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ACTA To Be Signed This Weekend 277

Posted by Soulskill
from the yep-this-happened dept.
We've been following the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement for over three years, from its secretive beginnings, to the controversy and debate that followed, and to the document it eventually evolved into. Now, Japan has announced that the agreement will finally be signed on Saturday during a ceremony that follows an anti-piracy symposium on Friday. "The negotiation has been carried out among Australia, Canada, the European Union and its Member States, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, and the United States, and reached a general agreement at the negotiation meeting held in Japan in October 2010, followed by the completion of technical and translation work in April 2011. ... The signing ceremony will be attended by the representatives of all the participants in the ACTA negotiations, and those that have completed relevant domestic processes will sign the agreement. The agreement is open for signature until May 1, 2013."
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ACTA To Be Signed This Weekend

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  • sigh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dyinobal (1427207) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @12:21AM (#37535996)
    Well damn someone pass the lube I guess it's that time again.
  • meanwhile in Mexico (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @12:21AM (#37536000)

    Mexican Senate has already voted to not let president sign ACTA, yet, mexican IP officials and the content industry local representatives frequently make public statements about Mexico signing ACTA.

    They will be at the Japan's signing ceremony as witnesses, but a few congress members haven't officially informed about recent developments concerning ACTA.

    It's still as obscure as it was at the begining of the negotiations.

  • by shoutingloudly (986897) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @12:22AM (#37536006) Homepage Journal
    Don't be shocked if this follows the pattern laid out in the case of the WIPO anticircumvention treaty. It did not require anything nearly as strong as the DMCA, but the content industry kept waiving it in congressional faces, demanding that we pass something far too draconian to be justified by the treaty we had actually signed. In principle, this is set up to be in line with extant US law, thus not requiring a full Senate confirmation, but I wouldn't be shocked if (a) the content industries rammed down much stronger interpretations down other countries' throats, and (b) they then came back to the US and demanded that we "harmonize" with these stronger interpretations.
    • by gstoddart (321705)

      Sadly, that is pretty much exactly what will happen.

      ACTA has been more or less authored by the content industry ... and all of us who aren't in the US are getting this rammed down our throats. There's no public consultation, and they won't release the text of this for the most part.

      But you can bet your ass this will be used to force really excessive controls on the rest of the world (at the behest of the US content industry), and then it will be brought back to your own lawmakers with a "see, we need to be

  • Yeah, so... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @12:25AM (#37536030) Homepage Journal

    ... how's that 'representative democracy' working out for 'ya? Feel represented yet?

    /me :braces for authoritarian collectivist downmod:

    • how's that 'representative democracy' working out for 'ya?

      Its working out extremely well if anti-counterfeiting legislation is near the top of our list of concerns.

      • The problem is, that's only the case for a tiny, insignificant minority of the "represented". In other words, they represent a tiny minority. Which is not really what I'd consider the goal of a representative democracy.

    • Re:Yeah, so... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by phantomfive (622387) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @03:39AM (#37536974) Journal
      Right, go ask 10 random people on the street what they think should happen to copyright law, and see how many of them care. When no one cares, then the people who do care tend to get their way (which is, artists and recording industries. What, you don't think artists want longer copyrights? Don't be naive, they are like the rest of us and would gladly take more money).

      Representative democracy only works when people pay attention to government, and vote accordingly. When was the last time you voted or even contacted your representative based on copyright? I never have. Maybe I should, but there are other things I care about more.
      • What, you don't think artists want longer copyrights?

        Depends on who you count as 'artists'. If you include writers, then actually most of us want shorter copyrights. It gives us a much stronger bargaining position with our publishers if they keep needing more new material because they're unable to make profits from huge back catalogues. Most writers only get a tiny trickle of royalties from books over 10 years old, but for the publishers that's a huge number of small trickles with almost no associated costs.

        I suspect it's similar for musicians. If the

        • That sentiment doesn't really pass the economics sniff test. The publisher is going to pay you a percentage of the lifetime value of your work. If the lifetime value goes down via shortened copyright time, they're going to pay you less...

        • by bidule (173941)

          What, you don't think artists want longer copyrights?

          Depends on who you count as 'artists'.

          I think he meant con-artists.

      • Re:Yeah, so... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by myowntrueself (607117) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @04:46AM (#37537272)

        Representative democracy only works when people pay attention to government, and vote accordingly. When was the last time you voted or even contacted your representative based on copyright? I never have. Maybe I should, but there are other things I care about more.

