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Yet Another European Government Drops ACTA 117

Posted by timothy
from the set-fire-to-the-paper-tiger dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The government of Bulgaria, which had already signed ACTA, yesterday reversed itself, and announced that it would not seek ratification of the treaty. This comes after similar moves by Poland, Germany and the Netherlands, and a weekend of massive protests against ACTA across the European continent."
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Yet Another European Government Drops ACTA

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  • Common sense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sadness203 (1539377) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @02:02PM (#39062829)
    Everywhere but not in America!
    • by Anonymous Coward

      American politicians had the common sense to present a decoy (SOPA/PIPA) first :>

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 16, 2012 @02:25PM (#39063205)

        Yeah but they underestimated that EU citizens are not fucking stupid, and doped up on high fructose corn syrup and anti-depressants.

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          +1 awesome characterization

        • Dope! (Score:5, Funny)

          by zooblethorpe (686757) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @03:03PM (#39063887)

          Yeah but they underestimated that EU citizens are not fucking stupid, and doped up on high fructose corn syrup and anti-depressants.

          You forgot all the Adderall. [slashdot.org]

          C'mon, kids -- you know the schtick! Better Living Through Chemistry!

          (...goes and hides in his den and looks for that Canuckistan immigration packet...)

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            welcome to ACTA north, currently being quietly forced through parliament AGAINST the will of the CITIZENS. Text has been presented to the Canuckistan government in secret, after text had been prepared by FOREIGN agitators, influencing OUR way of life. Everyone, do the world a favour and kill and American politician, executive, or lawyer.

            • by alexo (9335)

              And the moral of the story: NEVER EVER give any Canadian political party a majority. They cannot be trusted with it.

          • by Apothem (1921856)
            I would more say that it's the parents who are paranoid as to why their kids 'aren't doing well enough'. Most parents who get over-involved with their kids lives end up putting them through that anyway. Oh and if the kid has too much energy, the parents think there is something else wrong and try to give you more meds to calm you down. It's a sad truth, but it really is just one more point of evidence to show that the current education system just isn't working. I mean, you really expect young children to
          • (...goes and hides in his den and looks for that Canuckistan immigration packet...)

            I'm afraid you won't find it much more to your liking here in Canada:

            http://news.slashdot.org/story/12/02/13/1539259/canadian-govt-to-introduce-massive-internet-surveillance-law [slashdot.org]

            http://news.slashdot.org/story/12/02/14/1832205/against-online-surveillance-you-must-be-for-child-porn-says-legislator [slashdot.org]

            It seems that our government's fondest wish is to turn our country into either America's clone or America's bitch - I haven't yet figured out which.

        • by Higgins_Boson (2569429) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @04:16PM (#39064997)
          Back in MY day we didn't have high-fructose corn syrup and anti-depressants!

          No! All we had was cocaine, marijuana and LSD for our depression and nothing but pure, sweet honey harvested by Cuban children to tame our cravings for sweets.
    • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @03:37PM (#39064399)
      I don't know how or why people have kept missing this, but the United States has not ratified ACTA either, and there is about zero chance it is going to.

      A U.S. representative signed it, but it was never ratified.

      Pull your heads out, folks.
    • Re:Common sense (Score:5, Informative)

      by poity (465672) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @04:06PM (#39064843)

      Summary is not entirely correct. Germany, Poland, Netherlands did not also "drop" ACTA, they delayed proceeding on it in pursuit of further clarification. Their actions are not the same as Bulgaria's. There are still internal conflicts in the governments of those countries and ratification is still likely after amendment. I understand there is a desire on slashdot to portray an unstoppable tide of anti-ACTA sentiment in Europe, but we can't make up what we want.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Kamiza Ikioi (893310)

      The US already has the DMCA, so it matters little if it's ratified here. ACTA was to impose the DMCA on other countries. From what I've seen, ACTA adds nothing new. As many tech pundits have already pointed out, DMCA works well in the US because of Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms that many European countries lack, which would make their version of a DMCA relatively unhindered from becoming downright draconian.

      Bad for Europe, a shoulder shrug for the US.

      • As many tech pundits have already pointed out, DMCA works well in the US

        Say what?

      • by Pieroxy (222434)

        Europe has a directive called EUCD (the very equivalent of the DMCA) that has been ratified around 2006 and laws have popped up in every country for the application. It is now very much in effect in all of the EU countries.

