating copyright because the magic 8 ball said so and hence were acting in good faith.

          3: the penalties if you do make it stick are probably a drop in the bucket for the RIAA/MPAA etc

          4: If you try to turn it against them and serve notices to them then they will have deep pockets to make it stick to you and will make an example out of you.

          5: the penalties which would be a drop in the bucket for the RIAA/MPAA etc will make you bleed out your ears.

        • by sowth (748135) *

          I don't think you understand how it will work. A big ISP will have no problem cutting off some random guy's internet access. (without telling him why, and tech support doesn't know) I doubt they would even think about cutting off the access of a company which probably pays them tens of thousands or perhaps millions of dollars per month for hosting.

          So, in reality, unless you are a big player who pays lots of money for hosting, publishing anything will risk losing your internet account. Isn't this how they

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Shagg (99693)

        This isn't a jail policy, they can't imprison you on allegations yet.

        Not yet... give them time.

        What they can do today though is essentially financially ruin you for life based off of a civil suit.

    • by Penguinisto (415985) on Monday December 14, 2009 @12:39PM (#30432292) Journal

      Well, any other route to global domination would be a bit too obvious, dontcha think? I mean, why make blatantly obvious laws that everyone notices immediately? Instead, you can make opaque, confusing, and outright obscure laws to sneak in and swipe individual liberty, one piece at a time, just like seawater eroding a sand castle on the beach. After all, it's far easier to point at a pile of obfuscation and say "don't worry - only those nasty artist-raping copyright pirates will have to worry about it - you're fine". Next, you can impose laws in the name of, oh, "the environment", then "safety", then "health", of course "the children", and then... well, you get the idea. Give it a pretty name, gloss over the ugly parts, and market it, one small piece at a time. As long as the proletariat is comfortable, they won't mind the ride until it's too late to actually do anything about it.

      Besides, fascism-by-bureaucracy is far less messy to accomplish than staging an armed coup. Certainly a bit slower to do, but far more certain (as a bonus, you can condition the masses to actually be comfortable in the new environment. All you have to do is keep them distracted with neat little toys, lots of sexual entertainment, and the occasional celebrity gossip, just like they did it in the old days of Rome...)

  • by Anonymous Coward

    These global organizations, as well as global governance, are a far bigger threat to freedom and democracy than terrorism ever could be.

    We need politicians who are running on a platform that will directly challenge this sort of behavior. We need politicians who will withdraw our nations from these organizations and treaties.

    NAFTA and treaties with various third-world countries have destroyed the American manufacturing base. The American economy will not recover until those treaties are abandoned and manufac

    • by nido (102070)

      Good points, all. I just have a short comment.

      NAFTA and treaties with various third-world countries have destroyed the American manufacturing base.

      You're surely talking about the massive loss in manufacturing jobs in the U.S. over the past 30+ years. While many of these job losses are due to so-called "free trade" treaties, automation via computers has also taken many jobs. Cool stuff is still made in the U.S., just not a whole lot of consumer-grade stuff.

      For example, I met a man about 6 months ago who has

      • Oh yeah. Blame automation for taking "jobs" away. As if a machine doing something will require a person thousands of miles away to do something else in addition.

        More likely it is this way because idiots rail against automation and insist everything be handmade, but they don't want to do all that extra labor (or any labor at all), so they ship the jobs to countries where the labor is cheaper.

        I remember in the '90s when the news would show robots building cars whenever they talked about automakers. It mad

        • by nido (102070)

          I will let you in on a little "secret:" if you have 100% automation, nobody has to do any work!

          In the modern world, the upper class owns the machines, and the underclass collects unemployment.

          As for the debt problem, it will only be solved when spoiled people learn to live within their means.

          You obviously didn't read the link about the debt-based nature of our economy/money supply. There's another good article: "I Want the Earth plus 5%". Look it up.

          Psychopaths in major leadership positions of government an

    • Pfft, yeah.

      We also need, at least in the U.S. and probably elsewhere, representatives and senators that are financially responsible individuals as a whole.

