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Once-Secret ACTA Copyright Treaty Approved By EU 255

Posted by timothy
from the three-strikes-you-suck dept.
itwbennett writes "By a vote of 331 to 294, the EU Parliament has approved the controversial and once-secret Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). According to an ITworld article, 'the most controversial paragraph in the final text leaves the door open for countries to introduce the so-called three-strikes rule. This would cut Internet users off if they download copyright material as national authorities would be able to order ISPs to disclose personal information about customers.... The proposed agreement would also place sanctions against any device or software that is marketed as a means of circumventing access controls such as encryption or scrambling that are designed to prevent copying. It also requires legal measures against knowingly using such technology.'"
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Once-Secret ACTA Copyright Treaty Approved By EU

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  • Cool! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Captain Splendid (673276) * <capsplendid.gmail@com> on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @03:08PM (#34336060) Homepage Journal
    Awesome! This just means higher adoption of encryption and more bodies on darknets!

    Works for me, and, I suspect, most others here too.
    • Re:Cool! (Score:5, Funny)

      by asvravi (1236558) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @03:16PM (#34336138)

      Strike one.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Yvan256 (722131)

        I wish they'd use bowling instead of baseball for the number of strikes.

        "Hey dude! I scored 300 with my ISP! I'm going to the library!"

        • Using baseball analogies seems so out of touch. Even Americans as a whole don't really care that much about baseball anymore. Maybe yellow cards or fouls would be more appropriate.
        • Re:Cool! (Score:5, Funny)

          by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @03:33PM (#34336348) Journal

          I wish that it was more like Golf.

          Then if I didn't like that download I could call it a Mulligan, and if the ISP tells me I've got a Bogey all I have to do is get a Birdie next month and I'll make Par.

          Then the Legalese can get extra convoluted.

          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by Delkster (820935)

            The thing is, with these guys the par is 1, so it's awfully difficult to get birdies.

    • Re:Cool! (Score:5, Informative)

      by tenchikaibyaku (1847212) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @03:28PM (#34336296)
      Although I hold no real hope that ACTA will be shot down, the summary is - as far as I can see - at best misleading.
      Quoting from Christian Engstroms blog [wordpress.com]:

      This was a defeat, but it is far from the final word on the issue. The resolution has no formal effect at all, but is merely an expression of how the Parliament feels.

      • by poetmatt (793785)

        so why does the slashdot link claim it passed? It has no weight currently, so it's not even really approved.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by KDR_11k (778916)

          Slashdot isn't staffed with people who understand the political structure of the EU?

          • by celle (906675)

            "...people who understand..."

            You mean slashdot is staffed by people, you can't tell by the summaries.

          • Re:Cool! (Score:4, Funny)

            by Delkster (820935) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @05:34PM (#34337526)

            Sometimes it feels like there are approximately two people in the world who understand the political structure of the EU, so it's not particularly surprising that a random Slashdot staffer isn't one of them.

            Neither am I, really.

    • Once again (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      A government demonstrates that it puts the interests of the rich above the interests of the many, even when the results mean plenty of injustice for the many.

      Humans are not competent to govern themselves on a national level.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by umghhh (965931)
        some humans are. There are many reasons why this is not prevalent state of affairs of course. Some inherent to human nature of course: minority benefits paid by majority means that motivation to act and participate in political process is big in this minority as ROI is huge because the benefits for these few are paid by many. The motivation of the members of majority is much smaller because their personal losses are small or unlikely albeit taken in absolute numbers massive. This leads to unbalanced policie
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          You make a great point about the American Revolution. The masses essentially coalesced because the oppression of England was highly visible and briskly felt by nearly all Americans. But in our day, freedom is more apt to be stolen at the tip of a pen, rather than the end of a musket. Most people don't possess the ability to think critically or abstractly. They simply operate in a world that has been pre-arranged for them. The boundaries have been clearly defined by those in power and there is very litt

          • Re:Once again (Score:5, Interesting)

            by hairyfeet (841228) <.bassbeast1968. .at. .gmail.com.> on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @05:48PM (#34337618) Journal

            Actually I'd say the way us tech nerds can "win" is by using that most glorious and powerful of weapons...propaganda. Just look at how a single attack ad (Willie Horton) could change the way a presidential election was flowing. Now imagine if we geeks here on /. cooked up snarky and funny but biting ads showing how big business is stealing from ALL of us with 150+ year copyrights and ACTA style bullshit, and then plastered them all over Youtube? And if each video had a link to a nicely done website where the populace could let their elected officials know in NO uncertain terms they WILL be voted out if they don't listen?

