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US Rejects Demands For ACTA Transparency 351

Posted by Soulskill
from the yet-we-still-see-right-through-you dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The US Trade Representative issued a release just prior to the launch of the New Zealand round of Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement negotiations that has left no doubt the US is the biggest barrier to official release of the ACTA text. Unlike most other ACTA countries that have called for transparency without condition, the US has set conditions that effectively seek to trade its willingness to release the text for gains on the substance of the text."
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US Rejects Demands For ACTA Transparency

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  • by click2005 (921437) * on Monday April 12, 2010 @01:16PM (#31818988)
    • by TheMeuge (645043) on Monday April 12, 2010 @01:28PM (#31819230)

      It's very simple, no conspiracy required. The situation is as follows:

      1. Large IP holders' lobbyists are applying direct financial pressure to the gov't in general and undoubtedly the negotiators personally
      2. The public reaction is only important if it is large enough to affect an election outcome. This is blunted by the fact that the negotiators are appointed, not elected. In the US, even the election pressure is largely blunted by the nature of the winner-takes-all system. In Europe individual votes matter far more to the politicians. Here in the US, they don't care as long as they get their 50.1%
      3. The negative reaction from the public will only come about if they find out about it, and most will not waver from mainstream media.
      4. Mainstream media is largely owned by large IP holders, and will not only avoid stories about the ACTA, but will create a massive campaign to smear any protest that becomes public.

      That's it. There's no conspiracy. Just self-interest all around.

      • by Shotgun (30919) on Monday April 12, 2010 @01:37PM (#31819370)

        Now, that's some change we can believe in. Let's all hear it for the most open government in the history of the United States.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Anyone care to explain to me why Shotgun's comment was modded "Flamebait?" Is there not a huge disconnect between Obama's grandiose campaign promises and the reality of the policies that he's either implementing or continuing? I know it's a bitter pill for some to swallow, but anyone who was paying attention could've seen this coming.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Runaway1956 (1322357)

            Well - if any of those governments involved were really superior to our own pitiful government, they would refuse to participate in secret talks concering a secret treaty. They're all dirtbags, from Oz to Europe to America. Who else is involved? Surely there are Asian countries in on it. But, I kind of expect most Asian governments to be secretive. Dirtbags all, willing to sell their people's rights for a few campaign dollars.

          • I know it's a bitter pill for some to swallow, but anyone who was paying attention could've seen this coming.

            So, once again we Americans managed to elect another stiff that breaks his campaign vision? Hell, we on the right threw everything we had into Bush's vision of a "humbler America" and "limited government" only to find ourselves compromising our own very values in support of an administration that pissed off the entire planet and ironically, laid the groundwork for the very federal activism that is

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by rtb61 (674572)

              In the case of politicians you still have to bear in mind competence. That there is a bias to those that often gain wealth via corrupt practices and seek to protect and enhance those corrupt practices is known. What tends to matter most is the degree of competence in balancing that bias and not letting get wildly out of control as some crazy shared get rich quick scheme.

              With regards to ACTA, the US lobbyist team is likely shooting itself in the foot with regard to blocking transparency until they get wha

        • by TheMeuge (645043) on Monday April 12, 2010 @02:09PM (#31819806)

          Why mark the above post Flamebait? Just because the situation doesn't fit the narrow scope of your understanding of reality, and because your favorite candidate turned into the same sponsored turd as the guy before him, doesn't mean you should lash out at people who make that observation.

          You can only keep deluding yourself for so long...

          • by Shakrai (717556) on Monday April 12, 2010 @02:35PM (#31820226) Journal

            Why mark the above post Flamebait?

            Because any and all criticism of Barack H. Obama is flamebait. The same criticism of George W. Bush using the same language regarding the same topic would have warranted a +5 insightful. Didn't you read that part of the moderation faq?

            Barack H. Obama was bought and paid for by Big Media <-- -1, troll
            George W. Bush was bought and paid for by Big Oil <-- +5, insightful

            • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 12, 2010 @04:23PM (#31821932)

              Because any and all criticism of Barack H. Obama is flamebait. The same criticism of George W. Bush using the same language regarding the same topic would have warranted a +5 insightful.

