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A Look At ACTA Wish Lists For RIAA, BSA, Others 69

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property brings us an analysis of several organizations' goals for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, which we've discussed previously. In particular, he points out the anti-privacy views of the Business Software Alliance: "While the ACTA itself is not public, the US Trade Representative has at least released the ACTA comments. While many of them are to be expected, such as the RIAA & co. wanting copyright filters, one item on the BSA's wish list really stands out: 'In a number of European countries one of the biggest impediments to efforts by rights holder to enforce their IP rights on the Internet is the overbroad interpretation of privacy laws by some European authorities.' They want ACTA to 'fix' that by neutering the privacy laws. Given the BSA's other questionable activities, it couldn't hurt to tell their member companies what you think of their participation. After all, organizations like the BSA exist in part to shield their members from bad PR." Full documents of comments from the various organizations are available at Public Knowledge.
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A Look At ACTA Wish Lists For RIAA, BSA, Others

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  • "Fixing" privacy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Wowsers ( 1151731 ) on Saturday July 19, 2008 @07:32AM (#24252869) Journal

    They want to "fix" privacy in the EU to fix the industry they are killing all by themselves, no problem, the EU = EUSSR. There is no democracy in the EU.

    Under bullsh*t of terror, privacy, freedom, and democracy has been rapidly hacked to pieces at the hands of the EU, it makes for a very unpleasant place to live. Hell, to can't even elect the rulers of the EUSSR, so they are free to pass whatever law they like, with impunity.

    • [We] can't even elect the rulers of the EUSSR, so they are free to pass whatever law they like, with impunity.

      The surest sign something is amiss is that they so desperately want the Lisbon Treaty that they wish to skip anything but national rubber-stamping of it.

    • by ddrichardson ( 869910 ) on Saturday July 19, 2008 @08:08AM (#24253011) Homepage

      I'm sorry but that is the most incoherent rant I've ever read.

      I don't know where in the EU you live but you seem to have a widely inflated belief in the amount of power it wields. Having lived in the UK all my adult life, other than the tabloid's insistance on reporting (almost entirely incorrectly) "loony EU rules" I cannot name anything that has directly affected my life, in the same way in which I can mention dozens of examples of my own government - fuel prices; taxation; VAT on fuel; no investment in public transport, despite the environment being used as a reason to increase road taxes and make explain why refuse collection is so poor; unelected quangos; politicians raining in obscene expenses with impunity; a legal system that doesn't punish and a police force that is impotant; strikes and trade unionism; all wrapped up in the impending recession despite the huge amounts of money pissed away on stupid schemes and huge amounts of beaurocrats in London.

      And if you want to talk about "out of touch" then no need to look as far as the EU, how about a centralised government in London, the most unrepresentative city of the UK where all your decesions are based upon what you see out your little window on a city so seperate to the UK it might as well be an island.

      In short, given the complete arse that our own government and most other European governments are making of things, to blame the EU is insane, especially when in real terms they have so little impact on most of us. I'd love it if you were to site examples of where the EU has passed laws "with impunity" or examples of "bullshit of terror" - except in the UK of course where the government has used it as an excuse to chip away at freedom (despite the fact that we all had perfectly normal lives during thirty years of republican mainland terrorism).

      • The EU has no direct effect on your life living in the UK? How about laws like below that force higher food prices just to satisfy some Euro-nuts fetish of measuring things and declaring perfect food as inedible. Food shortage, what food shortage?!

        A wholesaler has been banned from selling a consignment of kiwi fruits because EU laws deemed them too small.

        Tim Down, a market trader for 25 years, said he was not permitted even to give away the 5,000 Chilean fruits, each of which is about the size of a small hen's egg and weighs about 60g.

        Mr Down said his family run firm would lose several hundred pounds in sales because of the ban.[/p]

        "It is bureaucratic nonsense, they are perfectly fit to eat," Mr Down said at his stall at the Wholesale Fruit Centre in Bristol.

