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ACTA Could Make Nonprofit P2Ps Face Criminal Penalties 149

dan of the north writes "Based on sources and leaked documents, Knowledge Ecology International now asserts that ACTA drafts are in fact 'formally available to cleared corporate lobbyists and informally distributed to corporate lawyers and lobbyists in Europe, Japan, and the US.' — The ACTA proposals currently include language that would make copyright infringement on a 'commercial scale,' even when done with 'no direct or indirect motivation of financial gain,' into a criminal matter. Both KEI and Canadian law professor Michael Geist, who has been working his own sources, say that the current proposals require all signatories to 'establish a laundry list of penalties — including imprisonment — sufficient to deter future acts of infringement.'"
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ACTA Could Make Nonprofit P2Ps Face Criminal Penalties

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  • There is no way this could be misapplied.

  • "Criminal Matter" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Saturday February 07, 2009 @09:32AM (#26763359) Homepage Journal

    The ultimate goal of all the "industries". This shifts the burden ( and cost ) to the government ( tax payers ) and even further stigmatizes a 'non societal' act.

    It also introduces jail times, long term detention during proceedings and a life time of persecution after prison..

    All they will have to do is randomly accuse people with and sit back and watch the show and collect money.

  • this would kill (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ionix5891 ( 1228718 ) on Saturday February 07, 2009 @09:40AM (#26763391)

    the internet as we know it :(

  • Re:this would kill (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 07, 2009 @09:51AM (#26763423)
    I think that's what they want...
  • by jimbudncl ( 1263912 ) on Saturday February 07, 2009 @10:01AM (#26763483)
    I wonder if they've considered the consequences of jail time... throw a bunch of pissed off computer geeks in the slammer together (I know not everyone who shares copyrighted data is a geek, but just employ your suspension of disbelief for a nano second). Hell, throw in some geeks who haven't downloaded a single "illegal" thing in their life, just for good measure (no innocent people have ever been convicted of a crime, that's unfair to all those guilty people!). Now, simmer on medium heat for 3-5 years, good behavior.

    I predict a huge swell in the number of computer criminals actually doing harm to society in the next, say... 10 years. Those geeks are going to get out of prison and wreak havoc. And all because someone couldn't adapter their business model. Hope those media companies and their lawyers have no fear of identity theft ;)
  • by BiggerIsBetter ( 682164 ) on Saturday February 07, 2009 @10:06AM (#26763511)

    Notice how Russia and China are conspicuously absent from that list of countries....

    We all know who to proxy through now, don't we?

  • Re:Violation (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ihmhi ( 1206036 ) <> on Saturday February 07, 2009 @10:16AM (#26763561)

    Honestly nowadays I think we need more of the Thomas-Paine-Muskets-And-Cannons Common Sense.

  • Re:So? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by plasmacutter ( 901737 ) on Saturday February 07, 2009 @10:16AM (#26763563)

    Try bit torrent, FTP developers, web hosts..

    wherever p2p goes, it will follow, eventually resulting in the evisceration of the entire internet, as it is, fundamentally, p2p in nature.

  • by naeone ( 1430095 ) on Saturday February 07, 2009 @10:18AM (#26763571)
    which deters all murders
  • by mbone ( 558574 ) on Saturday February 07, 2009 @10:24AM (#26763613)

    They are trying to keep this secret because it would be politically poisonous if revealed.

    As I think our friends in Europe have begun to realize, laws based on treaties prepared in secret by bureaucrats without democratic accountability are inherently corrupting of democracy itself. They are also an invitation for the corrupting influence of special interests, who will try and accomplish in secret what they cannot in public.

    If these restrictions are worthwhile, let them be proposed and debated in public, as normal laws are. Otherwise, I think this whole process should be shut down. It has been going on far too long for any good that we have been getting from it.