      I blew a gasket and wrote my senators and representative about the OMFG unbelievable passing of the senate bill that boosts government spending by 12 percent AND gives government employees a two percent raise. Why? Well, given the financial condition of the country and the already outrageous borrowing that has already been done, they are setting things up

  • by Bottles (1672000) on Monday December 14, 2009 @12:19PM (#30432092)
    Secret talks to discuss, develop policy for and enact positive action to counter the erosion of our rights as we step into a new global digital age. Only, that's terrorism these days isn't it? Ok. Non-secret talks. Who's in? I'll buy beer.
  • Bring it on (Score:5, Insightful)

    by frenchbedroom (936100) on Monday December 14, 2009 @12:24PM (#30432130)

    The harder they push in this direction, the more people will realize there is another way [creativecommons.org]

    • Re:Bring it on (Score:5, Informative)

      by Penguinisto (415985) on Monday December 14, 2009 @12:42PM (#30432336) Journal

      Question is, will they care? Most folks consume content, not create it. Also, as we've seen in the whole Microsoft vs. FOSS wars, the closed-source guys seem to have better, slicker marketing.

      • Re:Bring it on (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Hurricane78 (562437) <(deleted) (at) (slashdot.org)> on Monday December 14, 2009 @01:23PM (#30432932)

        Of course they will care. Because what is the point of ACTA? More money.
        From people who do not have more money.

        So it creates financial pressure. And as humans always seek the easiest (most efficient!) way, they will naturally be pressed towards CC and more secretive file sharing (which will become way easier to set up).

        ACTA is the classic “tighten your grip, until you are left with nothing”.

        There is no way to win this, for the content industry. They can only lose.
        They get to choose the way it ends. Nothing more.
        If they want to choose the faster dead (ACTA), let them. :)

        • Re:Bring it on (Score:4, Insightful)

          by aynoknman (1071612) on Monday December 14, 2009 @02:08PM (#30433448)

          There is no way to win this, for the content industry. They can only lose. They get to choose the way it ends. Nothing more. If they want to choose the faster dead (ACTA), let them. :)

          The problem with letting them is the collateral damage. I'm reminded of the cartoon of the criminal holding a child's head next to his with a huge pistol pointing at the two of them. "Stand back or the kid gets it!"

      • Re:Bring it on (Score:4, Interesting)

        by macbeth66 (204889) on Monday December 14, 2009 @01:30PM (#30433022)

        the closed-source guys seem to have better, slicker marketing.

        Perhaps.

        But when Grandma asks me about this 'new' Linux thing and will it get rid of all these virus things, I know there is hope.

      • by penix1 (722987)

        Most folks consume content, not create it.

        I am going to throw semantics at you and ask:

        Just how does someone "consume content"?

        This is the problem with the whole copyright argument. Trying to assign a value to the expression of an idea is wrong.

    • Re:Bring it on (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Archangel Michael (180766) on Monday December 14, 2009 @12:55PM (#30432536) Journal

      There is yet another way. It is called massive civil disobedience.

      They can't cut us all off. And I dare them to try.

      • See: Iran.

      • by IBBoard (1128019)

        That only works with physical things. Disconnecting an Internet account is trivial compared to imprisoning someone (which is what you'd need for physical civil disobedience). The level of technical competence of the user will vary the amount of time before they try (potentially unsuccessfully if there is a common blacklist) to get back online, but the mass disconnecting shouldn't be all that difficult.

    • Re:Bring it on (Score:5, Informative)

      by schon (31600) on Monday December 14, 2009 @01:53PM (#30433294)

      Sorry, no.

      As admirable as you believe the goal is (and I agree with you on that), the means is just *wrong*.

      You're talking about organizations that think nothing of sending infringement notices for things that are in the public domian, or copyrighted by the people who post them. "Artist's" groups that send DMCA notices against the wishes of the authors they represent for material that is published by the authors themselves under a CC license.

      These are people who send infringement notices based on nothing more than the author's name being similar to one they represent.

      They are people who send infringement notices to the wrong place, or "link" infringement to IP addresses that are assigned to printers.

      You get three of these? You're off the net. Period. Doesn't matter if the stuff is CC'ed or not. Doesn't matter that the notices are invalid. You're guilty until proven innocent. You have to prove you're innocent, and do it without access to the tools necessary to do so.

      THIS IS WRONG

      "Bring it on" is entirely the wrong way to approach this - we need to stop it before it happens, not try to fix it after.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by FoolishOwl (1698506)

        An irony in the struggle between FOSS and proprietary software is that for many people, pirating commercial software is a practical necessity, in part because of the efforts of monopolists to enforce their dominance of the market. How often do you see "Familiarity with OpenOffice.org" in a job description? How many student graphic designers, working their way through school with minimum wage jobs, can use GIMP instead of Photoshop for their class work?