        Inspectors from the Rural Payments Agency, an executive agency of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), made a random check on his stall, and found a number of his kiwis weighed 58g, four grams below the required minimum of 62g.

        Mr Down said that 4g in weight was the equivalent of about one millimeter in diameter.

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2199214/EU-rules-ban-sale-of-'too-small'-kiwis.html [telegraph.co.uk]

        • I didn't say anything about food shortage. Do believe rules such as the one quoted are causing prices to rise any where near as much as the effect of hauliers being taxed into oblivion, not to mention £1.35 a litre for fuel?

        • The article in your own link also says:

          "He said: "They (the inspectors) went through a lot of my stock using their own little scales.

          "These regulations are enforced in the United Kingdom with a higher level of rigour than is applied in mainland Europe. There is not a level playing field.""

          So, as is usual with such things, the problem does not in fact lie with the EC rules, which the rest of Europe manages to interpret quite sensibly, but is actually due to the peculiarly British penchant for producing legio

  • is all of them (Score:3, Informative)

    by theblondebrunette ( 1315661 ) on Saturday July 19, 2008 @07:38AM (#24252893)

    crap, the list contains pretty much every company that I know of, including those that I work for.. Alright, Google is not there, but our beloved Apple is in, so what's up with that?
    From the wiki:
            * Adobe Systems
            * Apple Inc.
            * Autodesk
            * Avid Technology
            * Bentley Systems
            * Borland
            * CA, Inc.
            * Cadence Design Systems
            * Cisco Systems
            * CNC Software/Mastercam
            * Corel Corporation
            * Dell
            * EMC Corporation
            * Entrust
            * Hewlett-Packard
            * IBM
            * Intel Corporation
            * Intuit
            * McAfee
            * Microsoft
            * Monotype Imaging
            * Network Associates
            * Oracle Corporation
            * PTC
            * Quark
            * Quest Software
            * RSA Security
            * SAP
            * SolidWorks
            * Sybase
            * Symantec
            * Synopsys
            * The Mathworks
            * UGS PLM Solutions Inc.

    • Re:is all of them (Score:4, Interesting)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Saturday July 19, 2008 @08:09AM (#24253017) Journal
      "beloved Apple"? Apple has more taste than most of the rest of team evil; but they play at least as mean as anybody else on that list, and meaner than some. I don't expect that to get any better, now that the majority of their money comes from a) selling the only computers on which they allow their OS to run, b) selling phones heavily locked in various ways and cashing in on those who profit from the locks, and c) content sale and rental on DRMed platforms.

      The one on that list that surprises me is Intel. They make very little software, other than drivers and compilers, and their hardware isn't exactly easy to clone. There are already special restrictions in place for reverse engineering ICs, and the world isn't exactly bursting that the seams with sleazy back-alley 300mm wafer 45nm process fabs.

      Most of the rest of the list is the usual BS(A)ing suspects, or at least, like cisco, in the business of making hardware that is pretty clonable. Anybody have any ideas about Intel?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by badpazzword ( 991691 )

        The one on that list that surprises me is Intel. They make very little software

        http://www.intel.com/cd/software/products/asmo-na/eng/index.htm?iid=siteindex+prod_software [intel.com]

        They produce C++ and Fortran compilers, debuggers, performance analysers, "cluster tools".

        I'm not sure about their market share, but that's a non negligible amount of software IMHO.

      • Who says their hardware isn't easy to rip off? I guess you forgot about this [techimo.com] little trick. Back in the day I have also ran across both Intel and AMD chips that were overclocked to instability at the factory and had the BIOS altered so that the machines could be sold as having the faster and more expensive CPU. While I think the BSAA are as big a bunch of asshats as any of the other *.A.As with everything made in china nowadays it isn't hard to get a fake ANYTHING anymore. But as always this is my 02c,YMMV
        • I certainly don't deny that one, or the pervasiveness of fakes generally. However, that type of scam doesn't fall under any sort of IP regulation(unless the BIOSs on the scam boards are unlicenced derivative works of licenced BIOSs, which is quite possible). Those are legitimate, although low-end, Intel parts, not illegal clones.

