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Experts Say ACTA Threatens Public Interest 107

Posted by samzenpus
from the public-enemy-number-42 dept.
langelgjm writes "In the lead up to next week's Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) negotiations in Lucerne, a conference that drew over 90 academics and experts from six continents has released a statement issuing a harsh condemnation of both the substance and process of the agreement. Held last week at American University's Washington College of Law, the attendees say, 'We find that the terms of the publicly released draft of ACTA threaten numerous public interests, including every concern specifically disclaimed by negotiators.' The 'urgent communique' covers more than the usual ACTA topics of interest on Slashdot: in addition to the agreement's effect on the Internet, it also considers the effects on access to medicines, international trade, and developing countries. Meanwhile, Public Knowledge has an action alert where you can send a note to the White House expressing your opposition to ACTA."
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Experts Say ACTA Threatens Public Interest

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  • by adonoman (624929) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @09:53PM (#32673120)
    Well, according to the Canadian government, those "experts" are just radical extremists [www.cbc.ca] who pretend to care about copyright. If you are against copyright bills, you are a terrorist.
  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @09:57PM (#32673144) Homepage

    The question is not whether ACTA is in the public interest, but whether it's in the collective interest of those empowered to enact it. It's safe to assume that with the supporters of ACTA in control of a lot of cash and the majority of television airtime, the folks in power are very likely not giving a rat's behind what these professors and petitions are saying.

    • just wait for Google to get black listed and then this crap will stop.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by RogerWilco (99615)

        At first I thought the same: That the thighter the controls, the more people will protest.

        I have since changed my stance: In the end it's much easier to defend existing liberties that it is to regain ones already lost.

        I think past experiences with restrictive regimes have shown that it takes a long time before the pendulum starts to swing back, and much is lost before it does.

        • I have since changed my stance: In the end it's much easier to defend existing liberties that it is to regain ones already lost.

          If you successfully convince people of this you will have done a lot for mankind sir.
          But let's face it you're not the first to try...

    • by Genwil (943858)

      The question is not whether ACTA is in the public interest, but whether it's in the collective interest of those empowered to enact it. It's safe to assume that with the supporters of ACTA in control of a lot of cash and the majority of television airtime, the folks in power are very likely not giving a rat's behind what these professors and petitions are saying.

      All the more reason for "ordinary" citizens to sign petitions and send letters to their elected reps.

  • No Kidding (Score:5, Funny)

    by SilverHatHacker (1381259) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @09:57PM (#32673146)
    How much money are we paying these "experts" to sit around and come up with this again? Next up: Water's wet. Crap slides downhill. kdawson gets no respect.
    • Re:No Kidding (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Barrinmw (1791848) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @11:01PM (#32673374)
      If nobody comes out to state the obvious, then the people who are forcing this down the throats of the collective world will think they are doing it with everyone's concurrence.
      • People on /. think it is, but then I'm not convinced many people here have a good grip on copyright. A non-trivial number seem to think that any copyright is a bad thing, that it hurts the economy, etc. There is some pretty good evidence to indicate that's not the case, but they aren't interested. They have an all or nothing stance on it. As such, this treaty is automatically and "obviously" a bad thing to them, since it increases copyright.

        Well, I'm going to go ahead and say they are perhaps not the best t

        • by Barrinmw (1791848)
          I concur that there is a need for copyright protection just as there is for patent protection. The problem comes into play when a copyright exists past the point of where content is created because it exists.
          Is an author going to not produce a book because he only has copyright protection for 28 years? Probably not, so what then is the excuse for allowing him to have copyright protection for life plus 70 years? Who besides an artist or author is able to make money off something they produced 50 years
        • I think so (Score:5, Insightful)

          by NickFortune (613926) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @04:38AM (#32675038) Homepage Journal

          A non-trivial number seem to think that any copyright is a bad thing, that it hurts the economy, etc

          Of course, a non trivial number also seem to think that more copyright is always better, too.