        Entertainment media is more complicated, ethically. But

      • by sowth (748135) *

        One necessary thing is stiff penalties for anyone who submits false copyright infringement claims. There are stiff penalties for infringing copyrights, which some claim is "stealing" (they are two different things). However a crime which is much more close to stealing is almost always unpunished. Fraudulently taking down a work infringes on the freedom of the person who made the work.

        It is not any different than someone who claims you stole the car you are driving, and elicits the help of police or others

  • If this is going live, i can foresee open source apps and creative commons goods surge in popularity.

    Aren't they shooting themselves in the long term ?

    • I can also foresee alot of Open source apps unable to foster because of global copyright laws.

    • by filesiteguy (695431) <kai@perfectreign.com> on Monday December 14, 2009 @12:44PM (#30432350) Homepage
      Currently, OSS distributions cannot send out - for example - CSS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Content_Scramble_System) code in many countries due to things like the DCMA. However, it can easily be downloaded from other countries, where the DCMA is not in effect. This allows one to play DVD's using MPlayer or VLC without worrying about the local authorities knocking on one's door.

      Given this bastard law, one wouldn't be able to download code regardless.
    • by ppanon (16583)

      Aren't they shooting themselves in the long term ?

      Pretty well. Up here, SOCAN are trying to renegotiate higher performance fees [metronews.ca] to get a cut of expected higher revenues for Vancouver transit buskers during the Olympics. It may result in getting the busker program (and SOCAN's revenues from it) cancelled instead. Does it make sense to charge buskers making $50 a weekend a rate much closer to DJs making hundreds of dollars a night?

  • by TechForensics (944258) on Monday December 14, 2009 @12:28PM (#30432190) Homepage Journal

    If one follows the link in TFA to Michael Geist's interactive timeline, there's an element that leads to a short video of a debate in the Canadian Houses of Parliament-- one member says ACTA is a tool of US corporate interests and will lock millions of users out of the net; the government minister who responds says anything in ACTA is "subservient to the acts of this Parliament". What he DOESN'T say, and what the member is not sharp enough to pick up in the swift give-and-take of debate, is that *once the treaty is in place*, there is NO more subservience to *anything* (short of something on the order of a US Constitutional Amendment". This is the point: the people and even those of their representatives who want to derail this blindsiding juggernaut *will be able to do nothing* once the treaty is signed, and *saying the treaty is subject to US or Canadian law* is a pure, cynical smokescreen. An ounce of prevention here can accomplish what no amount of cure can fix. ACTA negotiations must be transparent. If we don't fight for that the corporate interests will do an end run around our rights.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by gedw99 (1597337)
      Yes, fully agree here. Once the treaty is in place, the nations will be not allowed to trade unless they support and hence legislate the principles of the treaty into their laws. This is exactly how its worked in the past. Countries sign up, and then realize that the US and others cant or wont trade with them unless they too legislate the treaty. No country can afford to be out of the world trade economy and so is forced to act on the treaty and put it in effect as legislation. Its very sneaky and eff
    • by Abcd1234 (188840) on Monday December 14, 2009 @01:20PM (#30432902) Homepage

      If one follows the link in TFA to Michael Geist's interactive timeline, there's an element that leads to a short video of a debate in the Canadian Houses of Parliament-- one member says ACTA is a tool of US corporate interests and will lock millions of users out of the net; the government minister who responds says anything in ACTA is "subservient to the acts of this Parliament". What he DOESN'T say, and what the member is not sharp enough to pick up in the swift give-and-take of debate, is that *once the treaty is in place*, there is NO more subservience to *anything*

      Clearly you have no understanding of the role of treaties in Canadian law.

      Unlike our American neighbours to the south, treaties have *no legal force on their own*. That's right, they do *not* become the law of the land. Rather, once a treaty is ratified, it's up to the government to then pass laws which harmonize Canadian law with the treaty provisions. But that's *not legally required*. ie, there's nothing stopping the house from simply refusing to pass laws to harmonize Canadian law with our treaty obligations.

  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Monday December 14, 2009 @12:31PM (#30432226)

    Intellectual property is an invention of the rich countries to force the poor countries into an economic model that benefits them. Knowledge has always been power, and the developed countries of the world realize that by locking up their books and restricting the free trade of information and knowledge, they can effectively keep those countries enslaved -- producing real, material goods, in exchange for imaginary ones.

