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Censorship The Internet Politics

Rep. Darrell Issa Requests Public Comments On ACTA 186

Posted by timothy
from the how-do-you-really-feel? dept.
langelgjm writes "After repeated dismissals by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Congressman Darrell Issa has taken matters into his own hands by posting a copy of ACTA online and asking for public comments. ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, is a secretly negotiated multilateral trade treaty with the potential for profoundly affecting the Internet. 'ACTA represents as great a threat to an open Internet as [do] SOPA and PIPA and was drafted with even less transparency and input from digital citizens,' Issa said."
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Rep. Darrell Issa Requests Public Comments On ACTA

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  • Please (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Please, dear god, read some of it and post an intelligent comment. If you put in a generic rant, you merely become a statistic. However, if ou present a relevant comment, they are required to annotate it.

  • My comment is thus (Score:5, Interesting)

    by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday March 08, 2012 @09:26AM (#39287297)

    This agreement was written by the U.S. entertainment industry. It was written by them with one, and only one, purpose in mind: to advance the interests of their own industry at the expense of the freedoms of every other group and citizen in every country that signs it. It was secured in the U.S. by the open bribery of the U.S. Congress and President. It has been foisted on the rest of the world through the hostile use of U.S. economic might, in illegal secret negotiations that violate the laws of almost every country involved. It only serves to harm the international reputation of the U.S. and its citizenry at the expense of the interests of one industry.

    It should be soundly rejected by all remaining free counties.

    • by HarrySquatter (1698416) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @09:34AM (#39287403)

      This agreement was written by the U.S. entertainment industry.

      No it was originally written by the entertainment industries of both the US and Japan and then the Canadian and EU entertainment industries joined in. I know it's popular to blame all such things entirely on the US but there is just as much complicity from other countries in these treaties than these one-dimensional criticisms would lead you to believe.

      • by Hentes (2461350)

        The European entertainment industry is owned by American companies. Although you are right about Japan, Sony plays a major part in these legislations.

      • How about this? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Idou (572394) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @10:22AM (#39288099) Journal
        This agreement was written by the global entertainment industry in order to advance their own interests at the expense of the freedoms that make a modern democracy possible. It was secured in the U.S. by the open bribery of the U.S. Congress and President. It has been foisted on the rest of the world through the hostile use of U.S. economic might, in illegal secret negotiations that violate the laws of almost every country involved.

        This single agreement represents the undermining of thousands of years worth of social evolution, and those in public office who support it should be immediately dismissed, criminally charged, and incarcerated for their remaining years on this Earth.

        Changelog:
        elrous0 - original comment
        Idou - revised to blame global entertainment and added some action items
      • by Joce640k (829181)

        So... take out the "U.S." and we're good to go.

        • So... take out the "U.S." and we're good to go.

          terrorist talk!

          "its been noted, citizen. its been noted."

          (sigh. I wish this was ONLY a movie quote from dr. zhivago and not Real Life(tm) as we know it, today).

      • by AdamJS (2466928)

        The Canadian entertainment industry is literally a subsidiary of the American entertainment industries.

  • by LostCluster (625375) * on Thursday March 08, 2012 @09:38AM (#39287449)

    Okay, this may have me holding my nose and filling in the oval next to Romney or Gingrich in November.... Obama signed ACTA in Janurary 2012 [webpronews.com] Mr. President, how could you?

    • by savi (142689) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @09:45AM (#39287537)

      Because those two certainly won't uphold corporate interests? If you hold your nose and vote for either of them, it won't be taken as a sign that the American people oppose ACTA. It will be taken as a sign that people want more government intrusion in their bedrooms and more rights for corporations. If you want to give more power to the women-are-sluts-and-corporations-are-heroic-people party, don't come crying when the obvious results.

    • If you think Romney or Gingrich wouldn't have, you should absolutely vote for them.
    • by cbeaudry (706335)

      How can you be surprised?

      At what point during his presidency has Obama shown he is anything other than a corporate stooge?

      • He's not in the lame duck second term yet... he could be out of office as early as January 2013 if he keeps this {bleep} up.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 08, 2012 @10:22AM (#39288097)

      Not that I'm not thoroughly disgusted that he supported this thing... but before we make this one partisan, please note that ACTA was being developed under the prior administration as well (and both were keeping the details secret from the public.)