          There is some pretty good evidence to indicate that's not the case, but they aren't interested

          I'm interested. If nothing else, I'm interested in what you'd consider "evidence" without a parallel universe to use as a control sample.

          They have an all or nothing stance on it. As such, this treaty is automatically and "obviously" a bad thing to them, since it increases copyright.

          Of course it is also possible to be of the opinion that copyright laws are currently too strong without necessarily being a deluded extremist. So you can make an entirely rational case that the ACTA is a bad thing in so far as it works solely to strengthen copyright provisions that many feel are already over strong.

          So this is the kind of thing I like to see. Some real analysis to determine what benefits and costs it has

          Why don't you start? What's this evidence you mention?

          When you think something is obvious, especially something complex (as any new law is) ask yourself: Is it really, truly obvious, which would mean that nearly everyone should see it, or do I think it is obvious because of my biases?

          So what, then? We should all sit tight and wait for someone in authority to tell us what everyone thinks? I can see problems with that approach, personally.

          I should also add that I'd find your call for objective self-examination a lot more convicing were it addressed to both sides of the debate. Otherwise, it seems as though you don't think the copyright maximalists need to examine their preconceptions. Perhaps your own biases are showing here?

          • You know, I think the parent was simply attempting to get the 'dotters to examine their own self-justification in their hatred of ACTA. It is very easy for those of us on this website to kick back, read a news story, and say, 'well duh!' regarding any particular assertion in this story. We do it all the time because, quite frankly, we are smug, intelligent, self-assured folk that have successfully surrounded ourselves with like-minded individuals in this medium (nerds and such). That said, there most certai
            • Re:I think so (Score:4, Insightful)

              by Danse (1026) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @11:42AM (#32678674)
              What it boils down to is that ACTA is being lobbied for and crafted by the copyright industry, who have a direct financial incentive to extend and expand copyright restrictions as much as possible. They should bear the burden of proving that such extension and expansion serves the public interest rather than just their own financial interests. Aside from some laughably bad "studies" showing ridiculous figures for damages caused by copyright infringement, what have they produced in the way of evidence to support their case? Nothing that I've seen. There have been quite a few thoughtful analyses of copyright law that have determined that more is not better, and that shorter terms would result in more innovation rather than less, and that's just the financial argument. It doesn't even get into the questions of constitutionality or natural rights.
            • Re:I think so (Score:5, Insightful)

              by NickFortune (613926) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @12:44PM (#32679618) Homepage Journal

              You know, I think the parent was simply attempting to get the 'dotters to examine their own self-justification in their hatred of ACTA

              Always presupposing that it is self-justification, of course which has yet to be established. I'm sure you meant to say that.

              As for the GP, his post struck me as being quite baldly manipulative, framing itself as an even handed appeal for balanced judgement, whilst being utterly partisan, and quite one sided in its analysis. I mean we have:

              • The straw-man framing of the ACTA critics as extremists, opposed to any copyright at all
              • We have "evidence" aluded to but not cited, on the one hand, whilst simultaneously demanding a detailed cost/benefit breakdown from the other side.
              • Accusations of bias, leveled at one side of the debate, only.

              We do it all the time because, quite frankly, we are smug, intelligent, self-assured folk that have successfully surrounded ourselves with like-minded individuals in this medium (nerds and such).

              ... and there's also trying to trying to gain rapport by identifying yourself with a side of the debate that you don't especially seem to support.

              However, as soon as a story comes up about increasing the scope of copyright law, our knee-jerk reaction is something along the lines of, "WTF?! It already sucks as it is! Can't everyone else see that?!"

              ACTA is hardly a knee jerk reaction, however. It's been quite robustly debated on a number of occasions. I've yet to hear any persuasive points made in its favour. And the best I've heard from yourself and the GP boils down to "you're not really qualified to hold that opinion" which I reject.

              Well, the answer is, apparently, "No."