              Actually, the same criticism of GWB would've also been modded Flamebait or Troll initially, and only after further moderation would it reach +5 Insightful..... just like Shotgun's post, which was modded Flamebait when you posted, but is currently +5 Insightful.

              But, of course, everyone likes to think that their point of view is being stifled by the mindless majority.

      • by causality (777677) on Monday April 12, 2010 @01:38PM (#31819384)

        It's very simple, no conspiracy required. The situation is as follows:

        1. Large IP holders' lobbyists are applying direct financial pressure to the gov't in general and undoubtedly the negotiators personally 2. The public reaction is only important if it is large enough to affect an election outcome. This is blunted by the fact that the negotiators are appointed, not elected. In the US, even the election pressure is largely blunted by the nature of the winner-takes-all system. In Europe individual votes matter far more to the politicians. Here in the US, they don't care as long as they get their 50.1% 3. The negative reaction from the public will only come about if they find out about it, and most will not waver from mainstream media. 4. Mainstream media is largely owned by large IP holders, and will not only avoid stories about the ACTA, but will create a massive campaign to smear any protest that becomes public.

        That's it. There's no conspiracy. Just self-interest all around.

        That actually is a conspiracy for it requires many people to cooperate together to accomplish a shared goal. Self-interest is assumed in a conspiracy since it is unusual to form conspiracies for purposes of charity. It's also a conspiracy because the same small (compared to the whole US population) group that owns the large IP also owns the media. That's evidenced by conducting a smear campaign which by its very nature is not terribly interested in factual accuracy.

        There's nothing magic about the word "conspiracy" except in the minds of people who are desperate to dismiss a notion without actually finding fault with it. "You said 'conspiracy' therefore you're automatically a nut and I'll ignore your ideas without actually investigating them" is how that goes. It's a weak mind that uses such tactics to shelter itself from ideas that it would rather not consider. It's a tool of marginalization and nothing more.

        If you're interested, I believe the fifth definition of "conspiracy" is most relevant here. From dictionary.reference.com:

        conspiracy
        /knsprsi/ [[ask.com]] Show Spelled[kuhn-spir-uh-see] [[ask.com]] Show IPA
        –noun,plural-cies.
        1.
        the act of conspiring.
        2.
        an evil, unlawful, treacherous, or surreptitious plan formulated in secret by two or more persons; plot.
        3.
        a combination of persons for a secret, unlawful, or evil purpose: He joined the conspiracy to overthrow the government.
        4.
        Law. an agreement by two or more persons to commit a crime, fraud, or other wrongful act.
        5.
        any concurrence in action; combination in bringing about a given result.

        As I have explained from time to time on this site, if you work at a company that produces widgets, you and all of your co-workers are conspiring to make widgets. To put it mildly, it'd be extremely poor form to read that sentence and then dismiss without examination the notion that the company exists, that you work there, or that you make widgets. But that's generally what people want this magic keyword "conspiracy" to be -- an automatic way to end any discussion with zero effort, zero evidence, and no good reason.

        • by ktappe (747125) on Monday April 12, 2010 @01:53PM (#31819588)

          If you're interested, I believe the fifth definition of "conspiracy" is most relevant here. From dictionary.reference.com:

          1. 1. the act of conspiring.
          2. 2. an evil, unlawful, treacherous, or surreptitious plan formulated in secret by two or more persons; plot.
          3. 3. a combination of persons for a secret, unlawful, or evil purpose: He joined the conspiracy to overthrow the government.
          4. 4. Law. an agreement by two or more persons to commit a crime, fraud, or other wrongful act.
          5. 5. any concurrence in action; combination in bringing about a given result.

          Regardless of these being from Dictionary.com, I debate #5 being an accurate definition for that word. "Combination in bringing about a given result" is the definition of "cooperation". "Conspiracy" definitely has a negative, malevolent connotation.

          That debate aside, I think #3 is most accurate with regard to ACTA. Especially the "secret" part.

