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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 Anonymous Coward on Monday December 14, 2009 @12:16PM (#30432052)

    These global organizations, as well as global governance, are a far bigger threat to freedom and democracy than terrorism ever could be.

    We need politicians who are running on a platform that will directly challenge this sort of behavior. We need politicians who will withdraw our nations from these organizations and treaties.

    NAFTA and treaties with various third-world countries have destroyed the American manufacturing base. The American economy will not recover until those treaties are abandoned and manufacturing comes back to America. We need politicians who will make this so.

  • by matt007 ( 80854 ) on Monday December 14, 2009 @12:24PM (#30432142)

    If this is going live, i can foresee open source apps and creative commons goods surge in popularity.

    Aren't they shooting themselves in the long term ?

  • by Wrexs0ul ( 515885 ) <mmeier@@@racknine...com> on Monday December 14, 2009 @12:31PM (#30432228) Homepage

    This isn't a jail policy, they can't imprison you on allegations yet.

    Unfortunately they can kick you off the internet for a period of time by allegation alone. You know, that little novelty some of us run hobbies off of, or maybe send the occasional "electronic" letter to our hip friends in other cities through Prodigy.

    Let's get real about this. Internet for many people is an integrated part of daily life, you wouldn't cut power or phones from people who allegedly do bad things with it without proving guilt first (or in the rare case preventing immediate harm to someone else). This isn't any different; sure I can survive just fine without internet or power (for a while), but the consequences to my life and livelihood would be apparent pretty quickly.

    Worse yet, the authority for removing essential services has an established track record for casting really big nets. The American cousin of the CRIA uses big lawsuits to make up for inadequacies like a city-bound guy with a Hummer... We already have enough issues in this country with a self-governed federal police force, thank-you. Let's sort those bumps out before putting law in the hands of the private sector.


  • by gedw99 ( 1597337 ) on Monday December 14, 2009 @12:48PM (#30432422)

    Patents and intellectual property are one things.

    But this treaty and others go further than that.

    Dont be so simplistic.

    they already enforce that all countries that trade with the US, must respect international treaties. Copyright and intellectual property was one of the first many many years ago.

    the stuff they are pushing through now is much more focused on addressing open information leakage. They want to gain some level of control over information spread.

    Its not just the US. Its the EU. The EU tends to be more socialist in their agenda, and able to also interpret these treaties for what they are.

    But again, the pressure to sign up to these treaties is on the EU parliament too, because they need to trade with the US.

    Now that the EU has a more solid power base, and the US economy has started to falter it does allow the EU much more wriggle room and negotiation room.

    The danger of course is of the EU simply embraces whole heartedly what the US is trying to achieve with these treaties. In essence the EU then becomes just as draconian as the US.

  • Re:Bring it on (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Archangel Michael ( 180766 ) on Monday December 14, 2009 @12:55PM (#30432536) Journal

    There is yet another way. It is called massive civil disobedience.

    They can't cut us all off. And I dare them to try.

  • by Abcd1234 ( 188840 ) on Monday December 14, 2009 @01:20PM (#30432902) Homepage

    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*

    Clearly you have no understanding of the role of treaties in Canadian law.

    Unlike our American neighbours to the south, treaties have *no legal force on their own*. That's right, they do *not* become the law of the land. Rather, once a treaty is ratified, it's up to the government to then pass laws which harmonize Canadian law with the treaty provisions. But that's *not legally required*. ie, there's nothing stopping the house from simply refusing to pass laws to harmonize Canadian law with our treaty obligations.

  • Re:Bring it on (Score:4, Interesting)

    by macbeth66 ( 204889 ) on Monday December 14, 2009 @01:30PM (#30433022)

    the closed-source guys seem to have better, slicker marketing.


    But when Grandma asks me about this 'new' Linux thing and will it get rid of all these virus things, I know there is hope.

  • by schon ( 31600 ) on Monday December 14, 2009 @01:58PM (#30433348)

    The license under which they are produced allows collaboration and distribution in spite of craziness in other copyright laws.

    It doesn't matter - all it takes is someone who is willing to say "hey, that code infringes our copyright". The "offending" code gets removed, and (after the third time) the person who posted it gets kicked off the net.

    Good luck trying to clear your name when you don't get to use the internet, and you can't sue to get reconnected because the company that made the claim is in another country.

    And if you *do* manage to get it cleared up, the company just says "whoops, I guess I was wrong", and it starts all over again.

  • Re:Bring it on (Score:2, Interesting)

    by FoolishOwl ( 1698506 ) on Monday December 14, 2009 @03:04PM (#30434108) Journal

    An irony in the struggle between FOSS and proprietary software is that for many people, pirating commercial software is a practical necessity, in part because of the efforts of monopolists to enforce their dominance of the market. How often do you see "Familiarity with OpenOffice.org" in a job description? How many student graphic designers, working their way through school with minimum wage jobs, can use GIMP instead of Photoshop for their class work?

    Entertainment media is more complicated, ethically. But given the consolidation of mass media, it's increasingly difficult to find any variety in broadcast music -- a few years ago, there was a much wider range of choices, available legally and freely.

    In effect, DRM is a Sword of Damocles hanging over the heads of nearly everyone.

