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EU Parliament Rejects ACTA In a 663 To 13 Vote

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  • Good. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @11:21AM (#31426462)

    Good to know that the voice of the people is being heard.

  • Re:Good. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by VGPowerlord (621254) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @11:21AM (#31426474)

    Good to know that the voice of the people is being heard.

    On one side of the pond at any rate.

  • Re:Good. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Silverhammer (13644) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @11:25AM (#31426550)
    Except that the EU parliament has no real power (much like the British House of Lords). All real power in the EU is held by the bureaucracy.
  • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @11:31AM (#31426628)
    Do not get your hopes up. I just see 663 politicians who are about to get visits from copyright lobbyists, it remains to be seen how easily these people can be bought.
  • And that is why.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pablo_max (626328) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @11:32AM (#31426636)

    I am moving to Germany next month! seriously.

    The sheep here just dont care what the government takes from them so long as it's "for the children".

  • Re:Good. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mcvos (645701) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @11:38AM (#31426714)

    Except that the EU parliament has no real power (much like the British House of Lords). All real power in the EU is held by the bureaucracy.

    By the council of ministers, actually. They make agreements behind closed doors without input from either their national parliaments or the euoparliament.

  • It's sad to see (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dr.Syshalt (702491) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @11:48AM (#31426834)
    ...how the world has changed in recent 150 years. U.S. corporations push draconian laws and European countries are praised for standing up to protect freedoms and privacy.
  • Re:The 13 votes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by abigsmurf (919188) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @11:52AM (#31426888)
    Personally I think there's a lot to be said about keeping these votes anonymous. You end up with 'flags for orphans' situations where a piece of draconian legislation gets snuck in a popular bill and people are too scared to vote against it for fear of seeing their name in negative headlines.
  • Reality (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cdrguru (88047) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @11:54AM (#31426934) Homepage

    Today, the US economy "manufactures" IP. The vast factories that employ thousands of people have all moved to Mexico or China and they aren't coming back no matter what happens. The WTO is going to see to that.

    Do you really believe that anything the EU does is going to prevent the US from rather forcibly letting the world know that the IP manuactured in the US isn't going to be passed around for free? Dream on. You are talking about a huge economy that is responsible for the well-being of nearly a half a billion people.

    The goal of the pirate community is simple - nobody pays, ever. A admirable goal and one that most people don't really see any problem with. Which leads to sillyness like a software developer whose salary depends on the company's revenue from software sales freely downloading and redistributing movies. Sure, it is easy and convenient, but best of all it is really cheap. But when the software is passed around for free as well will the company survive? I guess they could come up with a "new business model" that supports giving it all away for free. But they probably aren't going to need as many developers...

    Probably the biggest thing that people are missing is the US is poised to take on a huge new madate to pretty much supply health care to everyone. This is going to cost a lot more money, money the government gets from taxes. Pirates don't pay taxes on what they "try before buying". So regardless of how the media companies figure out a new business model that can just give everything away, the government's share of the sales taxes and income taxes goes away. The US government is no longer in a position to ignore this loss of tax revenue.

    So what is going to happen? Well, I would start figuring out how the US government is going to continue to get the same tax revenue in the face of a massive piracy movement. They could tax Internet connections. They could crack down on piracy in all sorts of ways. They could do both. But no matter what, they aren't going to take the revenue loss lying down and are going to do something. Probably something big because the appetite for tax revenue is just going to get a lot bigger over the next few years.

  • Re:Good. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aurispector (530273) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @11:58AM (#31427000)

    It's very interesting to see how power is being apportioned in the EU. Government is only as good as the ability of citizens to effect change.

  • Re:The 13 votes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BlackSnake112 (912158) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @12:00PM (#31427028)

    No. Those who were elected into power should never have anonymous voting. Only those not in power (that would be the regular people) should have anonymous voting. Those in power should be doing the will of the people that put them there. The regular people need to be able to vote without fear of being arrested, fined, etc. for voting against something that those in power want.