        • Conspiracy implies coordination/plotting. I think the GP's point was that no coordiantion was necessary, and that the conspiracy was emergent rather than plotted.

          That being said, he argued his point poorly by pointing to the IP/Media owners as the ones pulling all the puppet strings.

        • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionar ... m ['o.c' in gap]> on Monday April 12, 2010 @02:03PM (#31819732) Journal

          Perhaps we should differentiate between explicit and implicit conspiracies. Generally in the popular conception of conspiracy, the conspirators actually conspire together. Meaning, they get together to discuss plans to achieve their ends, and then carry out those plans. That is an explicit conspiracy, and TheMeuge was hypothesizing that perhaps the interested parties here never needed to sit down and discuss plans together. Perhaps they were all acting individually, in an implicit conspiracy. In fact, this type of 'conspiracy' is far more common. Very few people are comfortable believing they are the bad guy. Explicit conspiracies require some kind of an acknowledgment from the conspirators that they are engaging in a conspiracy. Because implicit conspiracies require no active conspiring, people engaged in them don't even need to admit to themselves that they are doing so. The oppression of the lower classes by the owning class is an example of such an implicit conspiracy. Far from having to admit to themselves or each other that they are oppressing the lower classes, the owning class has the privilege of believing they are in fact helping them.

          • by Golddess (1361003)

            Very few people are comfortable believing they are the bad guy. Explicit conspiracies require some kind of an acknowledgment from the conspirators that they are engaging in a conspiracy.

            You seem to think that in order to be explicitly involved in a conspiracy, you must consider yourself to be "a bad guy". I'm curious why.

            • by spun (1352)

              Nope, that isn't what I said, but I wasn't really clear about it so I'll try to explain. Active participation in a conspiracy requires more thought. IF what you are conspiring towards is bad for others, conspiring actively is more likely to bring this to your attention. If you are not actively conspiring with others, the evil you are doing is easier to sweep under the rug of your subconscious. Is that clearer?

        • I think the general accepted forms of conspiracy are definitions 2, 3, and 4 (and of course, 1). Taking the context in what the GP said, he was talking about the lack of "surreptitious" cooperation on the part of the pro-ACTA parties. When context is provided, definition takes the passenger seat.
      • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Monday April 12, 2010 @01:47PM (#31819484) Journal

        You could also include Alex Jones' opinion (take with a spoonful of sugar):

        - The mainstream media is owned by the banks, so naturally they are not going to talk about it. The banks want to chain the people financially and creatively. The bank-owned media also wants to pass laws to shutdown the net, since it is hurting them financially and politically (people speaking truth to power).

        Please don't shoot (mod down) the messenger.

      • by jasonwc (939262)

        You don't even need 50.1% to win an election in the United States. You just need a plurality of the votes. In fact, it was considered noteworthy that Obama won more than 50% of the vote because it had been decades since a Democratic president had won an outright majority of the popular vote, rather than a mere plurality.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by MaskedSlacker (911878)

          No, you've misunderstood how elections work in the US. You need 50%+1 of the votes--however in Presidential elections it is not the popular vote that is counted but the votes of the Electoral College. To be elected President you must have 50%+1 vote from the Electoral College, which you could theoretically win with as little as ~25% of the national popular vote. In virtually all other elections it's just 50%+1 of the popular vote.

          • by jasonwc (939262)

            "In virtually all other elections it's just 50%+1 of the popular vote."

            I should have been more clear about the popular vote, but your claim about other elections is false. Very few state or or local elections, and no federal elections, require more than a plurality of the popular vote. Some states have run-off elections, but in the vast majority of elections, it's sufficient to obtain a plurality. We would have a great deal more run-off elections otherwise, because many close elections with third party cand

            • by jasonwc (939262)

              Actually, ignore what I said about federal elections. The US Constitution defers to state standards as to the handling of elections for federal office, unless Congress intervenes to the contrary.

              In general, Congress has deferred to state law.

            • by zill (1690130) on Monday April 12, 2010 @03:21PM (#31820954)

              As for the Electoral college, while it is true that a president could theoretically win with a mere 10-25% of the popular vote, I only recall two elections in America's history where the electoral vote diverged from the popular vote.