          Intel is in the interesting position, unlike most everybody else on that list, of having a very high proportion of their product's value arising as a function of their manufacturi
  • by Cheerio Boy ( 82178 ) * on Saturday July 19, 2008 @07:51AM (#24252941) Homepage Journal
    When's the next trip off this rock?

    1984 was not supposed to be an Instructable dammit. B-(

    The problems that I see though are:

    1) People won't get off their butts to protect their rights. I'm just as bad - frankly because I'm afraid of losing everything. And with FISA in place disappearing when you disagree with the government is becoming more of a possibility every day.

    2) Corrupt corporations and corrupt government are hand-in-hand. And due to the previous problem that likely won't change.

    3) People growing up now think that's the way it has to be because they don't know any better.

    I just wish someone had a good solution but I think if it existed someone would have used it already.
    • 1) It's all in your head. Using fearmongering is very successful. Luckily you have a higher level of brain functions that can mostly override fear with logic. Use it (I know it's hard, but so is starting to learn a sport or some complex system. Think of it like a muscle that you have to train.). :)

      2) I'm sure as a good geek, you can come up with hundreds of different ways to "hack" corrupt corporations. :)

      3) This is also proof that those views can be changed. :)

      Well. Guess what. You have this solution. Turn

      • All your country belongs to you. Take off every 'American'. For great justice! :D

        Quite right. You know what you doing.

      • You have this solution. Turn on main brain. All your country belongs to you. Take off every 'American'. For great justice!

        You know that's just geeky enough to become a popular t-shirt... :-D
    • by ddrichardson ( 869910 ) on Saturday July 19, 2008 @08:14AM (#24253041) Homepage

      People won't get off their butts to protect their rights.

      I disagree, it seems a question of priorities. When you face a massive recession, strikes, fuel shortages and increased food prices, all while the banks withdraw mortgages and businesses go to the wall, then isues such as IP rights and copyright extension seem insignificant.

      Not that I feel they are but under these circumstances, when the average man on the street doesn't understand the problem and doesn't even know there is a problem then these things get slipped in under the radar.

      Mind you, that said, those "Knock of Nigel" [youtube.com] adverts are really starting to get on my tits.

      • by Wildclaw ( 15718 )

        And when you don't face those things you will have it too good to go looking for trouble. It is the perfect setup for authoritarians and they know it. Only thing they have to worry about is going too far, because you don't want to add the straw that breaks the camel's back.

        • I didn't say it was a good idea. You also need to realise how much shit people are prepared to put up with, especially when its phased in gradually (like Al Gore's story about the frog in an "Inconvenient Truth" - if you raise the water temperature gradually the frog doesn't notice).

          Its been shown in the UK before too, the Winter of Discontent [libcom.org] in '78. People still put up with it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by fyoder ( 857358 )

      I just wish someone had a good solution but I think if it existed someone would have used it already.

      What's really required is a long term commitment to education and training people to think critically, without which democracy doesn't work. That requires a political will stretching across multiple administrations, probably of different parties.

      But since it is those who pay the piper that call the tune, it is up to the corporations. And since a well educated, critically thinking populace could turn the tables on them, they may not see it as being in their interests to push for education.

      Consequently, I do

    • Cheer up, it's not that bad.

      When it is, the people will overreact, which is very unpleasant for everyone.

      The way to go is slow, but sure, change.  Keep spreading the memes, and make people aware of these things.  Over time, this will cause a sea change in public opinion.