            The future won't be decided with a gun, but with a videocam. The winning of hearts and minds by using the massive power of propaganda against the very ones that currently wield it against us. THAT is how you can change things now, not writing some OS that 90%+ won't use because it won't play their game o' the week.

            • by Zancarius (414244) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @09:45PM (#34339142) Homepage Journal

              The future won't be decided with a gun, but with a videocam. The winning of hearts and minds by using the massive power of propaganda against the very ones that currently wield it against us. THAT is how you can change things now, not writing some OS that 90%+ won't use because it won't play their game o' the week.

              That's actually a brilliant idea. It's a shame we couldn't get some independent director and/or studio to shoot a brief commercial and then pool resources together to show it during prime time television (since most of the population isn't aware of anything unless they're fed the information via TV--sadly). Better yet, make it look like a movie preview with a dark overture of sorts, including the same baritone narration style common to previews. I'd imagine it could start off something like this:

              [Camera pans through a dark office complex or government building with people in suits walking passed. Perhaps a gray haired actor playing the part of a high powered government official could be seen shaking hands with a corporate CEO of sorts.]

              Narrator: Drafted in the darkest bowels of the US federal government lurks a treaty...

              [Scene shifts to a young 13-14 year old boy basking in the soft glow of his monitor.]
              Boy [sounding panicked]: Oh... no...
              [The breaking of glass can be heard in the background as his mother screams. Trampling boots thunder through the house before the door to his room is broken down and armed agents grab the child, dragging him away.]

              Narrator: ...that threatens the very essence of our freedoms.

              [Scene shifts to a group of scruffy and clearly homeless individuals gathered around a burning barrel sharing stories.]

              Bearded homeless man 1: I remember back when I used to be able to buy anything I wanted on the Internet.
              Homeless man 2: Yeah, then they took it all away from us for sharing music. Now, we can't even buy groceries. Ol' Jack over here was forced to give up a kidney for sharing a movie, weren't you Jack?
              *laughter*
              Homeless woman 1: Oh yeah? They took everything away from me just for feeling up a TSA agent.
              *more laughter*

              --

              (Okay, that last part was stretching it a bit.)

              Anyway, you see where this is going--and maybe it's even a little overboard. Regardless, I think your idea is excellent! It needs to be professionally produced, written, and directed in order to capture the attention of the average viewer. Then it needs to be posted to Youtube.

      • by celle (906675) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @05:15PM (#34337376)

        "...injustice for the many."

        The many just have to borrow a couple of guillotines(per country) from France and use them during the half-time of national football games(soccer/american). The rich/manipulative, as the cause of this shit and therefore initially responsible, go first. The politicians who are also responsible for not listening to the many will switch quick once they realize they're next. Ah hell, both at the same time with twice the fun in half the time. Once the body politic is directly held accountable for its behavior this shit goes away. You want to hold the big seat, pay the big price.

        Problem fixed.

        "Humans are not competent to govern themselves on a national level."

        We've done it a hell of a lot longer than you now buzz off skynet!

    • Re:Cool! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by girlintraining (1395911) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @03:29PM (#34336308)

      Awesome! This just means higher adoption of encryption and more bodies on darknets!

      The problem is you can't hide the data. The bit is either there, or it isn't. It's on or it's not. All you can do is apply statistical and mathematical formula and methods to the data in an attempt to obscure or distort the information to the point that it is no longer useful to anyone other than the intended recipient(s). And almost every method we have of creating plausible deniability is being hunted down by governments around the world. If they want it to stop, they just pass a law saying "If you can't give us the keys, methods, etc., used to mask, alter, obscure, etc., your data, we can simply throw you in jail."

      In other words, the mere act of creating privacy between two entities will itself become a crime. That is the next step after ACTA. And it's already being planned.

      • Re:Cool! (Score:5, Informative)

        by emkyooess (1551693) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @03:40PM (#34336408)

        Planned? Hasn't it happened in the UK?

        • Planned? Hasn't it happened in the UK?

