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Central Europe Countries Continue to Oppose ACTA 111

tykev writes "The Czech government suspended the ratification process of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, ACTA, said Prime Minister Petr Necas today. The government wants to further analyze the issue. There were a number of public demonstrations against ACTA in several Czech towns, and some Czech Euro MP's oppose ACTA as being 'completely wide of the mark'. Earlier, Poland announced its intention to suspend the ratification process as well. In the meantime, the website of the ruling Czech Civic Democratic Party was attacked and defaced by Anonymous who also publicly released personal data of the party's members."
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Central Europe Countries Continue to Oppose ACTA

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  • Futile (Score:3, Interesting)

    by busyqth ( 2566075 ) on Monday February 06, 2012 @01:24PM (#38943569)
    "Further analyzing the issue" is irrelevant. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.
    • Re:Futile (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TallDarkMan ( 1073350 ) on Monday February 06, 2012 @01:28PM (#38943617) Homepage
      That's political speak for "re-evaluating the impact on future popularity/votes" and "assessing lobbyist monetary income levels"
      • by slick7 ( 1703596 )

        That's political speak for "re-evaluating the impact on future popularity/votes" and "assessing lobbyist monetary income levels"

        Finally someone to stand up to the Corporate states of America. Wait til we do the same.
        End The Fed.
        End The IRS.
        End the Corruption.

    • Re:Futile (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 06, 2012 @01:30PM (#38943637)

      One nice thing about Europe is that representatives of independent countries often vote independently. Unlike in the U.S.A., where members of congress are supposed to vote for their district or state's interests, but instead just go with whatever corporation or national lobby promises the most money. (This reminds me that I need to order fresh flowers for the 10th amendment's grave.)

      • Re:Futile (Score:5, Insightful)

        by K. S. Kyosuke ( 729550 ) on Monday February 06, 2012 @01:38PM (#38943719)

        One nice thing about Europe is that representatives of independent countries often vote independently. Unlike in the U.S.A., where members of congress are supposed to vote for their district or state's interests, but instead just go with whatever corporation or national lobby promises the most money. (This reminds me that I need to order fresh flowers for the 10th amendment's grave.)

        Actually, I'm deeply suspicious that it is yet another "more bribes, please" situation for our politicians. :/

      • You really think this is good? You know, when someone is independent, he is actually independent of you, and free to take money from anyone.........
        • by Anonymous Coward

          I would rather have the chance for someone to be bribed than have institutionalized bribery dominating the system like we do with congress. That cultural borders make it more difficult for one lobbyist or company to know how to properly lube up all the representatives in the E.U. is a very good thing; I'd say it's also a very good thing that those same borders eliminate the pressure for representatives to fall in line with a political party that has half of the votes.

    • We know it's irrelevant, that's why the protests scheduled for this saturday will proceed as planned.
  • Futile (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 06, 2012 @01:25PM (#38943575)

    If all we do is oppose, then some battles we'll win, others we'll lose, but the front line is only going to tighten around us until we are nothing but obedient corporate servants. What we need to do is strike back at the politicians and remind them that they are serving the interests of all the population, and not the interest of special groups who would like the free market to bend down for them and give them money just because they feel they're entitled to it.

    • by unity100 ( 970058 ) on Monday February 06, 2012 @01:46PM (#38943817) Homepage Journal

      What we need to do is strike back at the politicians and remind them that they are serving the interests of all the population

      they know very well who they should be serving. they are NOT choosing to serve who they should be serving. instead, they choose whomever pays them.

      the difference of the central european countries is that, there is still a lot of generations currently at the age of running government, corporations etc, who has grown up during the communist era with at least some ideals. you wont find those in anglo-american countries. hence, the opposition from central europe.

      • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Monday February 06, 2012 @02:21PM (#38944249)

        the difference of the central european countries is that, there is still a lot of generations currently at the age of running government, corporations etc, who has grown up during the communist era with at least some ideals. you wont find those in anglo-american countries. hence, the opposition from central europe.

        Actually, the main difference is that we bribe our politicians, not some lobbyists.

        Well, actually, considering how deep our conservatives are in the bribery swamp, I guess that's not correct. Let's say it's optional, not mandatory like in the US. Here, you get your campaigning expenses reimbursed from tax money if you happen to get more than x% (with x being somewhere between 0.5 and 3 in most countries that have this system) of the votes. That's doable for most halfway serious political parties.

        The point is that we're not as used to seeing politicians get cozy with business tycoons as the US people are. For us, it's still reeking of some shady deals, of lobbying (don't say that word aloud here, it's often used synonymously with corruption), of, well, corruption. We have a party that's more or less known to be the political arm of the industry, and even THEY don't dare to be seen shaking hands (or worse) with business leaders.

        And, frankly, I prefer it that way. Politicians will be bought. One way or another. Campaigning costs money, and someone has to foot the bill, a bill that no ordinary person (hell, even a well off person) cannot foot. He will be bought.

        So it's better that OUR pockets buy him.