  • by jonwil ( 467024 ) on Saturday February 07, 2009 @10:48AM (#26763745)

    If you live in the US, write to your congressmen and senators. If you dont, write to your local elected official (in Australia, you can write to your local MP). Write a physical letter (politicians are a lot less likely to listen to an email than to a physical letter although the anthrax scare in the US may have changed things there). Say that you do not support piracy/copyright violations and that you are not arguing that it should be OK to violate someone else's copyright but that you believe that too much power is being given to large copyright holders to take down content/shutdown distribution methods even when that content or those distribution methods do not violate copyright law. Say that you think that copyright holders should be going after individual people who are violating their copyright as long as there is clear proof that a violation did take place. (remember that in most of the lawsuits to date, the proof hasn't been up to snuff which is why the RIAA keeps dropping them rather than risk a precedent against them) Say that you believe that if these new copyright protection measures are introduced that they should be available for ALL copyright violations regardless of the size of the violation, the size of the holder of the copyright or the financial status of the violator (if they are available for everyone and not just the big boys, then they could be used for GPL violations) Say that you do not support their position on the increasing powers being given to large copyright holders and that this issue will affect how you vote at the next election in your country (thats assuming that the relavent local representitive is in fact supporting such increased powers, if they dont support increased powers, tell them that you support their position on this issue and that their position on this issue will affect how you vote at the next election in your country)

    Another option is to get a real petition going (on real paper with real people signing it) and send this to your local representitive. Come up with real world examples of how increased powers for large copyright holders will affect normal people.

  • by davidbrucehughes ( 451901 ) on Saturday February 07, 2009 @10:48AM (#26763747) Homepage

    This is just another symptom supporting the diagnosis that the media business has become toxic waste. The best antidote is a broad movement to convince artists to release their work under the Creative Commons licenses. The big recording and media companies are exploitive rascals; drive them out of business by voting with your money and simply not doing business with them.

    For example, on our site we have tons of original music, videos and text. Similar to many open-source software companies, we get paid when people buy training or counseling services related to the material.

    The Information Economy does not work by legislation, but by taking advantage of the inherent nature of networks to copy stuff. *Please* copy our stuff! Put it on all the P2P hosts and download it all day and night. We love it!

  • by meist3r ( 1061628 ) on Saturday February 07, 2009 @10:53AM (#26763761)

    Otherwise, I think this whole process should be shut down. It has been going on far too long for any good that we have been getting from it.

    I whole heartedly agree, I also think it should be stopped immediately but what you're not realizing is that the people proposing these legislations don't give a rats ass about what you and me think. They will do that anyway, the politicians are suckered into compliance by payolas and the promise of future support for their ideas so there is no actual way of stopping this. The only way to have a say in the ACTA negotiations would be for a large part of the userbase and public to cry out about the foul play here. Trust me, I tried requesting ACTA documents through my EU parliament people and they all refused on grounds of secrecy laws that don't actually apply to the proceedings and other baseless bullshit.

    If you haven't realized it, we are governed. There is no such thing as a people-led democracy, at least in no state that I know of. They're all aristocratic dictatorships that make the appearance of democratic proceeding so there is no civil war. Unless more people realize this and stop paying attention to the farcical sharade that is sold to us as citizen participation there will be no way to stop these people from getting where they want to be.

    Prove me wrong, I dare you, prove me wrong. I'd LOVE to see proof that there is actually stuff done in the name of the people and not just in the name of money. Right now, people are sold these ACTA treaties as a means of fighting economy degrading piracy ... what it is in reality is a competition stifling set of rules that will tighten the grip of the industry on the freedom of choice of people and means to make non-compliers obey.

    Today the Piratebay, tomorrow independent music labels.

  • Re:So? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Klaus_1250 ( 987230 ) on Saturday February 07, 2009 @10:58AM (#26763777)

    They are going after non-profit P2P's. You mean like Shareaza, Kaza, Limewire? Who cares? All that stuff is absolute malware riddled crap.

    I think Kazaa is long dead and neither Shareaza or Limewire contain malware. Most p2p apps don't, it's just a handful that gave all of them a bad name. The p2p networks themselves is something else, but any reasonably sane person can use them without catching malware. The people who download exe's when searching for an mp3 are the problem.

    While outlawing them is problematic for preserving freedom, it would ultimately protect people

    That is the principle a police state is based on. And it doesn't protect anybody. How am I protected for instance? And who said I needed protection?

  • by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Saturday February 07, 2009 @11:00AM (#26763795) Homepage Journal

    Don't forget door to door searches for internet subscribers, since you know if you are on the internet you have to be a pirate.

    No further justification will be required.

  • by Anne Thwacks ( 531696 ) on Saturday February 07, 2009 @11:01AM (#26763799)
    and to absolve copyright companies from any responsibility if they engage in false accusations.