  • Re:The 13 votes (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Spatial (1235392) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @12:03PM (#31427064)
    The alternative is politicians who can't be held responsible for their actions.

    Which is worse: politicians that can be cowed by the media, or politicians who aren't answerable to the media at all?
  • Re:Good. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ThePhilips (752041) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @12:03PM (#31427066) Homepage Journal

    They'll just slice it and pass it piece by piece through all the possible loopholes, avoiding any vote by elected officials.

    When in the EU something happens, all become aware of it only as a post factum, when it is too late to influence anything.
    When in the EU nothing happens ... well, you see such news. IOW, any news from Brussels can be safely ignored, "real business" there happens behind closed doors.

  • by circletimessquare (444983) <circletimessquare AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @12:08PM (#31427136) Homepage Journal

    "i'm going to run to canada if bush is elected! boo hoo!"

    look you spineless assholes: if your society is going south, stay there and fight for it. fleeing means that you don't hold much stock in the strength of your own convictions, and instead parasitically depend on someone else to fight for your convictions

    all of your freedoms you hold dear must constantly be protected and fought for. what, you think you fight for something once and it stays that way forever? no, every day is a fight against constant assaults against your freedoms, and this is the way it is, FOREVER, IN EVERY SOCIETY. this is the reality you live in, so grow a fucking backbone, stand your fucking ground, and fight the fucking assholes who infect your society

    to anyone who threatens to flee the usa because of changes in society they don't like: you're a loser, you're a freeloader, and you ARE PART OF THE FUCKING PROBLEM

    we need fighters who will fight for their home, not freeloading whiners

  • Re:The 13 votes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @12:12PM (#31427186)
    We also need to be able to hold those who we put in power accountable if they are found to be voting against our will. It's fundamental in weeding out corruption.
  • by paulsnx2 (453081) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @12:15PM (#31427224)

    We were told that ACTA had to remain secret for "National Security Reasons". We were told it had to remain secret or other countries would walk away from the table.

    But the truth is that most of Europe will walk away if there is no disclosure. And none of the countries that have supported secrecy have threatened to leave the talks. And the US hasn't even claimed to take a position (though we all know that is a lie).

    And to top it all off, despite all the leaks so far, we do not have a single terrorist organization that has been able to leverage the revealed all-so-dangerous-information commit any terrorist act.

    At least, as long as you don't consider Michael Geist a terrorist.

  • Re:The 13 votes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by abigsmurf (919188) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @12:37PM (#31427514)
    "one rule for us and one rule for them" then?

    The problem with public voting is in today's politics is that they're not accountable to 'their voting public'. They're accountable to the press.

    What's the headline likely to be "Senator John Smith is the lone person against giving orphans flags" or "Senator John Smith refuses to vote for the flags for orphans bill as he feels some unrelated legislation has been added by stealth and he thinks it's against his voter's wishes"?

    A well run government often requires passing bills that voters would dislike for the good of the country (tax increases, spending cuts etc.). Fear of voting in line with your views and policies at both top and bottom levels results in a failure of democracy.
  • Re:The 13 votes (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sa666_666 (924613) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @12:38PM (#31427530)

    Why can't all politicians just do what they're elected to do and serve the people?

    Because the number one mandate of politicians is to get re-elected, not to serve the people. And a great portion of their time is spent getting around any 'roadblocks' that would benefit the people but negatively impact them. It's an unsolvable problem; the goals of a politician and those of the people are often diametrically opposed.

  • by c6gunner (950153) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @12:45PM (#31427626)

    It's a rhetorical point rather than a statement of fact. When Bush was elected, I noticed a distinct dearth or "liberal" refugees swarming over the border. Nor did the situation change upon his reelection. While one or two rare individuals may actually follow up on such statements, the vast majority will not. It's the equivalent of a young child threatening to run away from home; a cry for attention rather than a serious plan.