    That, people, is the true objective of intellectual property. You people think they care about you making pirate copies of CDs and DVDs? How pathetically self-centered! The truth is much bigger than your hard drive contents.

    • Intellectual property is an invention of the rich countries to force the poor countries into an economic model that benefits them. Knowledge has always been power, and the developed countries of the world realize that by locking up their books and restricting the free trade of information and knowledge, they can effectively keep those countries enslaved -- producing real, material goods, in exchange for imaginary ones.

      digital sharecropping. nuff sed.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        digital sharecropping. nuff sed.

        How interesting that you mention farming. The way copyright and patent law works now, it would be illegal for me to use irrigation and farming techniques any more modern than at least 1880 (150 years plus the life of the author). Think about that when people talk about the war on "piracy". It's not -- we're on the right side (by distributing this stuff for free and attacking their business model) but we're here for all the wrong reasons.

        Hackers need to return to their roots: Deep down inside, we know that f

        • by mrrudge (1120279)
          But let's view it from the other direction. You're one of the big fish, making decisions that affect the outcomes of wars, millions of dollars, lives and deaths. This academic network or whatever has suddenly given the people of the world an ability to communicate with each other, swap files, it's grown incredibly fast and it has no centralised power with which to negotiate.

          You're used to being in a position where the majority of information disseminated to the public is informed by you, and has repercus
        • The way copyright and patent law works now, it would be illegal for me to use irrigation and farming techniques any more modern than at least 1880 (150 years plus the life of the author).

          Patents only last 20 years. Copyrights do not prevent you from making anything but another copy of the book/cd/dvd/etc.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by gedw99 (1597337)

      Patents and intellectual property are one things.

      But this treaty and others go further than that.

      Dont be so simplistic.

      they already enforce that all countries that trade with the US, must respect international treaties. Copyright and intellectual property was one of the first many many years ago.

      the stuff they are pushing through now is much more focused on addressing open information leakage. They want to gain some level of control over information spread.

      Its not just the US. Its the EU. The EU tends to be

    • That, people, is the true objective of intellectual property. You people think they care about you making pirate copies of CDs and DVDs? How pathetically self-centered! The truth is much bigger than your hard drive contents.

      As a matter of fact, I think they do because there is no other reason why the RIAA and MPAA would go after so many students if they were really just secret imperialistic stooges hoping to maintain our global hegemony. The truth is that the developing world would benefit from greater I

      • by girlintraining (1395911) on Monday December 14, 2009 @02:38PM (#30433838)

        The truth is that the developing world would benefit from greater IP protection, as IP currently has functionally **no** protection in most of it.

        The developing world would benefit more from spending all of their money developing infrastructure instead of licensing and importing it in exchange for their natural and human resources. Their economy is not like ours: The multiplication effect is such that for every dollar they invest in infrastructure, the return on investment would be three, even as much as five times. The multiplication effect is lower in developed countries because we are operating close to or at the production possibilities curve. Although it seems like only pennies on the dollar to license these technologies, for them it represents a major investment rather than part of the aggregate cost.

      • by microbox (704317) on Monday December 14, 2009 @02:46PM (#30433914)
        Our economic system is predicated on perpetual growth -- and business interests have talked about IP as the new "gold" for decades. It is not an evil conspiracy, but rather, politicians and business leaders believe that they need to enact these laws for our system to continue to grow. It's not just the RIAA and MPAA, it's also the big phama and agricultural firms.

        Personally, I think it is bullocks dreamed up by people who never created art in their entire lives. Nobody is going to pay for "IP" when they need food on the table. Furthermore, these laws will be used to silence the critics of political interests.

        It is precisely the free exchange of ideas that creates intellectual wealth, which is why these laws are fundamentally counter-productive in their goals.
      • There is more than MUSIC and MOVIES to the whole "Intellectual Property" BS invented by the propagandists (aka Public Relations, as they call themselves.)

        The RIAA and MPAA may not have direct reach in other nations, especially the ones where people are not so preoccupied with consumerism but they help support the imperial corporate movement because it benefits them locally and eventually internationally.

        Agra Business is far more involved in the I.P. imperialism than the entertainment industry is. Look into

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bmajik (96670)

      Government is created to try and preserve the rights men were born with.

      I happen to think that I own the toil of my hands and the ingenuity of my mind. What does it mean to own something? Exclusive control of that thing.

