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Europe To Block ACTA Disconnect Provisions 194

superglaze writes "The European Commission is 'not supporting and will not accept' any attempt to have ACTA (the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) force countries to disconnect people for downloading copyrighted material, a spokesman for the new EU trade commissioner has said. All the signs are that the new commission, which took office earlier this month, intends to take a hard-line stance against US proposals for a filesharing-related disconnection system. 'Three strikes' is allowed in EU countries, but not mandated by the European government itself, and it looks like the new administration wants to keep it that way. From trade commission spokesman John Clancy, quoted in ZDNet UK's article: '[Ac ta] has never been about pursuing infringements by an individual who has a couple of pirated songs on their music player. For several years, the debate has been about what is "commercial scale" [piracy]. EU legislation has left it to each country to define what a commercial scale is and this flexibility should be kept in ACTA.'"
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Europe To Block ACTA Disconnect Provisions

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  • Call Me A Cynic ... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by WrongSizeGlass ( 838941 ) on Friday February 26, 2010 @10:41AM (#31284846)
    ... but there's really now way all these countries are going to agree on everything these treaties propose. Some portions may even be contrary to a country's current laws, let alone their culture's mindset or philosophy.
  • by complacence ( 214847 ) on Friday February 26, 2010 @10:47AM (#31284906)

    But they don't need to agree on everything, do they? Every little point on the agenda that does make it through can be considered a win by the IP lobby. The rest will follow, in time, after people had a chance to get used to the overall new IP climate. (Call me a cynic, too.)

  • Re:What Process? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by headkase ( 533448 ) on Friday February 26, 2010 @10:59AM (#31285048)
    Hopefully, if I am accused: and eventually exonerated it will result in a civil suit against the accusee where the lawyers get rich as usual and I get a pittance. Enough of those costs is called a "feedback" mechanism. Something that appears to only be in favor of one party right now: corporations.
  • by Rakshasa Taisab ( 244699 ) on Friday February 26, 2010 @10:59AM (#31285056) Homepage

    What makes you think they have failed to agree on the case of Greece?

    Not only did Greece cook the books to a degree that only Italy can match, but they also have a huge public sector and pension burden together with a very corrupt system. The damage to the EU if they were to just go in and rescue Greece to 'save' the Euro would be a huge liability that would lead to similar cases happening again.

    No, more likely they are agreeing to fail to agree because Greece needs to be kicked into fixing their system. (not to mention that stand is popular amongst the masses despite any depreciation of the Euro)

  • Re:Go Pirate Party? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Ltap ( 1572175 ) on Friday February 26, 2010 @11:01AM (#31285068) Homepage
    Actually, most of the time the best tool for the job is open-source. They care about price, you know.

    Also, people need to proselytize, or else OSS gets nowhere.
  • by jimicus ( 737525 ) on Friday February 26, 2010 @11:06AM (#31285108)

    All this means is that international lobbying doesn't have a nice easy single point they can go to in order to get similar laws to be enacted in all EU member states.

    Being as there is no EU-wide proposal to explicitly ban member states from imposing internet disconnection, it follows that the lobbyists will talk to individual countries instead.

  • Re:Go Pirate Party? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by h00manist ( 800926 ) on Friday February 26, 2010 @11:10AM (#31285166) Journal

    Somewhere in the middle is the common ground.

    The common ground may be what's politically realistic in the short term, that's just a given. Best solution is usually something else however. In the case of IP, it would involve aiming to modify laws. In my opinion, restricting the validity of IP would be a good start compromise.

  • Of course it does. If you purchase MS software, they have both revenue and market share. If you pirate MS software, they don't get revenue, but they do get market share. If you use $NON_MS_SOFTWARE, their competitors gain market share (and possibly revenue, if you buy it). If Microsoft (or any other company, for that matter) has to choose between revenue+market share, market share, or neither, their choices will generally be in that order.

  • by h00manist ( 800926 ) on Friday February 26, 2010 @11:37AM (#31285476) Journal
    I live in Sao Paulo, in a middle class neighborhood where the law sort of works, work in a cyber cafe. I have had policemen, who can barely double click an icon, walk in insinuating they will confiscate everything because there is pirate software. They are often paid to go away, they want money. A cybercafe owner told me he once had all hard drives of the place confiscated for months, because they found a few mp3 files on hard drives. Been to places where downloading *all* mp3 files is banned. All access to CD burners or pendrives is blocked out of fear of the copyright police. Cybercafes typically have no software at all on workstations, only duly-licensed windows xp, costing half a month's pay for the typical worker, and OpenOffice. Nothing else. So what I see is, copyright law results in driving access to digital information underground. Linux is rare in private-run cybercafe's, because of ActiveX, MSN messenger, and user culture hooked on ms-windows. Government-sponsored net cafes do run linux, and are full, mostly because they are free, but there are not many of those. Cybercafes on the outskirts of town, poorer neighborhoods, have all kinds of software, all pirated. everything in these places is pirated, the net connection, the electricity, even the land usually has no title. Result --- piracy = free intelectual property = low costs = competitive advantage. Go China!
  • by Rakshasa Taisab ( 244699 ) on Friday February 26, 2010 @11:38AM (#31285496) Homepage

    There are a few more Member States heading the same way, yes.