              Because if there wasn't some disagreement on the subject, we'd hardly be debating it. But the simple existence of differing viewpoints is hardly an argument for one side or another.

              Hell, there are quite a few people who consider copyright infringement to be on the exact scale of morality as physical theft. (And if you don't believe that, go down to your local farmer's market/community center sometime and try debating it with some non-tech oriented folks. They will look at you like you just ate a baby).

              I'll tell you what: you go tell one of them how his fourteen year old daughter who spent all last night downloading music is a criminal and has caused thousands of dollars of damage. Report back when you're done. I'll wait :)

              So in other words, I don't think lashing out at the parent is really in the best interest of discussion

              What I don't think is in the best interest of the discussion is trying to tell people "you guys aren't really smart enough to make that judgement - wait for someone to tell you what everyone else thinks and then agree".. And if you think this was lashing out, you've clearly not spent much time around here. Or on the Internet for that matter.

              I don't see a reason to pick apart his post and try to paint him as some sort of biased shill.

              I picked the post apart because I found things too pick apart. If there's any specific thing I said that you think is unfair, perhaps you might point it out and explain why, rather than simply painting me as some mean old kicker of puppies.

              The parent isn't trying to make the case that ACTA, or harsher copyright, is a good thing. He is just saying that he likes to see people spending their time actually doing research and analysis on this topic

              I read it as "doubt yourselves - but only if you think the ACTA is bad". But you know, if he's keen on research, perhaps he'll set the ball rolling the evidence alluded to in his post.

              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                Huh. Well it seems to me that you're really making an effort to be offended and/or to pick a fight. If that's what you're looking for, you're not going to find it here. I do want to set the record straight regarding these types of comments:

                And the best I've heard from yourself and the GP boils down to "you're not really qualified to hold that opinion" which I reject.

                I, for one, never made an assertion that I, nor anyone on this site was unqualified to hold any opinion. I was simply stating that the parent post seems to be a request to further analyze those opinions you do hold. So, please don't go around pretending that I am trying

                • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                  by NickFortune (613926)

                  I, for one, never made an assertion that I, nor anyone on this site was unqualified to hold any opinion.

                  Fair enough, I accept the clarification.

                  If you want to know my thoughts regarding it, I consider the entire treaty to be flagrantly criminal

                  it was aimed at sycraft_fu more than yourself. I just saw your comment about "we are smug, intelligent self-assured" and it seemed like a neat way to link in the point. I do think "we" are considerably more diverse than you give us credit for, but it was a bit of

        • To me, it was obvious because I support what I like to call "sane copyright," which is far less restrictive (to the consumer) and offers less protection to the IP holder than current copyright laws. ACTA is going in the opposite direction of the sane copyright I wish for, and therefore IMO is obviously bad. And I've read through a lot of the leaked documents so it's not like I'm ignorant either.

          Now if you're a government trying to decide what's best for an economy from the 20,000ft. view it's much more comp

        • by Danse (1026)

          People on /. think it is, but then I'm not convinced many people here have a good grip on copyright. A non-trivial number seem to think that any copyright is a bad thing, that it hurts the economy, etc. There is some pretty good evidence to indicate that's not the case, but they aren't interested. They have an all or nothing stance on it. As such, this treaty is automatically and "obviously" a bad thing to them, since it increases copyright.

          There's plenty of evidence [arstechnica.com] that contradicts [techdirt.com] the "all or nothing stance" that the copyright industry holds, claiming that more copyright is always a good thing.

          Well, I'm going to go ahead and say they are perhaps not the best to make that call, due to their bias.

          Huh? Did you seriously just use the bias argument to argue against people who are arguing against changes being lobbied for by industries with a direct financial stake in the outcome? Really? The opponents of ACTA are biased you say? Wow.

          That doesn't mean I think they are wrong that the treaty is a bad thing, I think they are arriving at that conclusion incorrectly and that is why they might think it "obvious" when maybe it isn't.