      On a desert island, I certainly own the work of my hands and mind. Why should I give up that control just because someone thinks themself my neighbor?

      I shouldn't, and in the United States, at least originally, you weren't asked to.

      It turns out that a large part of the law deals with prese

      • You got the idea, while preaching means that are diametrically opposed to accomplishing it. Ideas are indeed the foundation of civilization, but it's the spread of ideas and their widespread application that induces civilization, not ideas locked up and caged and available only at arbitrary cost from their progenitor. Ownership is a fundamental aspect of individual freedom, but ownership of ideas damages societal freedom.

        Copyrights and patents stifle progress and act as a brake against innovation that le

      • by babblefrog (1013127) on Monday December 14, 2009 @03:59PM (#30434728)
        What? An idea is yours so long as you keep it to yourself. Once you tell me your idea, you want to be able to control what I can do with it? By force, of course. How can you own something which is now in my mind? This is one of the most perverted discussions of "the rights that men were born with" that I have ever read.
      • by Omestes (471991) <omestes@NOSpaM.gmail.com> on Monday December 14, 2009 @04:16PM (#30434932) Homepage Journal

        Government is created to try and preserve the rights men were born with.

        We're born with rights? I wasn't aware of any viable a priori or empirical proofs towards that conclusion. What the hell is a right, where the hell do they come from? Neither of these questions have been answered to any degree of certainty. Generally all they are is convenient slogans used to make an emotive argument towards their own agenda. Functionally they are nothing more than a social construct. All persuasive descriptions of rights are merely normative proscriptions (Kant's Categorical Imperative, the various social contracts, etc...), and not descriptive systems of actual innate rights.

        Also who is to say who owns what? Do you own your land, the land that someone stole from the Native Americans?

        s the idea of ownership is the most fundamental concept of a free man [certainly, a man must be allowed to own himself! another idea that is unique amongst world governments to the US constitution...]

        Personally ownership/property would be secondary to the basics of survival, since the latter necessarily precludes the former. Looking at the history of society, the so-called "innate right" to personal property is a relative newcomer, with early communities being rather communistic (i.e. community property), and much of the time after the widespread advent of "private property" much of the population didn't actually have this right, being that all land/property was the Crowns. For an innate right, it springs up REALLY late in the game.

        Also, how can we say that the US Constitution "allowed a man to own himself", and was "unique" in this? We were one of the last countries to realize that a large segment of the population WASN'T property. In half of our history I could claim ownership over you, based solely on your level of melanin. Hell, we didn't even realize that women had rights until rather late in the game, and they were over half the population.

        The US was a backwards country based off of economic exploitation and not any conception of "rights". In some regards we still fall into this mold.

        Intellectual Property is the basic realization that ideas are the most valuable things in human history, and that a man ought to be free to own his ideas -- just like he is when he's alone on an island.

        And your own holy Constitution craps on that idea. Governments exist for the good of society (a collective entity of individuals), and not for YOU, or any other person. Copyright, and IP in general, exists for the benefit of all members of society, and not just you. Thus the idea of a limited monopoly on your intellectual creation. The only reason you get this small monopoly is to sucker you into creating more stuff (using your greed for the benefit of the society as a whole), there is no high-falutin' "the effluvia that flows from your brain is sacrosanct" clause in the constitution. There is two reasons for this; the first being that there is no proof that the founding fathers were rugged individualists (in the sense we mean today, they probably would have giggled madly at Ayn Rand, and the modern libertarian party), and that it is incredibly naive to think that any individuals ideas came from a vacuum, you owe your great idea to great ideas before that. If all individual ideas were walled off, there would be no progress since without the old ideas, there are no new ideas.

        Not "humanity, the pool of humans", but "humanity -- the essence of what a man is".

        Featherless bipeds? There is no "essence", people are free to create their own essence. My idea of what I would probably piss you off, and visa versa. Human nature, is by nature, almost infinitely malleable. Personally I do think that IP is largely meaningless, outside of a way to blackmail creators into creating more. I can't smell, see, or measure IP, therefore it is no more real than any other mere idea. Ideas should always be subjugated by that which exists

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by schon (31600)

        I happen to think that I own the toil of my hands and the ingenuity of my mind.

        You can think whatever you like, it doesn't make it correct.