      In other words, of course a Democrat will rubber-stamp something for Hollywood, but don't trust a Republican to automatically do the right thing on this issue. A ton of them were supporting SOPA too. Make sure they're on record and loudly opposing this stuff like Rep. Issa thankfully is, and keep on them to make sure they aren't just sinking this to bring in their own "save the children" bill to do the same thing.

      Software developers, web designers, and other Internet-connected forces are woefully underrepresented in Congress, whether it's regulations or worker protections, and they don't typically unionize so the Democrats don't seem to have much use for them. A lot go Ron Paul but I'm kind of surprised Republicans don't see this as a group they could reach out to. Especially since it's obsoleting traditional media and Hollywood. I'd rather the Democrats do it, but they seem to think treating Internet users like garbage is the way to go... but then the Republicans will happily screw them over as well by sinking Net Neutrality. No wonder a lot go Ron Paul.

    • by Hatta (162192)

      Please just vote third party. It doesn't matter which. As you realize, both major parties are unacceptable. Voting for one over the other is throwing your vote away. The only vote that matters is a vote for change which simply cannot come from either major party.

      • Is there anybody running a 3rd party campaign that has managed to get themselves onto enough ballots to potentially capture enough electoral votes to win?

      • third party DOES NOT WORK in the US. stop being ignorant.

        what it will accomplish is to send votes to the bad guys.

        ALL we have right now is 'vote for the one who sucks the least'.

        voting 3rd party does not help and, in fact, can work against you.

        very sad. this goes against my ideals but ideals and the Real World(tm) are not always intersecting.

        find who is the most evil guy and vote for the guy who is viable (sigh, sorry, but you know what I mean) and then vote his/her way. ie, vote to make sure the most ev

        • by rtb61 (674572)

          The idea is actually become involved in the primaries. Forget a third party, do exactly what the tea baggers managed to do, take over an existing party. A third party has been effectively blocked in the US via corrupt anti-democratic US state laws.

          By far the majority of Americans routinely ignore the primaries, then act surprised and confused, when it comes to the election and find they have to pick from red corporate candidate or the blue corporate candidate, dumbo or the jackass, the pretend conservati

        • by Hatta (162192)

          Voting for the third party is the only thing that can work. Voting for either major party only ensures that the two party hegemony can continue forever. That is throwing your vote away.

          On the other hand, if each major party starts losing elections because of third party voters that gives the major parties motivation to address electoral reform.

          find who is the most evil guy and vote for the guy who is viable (sigh, sorry, but you know what I mean) and then vote his/her way. ie, vote to make sure the most

    • by tbannist (230135)

      If you have to hold you nose while voting, you're probably voting for the wrong people. Vote for the pirate party or the libertarian party or anyone else, really. If there's a significant increase in votes for other parties that'll scare both the Democrats and the Republicans.

    • Obama, the constitutional law professor, also signed NDAA unlimited detention of United States citizens by the military without trial.
  • by DynamoJoe (879038) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @09:54AM (#39287647)
    So a republican wishing to jab Obama does the right thing by posting a secret treaty online. And he's a California republican as well - land of the Entertainment Industry. Does this count as a good thing or a bad thing? I'm thinking it's both but it works out for the citizens so it's a net good despite potential partisan motivations.
    • So a republican wishing to jab Obama does the right thing by posting a secret treaty online.

      It's no longer secret. It has been officially opened as soon as the first countries started signing it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Sarius64 (880298)
      Your smugness smells like the shitpile it appears. If you knew anything about Darrell Issa you would understand that Hollywood did not elect him. Hollywood is funneling money to Obama. You should pull your head out of your ass sometime and at least try to research your own bias.
    • So a republican wishing to jab Obama does the right thing by posting a secret treaty online. And he's a California republican as well - land of the Entertainment Industry. Does this count as a good thing or a bad thing? I'm thinking it's both but it works out for the citizens so it's a net good despite potential partisan motivations.

      To butcher a quotation that I'm unable to find online right now: you don't want to have to depend on having good people in order to get a good outcome, you'd like to set things up so that the system produces good results even when the people operating it aren't necessarily good themselves. Maybe you suspect Issa's motives (personally I don't, but your mileage may vary), but if the outcome heads toward a desirable goal, then I'd say things are working as they should. Bad motives, good result, I'll take it ov

  • by mapkinase (958129) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @09:55AM (#39287657) Homepage Journal

    Tries to stop government from demanding Open Access to scientific publications sponsored by government.