          Globally, good sir, not locally. It takes time, luck, and large amounts of money to make governments cooperate.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Lanteran (1883836)
          Among other nations. The trick is to create a data volume that will decrypt differently with different passwords.
      • by morcego (260031)

        Yes, you can hide the data. Good enough encryption is indistinguishable from random noise.

        There are several tools around that make that possible, and even more on the way.
         

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        No worries, as by the time the law gets that far we can have quantum encryption, where the encryption may or may not be present at exactly the same time.
      • by gknoy (899301)

        His point was, they can know that you're doing heavy traffic, but if your traffic is encrypted, they have to figure out whether you're sharing Batman or acting as a Linux mirror, or perhaps just VPNing into work and uploading lots of research data, or even mirroring the latest WoW patches. Even traffic analysis, which can reveal that you're sharing data with a thousand other hosts rather than primarily one or two (as one might in the case of a VPN), has a hard time distinguishing between infringing uses an

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by kvezach (1199717)
        Even if they take encryption away, there's always chaffing and winnowing. If you have a signature scheme and a naturally noisy channel, you can simply sign some packets with a valid signature and some with an invalid one - using realistic distortion of the valid signature - and communicate data that way. This would look little different from a channel where you're actually trying to communicate but where line noise is randomly corrupting your packets.
      • Re:Cool! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by nurb432 (527695) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @05:31PM (#34337492) Homepage Journal

        And if you even do a search for such tools, it will attract the black van since you know only criminals....

    • by poetmatt (793785)

      most smart folks have been using encryption from day one and, what do ya know? they also never saw a single lawsuit threat or settlement letter, etc.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by julioody (867484)

      "Gee, this guy is using encryption. We'll have to leave him alone then".

      Or

      "He's using encryption, so he must be a terrorist. Ship him to Gitmo".

      Pick the one you think it's more likely.

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      It wont help in the long run, as they wont have to find out what you are doing. If you encrypt and get caught, you will be guilty of encryption alone.

    • by Yvanhoe (564877)
      After one year of angry activism I indeed settled for this position : let them mess with things they don't understand and let's enjoy the freedom that is still left.
  • It's time... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @03:15PM (#34336134)

    ... to go kill some lobbyists.

  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @03:16PM (#34336140)

    So when will the cops nab me for watching DVDs I pay for or rent then play using libdvdcss?

  • by chemicaldave (1776600) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @03:16PM (#34336144)
    Guess this means I'll have to start buying CP'd things off the street and in person like days of old?
    • by sumdumass (711423)

      I guess the key difference there is that you are going to start buying.

      If it wasn't so easy to mass pirate, I would suggest that the black market street prices like in the old days might make a closer to actual value price point that the record and movie companies could shoot for and avoid piracy almost entirely.

      • Re:Old school? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @04:22PM (#34336848)

        "I guess the key difference there is that you are going to start buying."

        Good luck with that. Until my country's copyright law will be amended, I am still entitled to make copies of whatever non-DRM'd copyrighted work I want for my sole personal use. Not even ACTA changes anything about that - I would simply face harsher punishments for things I am already *not* allowed to do.

        • by sumdumass (711423)

          Guess this means I'll have to start buying CP'd things off the street and in person like days of old?

          Please read the above sentence I was replying to.

          Then consider what I wrote again.

          • Well, one just has to find a non-cp'd source of the same work and that's it.
            • by sumdumass (711423)

              Yea, but the op said he was going to start buying. That's the key difference between having the acta and not.

              On the other hand, if you could buy the media outright for the black market prices, I don't think many people would find it worth their while to pirate it.

  • Good! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    From there to banning FOSS, the slope is slippery...

  • I thought they weren't going to bother with it on account of not getting the geographical designators. Freedom on the internet may be dead, but at least my Kraft Parmesan cheese doesn't have to be renamed.
  • I'm torn on this (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BadAnalogyGuy (945258)

    On the one hand I'm angry that it seems like they are cracking down on filesharers and have left open this "expansion slot" to fill in with whatever they want later. On the other hand, I'm even more angry that they are going to start cracking down on CD bootleggers. These people perform a great service for many poor kids who don't have a computer to download files or $15 bucks to buy from the store. These kids would end up stealing and getting into much worse trouble if it weren't for the ability to buy fro

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      I'm even more angry that they are going to start cracking down on CD bootleggers. These people perform a great service for many poor kids who don't have a computer to download files or $15 bucks to buy from the store. These kids would end up stealing and getting into much worse trouble if it weren't for the ability to buy from bootleggers for pennies on the dollar.