        Most people vote based on what they are told by the media. A minority of people vote based on properly informed and developed opinion.

        Democracy is subject to the same 'forces', the same social manipulations and psychology, that underlie advertising. Advertising works and is well worth the billions that are spent on it. Advertising works just as well for 'informing' the public on how they should vote as it does for getting products off of the shelf.

        Therefore 'representative' democracy will always be representative of the will of easily manipulated people who are fed false information. Well-informed political debate and dialectic are kept as far away from democracy as possible.

        • Most people vote based on what they are told by the media.

          So do you, unless you are one of those people who votes based on black helicopters and other conspiracies that no one ever reports.

      • Saying "representative democracy only works when people pay attention to government" is like saying "communism only works if people aren't lazy and greedy". Ignorance is just as inherent quality of human beings as greed. Hence democracy/capitalism is also flawed as communism/planned economy/other forms of government.

        Until we design a decision making process that works with selfish lazy greedy ignorant people, we won't get anywhere. I believe it can be done, using ideas like ant colony optimization or err
        • Because it's way harder to replace a human system once the errors add up to the point where the system breaks down. If that happens with my computer, I throw it out and buy a new one. Now try that with a government.

          If that worked, the landfills would be crawling with politicians.

          • by coder111 (912060)
            Replacing a human system with another working on same principles is only a temporary solution. Even if you get honest and smart and unselfish and hardworking people into the government by some miracle, 30 years later they will become or be replaced by greedy bastards working for the benefit of corporations. This system does not reward being unselfish and making decisions that would benefit everyone.

            However, if you can design a decision making system (probably assisted by computers) that makes let's say 1
        • Oh yeah? Do you have a better system?
        • by Raenex (947668)

          I believe it can be done, using ideas like ant colony optimization or error detection or correction. We can make electronics work with a certain percentage of flaws- so why not human systems?

          Because people aren't ants and the problems are more complex.

    • by rmstar (114746)

      ... how's that 'representative democracy' working out for 'ya? Feel represented yet?

      So, what do you suggest? Representative democracy might have its problems (which are fixable to some extent by tweaking its structure), but the alternatives are worse.

      i.e. what was your point? Do you want monarchy?

      I don't understand why you were modded up that much.

      • by jez9999 (618189)

        Selective suffrage [rationalskepticism.org].

        But as usual I guess people will shoot me down for daring to suggest that some people shouldn't be allowed to vote. How horriffic.

        • Selective suffrage [rationalskepticism.org].

          But as usual I guess people will shoot me down for daring to suggest that some people shouldn't be allowed to vote. How horriffic.

          In general, when considering whether "some people shouldn't be allowed to vote", the first people to be put on the list of "not allowed to vote" should be the ones who favour the idea that "some people shouldn't be allowed to vote".

          Or did you really mean "some OTHER people shouldn't be allowed to vote"?

    • Re:Yeah, so... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by roman_mir (125474) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @05:58AM (#37537590) Homepage Journal

      Ron Paul.

      That's why you vote for Ron Paul who is very specific about States being more autonomous (because the federal government has no authority for pretty much anything it does at this point), and thus having more competition between government laws and Congressman/Senators should really live in their States now, with all the technology they must not be allowed to live in Washington DC and to do their business there. They should be required to live in their States, where people have more direct access to them AND this would force the lobbyists to come to every one of the States, to go visit 50 States (or at least half), and this would be more obvious and easy to track and to see how a Congressman/Senator changes his mind once the path of a lobbyist goes through his State.

      • and outfit our representatives with high bandwidth channels into Congress, Senate or any other Parliament worldwide.

        There they will be represented by a life size screen and a 100 W speaker.

        And all without leaving home-town and electoral district!

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by roman_mir (125474)

          Exactly. There should be no reason for these guys all to fly to Washington DC, all to assemble in one room.

          Get them onto the Internet, connect them into a virtual room, have this thing broadcast over youtube.

          NO MORE PRIVATE BS CONVERSATIONS.

          Record everything they do. Anything that's not recorded must be illegal for them. Force them to live in places that they are supposed to represent.

          Have a huge ass LCD screen in every city of the State, constantly showing what the elected officials are doing.