  • Re:The 13 votes (Score:2, Insightful)

    by John Hasler (414242) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @12:50PM (#31427682) Homepage

    > A well run government often requires passing bills that voters would dislike
    > for the good of the country (tax increases, spending cuts etc.).

    It is up to the voters to decide on the good of the country.

    > Fear of voting in line with your views and policies at both top and bottom
    > levels results in a failure of democracy.

    Voting your views rather than those of the people you purport to represent is not democracy. Do what your constituents want or resign.

  • by SteveFoerster (136027) <{moc.retsreofevets} {ta} {evets}> on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @12:59PM (#31427826) Homepage

    With the obvious exceptions of Native Americans and those whose ancestors were brought here against their will, the U.S. was built largely by those who came here seeking a better life. If it was okay for them to come here for that reason, it's okay for me to go somewhere else for the same reason.

    I'm one of three hundred million people in the U.S. My odds that my fighting for freedom here will make a positive difference in my life are worse than my odds of winning the lottery. Meanwhile, the odds that emigrating will make a positive difference in my life improve all the time. So no thanks, you can keep your macho bullshit. In this case it's better to be happy than right.

  • Re:Reality (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @01:09PM (#31427936)

    Unfortunately, you got it all backwards. You ignore the reality that there is no tax revenue loss due to piracy. And you miss the fact that health care costs will decrease under a public option not increase, relative to current US per-capita health costs. I don't consider you a troll, though some one else might, but rather a misguided person whose swallowing the traditional meme broadcast by authoritarians: be afraid, stay the course!

  • thank you (Score:4, Insightful)

    by circletimessquare (444983) <circletimessquare AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @01:13PM (#31427980) Homepage Journal

    for emphatically declaring your deepest conviction: to not matter

    but one would think that someone so hellbent on passionately insisting on standing for nothing would learn that the most direct way to do that is to shut up

    we get it dude: meaninglessness is awesome. your hopelessness and and your lacking of ability to change anything in your life is unmuteable. so shut up, and thereby fulfill your destiny of truly meaning nothing

    i don't understand the point of someone looking at a fight and declaring "I'M NOT GOING TO FIGHT, I'M GOING TO STAND ON THE SIDELINES". we understand. so go away. why are you still talking when your only message is "i don't care"? prove you don't care: go the fuck away and stop commenting on that which you enthusiastically choose not to fight for

    those who actually believe in something and actually fight for it create their own meaning, create the future of the society they care about: its self-fulfilling destiny. meanwhile, those who have only learned helplessness have a self-fulfilling destiny as well: "i don't matter and i can't change anything" becomes their reality. that you believe that, defines your reality. thank fucking god your empty cynicism and helplessness to change your world doesn't define my reality, or reality at all

    you forfeit the right to talk about a subject matter when the only thing you have to say on the subject matter is that you don't care about the subject matter

    so adios, loser. you've defined the parameters of your own loserhood by stating your inability to change anything. that defines your useless life, it doesn't define my life, or my society. i would say OUR society, but your only conviction is to leave it, apparently

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @01:18PM (#31428054)

    663 vs 13.

    Remember, the EU parlament is not the US congress. It's not "two parties and a handful of independents". You literally have ALL possible flavors of political opinions represented in there. No matter how you look at it, with the various parties in the parlament, this means that parties from all over the political spectrum voted AGAINST it. From Conservative to Liberal, from Socialist to Libertarian, from left to right, up to down and in to out. That's a result you would expect for votes held on topics that no sane person could shoot down, like, say, "Do we want to give ourselves more money?" And even there I'm not so convinced it would be this clean cut, given that there are actually a few in there that take the whole deal serious.