      Those kids could, you know, just not have a copy of the music. I don't know where this divine right to have stuff comes from.

      Out of curiosity, w

      • by alexborges (313924) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @03:53PM (#34336532)

        Whats "material" cost of music? Most of the cost comes from a distribution method that has been obsoleted in the digital age. This law only tries to impose limitations on a better and less costly way to get digital "wares", to save the ass of a distribution bussiness that is simply not needed anymore: music labels, cable companies, tv channels.

        We should have ONE link, the internet, and content providers, both independent and from label and shit, competing together: THATS HOW CAPITALISM WORKS.

        Protecting unnecesary monopolies with law is both plain stupid and a plain robbery from the people. We are supposed to do "as if", the internet wasnt there with regards to digitalizable content. But it is there. And digital content can travel through the net. That is "bad" for the distribution monopoly and they thus bought politicians to FUCK US ALL IN ALL OF THE WORLD.

        THAT SUCKS.

        • None of this stuff just appears from nowhere. It requires musicians, producers, directors, actors, artists, developers and lots of other technical and administrative people to get it made in the first place. Should they all work for free just to keep cheapskates like you happy?

          • it can happen without providing government backed monopolies. Even If we are going with the government backed route, direct funding through something like grants would probably be more sensible.
            • So instead you want government deciding what we should watch, listen to and play? I can't see that working too well either. I'm not defending the MAFIAA but I'm at a loss to see how the creation process, which does cost a lot of money, gets paid for in the world of those who think it should all cost nothing.

              • I'm not saying that. I'm saying that IF we are going to use government mechanisms to push creative activity, then we should do it through monetary grants instead of monopolies, because government backed monopolies are pretty much the worst method of economic incentive. Utilities are about the only place they make any kind of sense, and with those, it's stupid for them to not be member-owned.
                • It's a nice idea in theory but how does the government decide what gets funded? Worthwhile programmes like universal health care are controversial enough; imagine how unpopular billion dollar funding for our current copyright beneficiaries would be. The current system doesn't work - anyone can see that. However there doesn't seem to be a viable replacement either.

                  • You misunderstand me. This is a stupid idea if implemented on a huge scale, and it already exists to some extent with PBS, federal research, reports, and such. My point is that it's a way for the government to interfere that is far less stupid than copyright. We don't inherently need to get the government to interfere, but if we do, copyright is about the worst way to do it.
      • by CRCulver (715279)

        Those kids could, you know, just not have a copy of the music. I don't know where this divine right to have stuff comes from.

        The fine arts are traditionally considered vital to a society, so much so that most first-world countries massively subsidize production of music and films. Some music labels stay afloat purely through subsidies or patronage even if they don't sell many CDs, and if the bills are already paid to the creators, it's hard to say that people copying CDs are depriving them of a livelihood.

      • by king neckbeard (1801738) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @04:12PM (#34336746)

        Those kids could, you know, just not have a copy of the music. I don't know where this divine right to have stuff comes from.

        Stopping someone from doing something that doesn't affect others is generally what needs a justification. The scarcity is what we are creating, so that is what needs something to back it up.

        Because, absent artificial scarcity, how else can an author or programmer make money?

        Several viable methods are available for authors to get money, and many would do things for the love of doing them, for fame, or because it enables other revenue streams. We had books and music before the Statute of Anne, after all.

        • Stopping someone from doing something that doesn't affect others is generally what needs a justification. The scarcity is what we are creating, so that is what needs something to back it up.

          Actually, scarcity not what copyright is about. After all, sans copyright, non-disclosure agreements could fulfill the same purpose. Every purchase would be accompanied with a contract. The lack of standard terms would mean libraries would have to ascribe to the strictest terms or that they would cease to exist.

          Copyri

          • Actually, scarcity not what copyright is about. After all, sans copyright, non-disclosure agreements could fulfill the same purpose. Every purchase would be accompanied with a contract. The lack of standard terms would mean libraries would have to ascribe to the strictest terms or that they would cease to exist.

            NDAs aren't effective for end users, and tracking the leaks is going to be nearly impossible. That's why NDAs are generally done on very small scale.

            Which are?

            Product placement is already quite pop

    • Yeah, those poor poor kids, unable to play pirated games, watch pirated movies, and listen to pirated music.