    • The EU is more interested in countering real problems like human trafficking rather then searching everyone's iPods for "illegal" mp3's on behalf of the MAFIAA.
    • by dumuzi (1497471)
      By America I presume you are including Canada, as we also have no common sense. Remember this [slashdot.org] and this [slashdot.org] and this [slashdot.org] and this [slashdot.org], all recent articles from slashdot about Canada's boneheadedness.
    • And Belgium. I hate Karel De Gucht with a passion :(
  • At this rate ACTA will go the way of the dodo bird.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Last seen in the United States?

    • by pavon (30274) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @02:14PM (#39063043)

      It looks like ACTA is pretty much dead in the EU, as it will only enter into force if all the EU countries agree to it unanimously. However, it will still remain in force for the other signatories as long as at least 6 states sign it. So far United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea have all signed it, so at least three of those need to back out for the treaty to die completely.

      • by mycroft16 (848585) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @02:17PM (#39063099)
        With SOPA and PIPA, they were all the internet talked about for days leading up to the blackout... the word was effectively gotten out. With ACTA, no one is talking about it or what it means. We need that same level of dialogue. We need front page announcements on reddit, wikipedia, etc. PCIP is also a new one working through the House and Senate that involves creating a database of ip->customer mappings and tracking web history for 18 months to look for illegal activity. Not getting talked about either. We really need to keep up on what's going through Congress and other governmental agencies and kill them long before they are days from a vote. They shouldn't make it out of committees, or even into committees.
        • by cayenne8 (626475) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @02:24PM (#39063195) Homepage Journal
          ...to take all the fun out of the internet.

          Man...glad I was here to see the wild west days of it back in '92-'93 and just after that.

          Then again, I remember going to the gates at airports to greet people as they got off the plane, and even before metal detectors going to the gates.

          Sigh...the US use to be a much more free place.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            Sigh...the US use to be a much more free place.

            The US was always a crazy place. You just had enough luck (lack of a standing army during peacetime) to bypass the great fascist/communist systems of the 20th century. Of course since then you've defintely jumped the shark and are at work to come up to date to what the SS, Stazi, NKVD etc... all used to do to their populace decades ago.
            So today the US is a less free in an absolute sense, but its also much less free than the EU.
            At least we europeans learned the lesson and now mostly keep at bay fascist tende

        • by sgent (874402) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @03:57PM (#39064713)

          Very unlikely to happen in the US. The administration hasn't even submitted it to congress for ratification yet. Also, remember treaties need 2/3 support of the senate, and there are an easy 34 senators that oppose this.

          • by pavon (30274) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @07:18PM (#39067513)

            Except that administration is claiming that they don't need senate confirmation to ratify the treaty. So the US will be counted among the 6 needed at least initially. Furthermore to be over-tuned in the courts, someone will have to show standing. Since ACTA does not require the implementation of any new laws in the US, that will be hard to do. The only thing I can think of is if a Senator sued because the treaty limited their ability to change the law. But even then I could see the courts denying standing, unless a law contradicting ACTA is actually passed.

        • by Serpents (1831432)

          We really need to keep up on what's going through Congress and other governmental agencies and kill them long before they are days from a vote.

          I think killing the Congress and local equivalents in all the EU countries might be a bit difficult, but definitely worth it. Stopping ACTA would just be killing two birds with one stone

      • The U.S. hasn't ratified it, either! That puts in in exactly the SAME position as Bulgaria: signed, but not ratified. So it has no force within the USA.
        • by pavon (30274)

          Where did I say they did? No one has ratified it yet, but all signatory countries I listed are moving towards ratification with no signs of that changing.

          • Really? The U.S. is "moving toward ratification"??? If so, this is the first I've heard about it, and I have been trying to keep track.
      • ACTA cannot work without the world community (read national police forces and courts) enforcing it. If huge sections of the world - especially the technologically advanced part - are not signatories, and are not participating then ACTA cannot work. At best it would be a bad joke.
      • by rtb61 (674572)

        Australia requires a change of leadership the current narcissist practically fawns all over US politicians when they pay her empty headed compliments. Fortunately in a parliament you don't have to wait four years, you can kick a foreign government's dupe out over night.

    • In other news, scientists cloned their first Dodo bird today from preserved Dodo DNA....

      Things like ACTA never really go away, they just declare bankruptcy and open up a new shell corporation... er...

  • Thank you, Europe (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 16, 2012 @02:04PM (#39062863)

    We in Canada thank you for being smarter than us. Our prime minister still has his nose up American corporate ass.