      Corruption will always be with us, to don't get too hung up on revenge.  But we need to de-seed our governmental weedbag, too true.
    • The solution is to bypass the media cartels and create a direct link between media creators and their audience, wherever they may be... Here's my solution [slashdot.org] - linking all the world's (possibly, but not neccesarily Creative Commons) Content via an RSS-feed like system navigable from any pc, laptop, mobile or TV set top box with a net connection.
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Saturday July 19, 2008 @07:56AM (#24252965) Journal
    I just cannot understand what possible rationalization there could be for ACTA not being worked on in the open(yeah, yeah, obviously I know why working behind closed doors would be what they want; but I'm talking about justification here).

    Even by the bizarro world standards of something state doesn't like = terrorist threat and camera in same room as child = pedophile menace, I can't think of a good justification for doing a copyright "harmonization" treaty in private. WTF.
    • by BSAtHome ( 455370 ) on Saturday July 19, 2008 @09:32AM (#24253457)

      Free communication (read: the internet) is a direct threat to scarceness of immaterial goods. Our economy is based on resources being scarce and that is being undermined by the internet. So, basically, they want us to be unable to communicate freely to get back to the times were flow is controlled top-down. However immaterial goods never can be contained in the long run. This fact has apparently not arrived at our treasured politicians (not even after 500 years). Corporations will always try to keep the status quo because they have a hard time to reinvent themselves.

      • Beautifully put. Somebody please parent mod up!

      • Corporations will always try to keep the status quo because they have a hard time to reinvent themselves.

        This is because generations of financial minds are geared for short-term growth and profits, and of course the almighty doctrine of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."-- as if one would always see the same pattern of growth just by repeating what one's done for decades, aside from perhaps small-scale farming. Trying to reinvent the media and software industries is probably the best way to go about solving

  • We have no recourse (Score:3, Interesting)

    by LordKaT ( 619540 ) on Saturday July 19, 2008 @08:32AM (#24253127) Homepage Journal

    The "special interest" groups - like the RIAA, MPAA, and BSA - have far too much money, and in a capitalist society that leads to far too much power. We, the minority voice, cannot match the buying power these groups have, nor do we have enough political power to sway votes.

    And believe me, no matter what your little nerdgasm makes you believe, we are a minority voice. We're such a small voice that my senator actually laughed at me when I called him up to complain about his support of FISA, as he assured me that the majority demanded this legislation be passed.

    Quite frankly, there's nothing left for geeks to do but wait and watch as all of our freedoms are stripped away to protect the special interests.

    Oh sure, some geeks will post bullshit about having their own revolution, but they're too close-minded to own a gun, and too lazy and distracted to actually get anything done.

    Oh wait, those geeks are talking about a peaceful revolution, the kind we have every 4 years. The same "revolution" that is carefully controlled and manipulated by two (illegal) political parties. Yeah, great idea there. Or you could vote for the miraculous third party candidate who - thanks to his radically different views from the two parties in control of the house and sentate - will basically cause government to come to a standstill and get nothing done, assuring that another 200 years will pass before a third party candidate is ever elected again.

    Quite frankly, I'm just damn tired of these stories and of the comments. "Write your senator" doesn't work. "Call your congressman" doesn't work. We're tried to get organized and fight these abominations of our rights as human beings, and we continue to fail. In fact, we've yet to even eat away at aging laws like the DMCA and Patriot act, yet we yammer on and on about how we can stop laws like ACTA.

    Face it, fellow geeks, we have no chance. so, I beg you, slashdot, stop posting these stories, because they mean almost nothing now. Unless someone comes up with a way to organize a para-military force through an anonymous service to physically stop these kinds of atrocities, I see no point in discussing this stuff.

    • by Dan541 ( 1032000 )

      We, the minority voice, cannot match the buying power these groups have, nor do we have enough political power to sway votes.

      We are the Majority, we just don't have the money to fight these assholes.

      I still think hitmen are the way to go it's certainly allot cheaper.