              Actually it's 3. In the elections of 1876, 1888 and 2000 the electoral vote differed from the popular vote. [wikipedia.org]

              3 candidates won the presidency without the popular vote and I believe that's 3 too many. 3/44 = 6.8%

              They were forced to resort to indirect democracy 200 years ago because they lacked the infrastructure for direct democracy, but that limitation is long gone now.

              • by jasonwc (939262) on Monday April 12, 2010 @03:33PM (#31821092)

                I agree. I think we should scrap the Electoral College as its an antiquated, undemocratic, and unnecessary intermediary. It's only positive function is that it theoretically gives smaller states more influence, but it arguably gives too much power to small states. And, in any case, I think we should move beyond the idea of representing state sovereigns rather than persons.

                Thanks for the correction.

              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by BlueStrat (756137)

                They were forced to resort to indirect democracy 200 years ago because they lacked the infrastructure for direct democracy, but that limitation is long gone now.

                This is incorrect according to the letters, pamphlets, and other historical writings from the period concerning the Constitution and the founders. "They" (the founders) made a studied and considered deliberate decision to *not* have a direct democracy as they fall prey to the "tyranny of the majority". It had nothing to do with the difficulty in tab

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Imrik (148191)

        5. Most people in the US don't consider IP to be a major issue when voting anyway.

      • It's very simple, no conspiracy required. The situation is as follows:

        [...]
        4. Mainstream media is largely owned by large IP holders, and will not only avoid stories about the ACTA, but will create a massive campaign to smear any protest that becomes public.

        That's it. There's no conspiracy. Just self-interest all around.

        Yeah, that #4 right there? THAT IS A CONSPIRACY [wikipedia.org]!

        # Conspiracy (civil), an agreement between persons to deceive, mislead, or defraud others of their legal rights, or to gain an unfair advantage
        # Conspiracy (crime), an agreement between persons to break the law in the future, in some cases having committed an act to further that agreement
        # Conspiracy (political), the overthrow of a government

        conspire Look up conspire at Dictionary.com
        c.1300, from O.Fr. conspirer, from L. conspirare

    • There is also the obligatory Facebook group (Act On ACTA): http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=16582417478&v=info [facebook.com]

  • 'i wont let anyone see. but if i let anyone see it, i want what i want to be done'.

    get a load of that. can any of the americans explain this to us here ?

    • Re:Then fuck it. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Austerity Empowers (669817) on Monday April 12, 2010 @01:18PM (#31819028)

      "We're afraid of our own democracy, it tends to interfere with corporate interests"

      • maaaan (Score:5, Informative)

        by unity100 (970058) on Monday April 12, 2010 @01:20PM (#31819054) Homepage Journal

        they actually said it. one member of this 'trade house commitee' assured corporations recently that 'consumer groups' participation would be kept to a minimum'.

        • Re:maaaan (Score:5, Informative)

          by commodore64_love (1445365) on Monday April 12, 2010 @01:53PM (#31819592) Journal

          Corporations (or tress or rocks or other non-humans) should not be allowed to lobby the People's representatives.

          And yes I know corporations consist of people. They are still allowed to speak, as individuals.

        • Re:maaaan (Score:5, Funny)

          by metrometro (1092237) on Monday April 12, 2010 @03:34PM (#31821128)

          Can you post a citation to that? Sadly "some dood on Slashdot" is not as authoritative as we'd like.

        • Re:maaaan (Score:5, Insightful)

          by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Monday April 12, 2010 @06:48PM (#31823978) Homepage Journal

          Here's what to watch for: In a political environment where Republicans have been completely unified in opposition by every single act of President Obama, there will suddenly be wide bi-partisan support for ACTA. It will be sloughed off by the media as an aberration, and you'll hear how "It must be a good treaty since there's bi-partisan support".

          Then you'll know that in fact the people who get commonly laughed at with claims of "Democrats and Republicans are exactly the same" were right all along.