    Sure, a few of those 663 votes will be votes against the council and their "we decide, you shut up" stance towards the parlament, and given the chance to give them the finger, a few MoPs certainly took the opportunity. But my guess is for such a reaction, ACTA is too important. This ain't the decision on the mandatory size of eggs or the shade of green a cucumber has to have to be a grade A. We're talking about a treaty that would affect every single EU citizen, and of course every single EU corporation that even remotely deals with copyright. I doubt many would use just this vote to show their digital 4 to the council.

    So what this vote shows us is that pretty much ALL parlament is against the treaty. No matter what party. No matter what political position. No matter their opinion on other issues. They ALL consider it bad enough to object that this is dealt with behind closed curtains.

    So my question would be, why was the council and the negotiators for it? No matter what political party you belong to, you pretty much had to be against it... at least if your political point of view was the deciding factor, not the one of the person slipping greens in your pockets...

  • Re:The 13 votes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @01:19PM (#31428068)

    Voting your views rather than those of the people you purport to represent is not democracy. Do what your constituents want or resign.

    Really? I didn't see anything about that in my political science courses about the theory of democracy. Do you have a link to support that, or are you just making it up?

    From my perspective, if my representative does nothing more than parrot my views (or the average of the views of his constituents), he is completely superfluous and can be replaced by a small perl script. I want him to do the job that I can't: study the matters that come before him in a thorough manner, and decide based on what will benefit overall society the best.

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @01:46PM (#31428362) Journal

    look you spineless assholes: if your society is going south, stay there and fight for it. fleeing means that you don't hold much stock in the strength of your own convictions, and instead parasitically depend on someone else to fight for your convictions

    Can you tell that to Christians living in Afghanistan with a straight face?

    Staying and fighting is only meaningful if there is any possibility that you may actually win. In longer term, if one is willing to sacrifice oneself for the good of the others (which is not something that should be demanded or expected from everyone!), it still only makes sense if the sacrifice has any chance of buying victory.

    And this is only possible if there are sufficiently many people fighting alongside you, or if there is a good chance to recruit more to your cause. If, instead, the supermajority is fiercely opposed (or even just decidedly neutral) with respect to the cause you're fighting for, the war is already lost. Trying to fight it would be purely masochistic, with pain and struggle for both oneself and others for no purpose at all.

    Even if the fight is possible to win in the end - just very hard - as noted above, it is neither feasible nor moral to require every single person to ruin their life for the sake of such a fight, even for the cause that is just.

    Which is the case in the American society today, I cannot tell; this is something for Americans themselves to figure out. But you alone are not a judge, either.

  • Re:The 13 votes (Score:3, Insightful)

    by yolto (178256) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @01:51PM (#31428416) Homepage

    Firstly, If you have representatives, its not a democracy, its a republic.

    Representatives in a republic do face the difficult choice of doing what they think is right versus doing what the majority of their constituents want. It's a fine line to walk between doing what is right and doing what is popular.

    However, simply voting based on your perception of the majority of your constituents desires is essentially reverting back to mob rule. Sometimes a representative must vote for what they personally think is right, even if it goes against the will of the majority. To blindly state "do what the majority wants or resign" is a bit simplistic, IMHO.

    If all representatives did was parrot their majority of their constituents, then the US would never have passed women's suffrage, civil rights legislation, etc.

    The check on this is that, ultimately, its up to the people to decide whether to re-elect a representative that votes contrary to the desires of the majority.

  • Re:The 13 votes (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MooUK (905450) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @02:28PM (#31428904)

    Most "Democracies" in the world are at best democratic republics.

  • Re:Good. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by newcastlejon (1483695) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @04:50PM (#31430734)

    Now all we need is a twisted and deformed creature to covet and ultimately destroy copyright. Shouldn't be difficult...

    You mean like Lord Mandelson of Sith?

    Oh, shit.

  • Re:Good. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hduff (570443) <hoytduff.gmail@com> on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @04:59PM (#31430844) Homepage Journal
    It will be interesting to see how this is undone. Have no doubt, it will be undone and forced on the EU. There's too much money riding on the implementation a of ACTA to let it fail.

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