          So this is the kind of thing I like to see. Some real analysis to determine what benefits and costs it has (everything has benefits and costs) and if those result in a net benefit for the public. Looks like these experts say that no, it doesn't.

          I think that is far more useful than just trying to claim "It is obvious!" When you think something is obvious, especially something complex (as any new law is) ask yourself: Is it really, truly obvious, which would mean that nearly everyone should see it, or do I think it is obvious because of my biases?

          I think that the industry hasn't done a thing to prove that longer and more restrictive copyright serves the pu

        • Copyright as an idea is not necessarily bad. Copyright with reasonable terms is probably very good. Copyright with terms that mean that I still cannot use works produced before my grandparents were born are very bad. Copyright that's continually getting extended to the point where the public domain will effectively never grow under any circumstances. That's fucking nuts, regardless of any supposed "economic benefit".
        • by Yaa 101 (664725)

          As long as the majority of people see the term "Exclusive" as a positive one we will have this trouble.

    • by wall0159 (881759)

      Err, did you actually read what they wrote? There is a difference between saying "ACTA is teh evil" and providing a convincing reasoned argument about why it is undesirable.

      It's sad that even on a site like /. there's such disdain for people's expertise... (or were you cross-posting from your MySpace blog?)

    • How much money are we paying these "experts" to sit around and come up with this again?

      nowhere near as much as it would cost us to enforce the copyright laws- make the public pay for corporations to screw the public harder....

  • Fuck acta (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @09:59PM (#32673160)

    Fuck acta

    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702)
      This isn't insightful, it's trolling.

      A troll you agree with is still a troll.
      • Just for the record, a troll, by slashdot standards, is not the same thing as a troll anywhere else on the internet. Basically the troll mod option just substitutes for, "You're posting an opinion I don't like so I am going to use my uber-l337 mod point powers to censor you!"

        Likewise, insightful does not always mean what you might think it should mean...for instance, in this case, insightful means that combining tough-talking words with a popular sentiment from an anonymous avatar wins you popularity poi
        • Yeah. I'm hoping to break that cycle.

          I have karma to burn anyway, so I thought I'd burn it productively.
  • The WTO will just have to give even more free IP to non US.

    and who will some 3rd party get in the way of with cross-border transit of legitimate generic medicines.

  • developing countries will not just sit by and let others take stuff away from them and Can I patent useing air?

  • not just experts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by theheadlessrabbit (1022587) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @10:26PM (#32673280) Homepage Journal

    It's not just experts who believe ACTA threatens public interest.

    My name is on that list, too.

    • Re:not just experts (Score:5, Informative)

      by Barrinmw (1791848) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @11:02PM (#32673380)
      What I am saddened by the most is that this would end up being a Executive Treaty because it doesn't come into conflict with out pre-existing laws. /cry
      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Not necessarily. Some of the bracketed text would require change in American law. So the Executive Treaty route might not be available. That is something that the Americans are fighting for, trying to ensure that the EU's proposals don't make it change US law.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Barrinmw (1791848)
          Well then, lets hope and pray that this is indeed the case and that it requires Congressional Approval, cause that sure as hell won't happen...right?
  • Enough is enough (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @11:04PM (#32673390)

    Dear Government of the USA,

    Please stop trying to cram your shit house laws down the rest of the worlds throat.

    Maybe if you took care of your own internal issues properly and stopped interfering with the rest of the world we would hate you less.

    Kind regards,
    The rest of the world (yes there is life outside the USA)

    • by $RANDOMLUSER (804576) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @12:28AM (#32673682)
      Dear Rest of World,

      Our laws (bills) are written by the lawyers from the industries those laws are written to regulate. These bills are then introduced by representatives from the home districts of the largest companies of those industries, who supply the voters and money to place/keep those representatives in office. The bills are then discussed and voted on in an orgy of self-interested back-scratching and pork exchange with representatives from other districts. Oftentimes, these other representatives will attach totally unrelated goodies and other bits of pork for themselves and their districts to bills which have nothing to do with their ostensible purpose. After a bill is passed into law, its enforcement is regulated by a government bureau whose executive layer is comprised of people who came from executive positions in the industry in question, and to which they will return, when the Other Party wins their next Presidential election and replaces those executives with a different set of executives from the same industry. If a law should come before a pesky court, its hands are generally bound by the letter of the law itself, so, in actual fact, the Constitution poses little threat to our sacred way of life.

