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Censorship Your Rights Online

ACTA Treaty Released 205

roju writes "The full text of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was released today. It differs from the earlier leaks in that the negotiating stance of each country has been scrubbed. Preliminary analysis is up at Ars, which warns that 'Several sections of the ACTA draft show that rightsholders can obtain an injunction just by showing that infringement is "imminent," even if it hasn't happened yet.'"
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ACTA Treaty Released

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @09:55AM (#31922228)


    The register has one of the few reviews of this draft that doesn't resort to mindless hysteria. Makes for a good read.

  • What rights? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Pewpdaddy ( 1364159 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @09:57AM (#31922250)
    I love the assumption of guilt. Welcome to America "Land of the free, home of the guilty." Theres only 6 billion citizens, if 100,000 of them commit "Copyright Infringement" we must punish the masses.
  • Translation? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by cvnautilus ( 1793340 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @10:12AM (#31922470)
    "Each party shall provide that its judicial authorities shall have the authority at the request of the applicant, to issue an interlocutory injunction intended to prevent any imminent infringement of an intellectual property right [copyright or related rights or trademark]. An interlocutory injunction may also be issued, under the same conditions, against an [infringing] intermediary whose services are being used by a third party to infringe an intellectual property right. Each party shall also provide that provisional measures may be issued, even before the commencement of proceedings on the merits, to preserve relevant evidence in respect of the alleged infringement. Such measures may include inter alia the detailed description, the taking of samples or the physical seizure of documents or of the infringing goods." Um...What?
  • by SgtChaireBourne ( 457691 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @10:19AM (#31922574) Homepage

    Buy stocks in companies that build jails . . .

    There you hit the nail on the head. Once the US moved to a privatize prison system, we ended up with an economic incentive to increase crime while at the same time jacking up penalties for increasingly trivial non-white collar crime. We also now have a whole industry related to shipping, importing, exporting and warehousing prisoners across state lines and even from one region of the country to the next.

  • Powerless (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Adrian Lopez ( 2615 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @10:26AM (#31922680) Homepage

    Countries negotiate away our rights with impunity, the reason they get away with it being that citizens -- myself included -- have neither the guts nor the means to stage an armed uprising against today's leading governments and often have no clue what's going on anyway. Is there any hope for freedom in a world where the powerful conspire to restrict it against the best interests of the people?

  • by Richard_at_work ( 517087 ) <richardprice@gm a i l . com> on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @10:27AM (#31922698)

    In the USA, simply conspiring isn't illegal unless you have also performed at least one overt act in furtherance of that agreement [wikipedia.org]. Few people are ever punished for simple conspiracy, unless the final act has been done. In most convictions, there is only enough evidence to convince the lesser participants of conspiring (buying the gun, driving the getaway car) and not doing the actual act (murder, robbery). Even with terrorism and paranoia that follows, people have generally had to have shown they bought the fuel oil and fertilizer (or equivalent deed) to get a conviction. There are obviously exceptions, but they are more rare than mystery novels would have you believe.

    Actually, if you read the Wikipedia article it says that the Supreme Court has ruled 'common law did not require proof of an overt step, and the need to prove it for a federal conspiracy conviction requires Congress to specifically require proof of an overt step to accomplish the conspiracy. It is a legislative choice on a statute by statute basis.', and indeed several statutes have been ruled to not require overt step.

    Also: 'Conspiracy law usually does not require proof of specific intent by the defendants to injure any specific person to establish an illegal agreement. Instead, usually the law only requires the conspirators have agreed to engage in a certain illegal act. This is sometimes described as a "general intent" to violate the law.' from the Wikipedia article, under the US section. State jurisdictions differ on requirement of an overt act or step.

  • by Joe The Dragon ( 967727 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @10:40AM (#31922946)

    So no 1th, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, Amendment under this.

    As this lets them cut you off with out a trail by jury and can be used to stop free speech.

    If some where to make a web page get it shut down take it all the way to the supreme court as there is not way that this law will be able to stand with all the Amendments that is takes away.