    I cant see that being possible to enact in Europe.

    Also, in Europe, the loser pays the court fees. That will not change for one particular treaty. It would require a change in the European Law of Human Rights. (On a par with chanigng the US constitution for the publicity it would get).

    In the UK, for the state to bring a prosecution, it has to be virtually certain of a conviction before starting (to avoid tax payer's money being sqandered on litigation when there are better things to squander it on). A mere suggestion that the evidence might fall to pieces if challenged by experts will normally crush a criminal charge.

    Only if the mass media convince their readers/viewers to believe that CD pirates are worse than Somalian pirates will this to work. Since most of them seem more willing to buy pirate DVDs for $3 in the Asda (Walmart) car-park than buy a newspaper, I would not hold my breath.

  • by andereandre ( 1362563 ) on Saturday February 07, 2009 @01:16PM (#26764771)
    yes and no. I can see this to fail in both the European Court of Justice and in the European Court of Human Rights (for non Europeans: the first is the EU "supreme court", the other is continent wide, voluntary and treaty based.) However it will take maybe 5 but more likely 10 years before a resolution comes out of those. In my country (the Netherlands) treaties take precedence above national law, and our constitution is just a piece of paper (no constitutional court, laws can't be checked by courts against the constitution). Add to that that we always want to be the teachers favorite pupil so we will enforce ACTA for many years.
  • Re:this would kill (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mail2345 ( 1201389 ) on Saturday February 07, 2009 @03:13PM (#26765795)
    Just like how similar groups in the past wanted radio, VCRs and cable tv dead.
  • by russotto ( 537200 ) on Saturday February 07, 2009 @09:24PM (#26768345) Journal

    Those geeks are going to get out of prison and wreak havoc.

    Not bloody likely. If the RIAA has their way, those geeks are going to meet real (by their own definition) criminals in prison. Some of them (likely including myself) aren't going to be able to eat sufficient shit and will be killed by the other prisoners. Most of the others, when they get out, will be _broken_ by the experience, and will likely die young after slouching through a series of minimum wage jobs.

  • by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Saturday February 07, 2009 @10:22PM (#26768621)
    The problem is, they don't care. How many candidates have you seen that actually have a sane copyright platform (excluding the Pirate Party)? The answer is zero. Copyright just isn't a major platform for them, and if the *AA can claim how much money is being "lost" due to "piracy" they will vote for stronger copyright. Very few elected officials understand the internet, computers and the devastating effect things such as the DMCA have on the US economy. Even our "tech savvy" president Obama doesn't seem to have a clue about how dangerous our current copyright laws are. Elected officials only see made-up stats on how much "piracy" is "costing" the *AA, and they see no reason to weaken copyright laws because they don't understand how things work on the internet or how computers in general work.
  • by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Saturday February 07, 2009 @10:34PM (#26768673)

    Not benefiting financial from a crime does not mitigate the crime. The ends do not justify the means.

    Um, yes they do. If no one was harmed, it should not be illegal and "piracy" doesn't hurt anyone either financially or physically. Think of "piracy" as radio today, it serves to promote the band so they can make good sales on their concerts which are the primary means that artists get money. A copy of a file does not delete, alter or otherwise distort the original nor does it make it work any less. For example, if I set the Mona Lisa as my desktop background, does the actual painting devalue itself? No, because thats not how art works.

    Downloading music illegitimately only hurts the record companies. Now, you might think that the record companies deserve a cut of the profits, however, in this digital age, its akin to preventing the release of cars because a saddlemaker might lose some money. The record company is dead. Saying that by going to a different distributer rather than the record company to get music is stealing, then I steal on a daily basis when I look at a computer in a store but decide to buy the same model from a different site.

    Then there is the fact of the insane laws that can charge almost $10,000 for downloading and sharing a single song. These laws that allow for outrageous copyright claims to be made need to be abolished. If you got caught stealing a physical CD from Wal-Mart and you weren't running away, I'm sure that paying Wal-Mart three times the price of the CD would be good enough to set you free with little to no criminal charges.

  • Re:this would kill (Score:3, Insightful)

    by IronChef ( 164482 ) on Sunday February 08, 2009 @02:36AM (#26770213)

    The internet as we know it has been on borrowed time since we first got it.

Federal grants are offered for... research into the recreation potential of interplanetary space travel for the culturally disadvantaged.