      Please understand that if we do not "cram our shit house laws down the rest of the worlds throat" then our Corporate Overlords become unhappy because they are not making every possible dime they feel they are entitled to, and their accountants will produce reams of speculative arithmetic to prove that it is so. And frankly, we're just not interested in "taking care of our own internal issues properly", or whether or not the rest of the world "hates us for our interfering", because we're making lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of money, and that's the only thing anyone in power here gives a flying fuck about.

      Kindest Regards,
      The U.S. Government
      (and their Corporate Overlords)
    • Re:Enough is enough (Score:5, Interesting)

      by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968&gmail,com> on Thursday June 24, 2010 @01:11AM (#32673954) Journal
      Please quit buying *.A.A crap so they won't have the money to bribe our legislators and force these crap laws onto your countries. Sincerely America
      • by complacence (214847) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @05:52AM (#32675464)
        No can do. Any decline in sales will be blamed on piracy, and a sales tax on computers, storage media or connectivity will be introduced (cf. Canada, Germany et al). They're in deep enough to basically finance themselves through corruption even if they didn't produce anything.
        • They're in deep enough to basically finance themselves through corruption even if they didn't produce anything.

          Produce anything? They have a chokehold on the advertising and distribution system and force anyone who creates intellectual property to hand it over in exchange for using said system. They're gatekeepers for their cartel, if anything.

          I suppose they produce DVDs and CDs and other things, but by their own arguments those things don't confer any right of ownership like ability to resell or modify or convert to a new playback format or use where someone outside your immediate circle of friends might see or h

        • by Trogre (513942)

          I don't buy that (no pun intended). These industries are heavily dependent on their revenue stream. Otherwise why would they be fighting so hard to maintain it?

          Cut them off, now.

  • by fotbr (855184) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @11:42PM (#32673514) Journal

    You're nuts. You or I don't have enough money for them to notice us, and if we did, we'd have lobbyists go to the white house and make the points -- and campaign donations -- for us; not use a web feedback form.

    Realistically, there's nothing we can do.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by JockTroll (996521)

      There's a lot we can do, but it calls for harsh direct action against the industry mob.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yes there is.

      Get the fax number of someone important in government (such as a senator or who sponsoring the bill), spread it around and on a given day, get lots of people to send sign'd fax's objecting to this person.

      Emails and web forms are nothing.

      Written letters are a whole new matter.

      So too are faxes - it costs them money to receive and the bandwidth is far more limited. They really take notice when something clogs up their fax machine for a day or two or more.

    • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @04:20AM (#32674960) Journal

      Our freedoms were won by blood and by sword. It doesn't say anywhere we do not have continue to fight for them. And if words no longer work then bullets have to take over.

      Save democracy, kill a politician.

      Mind you, the politicians know this and so make sure the rabble get their bread and circusses while Rome burns.

      History has seen the same story repeat countless times and will no doubt continue to do so.

      The current situation in the western nation has arisen because the parties have reached a balance point were no politician can actually get anything done any more. Holland is in death lock after its election made the largest party have fewer votes then the number of people who didn't vote and a three party coalition being the absolute minimum with a FIVE party coalition being considered.

      Belgium? Falling apart at the seems, it no longer is a question of IF the republic will seperate but when.

      England? Bankrupt and the voter just has no idea who to vote for. The party of sleaze, the new party of sleaze or the liberals who are to small to sleaze properly for now. As a Hignfy presenter put it, Labour and the Conservatives agreed to pay back millions in donations and the liberal supporter got his book token back.