    • As do us here in New Zealand

  • Human Rights (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The FFII reports [ffii.org] they convinced the Parliament of The Netherlands to adopt an anti-ACTA motion:

    [Second Chamber] asks the Government not to sign the ACTA treaty as long as it is not conclusively established that the treaty does not conflict with fundamental rights,

    As Amnesty, OSCE, Human Rights Commissioner Reding and others have their doubts it looks like a poison pill.

  • TFA missing (Score:5, Informative)

    by CurryCamel (2265886) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @02:09PM (#39062959) Journal

    TFA is just a LMGTFY??
    This must be a new low.

  • ....to not ACTA stupid.

  • A word of caution (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Maimun (631984) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @02:30PM (#39063291)
    I am Bulgarian living in Bulgaria right now. I am as happy as any of you about the ditching of ACTA by our government. But! They change their minds twice a day. The position of the other European governments against ACTA, I think, is based (to a certain extent at least) on principles and integrity. Our government is silly, uninformed, clueless and it may easily jump back on the ACTA bandwagon if put under pressure. They were clearly ready to force the ratification of ACTA on the Parliament. What changed their minds was the protest wave -- the government are populist and easily bend before protests. However, they bend easily before anything. So, let's wait and see...
    • Re:A word of caution (Score:4, Interesting)

      by D,Petkow (793457) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @02:36PM (#39063403) Homepage

      I am Bulgarian living in Bulgaria right now. I am as happy as any of you about the ditching of ACTA by our government. But! They change their minds twice a day. The position of the other European governments against ACTA, I think, is based (to a certain extent at least) on principles and integrity. Our government is silly, uninformed, clueless and it may easily jump back on the ACTA bandwagon if put under pressure. They were clearly ready to force the ratification of ACTA on the Parliament. What changed their minds was the protest wave -- the government are populist and easily bend before protests. However, they bend easily before anything. So, let's wait and see...

      the funniest thing is that the minister who took responsibility for signing the ACTA treaty early said on national television that he is under a lot of pressure to sign lots of paperwork everyday (around 100+ papers on a weekly basis) and he said quote "i'm sorry for not reading this document throughly, before accepting to sign it - my team of experts said it was nothing to qworry about it" They are truly clueless and they admit it, lulz.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Far better to be clueless and admit it than to be simply clueless, which appears to be the position of most of our politicians.

      • the funniest thing is that the minister who took responsibility for signing the ACTA treaty early said on national television that he is under a lot of pressure to sign lots of paperwork everyday (around 100+ papers on a weekly basis) and he said quote "i'm sorry for not reading this document throughly, before accepting to sign it - my team of experts said it was nothing to worry about it" They are truly clueless and they admit it, lulz.

        All the better than, less room for evil to hide when you know ignorance is taking most of the space, they could've done as my government does: 'well... we have to decline comment, but i assure you there is nothing to worry about (smiley face).' Time to get educated!

      • by deblau (68023)

        If only our politicians in the US were as honest.

        • by pesho (843750)

          You don't appreciate the cultural undertones of what is being said. I assume you will also like the following quote from the same government official in regard to ACTA: "We should never put copy rights ahead of human rights".

          Now let me translate these statements for you: "Gee, we did not realize that we can ask for bigger bribes. Now go back and stuff a little more cash into that envelope."

          What happened is that being completely clueless about the dynamics of the issue, the government assumed this somet

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      Our government is silly, uninformed, clueless

      Show of hands ... all whose government doesn't fall into this category? Anybody?

      It seems like when most governments try to pass laws on technology, they demonstrate a complete lack of understanding of what it is they're passing laws about and how it works. That never seems to stop them, though.

      • by Stevecrox (962208)
        It's the major flaw with democracy, most western societies have career politicians who have never done anything other than be a politician. As a result they have little experiences or knowledge outside of their bubble meaning they don't know when a lobbyist is lying or when they speak the truth.

        To make matters worse modern media has descended in to sensationalism which only allows for sound bites, you have various papers like The Sun pushing for action when something outrageous happens. While this is impo
      • by Gonoff (88518)

        I don't mind people being uninformed - even clueless, That is the default state of human beings.

        What is really annoying are those who feel that this ignorance makes them somehow better - perhaps more suitable to lead or make decisions.

