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Making Sense of ACTA 155

Hodejo1 writes "This past week Guadalajara, Mexico hosted the 7th secret meeting of ACTA proponents who continue to ignore demands worldwide to open the debate to the public. Piecing together official and leaked documents from various global sources, Michael Geist has coalesced it all into a five part ACTA Guide that offers structured insight into what these talks might foist upon the populace at large. 'Questions about ACTA typically follow a familiar pattern — what is it (Part One of the ACTA Guide listing the timeline of talks), do you have evidence (Part Two), why is this secret (Part Three), followed by what would ACTA do to my country's laws (Part Four)? Countering the momentum behind ACTA will require many to speak out" (Part Five).'"
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Making Sense of ACTA

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  • Acronyms... (Score:3, Informative)

    by RocketRocketship ( 1416283 ) on Sunday January 31, 2010 @03:48PM (#30972862)
    Not mentioned in the summary or the first two linked articles is what ACTA actually is. It stands for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. []
  • by Patch86 ( 1465427 ) on Sunday January 31, 2010 @06:19PM (#30974506)

    The British Motor Corporation (/British Leyland/Rover MG) will back you up on that one. Unions are wonderful, but the overzealous ones have killed off many a healthy local industry.

    In the case above, the union kept making demands, and the incompetent management never managed to balance them out properly, in the end the company was busy producing the fewest, shoddiest, most expensive excuses for automobiles available this side of the iron curtain, before duly going bust for the final time.

    (Car analogy five?)

  • by zaivala ( 887815 ) on Sunday January 31, 2010 @06:38PM (#30974674) Homepage
    I have just read this article and two layers down in links, and have YET to find what "ACTA" is or means. Please add this information to the article -- not all of us can remember the tons of alphabet soup we are being fed.
  • by Zerth ( 26112 ) on Sunday January 31, 2010 @07:31PM (#30975126)

    Have you noticed that, with the increased mention of Somalian piracy, that this winter has been a bit chill?

    I think it is a sign from the FSM, but I'm not sure if it is positive of negative.

  • Re:Fuck ACTA (Score:3, Informative)

    by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday January 31, 2010 @08:29PM (#30975700) Journal

    I have NO problem with immigrants, what I have a problem with is slaves. H1-Bs are nothing more than indentured servants brought in to lower the wages for everyone else. You bring in someone from India that paid maybe 12k for a master's degree, pay him peanuts and give him NO recourse or he's on the next boat back home, and we are supposed to compete with THAT? It is like saying "We should just compete with Chinese manufacturing" while ignoring they can use slaves and political prisoners, can poison their workers, and dump toxic waste into the air and water at will.

    So you misunderstand me. I have no problem with those that want to come over here legally and become US citizens. No problem whatsoever. What I have a problem with is H1-Bs and illegals being brought in and paid peanuts while so many Americans and barely surviving. Several of my neighbors are seriously talking about buying tents and living in the woods, simply because they are nearly out of money and there is simply no work of ANY kind to be found, yet you go to the construction sites and there is ONE white foreman and a whole bunch of illegals. One of my relatives said "maybe they are just Mexican workers". I said "Oh really?" and yelled "Immigra!" and watched as the ENTIRE workcrew ran off like the hounds of hell were chasing them. Now THAT I DO have a serious fucking problem with!

  • by AthanasiusKircher ( 1333179 ) on Sunday January 31, 2010 @09:12PM (#30976112)

    There is no requirement for public debate or notice in passing legislation or signing treaties.

    And in general, we have no need for more "notice." What "debate" happens is mostly wheeling and dealing behind the scenes before the bill comes to the floor, and any "debate" on the floor is usually for soundbites for the evening news. I'm not sure how one could require an "actual" debate, except through media and individuals being more critical during the process... which they can be.

    Most non-trivial pieces of legislation take months to go through both houses and get to the President's desk for signature. Once a bill is introduced, it's a matter of public record, and current legislation under consideration can be found on the websites of both houses of Congress.

    Yes, there are last minute amendments, but the negative effect there is usually more about pork rather than some more nefarious purpose... and there's generally still a delay while the bill winds its way through the other house or takes a few days before the President has to decide on it.

    But the vast majority of this stuff is available for anyone who wants to look, and usually weeks or even months ahead of time. No one looks.

    As for the implication that secret meetings are a common occurrence... they aren't. The Senate has only held secret sessions a couple dozen times in the past century, and the House has only had less than a handful since the early days of the US.

    So, I'm not sure where this great public outcry against secrecy is... 99.9% of the stuff is already there (and most of the actual secret meetings had to deal with national security briefings). That doesn't mean there isn't a potential for abuse, but I'm not sure why everyone's acting like what Congress does is some big secret or that they are continuously hiding things from the public.

  • Re:Fuck ACTA (Score:2, Informative)

    by the_one(2) ( 1117139 ) on Monday February 01, 2010 @04:57AM (#30978608)

    Exactly why do Europeans care that we do not have national healthcare? They care because they see it as the US rejecting their ideals. I see the same people posting that they will be happy when the US collapses and it's people talk about how we should all have national healthcare.

    No, it's because we realize the stupidity and inefficiencies of your system and feel sorry for you.

1 Angstrom: measure of computer anxiety = 1000 nail-bytes