    On the short term you can probably say it hurts the EU to be so reluctant to help Greece due to the fear investors have for those other countries to also default with no help. Yet a few of those countries are actually to a degree relying on the safety net they think are there in order to avoid unpopular political decisions.

    The EU as a whole will not benefit from such a situation, and is likely better served with making an example of Greece despite the short-term damage it will do. This does however not mean the EU should let those countries go bankrupt.

    When the IMF gets involved they make some rather extensive demands on the country receiving the money, which due to political reasons the rich EU member states would have a harder time making. So in some ways it is better for them to stall until Greece has no choice but to turn to IMF for help. Despite the blow to the European Project image, this is more of a concern for those who are overly concerned with saving face.

  • by characterZer0 ( 138196 ) on Friday February 26, 2010 @11:46AM (#31285596)

    there's nothing to prevent them from doing that.

    Sure there is. Countries will start leaving the EU if it imposes laws that the member countries do not like.

    It remains to be seen if the EU member states that think they can leave at will run into the same situation as the US member states that thought they could leave at will in 1860.

  • by DragonWriter ( 970822 ) on Friday February 26, 2010 @11:48AM (#31285618)

    ... but there's really now way all these countries are going to agree on everything these treaties propose. Some portions may even be contrary to a country's current laws, let alone their culture's mindset or philosophy.

    Countries agree to treaties that are contrary to their pre-existing laws all the time; depending on the provisions of the treaty and the fundamental legal structure of the government, either the mere act of ratifying the treaty changes the law or subsequent conforming legislation is required, but it is a regular occurrence.

    The "mindset and philosophy" is usually a bigger issue than preexisting law, and that's mostly because of public political pressure on the governments involved. But if you keep a treaty secret, that reduces the ability of public political pressure to be brought to bear against it.

  • by devent ( 1627873 ) on Friday February 26, 2010 @11:59AM (#31285772) Homepage

    How can you distinguish between illegally available copyrighted material and legally material before you downloaded it? How can I know that a publisher of a software, video or song is publishing it illegally and not have the permission of the copyright owner?

    If I go, for example, to http://www.gog.com/en/frontpage/ [gog.com] (where I can buy older games and download it) or http://www.abandonia.com/ [abandonia.com] (where I can download abandoned games), how can I know if the publisher have the permissions to do so?

    After this "three strikes law" I can be disconnected without doing anything wrong, except to believe that the mentioned sites have the permission to publish the games.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Friday February 26, 2010 @12:04PM (#31285824)

    Yes, they do. And in more than one countries this caused a lot of headaches because they have/had laws stating explicitly that ISPs must not store that data beyond what's absolutely necessary for billing purposes. At least one country already has a lawsuit up its ass because they couldn't get that mess sorted in time.

  • by MrTripps ( 1306469 ) on Friday February 26, 2010 @12:19PM (#31286046)
    To the US media industry, piracy is anything that does not make them money. Making your own YouTube video. That's piracy. Using open source software: piracy. In the Demolition Man future even a snug with the misses will be piracy if you don't use their DRMed interface gadget (which pay on a per use and per monthly basis).
  • by ljw1004 ( 764174 ) on Friday February 26, 2010 @12:33PM (#31286326)

    Something's wrong when we think that DOWNLOADING is the problem. All the RIAA cases (and their massive financial demands) have arisen from UPLOADING not downloading.

  • by unity100 ( 970058 ) on Friday February 26, 2010 @12:40PM (#31286436) Homepage Journal

    The following excerpts of text are taken from a person's comments in a (then) ongoing discussion in comments section of a CNN news piece about digital 'piracy'. The guy

    was arguing with copyright activists and shills, and have made innumerable good points to the ultimate end of silencing almost the most shrill shill. i have taken the

    liberty of gathering his comments, and i will be posting it on discussion in slashdot in relevant subjects, so that it will help many people who are having difficulties

    in understanding how flawed the copyright business and intellectual property is, and how little sympathy one should have for those perpetrating and enforcing them.

    These comments are krehator's comments. they are listed in a last to first fashion, the first comments being at the bottom of the text, and the last comment he made being

    on top (directly below


    The truth anti-pirates don't want anyone to believe? I'll use myself as an example. I have been a pirate for decades. I know more about pirating and the facts behind it

    than any of the anti-pirates on this sound-off who spew fallacies without any experience.

    I download and share movies, software, and rarely music. I'm not a big music fan but I will admit that music is highly pirated. I have no interest in pirated books and

    honestly have never witnessesed a big demand for it, outside of students in college. Plus, there is a lot of free material on the Internet which is better. I also use a

    lot of freeware "open source" software, because it is quickly becoming better than commercial products.