      The US? Obama won? Bush won? Hardly. Both "victories" are well in the margin of counting errors and even then you are NOT counting the voters who didn't vote. The US is deadlocked, democrats block republikans and vice versa. And NO dear US citizen, this is a NOT a healthy system of checks and balances anymore. This has become a situation in which absolutely NOTHING can be done.

      Democracy has its limits, for instance a referendum about which side to drive on would be very democratic but how are you going to deal with a vote to drive on the other side? Democracy also asks of the loser to accept that they lost and let the winner do their thing. Opposition is one thing, blocking everything is another. Yes, it is the job of the opposition but it creates a system were EVERYTHING is opposed.

      Ultimately this leads to back room deals because that is the only way to reach agreement on anything, but those backroom deals soon spread until you get ACTA. One giant backroom deal just so that none of the people involved have to deal with those messy election processes were you can never get a clear YES or even a NO.

      The EU constitution was the same. Backroom dealers convinced they did it for the best but had to conveniently ignore public opinion and so argued that the public just didn't understand the issue.

      But there is a solution to this. When the ruling elite becomes to detached and start talking about eating cake, then it is time to chop of some heads. It is remarkably effective. But of course, who is going to be in the front line as an unarmed protestor storming the bastille? Not me, Idols is on and I got a 300 dollar tax rebate. Bread and circusses.

      • by mario_grgic (515333) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @09:40AM (#32676972)
        I think the real problem is that stupid people have an opinion too. It can be wrong, but it doesn't matter, it's still an opinion and it counts. So, as a consequence getting any kind of consensus is impossible. All you have to do is have a media campaign to dilute the issue and divide the public opinion and there you go, another rebellion prevented.
      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The US? Obama won? Bush won? Hardly. Both "victories" are well in the margin of counting errors and even then you are NOT counting the voters who didn't vote.

        McCain would have needed 97 more electoral votes to win. I only see 53 Obama electoral votes that were close enough to be wrong due to counting errors. BTW, margin of error [wikipedia.org] is a term that only applies to sampling. Elections are full counting, so the margin of error is zero. Voters who didn't vote aren't voters, by definition. Which states adding up to >97 electoral votes do you think could be wrong due to counting error? Like it or not, Obama had a very clear victory.

      • by b4dc0d3r (1268512)

        America is too nice for a revolution. Sure we have unemployment, but 85% of the population is largely unaffected by anything unless American Idol gets interrupted or their cell phone doesn't work. There's no reason for people to risk that yet. The time will probably come, but it's nowhere close.

        Revolting for idealism is nice, but a true revolution won't happen until it becomes a necessity.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @12:24AM (#32673666) Homepage

    Because that link was so convenient, I was able to send my "two cents" to the white house and all that. If only my two cents could compare to the hundreds of millions that law makers get from the companies sponsoring ACTA.

  • by Apple Acolyte (517892) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @12:37AM (#32673748)

    This is a post I wrote for another forum on the subject of the Obama Administration's just released vision of intellectual property rights enforcement [whitehouse.gov] (as reported by DailyTech [dailytech.com], which I assume to be a prelude or complement to ACTA:

    The fact is, as others have often pointed out, digital information wants to be free. You can turn the whole world into criminals trying to fight that simple truth, but it's only going to create a virtual international police state. I don't want that, and I don't think you want that, either. If copyright infringement is that damaging to your bottom line, I think you have to figure out other ways to monetize your product.

    There's only one analogous example to the grip of the media cartels that I can think of. Government and other organized labor employees are destroying the industrialized world with their lavish pensions and other benefits. They work 30 or 40 years and then demand and get guaranteed pensions for the rest of their lives, even while the countries they're sucking dry are going into national bankruptcy. Politicians naturally assume they'll just raise taxes ever higher in order to pay off these corrupt deals. May people know about the serious financial problems posed to the US by the public entitlements of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. But nearly no one discusses the fact that Government Employee Entitlement costs are almost as large as the public Entitlements.

