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Proposed Final ACTA Text Published 148

Posted by timothy
from the oh-honey-let's-do-some-actas dept.
ciaran_o_riordan writes "The US Trade Representative has published a text which, subject only to a last legal review, is proposed to be the final text of ACTA. The differences between this text and last month's, from the Tokyo round, are mostly cosmetic but there's an important positive change giving signatories the option of excluding patents from section 2. As for software patents, most harm has been avoided. If signatories make use of the section 2 exclusion option, there might be no harm at all. Lobbying for this will be important. Meanwhile, the many problems regarding Digital Restrictions Management, and the extra powers given to businesses to obtain personal and identifying information about accused copyright infringers "in the Digital Environment" are still there (mostly section 5). Earlier texts were much worse. The improvements in recent months are surely due to public outcry, leaving us indebted to the anonymous friends who scanned and leaked the various secret versions and the activists who made text versions and spread them across the Internet. There's a chance we can still influence the text in this legal review phase, but the bigger task ahead will be working on the national implementations. It's not yet clear what procedure the US will require for its own ratification."
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Proposed Final ACTA Text Published

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  • Re:No problem here (Score:3, Informative)

    by robinsonne (952701) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @06:17PM (#34248848)
    I'm pretty sure the Senate will ratify whatever their corporate overlords tell them to. And I don't care if previous texts were much worse....that doesn't change the fact that ACTA sucks.
  • Re:Copyrights? (Score:4, Informative)

    by theheadlessrabbit (1022587) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @06:17PM (#34248854) Homepage Journal

    Remember, the original goal of copyright was to give exclusive copy rights to the authors for a limited period in exchange for their work to become public domain after that limited period.

    A lot more people would agree to abide by copyright laws if they had not been twisted into the lifetime + 50 years locks that they are now.

    I believe it's now life +70 years in Britain and America.

    life of the artist should have nothing to do with it. it should be 'x years from date of first publication'

  • idiot (Score:2, Informative)

    by unity100 (970058) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @06:18PM (#34248860) Homepage Journal
    acta proceedings were prepared during bush years, with republican senate and house. it was well underway in 2006 when democrats got the houses. and it was already being negotiated in 2008. not that it would matter much, since democrats are too in the pockets of the private interests. but, the head of the snake, were republicans.

    they shaped this.
  • Re:No problem here (Score:5, Informative)

    by icebike (68054) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @06:46PM (#34249176)

    The "Supremacy Clause" of the U.S. Constitution is contained in Article VI:

    This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

    So your own citation proves you wrong.

  • Re:Wow. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @06:48PM (#34249200)
    Your rant would make more sense if you demonstrated any knowledge of the legal ways that a treaty becomes law in the U.S.. In the U.S., the house of representatives have nothing to do with treaties. Treaties must be ratified by the Senate.Furthermore, it hasn't been that many years since a President signed a treaty that was resoundingly rejected by the U.S. Senate. Bill Clinton signed the Kyoto Accords and the U.S. Senate voted 98-0 to reject them.
  • Re:No problem here (Score:3, Informative)

    by Tauvix (97917) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @07:02PM (#34249380)

    Not so. The text that you put in boldface does not indicate that the Constitution itself is changed, just that it is overridden. There is a subtle difference. For example, if a treaty expires, or is overturned by the courts, or deratified by Congress, any laws that it put into place that override the Constitution are null, and the Constitution takes over.

  • Re:No problem here (Score:5, Informative)

    by idontgno (624372) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @07:31PM (#34249728) Journal

    I know that Slashdot frowns on this kind of thing, but if you'd followed the last link [american.edu] in TFS, you would have discovered that the US Trade Representative has declared that ACTA will take effect in the US by Executive Order. Why? 'Cuz they said so.

    That's right, folks, it's a treaty, but it's not a treaty! So that little part of the U.S. Constitution [wikipedia.org] requiring ratification by the Senate doesn't apply! Really! This is not the treaty you're looking for!