  • by bmajik ( 96670 ) <matt@mattevans.org> on Monday December 14, 2009 @03:07PM (#30434130) Homepage Journal

    Government is created to try and preserve the rights men were born with.

    I happen to think that I own the toil of my hands and the ingenuity of my mind. What does it mean to own something? Exclusive control of that thing.

    On a desert island, I certainly own the work of my hands and mind. Why should I give up that control just because someone thinks themself my neighbor?

    I shouldn't, and in the United States, at least originally, you weren't asked to.

    It turns out that a large part of the law deals with preserving the intrinsic property rights of individuals -- as the idea of ownership is the most fundamental concept of a free man [certainly, a man must be allowed to own himself! another idea that is unique amongst world governments to the US constitution...]

    Now, unlike the misguided collectivists who beleive that "the workers" produce and therefore should "own" the wealth of the world, hands are of marginal importance compared to minds. My hands are no stronger or more durable than were the first entites that could be rightly called human hands thousands of years ago. The difference between me and them is the foundation of _mental_ output.

    Ideas are what matter. Ideas are what have value. Ideas -- and nothing more than ideas -- are the difference between a humanity full of sky scrapers, planes, a lifespan longer than 40 years, and the cavemen who didn't know how to make fire.

    Intellectual Property is the basic realization that ideas are the most valuable things in human history, and that a man ought to be free to own his ideas -- just like he is when he's alone on an island.

    Creating the appropriate legal protections of a mind's inventions requires much legal anquish and debate. But it is a debate and process that must continue. Attempting to dismiss IP as some fundmentally invalid or non-existant concept shows great contempt for humanity. Not "humanity, the pool of humans", but "humanity -- the essence of what a man is".

    Who is John Galt?

  • by freescv ( 1642459 ) <freescv@@@gmail...com> on Monday December 14, 2009 @04:36PM (#30435164)
    Enjoyed your post but the damage being done by corps vs regular people who want to enjoy digital tv, not from cable but from Internet and are being criminalized for it WILL be fixed, one day... I bought http://www.opensourceg.com/ [opensourceg.com] in hope of finding what hats to help make a daily voting machine online. To reform old bills (fix the damage), to vote on PROPOSED laws (online, all openly /w comments and shit, like slashdot for politics, they inspire me them /. guys) Best 15 bucks I spent. Puts my tribute and appreciation for Linux and Open Source code. I just wonder when the port to government will happen? 30 million Canadians (30,000,000+) 330 million Americans (330,000,000+) 60 million UK Residents (60,000,000+) 21 million Australia People (21,000,000+) Totaling roughly 441,000,000+ people. ALL being controlled by, what, 500 media guys? Even if it IS theft (it's not) it's every day use for most "normal" people online. Criminalizing everyone just further proves how corrupt our Government currently is. Time for an upgrade! Open Source Government! :D
  • by soren100 ( 63191 ) on Monday December 14, 2009 @04:50PM (#30435278)

    My view is, that the Internet by its very definition does not make it possible for such a treaty to be any more that a pipe dream.

    First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.

    So, basically what you're saying is, is that you're at the "ignoring" stage of the whole process?

  • Re:Wow. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Catiline ( 186878 ) <akrumbach@gmail.com> on Monday December 14, 2009 @06:21PM (#30436424) Homepage Journal

    Do you have a single example of someone having law enforcement smash down their door over the type of fair use activities that you've described?

    How quickly we do forget -- Dimitri Skylarov [wikipedia.org] was arrested for enabling the sort of fair use activities described. Note also that "Sklyarov was being arrested for something that was perfectly legal in his jurisdiction" (Russia at the time having no anti-circumvention laws).

    I see the ACTA as an attempt by the Global Powers to make the "decryption loophole" disappear - after all, if it's illegal to make circumvention tools anywhere, the Sklyarov arrest was a perfect execution of justice.

  • by sowth ( 748135 ) * on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @02:45AM (#30441128) Journal

    Not that I am against Freenet, but how is it going to protect you against a "three accusations and your ISP cuts you off" law? In this respect, Freenet will probably screw you. After all, say one freesite hosts 3 images of Mickey Mouse, then all the movie studio "representative" has to do is access them through your node, and you will be cut off.

    But this "three strikes" law is worse. As we have seen with the DMCA, you just need 3 assholes to want to censor you to cut you off. The question is will you be allowed to hook up with another ISP? ...assuming you have more than one broadband ISP in your area.

    What we really need is an adaptive network / communication system independent of the internet. Methods which would allow you to exchange, say a hard (or flash) drive with a friend, and they just connect the drive to their computer. All the data on the drive is sorted through and things which are desirable to your friend are copied to his computer. I'm not just talking about audio and video files, but also stories, books, pictures, even Usenet messages.

    This doesn't have to be hollywood stuff either. If you look in the right places, there are plenty of people who like to create things in their spare time. There are probably programs to do much of this already, but I'm sure they still need some work so the average computer user can run them.

    A similar protocol could be used for intermittent wifi connections too. For example, all the people on the same bus could have their computers in a sort of exchange / sleep mode instead of fully asleep. Their computers would exchange as much info as possible during the bus ride.

    Using these methods, I think one could exchange as much info as on a broadband connection to the internet, without some of the hassle. Though it would have its own hassles, it may be worth it.

As of next Tuesday, C will be flushed in favor of COBOL. Please update your programs.