    Similarly, with copyright protected media, the creator produces something once and then expects to receive guaranteed income from it forever. But in this case it's not even the original creator who gets most of the recurring revenue - it's the media cartel that distributes his or her product. Despite the fact that the march of technology has changed the way we interact with distributed media, some still expect to get rewarded financially in the same fashion that they were rewarded prior to the consumer Internet age.

    Now here's the thing, I have a limited amount of respect for copyrights. I think granting a limited-time narrow monopoly to the creator of a given product is a desirable trade-off to support the creation of works of art and science. But the key word is limited. The Constitution calls for limited-time copyrights, but as time has gone on copyrights have gone from limited to unlimited, and now the media cartels want to turn the Internet into a virtual police state to enforce their permanent monopolies. If enforcement provisions like the ones envisioned go into effect, we're on a very slippery slope to the death of the Internet as we know it. If a person can be prosecuted for a random search term that may draw the wrath of the media cartels, then that means it's no longer safe to surf various sites and click links to different pages indiscriminately. Remember, we're talking about merely searching for terms that the media cartels think may lead to an infringing download, not the infringing download itself. What this is referred to as in the law is an "inchoate offense" - a violation of the law the precedes the actual illegal act, and it's a very controversial subject because of the far-reaching implications involved. When the media cartels get that kind of power over our online lives, it means they've taken things way, way, too far. And make no mistake - this will be a slippery slope. If government can snoop on search engine keywords to help the media cartels, what's next? Logically keyword searches about anything that could arouse even minor suspicion could put a user in danger. What this announcement looks like to me is a "War on Digital Piracy," and just like the "War on Drugs" it will certainly ensnare many innocent people, erode liberties and be of dubious value - if not harmful in all respects.

    Is this a Socialist move? Yes, I believe

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hibiki_r (649814)

      Strengthening copyright is anything but socialist. If anything, you'll find that the further to the left a government is, the less they like IP. The socialist move would be to get rid of copyrights entirely.

      If Obama was such a socialist, wouldn't the socialist be cackling with glee at his actions. Instead, you see them very worried about how he's not a socialist, but a corporatist, like the guy that preceded him.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        And that's the thing. Nobody ever runs openly as a corporatist, and yet we're overrun by them.
      • by IBitOBear (410965) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @02:47AM (#32674468) Homepage Journal

        Remember for a moment that the word "socialist" wasn't coined until the early 1900's, but the ideas underlying the concept had been around for many, many years prior.

        The preamble of our constitution includes "promote the general welfare" rather prominently. Now in that usage, that is as that word was used before The New Deal, means health care and care for the less fortunate.

        Before you launch into the talking-point versus talking point debate, it would be nice to see everybody read up.

        Please take a moment to really internalize these words:

        We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

        "Posterity" not "citizenry"; Justice, Tranquility, Defense, Welfare, and Liberty. These are pretty lofty goals, and oddly enough, socialist to the very last.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Zumbs (1241138)

          Remember for a moment that the word "socialist" wasn't coined until the early 1900's

          Sorry to be splitting hairs, but that one is wrong. The word were used in the Communist Manifesto, written in 1847, and is likely a lot older. Indeed, wikipedia [wikipedia.org] suggests that it came into usage in the 1830s from the French word "socialime". The rest of your post is interesting.

        • social darwinist capitalists, closet corporatists, and other assorted ayn rand/ rush limbaugh lunatic assholes from the right: they always wrap themselves in patriotism

          as if concern only for oneself is an act of national interest?

          while those who actually care about the common good: this is the genuine act of actually caring about the state of the nation. this is genuine, real patriotism, as best as you can logically define the act of caring about your country

          so i never understood how or on what logical basi

        • Yes, indeed. The idea goes way back. Jesus was a socialist and communist (sell all you have and give it to the poor and follow me). How many capitalists that claim to be Christian do that?
          • Jesus was a socialist and communist (sell all you have and give it to the poor and follow me).