          But nobody will see it that way, because like with NAFTA and the PATRIOT Act, there will be some trivial partisan issue that will pop up immediately after its ratification that will wipe ACTA right off the front pages so the people who use political parties they way sports fans use home teams can get all exercised again and never realize that they've just been bent over a chair and dry-fucked.

          Just watch.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      can any of the americans explain this to us here ?

      You wanted hope and change? You got it. Hope you like it.

      • Re:Then fuck it. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by drachenstern (160456) <drachenstern@gmail.com> on Monday April 12, 2010 @01:29PM (#31819240) Journal

        No, I personally voted for the other "other" guy. And I voted against pretty much every incumbent in the race (sometimes on moral grounds, sometimes due to political views) ... As an American who's sick of the system the way it is, I vote and encourage people to vote to remove all 535 from office and to replace them by rounds every 2 years. I realize we need party leadership and we need people who understand the system, but guess what, when every citizen CAN hold office, nobody needs to be shown HOW to hold office.

        A handful of men realized this 250 years ago, when they started a new country, and they figured that everyone who had any education could hold office. (granted, I'm not saying all their practices were right: I'm just as against slavery and the oppression of women as anyone else ~ I'm just saying the political concepts were much better suited for citizen self-governance).

        However, given the massive tie-in and buy-in of Corporate America inside the beltway, I'm not sure how we can really revert the damages of our fathers and our fathers fathers.

        tl;dr: Hey AC, we don't all want the hope and change that's being shoveled down our throats, mkay?

        • Re:Then fuck it. (Score:4, Insightful)

          by lgw (121541) on Monday April 12, 2010 @01:51PM (#31819552) Journal

          Voting against every incumbant is easy, but it's not really going to help. If a politician thinks "no matter what I do, I'll be voted out" there's not much reason for him to care about the voters, is there? We can fix the current system by establishing a simple feedback loop - act in the interest of the voters, and we'll keep you; act in the interest of campaign contributors, and you're out.

          Of course, the only reason why politicians care about these campaign contributors is the need for huge media buys. If we all just ignored political ads entirely, they stop working, and the expense vanishes.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by thepike (1781582)

            Yeah, but the problem is that not all the taxpayers agree on what is in their interest. If we did all agree, I think this would already be the system, but we don't. Instead you have Joe over there and John over here fighting about everything themselves, and Mr. Politician on Capitol Hill hearing both of them, as well as hearing what some big rich corporation has to say, and having to make some sort of decision. But Mr. Politician doesn't really know anything about the subject at hand (nor do Joe or John,

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by drachenstern (160456)

              Once again we devolve back down to "because of Corporate America" in any base form. How does politics devolve to this?

              Don't get me wrong, I understand the whole shebang in "how it happened, why it's here", but what I wanna know is can we get away from it, or do I need to figure out how to get to the head of DOW or something and then try to effect change? (yeah right, like that would ever happen)

          • I know voting against the incumbents is easy, and I pointed out some of that was purely emotional, some logical. Personally I don't care if we shuffle through new ones EVERY two years. If we do so, then I say "Great"; it means that they know they're coming home as soon as their two years are up, so they know they're RESPONSIBLE for the laws they passed. If that means stalemate everywhere, awesome, it also means we learn to live with a new paradigm. The no-laws-getting-passed-because-everyone-is-afraid-to-ma

        • by nschubach (922175)

          You know there's nothing in the Constitution or laws granting slavery or oppression of women, right? And according to my reading of said documents, it's implicitly denied because the Constitution applies to all people, not just white male people.

          • Wait, I said I'm against it, and you asked me if I know there's nothing against it in the Constitution? Sounds like you're trolling buddy. Of course I know there's nothing there. But that doesn't change how they instituted the policies at the time. The Founding Fathers by and large all had slaves and their women were happy to not vote (supposedly).

            So exactly what was your point? You wanted to agree with me? Thanks, I think.

            Maybe.

        • by amplt1337 (707922)

          Typically when you look at what actually happens, rather than the rhetoric, term limits tend to increase corporate power in government (see e.g. here [wayne.edu]). Basically, your average citizen doesn't know what's going on with the government. Government is a very complicated piece of work, and if you pull out all the people who know how to operate it, the only people left who can make it go are the vendors' marketing departments and whoever has the tech support contract -- i.e. the lobbyists and corporate represen

      • by tsm_sf (545316)
        You wanted hope and change? You got it. Hope you like it.