        In many circumstances, not knowing something makes someone neither better or worse. The fact that I don't know how to smoke fish does not make me ignorant. It does however make me not a suitable person to make laws about it without being forced to use and take heed of exper

    • by iive (721743)

      The problem is that the government is not reversing any of its past actions.
      It is not removing its signature under ACTA, its parliamentary group would not even let a proposal for official refusal of ratification to be presented to the parliament.
      For all that matters, Bulgaria can just ratify ACTA tomorrow.

      The official stance is to delay until the EU parliament makes a decision and then to repeat whatever that decision is. It seems that the ACTA proponents would try to delay the vote in the EU parliament. T

  • by biodata (1981610) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @02:46PM (#39063583)
    Thanks to the young people of Europe for reminding us that we have to fight for democracy over and over again. The thieves will always try to take it back unless we stand up to them, and the politicians will often be looking the other way.
    • by k6mfw (1182893) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @03:54PM (#39064671)
      it seems it is young people of Europe that take it to the streets, not much of that in USA protesting against such laws. however, there are other protests but media coverage is sparse. It should be noted many from former Eastern Bloc countries take issue with laws like ACTA because they know what it is like to live in a country with censorship and compared to without.
  • by lew2048 (2571805) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @03:08PM (#39063951)
    It seems governments can't ignore us when we coordinate via the internet and represent the interests of internet users. Big changes are happening despite all of the govs trying to shut down the internet. We are living through serious history, interesting times.
  • ACTA source EU (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 16, 2012 @03:11PM (#39063999)

    Text of the treaty:
    http://register.consilium.europa.eu/pdf/en/11/st12/st12196.en11.pdf

    Main aim of this legislation seems to be exporting the US legal approach to the rest of the world. Tactics like secret negotiations, participants having to sign non-disclosure agreement intended to implement this more or less under the radar of public scrutiny.

    Please take into account that the US patent system is considered "broken" through awarding trivial patents, patents on software, genetic patents, patent trolls, corporate patent wars.

    Like the mission to Iraq the US has again created a coalition of the willing and is using that to get more aboard. US diplomacy is exerting pressure to join. If the EU would have joined it would have very difficult for third world countries to evade joining. That would definitely have impacted the price and availability of generic pharmaceuticals.

    That legal approach includes for instance the damages calculation which led to obscene claims in the US and also would enable a business model for law firms to extort consumers sharing a few files.

    Please note that this treaty aims to cover all Intellectual Property rights. The implications for the Internet (ISPs having to cooperate) draws the most attention up to now.

    More specifically it will enable Monsanto to enforce their genetic seed patents outside the US. So do expect them to sue farmers saving part of their harvest for seeding next year. Given the wide contamination by pollen seed stocks are inevitably contaminated by GM material.

    The US political system is thoroughly corrupted. Corporate interest like MPAA's Dodd (an ex-senator mind you) is openly threatening to retract campaign contributions. The failure of the US political system in their fiduciary duty to protect citizens/voters/consumers against exploitation by the economic system is of truly epic proportions.

    Corporate interest simply don't have the same level of influence in Europe.

    However now the very secretive approach has been exposed, the very text will be studied much more thoroughly. For now ACTA seems dead in the water indeed.

    Nice to see international grass roots cooperation to stop this (now more that 2.3 million signatures:
    https://secure.avaaz.org/en/eu_save_the_internet/?tta

    • Nice post, don't really see why you've posted AC, but as someone who lives in the UK we do have an extremely high level of corporate influence in government, especially from the banks. Corupt self-interested ministers, cash for questions, the 'rock and a hard place' two party system, the list could go on and on but suffice to say we're not so far behind the US( in blatant corruption) as you might like to imagine. As far as I know there has been no public debate on ACTA here, and that does not bode well for
  • No surprise (Score:5, Insightful)

    by StikyPad (445176) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @03:43PM (#39064485) Homepage

    Yeah, I don't think opposition from former Eastern Bloc countries like Bulgaria and Poland surprises anyone really, nor do I expect their dissent to convince any of the proponents to back down, particularly the US. On the contrary, I expect they'll use that to fuel their argument about the necessity of ACTA.

    Good to see Germany and the Netherlands opposing it though. The economic powerhouse of Germany cannot be ignored, and their opposition makes it politically easier for other countries to voice their dissent as well.

  • Until copyrights patents are universally understood to be BAD for the economy and society in general, this will keep coming up over and over.

    There is no half way.

    There is no half way between just a little bit of copyright and ACTA and SOPA and DMCA - ACTA and SOPA and DMCA will win.

    There is no half way between just a little bit of socialism and totalitarianism - totalitarianism will win.

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