            How is that in any way socialist or communist? Giving away one's own property is perfectly consistent with capitalism / private ownership. He never said to ignore other peoples' property rights—to seize other peoples' property and give it to the poor—which is the core of the socialist and communist ideologies.

            In practice, very few people (of any ideology) choose to give away all they have; however, it is a documented fact that voluntary donations are more common among supporters of strong privat

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by noidentity (188756)
        IP is socialism, because it takes your property and gives control of it over to the collective. It says that there are various patterns you cannot form it in to without permission, whose list is growing every day.
        • by Omestes (471991)

          Maybe. You are half right, for certain versions of IP enforcement.

          IP as it stands is corporatism/fascism, since it takes things away from the public and puts them into the hands of a few very rich individuals. IP in the FOSS sense is very socialist since it puts rights into the hands of the community. Enforcing the property rights of the very few against the interests of the masses is not socialism.

          IP, as it currently is, does NOT give control over to the collective, unless you mean the collective intere

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You had me all the way until you made it into a matter of political affiliation. Whether it is a [insert political affiliation here] move is irrelevant. What is relevant though is how this have the potential to affect our lives in ways beyond the imagination of most. Making the issue into one of political affiliation is only counterproductive as you risk alienating people whom otherwise might have sided with you in this cause. Please spare us your analysis on what type of political move this is. For each ar

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      If everyone is a criminal ... then no-one is a criminal ...because the law is unenforceable

      This is likely to make nearly everyone a criminal .... and when people realise that it will be blocked or overturned

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Findeton (818988)

      Is this a Socialist move? Yes, I believe it is because I believe that the current Administration has an undeniable Socialist bend, and an aspect of Socialist regimes is the clamping down on liberties.

      I can't understand why so many americans are so fracking frenzy about socialism. No country is absolutely capitalist or socialist, and as long as the government has public bodies like the police, judges, teachers, firemen, soldiers etc, your country is at the same time capitalist AND socialist up to some degree.

      ACTA has nothing to do with socialism, because not everything that is done in the name of a greater good is actually a good thing for the mayority. This is not socialism because it makes a few a lot

    • ...Socialist.....Fascist....

      You keep using these words, I do not think they mean what you think they mean....

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 24, 2010 @01:52AM (#32674192)

    This kind of bullshit is not going to stop. It's going to get worse for the rest of our lives. Eventually, they will push it too far and all of these assholes are going to wake up with a rope around their neck and discover themselves dangling from the nearest tree. ACTA is a great symbol for everything that's wrong with this world, and exterminating every one of the parasites who is participating in it would definitely make the world a better place.

    In the meantime, we get to watch as they chip away at our civil liberties and systematically corrupt and dismantle one of the best innovations the human race has come up with -- a giant network for the free exchange of information. Aren't we lucky, those of us who witnessed its creation and over the next 15 to 20 years are most probably going to witness its downfall too.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Findeton (818988)

      In my opinion, not everything is your fault. 70% of the votes are casted on voting machines, which are again and again proved prone to be manipulated. Yes, I'm saying that it's very possible elections are rigged. The first thing you should do is going back to counting votes with your hands.

  • by mounthood (993037) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @12:56PM (#32679796)

    ACTA is the wrong economic strategy for the US. It's the modern equivalent of the British trying to force the American colony to pay British publishers, and it'll fail in the same way. No outright rejection or bloody rebellion, just a never-ending political argument over what's fair. The MAFIAA may collect for years, until China or India (or others) decide to "moderate" their enforcement of the rules. Then the US will find that a large part of it's economy is faltering with no way out, because it didn't take the pain and adjust when the technology changed.

  • by mahadiga (1346169)

    Why America is not helping developing nations [wikipedia.org] by Building (Own, Operate & Transfer) [wikipedia.org] Civilian Nuclear Power Plants? [blogspot.com]

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