  • by MaulerOfEmotards ( 1284566 ) on Saturday July 19, 2008 @08:43AM (#24253203)
    Both Orwell and Marx would be surprised how right they were. A world governed by the watchful corporate eye, the same corporations that also control the voice and contents of information. Still, the EU, or at least Northern Europe with Scandinavia at the top (literary and figuratively) are more democratic, less corrupt and directly controlled by commercial interests than America, but we too are getting there. Sweden is a prime example of this. The current liberal (in the European sense, that is right-wing market liberals) have excelled in demolishing unions (which increases the relative power of producers), privatise public sectors, have deep tie-ins with commercial interests (f.i. Carl Bildt, the former Prime Minister and current Foreign Minister, couldn't understand the conflict of interest in possessing a huge portfolio of Russian oil and natural gas stocks AND residing over the political negotiation on Russian pipelines); and of course, pushing through the FRA legislation.

    For us, though, there might be a few things to do.

    Switch over more and more to copylefted and FOSS operating systems and software. No copyright or financial interests, no interest for BSA or (maf)*IAA. Of course, the same interests groups have identified this as a potential thread and tried legal and FUD campaigns against it (associating FOSS with communism, and trying to declare FOSS illegal, etc.).

    Boycott the increasingly meaningless blockbuster production of Hollywood and the musical cultural industry. I have stopped watching TV and buying music since there simply isn't anything worth the money. Frankly, it is not even worth downloading.

    Freenets, darknets and stronger encryption. However, this will mean a rat race where the outcomes may be a larger and growing portion of increasingly controlled population; an increasingly isolated cliché of technologically savvy individuals retaining integrity but being exposed by their very anonymity suspicious black holes in an ocean of whistles; or the death of the openness and accessibility that has made the Web the revolution it was.

    It is a horrible situation, and the only hope we have is that younger politicians will have a more vested interest in net neutrality etc. than the current cadre that is old and often criminally ignorant about the consequences of their actions in an informational world. Fat chance.

    For Swedes, voting for the Pirate Party for them to gain seats in the EU parliament is one concrete thing we can do now, and let's work to increase awareness of the problem so more pirate parties will emerge.

    This is turning more and more into a world I do not want part of.
    • The current liberal (in the European sense, that is right-wing market liberals) have excelled in demolishing unions (which increases the relative power of producers), privatise public sectors, have deep tie-ins with commercial interests (f.i. Carl Bildt, the former Prime Minister and current Foreign Minister, couldn't understand the conflict of interest in possessing a huge portfolio of Russian oil and natural gas stocks AND residing over the political negotiation on Russian pipelines); and of course, pushi

    • Man, I like cyberpunk, but this is getting too far.
    • There was a trend to having only proprietary software (by former free software being enslaved in the job contracts its creators took) and to having the hacker community die out.

      That trend was reversed by GNU with the invention of the GPL and the GNU System.

      And today millions of people use free software and we have organizations like the EFF and FSF who work for a free software society.

      - That huge success story in about 4 minutes: http://infinite-hands.draketo.de/ [draketo.de]

      More people than ever before use free softwar

  • Given the BSA's other questionable activities, it couldn't hurt to tell their member companies what you think of their participation.

    Huh? It certainly could hurt. If you tell the member companies what you think of the BSA's actions, the only likely result is that you'll be added to their list of suspects. You can then expect a letter from their lawyer if someone with a name or IP address similar to yours ever uses a P2P program (perhaps to download the latest linux ISOs ;-).

    You should be telling the appr

    • If the member companies start to get hit with flack and angry customers for their participation, they may reevaluate it (i.e. stop funding the bastards).

      Without industry support, the BSA would dry up for lack of money.

      I don't think that congress can do much except not listen to them. And it's hard for them to avoid listening to anyone who has money.

      So I really think that bad PR for the member companies is the only way to reduce the member list.

  • Without releasing any information what soever, the g8 has fat tracked [publicknowledge.org] this abomination.

    Oh surprise surprise, I give up. I simply refuse to respect US law anymore. I'll speed whenever the hell I want, steal whatever the hell I want, and if asked, i'll tell them where the fuck to stick it.

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