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Secret Copyright Treaty Timeline Shows Global DMCA 184

An anonymous reader writes "Michael Geist, a leading critic of the ACTA secret copyright treaty, has produced a new interactive timeline that traces its development. The timeline includes links to leaked documents, videos, and public interest group letters that should generate increasing concern with a deal that could lead to a global three-strikes and you're out policy."
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Secret Copyright Treaty Timeline Shows Global DMCA

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  • by TechForensics ( 944258 ) on Monday December 14, 2009 @12:28PM (#30432190) Homepage Journal

    If one follows the link in TFA to Michael Geist's interactive timeline, there's an element that leads to a short video of a debate in the Canadian Houses of Parliament-- one member says ACTA is a tool of US corporate interests and will lock millions of users out of the net; the government minister who responds says anything in ACTA is "subservient to the acts of this Parliament". What he DOESN'T say, and what the member is not sharp enough to pick up in the swift give-and-take of debate, is that *once the treaty is in place*, there is NO more subservience to *anything* (short of something on the order of a US Constitutional Amendment". This is the point: the people and even those of their representatives who want to derail this blindsiding juggernaut *will be able to do nothing* once the treaty is signed, and *saying the treaty is subject to US or Canadian law* is a pure, cynical smokescreen. An ounce of prevention here can accomplish what no amount of cure can fix. ACTA negotiations must be transparent. If we don't fight for that the corporate interests will do an end run around our rights.

  • by gedw99 ( 1597337 ) on Monday December 14, 2009 @12:42PM (#30432334)
    Yes, fully agree here. Once the treaty is in place, the nations will be not allowed to trade unless they support and hence legislate the principles of the treaty into their laws. This is exactly how its worked in the past. Countries sign up, and then realize that the US and others cant or wont trade with them unless they too legislate the treaty. No country can afford to be out of the world trade economy and so is forced to act on the treaty and put it in effect as legislation. Its very sneaky and effective and have been used for decades. The world bank also uses this to their advantage as a rule. "You must implement this treaty in order to qualify for this loan". The pattern of how they get this ratified and legislated is all around us. History teaches us. I want countries and people to learn from these patterns that history has shown us again and again.
  • Re:Bring it on (Score:5, Informative)

    by Penguinisto ( 415985 ) on Monday December 14, 2009 @12:42PM (#30432336) Journal

    Question is, will they care? Most folks consume content, not create it. Also, as we've seen in the whole Microsoft vs. FOSS wars, the closed-source guys seem to have better, slicker marketing.

  • Currently, OSS distributions cannot send out - for example - CSS ( code in many countries due to things like the DCMA. However, it can easily be downloaded from other countries, where the DCMA is not in effect. This allows one to play DVD's using MPlayer or VLC without worrying about the local authorities knocking on one's door.

    Given this bastard law, one wouldn't be able to download code regardless.
  • Re:Bring it on (Score:5, Informative)

    by schon ( 31600 ) on Monday December 14, 2009 @01:53PM (#30433294)

    Sorry, no.

    As admirable as you believe the goal is (and I agree with you on that), the means is just *wrong*.

    You're talking about organizations that think nothing of sending infringement notices for things that are in the public domian, or copyrighted by the people who post them. "Artist's" groups that send DMCA notices against the wishes of the authors they represent for material that is published by the authors themselves under a CC license.

    These are people who send infringement notices based on nothing more than the author's name being similar to one they represent.

    They are people who send infringement notices to the wrong place, or "link" infringement to IP addresses that are assigned to printers.

    You get three of these? You're off the net. Period. Doesn't matter if the stuff is CC'ed or not. Doesn't matter that the notices are invalid. You're guilty until proven innocent. You have to prove you're innocent, and do it without access to the tools necessary to do so.


    "Bring it on" is entirely the wrong way to approach this - we need to stop it before it happens, not try to fix it after.

  • Re:Who cares? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 14, 2009 @03:22PM (#30434322)

    So how does a bill get introduced that is not readable by the public?

    Insert it in the middle of a 2000 page "economic stimulus package" or "health care reform act" or "climate change cap-and-trade bill" that "must be passed as soon as possible, don't bother reading it, we'll fix it later (except we never do because we need to fixate on the next (invented) crisis)".

    What! Me cynical?

  • by Theaetetus ( 590071 ) <> on Monday December 14, 2009 @04:20PM (#30434984) Homepage Journal

    You also have to warrant "that the information is accurate" and, under penalty of perjury, that the copyright has been infringed.

    Perhaps you could give a cite? No DMCA takedown that I have ever seen, including those that I have personally received, does that.

    17 USC 512 [] provides that, to be effective, a takedown notice must contain "A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed."

    Thus, the statement must warrant that the information is accurate, and must further state, under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is an authorized representative or is the owner and that they are alleging infringement.

    "The information provided herein is accurate to the best of our knowledge..."

    Notice how the only thing that is sworn to is that Scumsucker is the agent of Sleazebag... In addition, note the weasel phrases "reasonable good faith belief" and "to the best of our knowledge". They don't swear that it is a violation, or even that they've examined the file in question, merely that they think it is a violation.

    Yes, they aren't swearing it, but while you may think that "reasonable good faith belief" and "to the best of our knowledge" are weasel phrases - and they are, in non-legal contexts - in legal contexts, these phrases have very specific meanings and objective tests.

    Additionally, perjury aside, making false statements could be considered an obstruction of justice that could get you a contempt of court charge.

    IANAL, but I'm not sure that "obstruction of justice" can apply to a civil case.

    Totally. It's not a criminal contempt charge, but can include where the offending party has "acted in a manner which prejudices the administration of justice."

  • Re:Emailgate (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 14, 2009 @04:35PM (#30435154)

    Apparantly, "Flamebait" is the new "I disagree" mod. I see no personal insults in the above post, on anything like that. "Troll" would be appropriate if you thought the poster was posting this dishonestly just to start an argument.

    Face it, Slashdot does not have an "I disagree" mod. If you disagree, post a reply.

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