          They better

  • Lovely! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sodel (1917500) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @12:29AM (#37536040)
    America's top exports: pornography, hamburgers, movies, economic instability, and, of course, imbalanced copyright legislation. Damn it America, keep your garbage to yourself! We all have our own special interest lobby groups! The last thing we need is for our governments to feel the influence of YOUR lobby groups, too. There's hardly any highly developed countries left where people can live quiet lives with *sane* copyright legislation.
    • We import and export insane copyright legislation. Blaming America is idiocy, because the heart of these things is the one way ratchet mechanism aimed at 'harmonization' of laws.
  • by cosm (1072588) <thecosm3@EEEgmail.com minus threevowels> on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @12:54AM (#37536200)
    That is what the US will become. The warriors of intellectual property. If we can't manufacture, create, and export tangible things, then god-dammit we'll charge for any intangible a lawyer can serve papers on.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This is what the world will become, not just the US. Look at the ridicululous b.s. Apple has been able to pull over iPad and iPhone intellectual property, claiming ownership of any thin rectangular tablet device. Europe just passed a copyright extension specifically to give more money to the owners of the Beatles copyrights. And let's not forget that the original draconian copyright regime isn't called "the Berne convention": it's a European creation, rammed down everybodys throat at the insistence of Eur

    • Well, when you have a rich population whose most unique valuable facet is their bourgeois capacity to obtain higher education qualifications, and to produce creative works without fear of going bankrupt, then it's a natural step to staunchly defend intellectual property. I mean, if people only value tangible goods and labour, then you're screwed.

      Luckily for them, people do value intangible goods very highly. They often just don't realise it, or care to admit it.

  • Two words ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tqk (413719) <s.keeling@mail.com> on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @01:21AM (#37536340)

    Civil disobedience.

    No, I'm not a "pirate" and I don't steal stuff from "Rights Holders" and "Intellectual Property" evangelists. However, I do advocate boycotting them and everything they're selling for pushing draconian "legislation" such as ACTA. This sort of crap is not adding value to the world.

    Nobody *needs* anything they're selling.

    Don't buy it. Don't use it. Find other suppliers. There's plenty of them if you'd only look! Teach 'em how to rot in hell. Don't go there or play their game, and convince your friends not to as well.

    They're slime, they're acting like slime, and you need not put up with actions such as theirs. They're also co-opting your government and legal system against you.

    Just don't buy their !@#$. Watch 'em fade into history as they should.

    • by exomondo (1725132)

      Civil disobedience.

      No, I'm not a "pirate" and I don't steal stuff from "Rights Holders" and "Intellectual Property" evangelists. However, I do advocate boycotting them and everything they're selling for pushing draconian "legislation" such as ACTA. This sort of crap is not adding value to the world.

      Nobody *needs* anything they're selling.

      Don't buy it. Don't use it. Find other suppliers. There's plenty of them if you'd only look! Teach 'em how to rot in hell. Don't go there or play their game, and convince your friends not to as well.

      They're slime, they're acting like slime, and you need not put up with actions such as theirs. They're also co-opting your government and legal system against you.

      Just don't buy their !@#$. Watch 'em fade into history as they should.

      Civil disobedience is not boycotting or finding other suppliers.

      • by nstlgc (945418)
        It is if your 'other supplier' is the Pirate Bay.
        • by Ash Vince (602485) *

          It is if your 'other supplier' is the Pirate Bay.

          Yes, but then that is not "boycotting" is it. It is using it and not paying anything towards the cost of its creation.

          Now the vast majority of the money you have saved by doing this is taken from companies or people I could not give a shit about, but a very minuscule percentage will come from someone like me who just needs to work to get by in life and those minuscule percentages soon add up. It is very easy to say "screw em" to those people too and that they deserve it for signing a contract with Sony or w

    • by jez9999 (618189)

      No, I'm not a "pirate" and I don't steal stuff from "Rights Holders" and "Intellectual Property" evangelists. However, I do advocate boycotting them and everything they're selling for pushing draconian "legislation" such as ACTA

      That's not civil disobedience, unless they've added a constitutional amendment requiring you to buy a certain amount of stuff from IP holders every year.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @01:46AM (#37536446)

    The Obama administration has made it possible to create petitions which, if they get sufficient signatures, will be
    responded to and potentially acted on. I've created one at http://wh.gov/4PW which I encourage all to read and
    sign if they agree with it. We can defeat this!

    • by pearl298 (1585049)

      The Obama administration has made it possible to create petitions which, if they get sufficient signatures, will be responded to and potentially acted on. I've created one at http://wh.gov/4PW [wh.gov] which I encourage all to read and sign if they agree with it. We can defeat this!

      I am signer number 2! Only 4998 more needed to get an official response! "SLASHDOTTING" might actually count for something at last!