        We were hoping he wasn't George Bush, that was pretty much it. The man has always been center-right, and those of us paying attention aren't real surprised at stuff like this. Hell I only voted for the man so I could see half my country lose it's shit. Time to hang up my "mission accomplished" banner yet?
        • by nschubach (922175)

          Yeah, because spite is the best reason for voting for a particular person who will dictate your laws for the next 4-8 years. :rolleyes:

    • Re:Then fuck it. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by hypergreatthing (254983) on Monday April 12, 2010 @01:21PM (#31819092)

      can any of the americans explain this to us here ?

      As an American, no i can't. We the public did not create this, have no say in this and have nothing to do with this. I wouldn't even know where to send a strongly worded letter to.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I wouldn't even know where to send a strongly worded letter to.

        Try this guy:

        Barack Hussein Obama
        1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
        Washington, DC 20500

      • I wrote my congress critter and my senators, but I doubt they even care.
      • As an American, no i can't. We the public did not create this, have no say in this and have nothing to do with this. I wouldn't even know where to send a strongly worded letter to.

        As an American, the logical place to complain would be to the elected federal officers that represent you, that is, the President, Vice President, the two US Senators from your state, and your Representative in the House of Representatives.

        You might also look into participating in groups that are interested in the issue.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by vil3nr0b (930195)
        As an American, I will explain it. We are no different than anyone else who becomes corrupted by money and power. In fact, throughout existence it has been this way. Regardless of any viewpoint of morality or sense of right regardless of country, money talks to these people. Its the only thing they answer to. Sad, but true from the beginning of human nature. What can be done to fix it? lol
      • "can any of the americans explain this to us here ?"

        I didn't do it. I don't approve of it. I don't know where it came from, and maybe not even what the hell it is.
        Yet somehow I feel responsible.
        We suck.

    • Re:Then fuck it. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Hatta (162192) on Monday April 12, 2010 @01:22PM (#31819104) Journal

      Corruption. Next question?

  • Let me decide (Score:5, Insightful)

    by UninformedCoward (1738488) on Monday April 12, 2010 @01:23PM (#31819118)

    We hope that enough progress is made in New Zealand in clearing brackets from the text so that participants can be in a position to reach a consensus on sharing a meaningful text with the public.

    Hey, how about letting the people decide what is meaningful?

  • by ciaran_o_riordan (662132) on Monday April 12, 2010 @01:31PM (#31819280) Homepage

    Luckily for democracy, the process is leaking like an old bucket anyway.

    swpat.org is a publicly editable wiki, help in documenting this is very welcome.

  • Good negotiators (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Monday April 12, 2010 @01:36PM (#31819354)

    I feel strangely about this. It's kind of like getting divorced, and hiring a very effective, but unethical and evil divorce lawyer. You want effective representation, but if you weren't interested in the outcome you'd despise the person who chose to employ such a lawyer.

    That's how I'd feel about this, if the US trade representative was working in my interests. But of course, he/she doesn't. They're working for Disney / Microsoft / Viacom / Appple / etc. interests.

    So now I feel like somone really is acting really sleazy in my name, even when they don't represent my actual interests. I'm pretty disgusted.

  • OP has it wrong (Score:3, Informative)

    by TechForensics (944258) on Monday April 12, 2010 @01:39PM (#31819394) Homepage Journal

    ...the US has set conditions that effectively seek to trade its willingness to release the text for gains on the substance of the text."

    Not true-- this is what was said:

    “In this upcoming round of ACTA negotiations, the U.S. delegation will be working with other delegations to resolve some fundamental issues, such as the scope of the intellectual property rights that are the focus of this agreement. Progress is necessary so that we can prepare to release a text that will provide meaningful information to the public and be a basis for productive dialogue."

    This says if we work on scope our release will be more meaningful-- it by no means says no release until scope issues are resolved.