      The correct thing to do here is to eschew commercial media entirely. Libraries are free, and they are the proper place to go if you need a book.

  • ... with no consultation of the people, and by an institution that many of us already consider to be nowhere near democratically accountable enough.

    Do they expect us to follow it?

    • Comply or Die...

      Government says so.

    • ... with no consultation of the people, and by an institution that many of us already consider to be nowhere near democratically accountable enough.

      Do they expect us to follow it?

      According to Unequal Protection by Thom Hartmann [amazon.com], we've been putting up with it for decades in the US. And now that the SCOTUS says money == speech and corporations == people, we're totally screwed.

      • No worries, citizen! You can upgrade your status by incorporation for a low fee [legalzoom.com]. Then you too, can enjoy all of the rights, with none of the responsibilities of a living, breathing hoo-man being.

        Actually, I thought the entities we refer to as "corporations" were non-corporeal. So does that make them spirits?
    • by Caerdwyn (829058)

      ... with no consultation of the people, and by an institution that many of us already consider to be nowhere near democratically accountable enough.

      Do they expect us to follow it?

      Cops have guns that say you will. Don't think it will come to that? Look at what can happen to people who have a nickel bag.

      If this becomes law, it will be abused, as all laws which are pretexts for invasive searches are.

  • by ciaran_o_riordan (662132) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @03:22PM (#34336238) Homepage

    Background info:

    http://en.swpat.org/wiki/Anti-Counterfeiting_Trade_Agreement_overview [swpat.org]

    On the software patent problems (or patents "in the Digital Environment"), it seems most or maybe all have been fixed (provided the the signatory uses the Section II option of excluding patents from that section) but a thorough reading is still needed:

    http://en.swpat.org/wiki/ACTA_and_software_patents [swpat.org]

  • That was fast. Did they not read and discuss it, or were they simply in on it from the beginning?

  • I have often felt we are one of the more sane countries with respect to the digital age, but seeing this I believe we are all F***ed.

    I guess I should start voting Pirate party.

  • by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @04:13PM (#34336754)

    The real problem is not the occasional copying of a CD for ones personal use, heck, it might not be the same quality, but you can record it off the radio. The real problem is the wholesale mass production of reproducing copyrighted material. Most of this occurs in South East Asia. So, exactly how will passage of ACTA stop it?

  • The European Parliament has absolutely zero legislative power, it's only there to make a noise and keep hasbeen politicians in an all expenses "job"
  • I have some rather mixed feeling about this....

    On one hand your have the music and film industry complaining about piracy of their product and being completely ignorant that their business model is out of date.

    On the other hand there is the chance of counterfeit components appearing on cars, trains or aircraft that produce a serious hazard in a situation where potentially lives are at risk.

    Mind you we have a third problem in that we have fake politicians that don't really know anything but what their adviso

  • This is not the consent vote, this was only a resolution reminding the comission on a couple of things.
  • I welcome whatever legal device they think is going to stop file sharing. The only affect it will have is pushing the open source community to whatever will eventually replace torrenting even faster.
  • It was fun while it lasted, but this is the beginning of the end for digital freedom.

  • by unity100 (970058) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @06:07PM (#34337780) Homepage Journal
    basically right wing capitalists.

    The European Parliament just narrowly failed to adopt a joint resolution demanding that the Commission should clarify and assess the consequences of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement ACTA. The numbers were 306 in favour, 322 against, and 26 abstentions. The resolution had been put forward by the Green group (including the Pirate Party), the Social Democrats, the Liberals and the Left. A resolution from the Green group (where I was one of the co-signatories) was also defeated. Instead, an alternative resolution by the Christian Democrat group EPP and the Conservative group was carried. This resolution basically welcomes what the negotiators have been doing so far, without placing any specific demands on the Commission for further clarifications or assessments.

    http://christianengstrom.wordpress.com/2010/11/24/acta-resolution-failed/ [wordpress.com]

    basically, these kind of right wing capitalist parties everywhere, are those stripping any freedoms if any profits at stake. this includes any kind of constitutional indispensable, unalienable amendments.

    way to go. and there are still morons who are defending the philosophies of those zygotes. im sure a few will pop into comment after this post. its not like they 'know' that those philosophies will work. its that they WANT them to work, despite it havent worked at any point in human history, for the benefit of the average citizen.

  • Does anyone know who voted for? I want the names.

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