  • by qwerty8ytrewq ( 1726472 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @10:50AM (#31923118) Journal
    The whole treaty smells of desperation and fear. The Trad whiteshirts must be seeing their careers in copyright law dissolving in the next 5 years. Copyright law is going to end up as a red flag career http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_flag_laws [wikipedia.org] unless IP is engaged with in modern frameworks. Not that I will cry any tears for the copyright crocodiles.
  • by gink1 ( 1654993 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @10:54AM (#31923200)

    "Several sections of the ACTA draft show that rightsholders can obtain an injunction just by showing that infringement is 'imminent,' even if it hasn't happened yet"

    This is exactly what you would expect when only one party (Big Media) has any true input into a law. It seems the rightsholders get an injunction if they make a argument that infringement might happen.

    Could this injunction end up as one of the 3 strikes the poor consumers have? If so a consumer who had downloaded something before could get another "strike" without even downloading a thing. Especially since everything is handled without the Justice System being involved (railroaded).

    About right for the new world of American Big Media internet. New Zealand anyone?

  • Re:Not a big change (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Pharmboy ( 216950 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @10:59AM (#31923288) Journal

    Prior restraint is something that is looked down upon in our judicial system, something that should only be used in the most extreme cases, and with damn good cause and serious consequences without the restraint. This treaty gives another point of authority for it, and justifies it under more moderate situations. MPAA/RIAA's life or liberty is not being threatened when someone infringes (so sue them), but when someone is restrained in this fashion, all too often their liberty is.

    In the SCO case (and other potential future cases), prior restraint would have caused havok and great financial burden on many, many people, and in the end, the company/person making the claim LOST the case. Prior restraint can (and will) be used, not to prevent loss, but simply to put a chilling effect on free speech and fair use.

    You are correct, we can already use prior restraint in the US where it is appropriate, and it is already abused enough as it is. The countries that don't, that is their decision. Make it easier to use it is NOT "a good thing", particularly for free speech.

  • Re:Prior restraint? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:05AM (#31923420) Homepage

    More dangerous is the definition of what is or is not significant copyright infringement, especially when it is linked to "no direct or indirect motivation of financial gain", using P2P would be considered significant due to the number of people the infringing content is made available to and hence a criminal not a civil offence, which is their obvious intent. Now add seizure of assets "any related materials and implements used in the commission of the alleged offence", which of course could not only includes the computer but the house within which the computer was housed.

    Most conspicuous in it's absence was anything related to false charges being placed and, suitable remedial penalties, for infringing free speech rights and, invasion of privacy in false investigations.

    To rub salt into the wound, "Parties shall put in place a special allocation Fund to finance ACTA initiatives on capacity building and technical assistance", they expect the tax payer to pay for it all, including the cost of forcing it on "developing countries" (I would assume those a countries rich in primary resources and exploitable labour).

  • by yuna49 ( 905461 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @12:27PM (#31924994)

    I searched the entire document for "fair use" and came up with only one entry, footnote 47:

    "[For greater certainty, the Parties understand that third party liability means liability for any person who authorizes for a direct financial benefit, induces through or by conduct directed to promoting infringement, or knowingly and materially aids any act of copyright or related rights infringement by another. Further, the Parties also understand that the application of third party liability may include consideration of exceptions or limitations to exclusive rights that are confined to certain special cases that do not conflict with a normal exploitation of the work, performance or phonogram, and do not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the right holder, including fair use, fair dealing, or their equivalents.] At least one delegation opposes this footnote."

    I wonder which delegation(s) that is (are)? If footnote 47, or some equivalent, does not appear in the final version, would we have a conflict between ACTA and 17 USC?

  • by cdrguru ( 88047 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @12:55PM (#31925700) Homepage

    I think the concept of "fair use" and its exceptions to copyright law are pretty much a US concept alone. Other countries have things somewhat similar but with different specifics.

    This would (of course) be implemented as a treaty which would be considered to override any existing law in the US. Pretty much the same as WTO overrides any "protectionism" that might benefit US workers.

Thufir's a Harkonnen now.