    • I read the same. Looks like the article went through the /. logic filter ;)

    • by electricprof (1410233) on Monday April 12, 2010 @02:20PM (#31819938)
      I beg to differ. I read "progress is necessary so that we can prepare to release" as saying that the order of events is "progress" -> "prepare" -> "release a text" , thus progress must precede releasing a text. The definition of "progress" seems to be defined as "... issues, such as the scope of the intellectual property rights." I'm pretty sure that most of us believe that the U.S. position on scope is going to be in favor of large IP holders.
  • Now what? You couldn't stop the health care fraud. What makes a small group of people think they are going to have any influence on this? This is like watching the AOPA trying to keep Meigs Field [friendsofmeigs.org] open. Copyright has already successfully balkanized the net. You're on the corporate wire here. You people are OWNED!

    • by RingDev (879105)

      The difference here is that 1 party opposed the health insurance reform. Neither party is opposed to ACTA.

      -Rick

  • US has set conditions that effectively seek to trade its willingness to release the text for gains on the substance of the text

    What is this "US" and why is its gain my loss, even though I'm a citizen and still live in the country?

  • by Wyatt Earp (1029) on Monday April 12, 2010 @02:07PM (#31819778)

    How are all those Obama promises of change working out for you folks that supported him and voted for him?

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/TransparencyandOpenGovernment/ [whitehouse.gov]

    "My Administration will take appropriate action, consistent with law and policy, to disclose information rapidly in forms that the public can readily find and use."

    "Public engagement enhances the Government's effectiveness and improves the quality of its decisions. Knowledge is widely dispersed in society, and public officials benefit from having access to that dispersed knowledge. Executive departments and agencies should offer Americans increased opportunities to participate in policymaking and to provide their Government with the benefits of their collective expertise and information. Executive departments and agencies should also solicit public input on how we can increase and improve opportunities for public participation in Government."

    "Collaboration actively engages Americans in the work of their Government. Executive departments and agencies should use innovative tools, methods, and systems to cooperateamong themselves, across all levels of Government, and with nonprofit organizations, businesses, and individuals in the private sector."

  • by unity100 (970058) on Monday April 12, 2010 @02:29PM (#31820128) Homepage Journal

    "Nefeterius McPherson" - us gov trade representative. a name which sounds out of 60s comic book villainery.

    now all that us needs is to get lex luthor (the old one) and dr. octopus as signatories. dr. octopus can be referenced in the acta text as 'an expert on digital economy'

  • by spectro (80839) on Monday April 12, 2010 @02:45PM (#31820404) Homepage

    I read and re-read the statement, then read what Michael Geist post about what it is supposed to mean and I don't get it. It seems Mr. Geist is twisting the words to try to make a hoopla where there is none.

    Just read the whole thing with a cool head: The U.S. Trade Representative is saying "lets agree on some language to put in paper so we can allow the public to review it"... Geist translates it to "no public review until everybody sign the treaty"

    If you think about it: there is no final draft, they haven't agree on final language yet. Allowing public intervention on terms that are being negotiated is counter-productive. Remember, this needs to be approved by Congress after it is signed.

  • hey, american acta representatives: you are my representatives. you cannot adequately represent me if you won't even tell me what you are representing in my name. as such, you are not a true representative of the will of the american people, nor are we bound to any agreements you make

    your intentions have been revealed to be malicious due to the secrecy you wish to cloak yourself in: there is no honest reason for the secrecy

    negotiate in good faith or don't negotiate at all

  • What's being hidden? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PPH (736903) on Monday April 12, 2010 @05:21PM (#31822798)

    The USA wants some language in ACTA. But they don't want to tip their hands to certain parties outside of the process. Or these parties might call 'bullshit' on the whole thing and bring their countries negotiators home. So what's in question? Its not patents or copyrights. Everyone knows the negotiating positions and national interests involved with these issues. And the representatives from various nations are well prepared to defend their own interests in these areas.

    It appears that the USA is interested in keeping any outside eyes off their proposals. This would seem to indicate that the language they want added is aimed at something other than the standard IP issues one would associate with such a treaty.

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