        Say you walk by a construction site after everyone's gone home, and decide you're gonna use the materials there to build a house. Do you own the house? After all, it was done with "the toil of your hands and the ingenuity of your mind".

        But no - you will find that the owners of the materials and the land own the house, not you. And *they* will be the ones that have "exclusive control" over it.

        Creativity does not occur in a vacuum. Writing music

  • technology tames the law

    the law never tames technology

    not for want of trying of course

  • sneaky... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gedw99 (1597337) on Monday December 14, 2009 @12:36PM (#30432264)
    Lets face it. The "authorities" have now realised that the internet allows people to collaborate and learn openly whats really going on in the world, and how the puzzle fits togther. this to them is danderous. the cat is out of the bag, and now they are trying to gain control over it so they can manage the leaks as it were. Its crucial that the internet remain fully open !!!! Its thats simple. More groups that support open information should be targettting these groups hard. This is the type of thing that the authorities will try to slide in to legislation as part of trade agreements like they do with all the other things. Dont support treaty x, y and z - Sorry you cant trade with us. Its really insidious and smart tactic they use.
    • by idontgno (624372)

      The "authorities" have now realised that the internet allows people to collaborate and learn openly whats really going on in the world, and how the puzzle fits togther. this to them is danderous

      :) As in, "makes their scalps itch and shed flakes?"

      I know, that's just a typo, but it's a good one. Almost Freudian: this kind of freedom of information makes their skin crawl.

      Anyway, this comment (without typo) brought to mind a Monty Python sketch [orangecow.org] most apropos:

      He's that most dangerous of creatures, a clever shee

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

      by Hurricane78 (562437) <(deleted) (at) (slashdot.org)> on Monday December 14, 2009 @01:29PM (#30433012)

      Its crucial that the internet remain fully open !!!! Its thats simple.

      Nah. Not even. If only one single stream of communication remains open, that’s enough to pipe the whole internet trough. If we have, we pipe every tcp/ip packet trough twitter. If we have, we form direct wlan-to-wlan nets. We do not even need providers in any city of reasonable size. Soon with mobile phones, this will even become bigger. In theory, you can use any mobile phone as a gateway.

      The can/box, and it won’t ever close again. It’s that simple.

    • by pilgrim23 (716938)
      What does it matter? I can hear all I need to of Tiger Woods on all the major networks. They also broadcast the latest Hollywood scandals and who is sleeping with whom. All the Internet does is talk about oppressed people Whatchamacalitstan and other places like France (which I think is near Iowa).
  • Ever wonder what that phrase meant?

    It means a few elite rich folks controlling, well, everyone else regardless of silly little local laws or constitutions.

    • by idontgno (624372)

      Welcome to the 21st Century revival of Feudalism.

      I for one welcome my media overlord, as a good serf should. I hope I don't pressed into his peasant militia in his campaign against his neighboring Baron.

      • by hitmark (640295)

        oh, modern feudalism have been here for a while now.

        i would claim it got started ones USA made corporations citizens...

  • ...if you're not participating in FreeNet [freenetproject.org] by now, you'd damned well better start. It's likely to be the last place left (assuming it isn't outlawed).

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by sowth (748135) *

      Not that I am against Freenet, but how is it going to protect you against a "three accusations and your ISP cuts you off" law? In this respect, Freenet will probably screw you. After all, say one freesite hosts 3 images of Mickey Mouse, then all the movie studio "representative" has to do is access them through your node, and you will be cut off.

      But this "three strikes" law is worse. As we have seen with the DMCA, you just need 3 assholes to want to censor you to cut you off. The question is will you be a

  • Democracy no? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by patrickthbold (1351131) on Monday December 14, 2009 @01:28PM (#30432990)
    A lot of us live in "Democracies." Maybe some of us who don't suck should run for office. And maybe some others could help them out. I don't thing voting for change is enough in this day of age. We need people who are different that we can vote for first. Any takers?
  • Negotiate in secret all you like, we'll see the finished product when Congress attempts to ratify it.
  • Be sure to contact those representing you. Just one country has to push for openness to get this out for the whole world to see. I'm as cynical as the next person about my government, but I can't complain about the system if I don't try to use it.
  • Brilliant. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dirtside (91468) on Monday December 14, 2009 @02:33PM (#30433774) Journal

    Yeah, because perpetual copyright wasn't enough for these greedy fucktards.

Mirrors should reflect a little before throwing back images. -- Jean Cocteau

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