      • by ADRA (37398)

        Too bad you're so far down the page. A whopping 3 responses so far. This is one of the few times I wish posts would flow upward, or cause an editor to make an update to the original post...

      • by andycal (127447) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @03:37AM (#37536956)
        OMFG what a terrible website experience ... no wonder only 11 signatures at the moment.
        requires sigin to vote.. ok
        pop up form incompatible with android touch kybd. ( click text area , lose kybd focus)
        use slide out kybd
        Sends validation mail.... ok
        It's not a link, I have to copy and paste
        Drops me to 404 page
        Move to laptop, try again
        Still, not a link, but copy paste better on laptop, whitehouse.gov says :Validation already used.
        Please login, requests email and password... ( I didn't ever get prompted for a password )
        request lost password
        New validation link, ( still not hot, copy paste) ... OK validated, but link valid only once, please set password.
        OK, logged in .. but *lost* is the link to the page I was on... where is that petition ?
        back to /. re-click link page comes up, .. but "Sign Petition" is still greyed-out
        click "signin" and my choices are "Sign out" and "Forgot Password"
        Now I will try logout and log back in.. will see if that works

        I get the feeling they don't actually want people to sign these things.
        • This x10.
          WTF.

        • by The Moof (859402)
          Yep, had most of those same issues. Thought it was NoScript, so I allow the scripts, and the entire petition disappears, resulting in a blank content area of the page. Oh, and one of my catpcha words was the Greek letter omega with a subscript of one (easily fixed by requesting a new captcha, but still...)
    • by Patch86 (1465427)

      That's a good idea. I'm tempted to set up the UK equivalent, (it's http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/ [direct.gov.uk] if anyone wants to beat me to it).

      Of course the UK version needs 100,000 signatures, rather than 5,000, but it's still possible. I hope Slashdotters from other countries do so on their equivalents, where available.

    • They've done the same thing in the UK, only the time allocated to discuss the content of petitions is shared with others, so no time is actually given to the petitions themselves.

      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/09/09/committee_cannot_debate_epetitions_without_more_time/ [theregister.co.uk]
    • Done. I had to reload the page a couple of times for the "petition tool" to display correctly. Probably the server is overloaded...

      Of course, we are naive to believe that the O'bummer administration (or any administration) will pay attention to opinions that it dislikes. Don't expect this to change anything...

      • "Sign this petition" is greyed out for me, IE 7 or FireFox 6. It says to sign in, but at the bottom is says Welcome {me} and I can't sign in - only sign out. Is this what everyone else is seeing?

    • We have the same system in the UK .... All petitions with enough signatures get considered... and the ones they don't agree with get considered and rejected

      Brilliant system of voter appeasement

  • Anyone wanna join me in Norway? Wealthy, non-EU state with lots of jobs!
    • by glwtta (532858)
      Anyone wanna join me in Norway? Wealthy, non-EU state with lots of jobs!

      No thanks. We have this thing here, where we get sunlight (hours of it!) every single day of the year - sounds crazy, but I like it.
      • It's not crazy at all, in fact, it is so common that we all like it. Which is why we live in a part of Norway that has it.

        Derp.
    • I would love to. I even hear your people receptive to hunting or have I been horribly misled, although I would miss hunting upland birds unless Norway has some that I am unaware of.
      • Yes we are a nation of hunters, you should have no problem obtaining a hunting license and weapons permit provided you are knowledgeable about local flora and fauna.
    • by Pope (17780)

      Kill the insane duties on motor vehicles, then we'll talk. :)

      • Believe me I would love to, and I am doing my part by voting Fremskrittspartiet in the next general election.
    • Norway is a part of EFTA and is required to adopt EU trade regulations.
      • Correct, though I don't think ACTA touches this. Notice how TFA specifically mentions Switzerland in addition to the EU, but not Norway, nor Iceland.
  • Fuck You.

    Put me in jail.

    I defend the second amendment with cold hard steel.

    • We see your cold hard steel and raise you a sherman tank

      • by dkleinsc (563838)

        A Sherman? Why bother with that when you can track down his location using his ISP, fly a drone there, and blow it to smithereens with a missile?

        Oh, wait, whoops, our targeting is a little off. Hope this guy's neighbor's next-of-kin doesn't mind too much. (If you think that doesn't happen, read Al Jazeera.)

  • So now you know the countries that are part of this. Consist of less than half of the world population. Hardly what the people wants.

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