    I support freeware and open source and I do donate to those causes because they EARN my loyalty. Every Operating Systems I have installed is legal. I use Linux

    distributions on many of my computers, instead of Windows, because only computer dummies pay for faulty products! Microsoft should be sued for knowingly selling faulty

    products. However, according to anti-pirates, businesses are allowed to do that. Only people must live up to moral standards. Wait a minute......aren't businesses

    operated by people? Hmmmmm.


    I pirate (directly through me) approximately 100 gigabytes of mixed data each month. It varies depending on what is out there. I don't get it from torrents, P2P, or web

    sites. Those are not the most reliable, secure, fastest, or primary routes. Those are distractions for novice computer users and the media looking for a story. The

    primary routes for pirated data cannot be stopped. Copy protection is not designed to stop hardcore pirates. It is meant to stop the Average Joe from easily sharing with

    his friend. A lot of pirating work is done to enable the Average Joe, who then initiates a wave of sharing. Look, some things are true even if you don't want to believe


    The deeper inner workings of the pirate community are secured better than the launch codes for missile silos. The people getting caught are low level people who get

    replaced in minutes. Anti-pirates have no idea what they are talking about when they try to uncover the real pirate world or describe our motivations. They are akin to

    cavemen describing an airplane as an "evil hungry fire bird". Most of what anti-pirates and the industry tells the media and consumers is smoke and mirrors to defend

    their own greedy immorality. Pirates get labeled as evil, while greedy and dishonest companies play victim. "oh poor us, we can only make 1 billion dollars this year".

    Shyeah, that wins support from consumers and small businesses living on a real budget (laugh).

    Of all the data I download per month, 80% is not even for me, and will never be used by me. It is shared with others like me who may or may not value what I have. Of the

    20% that interests me, only a very small portion will be deemed as worthy of keeping, after being thoroughly tested. I may find a single good program out of a 1,000 I

    download. If that program is superb, and provides m

  • by u38cg ( 607297 ) <calum@callingthetune.co.uk> on Friday February 26, 2010 @12:48PM (#31286598) Homepage
    The main reason, not surprisingly, is it is proving quite difficult to explain to German voters why they should have to postpone their retirement age to 67 and bail out Greece, while some Greeks can get out at 53.
  • Re:Go Pirate Party? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 26, 2010 @01:34PM (#31287452)

    > mouse-driven copy/paste

    If that's how you rack up 10k lines of code then it's surely all shite, of the really smelly variety.

    > someone working in Emacs

    In our shop the emacen are also the top performers... by miles. Not having to take one hand of the keyboard all the time is a major time saver.

    Oh, and beyond the IDEs... one word, valgrind. Open, free... and has improved our code to the point where we have literally saved millions of dollars in hardware cost... we quite simply did not have to buy more gear just to grow our business... and virtually all of the crappy code that was identified was the product of cut-n-paste zombies working away on VS as if they were filling out a form rather than crafting a system.

  • Re:Go Pirate Party? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Friday February 26, 2010 @01:51PM (#31287770) Journal

    >>>This is more what I see here on slashdot. Somewhere in the middle is the common ground.

    Yes middle ground is better. I like to use the commercial Windows OS because it is the "default" OS that everyone uses and very well-supported (I'm still using Windows 98!). But I use open-source for everything else because I'm too cheap to open my wallet, and don't see the need to buy software when OSS alternatives are "good enough" for web browsing, word processing, movie watching, and so on.

    trivia -

    My first word processor was RUNscript typed out of a magazine. It wasn't pretty but it was good enough for book reports. I later upgraded to GEOSwrite and all my teachers were amazed by the pretty fonts. "Is this from a Macintosh?" "No Mrs. Johns... it's from a $500 computer* called a Commodore 64." "Wow that's a lot cheaper than the $4000 I spent on my Mac." Ahhhh... nostalgia. :-)

    * $200 for the computer plus $300 for the floppy drive

  • Re:Go Pirate Party? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jc42 ( 318812 ) on Friday February 26, 2010 @02:10PM (#31288118) Homepage Journal

    Actually, I'm working at home right now, so nobody but my ISP (and the NSA and google ;-) can see what I'm doing online. It's becoming fairly common for companies to save IT expenses by having everyone who can work at home. It's sorta like a return to the bad old days of "cottage industry", where most people work at home and are responsible for all their expenses, but the megacorps that control the "market" are in charge^Wcontrol of the distribution of goods (and profits).

    I do have a few demos on my home machine's web server of the fun things that can be done to you by a site you visit if you have javascript enabled. I tend to visit unknown sites with firefox, where I have NoScript and a few other blockers installed.

  • Re:Go Pirate Party? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Friday February 26, 2010 @02:26PM (#31288396)

    I was always trying to push hard against such musical chairs rotations. The argument that usually sealed the deal was that people are people and will try to stay in contact with collegues they like. The 1% productivity push because you move A closer to B because he needs the resource B provides more than C who he switched offices with is nulled the moment he goes two floors down for his coffee break to hang out with his old buddies.

    And considering that people made more coffee breaks than trips to the printer (yes, it was a government job, how could you tell?)...

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