  • Re:No problem here (Score:3, Informative)

    by mysidia (191772) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @07:47PM (#34249840)

    Treaties modify the US Constitution. People have to realize that.

    No. False. What the constitution says is:

    This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

    In other words, these things are the supreme law of land, In this order

    1. The US Constitution
    2. The laws of the United States
    3. all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States

    Adopting a treaty doesn't impose any domestic rules, except under the rare circumstances of a self-executing treaty, which does not have power equal to the constitution. The treaty making power does not trump the legislative power of the congress.

    And treaties are only valid if signed by the president and ratified by 2/3 majority of the senate.

  • Re:No problem here (Score:5, Informative)

    by JesseMcDonald (536341) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @08:53PM (#34250370) Homepage

    It doesn't even indicate that the Constitution is overridden. It just says that the U.S. Constitution, the national laws which implement it, and national treaties, taken together, override state constitutions and state laws. It doesn't spell out any particular precedence between the various national elements. Based on just the quoted text, the U.S Constitution could still take precedence over treaties. After all, it certainly takes precedence over national laws, which are part of the same list.

  • Re:No problem here (Score:4, Informative)

    by DragonWriter (970822) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @08:57PM (#34250400)

    While in effect, Treaties are the same as amendments.

    They CHANGE the Constitution.

    Saying that, even putting "change" in all caps, doesn't make its so. Treaties don't change anything. Treaties, taken along with federal laws and the federal Constitution, supercede state laws and state constitutions and are binding on state judges. That's all the Supremacy Clause says.

    Amendments and Treaties carry the full force of the Constitution. They become a part of the constitution.

    Wrong. Amendments under Article V change the Constitution. Treaties don't change the Constitution any more than regular laws passed by Congress do, and there is nothing in the Constitution that suggests otherwise.

  • Re:No problem here (Score:1, Informative)

    by sexconker (1179573) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @09:24PM (#34250578)

    Not so. The text that you put in boldface does not indicate that the Constitution itself is changed, just that it is overridden. There is a subtle difference. For example, if a treaty expires, or is overturned by the courts, or deratified by Congress, any laws that it put into place that override the Constitution are null, and the Constitution takes over.

    No, the text does not even state that the Constitution is overridden.

    It states that both the Constitution and the treaties are the supreme law of the land. When the two are in contention, the Constitution is unclear on which one (Constitution or treaty) has priority.
    But seeing as how the Constitution came first, all potential treaties, which have to be approved by Congress, would be struck down before coming into effect.

    The fact that we let shit get through and result in an ambiguous state (not knowing which prevails) is not a bug in the design, but in the implementation (shitty politicians).

    The Constitution, which precedes all treaties the nation could possibly enter into, blocks any and all unconstitutional treaties from being signed. The supremacy clause's reference to treaties merely grants Congress designate rights to foreign countries. If we entered a treaty to allow ourselves to be ruled by a foreign nation, the only powers that nation could be granted would be those that are granted to Congress in the Constitution.

    This isn't fucking Magic the Gathering - you can't release a game-breaking new card that breaks all the rules and then point to the "When in doubt, the text on the card is correct." rule. The Constitution elevates the text of a treaty to the same level as the Constitution itself - this is like treating the text on the card as a game rule. The Constitution also requires that all treaties be approved by a Congress with limited and specific powers. Wizards of the Coast can print and release whatever fucking cards they want, but Congress cannot legally approve any treaties they want.

    The Constitution is neither altered nor overridden by any treaty the Congress passes. All treaties passed by Congress must be in agreement with the Constitution. Any treaty passed that violates the Constitution should not have been passed, and the game state must be rolled back to correct the error.

  • Re:No problem here (Score:3, Informative)

    by ultranova (717540) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @01:18AM (#34251726)

    So tell me why again it should be come law of the land?

    It's your corporate overlords who want to inflict this on the rest of the world. Why shouldn't you suffer from your own bullshit? Maybe that'll teach you to reign those bulls in, and not let them crap all over the world.

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