    How much Elsevier is paying you, Darrell?

  • My comment on ACTA (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 08, 2012 @09:59AM (#39287723)

    Opening Paragraph - "The Parties to this Agreement"
    This chapter establishes the tone of the treaty and from the beginning obfuscates the differences between actual property/trademarks (and their centuries of legal baggage) and the relatively new concept of intellectual property and copyright infringement. it also emphases focus on the digital world and copyright. The treaty itself offers few guidelines in respect to protecting citizens from specifically dangerous counterfeit products, making no differentiations based on physical safety, low quality counterfeits.

    Also introduced here is the concept of balance of the the rights and interests of the relevant right holders, service providers, and users. This is a common talking point of the media lobby, and is used often to justify increasing the rights of IP holders at the expense of the rights of internet operators and citizens fundamental rights to free speech, privacy. The language is crafted to imply a sense of fairness and balance, however, civil liberties and human rights are enshrined at the highest levels in law. Weather the ideology of Intellectual Property should hold equal standing should be an issue of vigorous debate and not an issue to be taken at face value.

    Article 5 part (l)
    Right holder is defined in the treaty as including "includes a federation or an association having the legal standing to assert rights in intellectual property". it's worth mention that this agreement is designed primarily to hold these organisations interests ahead of individuals creative rights holders.

    Article 8: INJUNCTIONS
    "Each Party shall provide that, in civil judicial proceedings concerning the enforcement of intellectual property rights, its judicial authorities have the authority to issue an order against a party to desist from an infringement, and inter alia, an order to that party or, where appropriate, to a third party over whom the relevant judicial authority exercises jurisdiction, to prevent goods that involve the infringement of an intellectual property right from entering into the channels of commerce."

    This definition is vague and very much open to interpretation. What goods are we talking about here? physical goods like VCRs, Cassette recorders, DVD burners, or even computers? Software goods that allow the copying of home videos and music production, Real player, Adobe Premier, etc? or even goods in the form of packages by internet service providers, would providing access to a means of a communications channel to the internet, through which copyright infringement might occur count as providing goods that involve copyright infringement?

    This kind of uncertainty is often passed down while making local law, and opens individuals and small business to the threat of defending themselves from injunctions, involving expensive legal fees.

    Article 9: DAMAGES
    This is a tricky section, paragraphs 1 and 2 are presented as mild suggestions of damages, but paragraph 3 states that these suggestions must be implemented as an alternative at the request of the rights holder (defined earlier as media companies). This to me requires participants of ACTA to sign into effective law, the myth that every single illegal download of a copyrighted work represents a lost sale and that the right holder should be compensated as such. In reality this is not the case, and there are several conflicting studies carried out by interest groups and independent researchers around this topic.
    This topic is important as you will see later, as an individual downloader of a single song can be classified legally as a mass distributor of the same song and charged for tens of thousands of lost sales as a result. This is what happened in the US thousands of times over since the introduction of the DMCA act, on which ACTA is based.

    Article 10: OTHER REMEDIES
    This article has huge impact on on physical copyright infringement liability because of it's vagueness, there is no reference to the suitability of the product or regard of if it's fitness for

  • I'm really confused. I thought Issa was a completely evil bad-guy. Is this just pandering on his part, or does he actually have some virtue?

    • by tbannist (230135)

      He's pandering, he sees that Obama's supporters want the deal so he's determined it is bad because of that. He's right this time, but a stopped clock is still right twice a day.

  • by forkfail (228161) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @12:07PM (#39289715)

    He's posting copyrighted material on the internet!

    • by idontgno (624372)

      And, in enabling the public to annotate the digital rendition of the treaty text, and storing that annotation in a backing server technology, clearly infringing on Amazon's novel, non-obvious, and highly valuable patent [slashdot.org].

      The man is clearly an intellectual property scofflaw on the same level as Kim Dotcom. Amazon lawsuit incoming in 5...4...3....

  • I don't know. This guy's resume and accomplishments sound very good, but he just did a pretty questionable AMA (Ask Me Anything) on reddit [reddit.com] yesterday:

    A lot of dodging and unanswered questions. At the end of the day, he's yet another typical politician. Just this one is slightly more concerned about technology than the rest of them...

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