    • by F69631 ( 2421974 ) on Monday February 06, 2012 @01:52PM (#38943903)

      I don't know... While it's common (especially in USA) to claim that all politicians are scum, let's look at the European Parliament's stance on ACTA, as supported by something like 98% of the members in 2010. European Parliament resolution of 10 March 2010 on the transparency and state of play of the ACTA negotiations []. The relevant parts:

      1. Points out that since 1 December 2009 the Commission has had a legal obligation to inform Parliament immediately and fully at all stages of international negotiations;

      2. Expresses its concern over the lack of a transparent process in the conduct of the ACTA negotiations, a state of affairs at odds with the letter and spirit of the TFEU; is deeply concerned that no legal base was established before the start of the ACTA negotiations and that parliamentary approval for the negotiating mandate was not sought;

      3. Calls on the Commission and the Council to grant public and parliamentary access to ACTA negotiation texts and summaries, in accordance with the Treaty and with Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of 30 May 2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents;

      4. Calls on the Commission and the Council to engage proactively with ACTA negotiation partners to rule out any further negotiations which are confidential as a matter of course and to inform Parliament fully and in a timely manner about its initiatives in this regard; expects the Commission to make proposals prior to the next negotiation round in New Zealand in April 2010, to demand that the issue of transparency is put on the agenda of that meeting and to refer the outcome of the negotiation round to Parliament immediately following its conclusion;

      5. Stresses that, unless Parliament is immediately and fully informed at all stages of the negotiations, it reserves its right to take suitable action, including bringing a case before the Court of Justice in order to safeguard its prerogatives;

      6. Deplores the calculated choice of the parties not to negotiate through well-established international bodies, such as WIPO and WTO, which have established frameworks for public information and consultation;

      7. Calls on the Commission to conduct an impact assessment of the implementation of ACTA with regard to fundamental rights and data protection, ongoing EU efforts to harmonise IPR enforcement measures, and e-commerce, prior to any EU agreement on a consolidated ACTA treaty text, and to consult with Parliament in a timely manner about the results of the assessment;

      8. Welcomes affirmations by the Commission that any ACTA agreement will be limited to the enforcement of existing IPRs, with no prejudice for the development of substantive IP law in the European Union;

      9. Calls on the Commission to continue the negotiations on ACTA and limit them to the existing European IPR enforcement system against counterfeiting; considers that further ACTA negotiations should include a larger number of developing and emerging countries, with a view to reaching a possible multilateral level of negotiation;

      10. Urges the Commission to ensure that the enforcement of ACTA provisions – especially those on copyright enforcement procedures in the digital environment – are fully in line with the acquis communautaire ; demands that no personal searches will be conducted at EU borders and requests full clarification of any clauses that would allow for warrantless searches and confiscation of information storage devices such as laptops, cell phones and MP3 players by border and customs authorities;

      11. Considers that in order to respect fundamental rights, such as the right to freedom of expression and the right to privacy, while fully observing the principle of subsidiarity, the proposed agreement should not make it possible for any so-called ‘three-strikes’

      • +1 informative, thanks for posting that.

        But...if all that's true then how come we're still voting on it nearly two years later?

    • Re:Futile (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Leolo ( 568145 ) on Monday February 06, 2012 @01:54PM (#38943917) Homepage

      They say that the best defence is an offence. Why not go on the a counter-attack. Let's make Internet access, or simply access to adequate telecommunication, a fundamental human right. This would protect net-neutrality and work against arbitrary disconnection laws.

      • Re:Futile (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Monday February 06, 2012 @02:01PM (#38944021)
        That is a really, really stupid idea. When it comes to real rights such as freedom of expression or freedom of religion there is nothing that I am not forced to promote that, only not to trample the rights of others. In no way am I forced to agree with them, to pay money to help them put up billboards or go with them on protest marches. With a "right" to internet I'm forced to pay for the lifestyle of someone else. If someone wants to choose to live far away from others in a remote location, why should I be forced to help lay fiber or cable for them to have the "right" to internet?

        A better solution would be net neutrality is required if you use public land or public owned cables to run your ISP. Because it allows for the most amount of net neutrality (nearly all ISPs use public owned cables to do business with customers) but allows the greatest amount of freedom (if the ISP doesn't want to implement net neutrality don't use public land or cables).
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by g0bshiTe ( 596213 )
          If they chose to live in a remote location, no one is forcing them. If internet connectivity became a right, then they are covered as long as they have existing phone lines. Let them enjoy dial up. It's connectivity. No one says it's got to be high speed.

          I do agree with you though, it should not be a right. It should however be free from any one governments influence. That's not what it was created for.
        • Re:Futile (Score:5, Informative)

          by msobkow ( 48369 ) on Monday February 06, 2012 @03:26PM (#38945107) Homepage Journal

          Remember the telephone? Electricity?

          Government mandates and sponsorship are what got the province of Saskatchewan serviced with those facilities, and in the '70s, my grandparents finally got electricity and a phone while I was a kid. It's well within MOST people's lifetimes to remember that infrastructure has to be supported, not boondoggled with cries of "why should I pay" by selfish yokels in the cities.

          • Still, explain to me why I should have to pay for you to have phone/central grid electricity in Saskatchewan when I choose not to live there? You have the freedom to live where you want to and some of those areas it makes little sense to have central power grids or landline phones. Its one of the trade offs with living out in the middle of nowhere.

            As for electricity, government sponsorships is the entire reason why we have this sudden push for immature "green" energy. In the US before dear dictator FDR'
            • Re:Futile (Score:5, Insightful)

              by msobkow ( 48369 ) on Monday February 06, 2012 @08:02PM (#38947887) Homepage Journal

              You DON'T pay for it. The people of Saskatchewan did.

              But why should the Saskatchewan city dwellers pay?

              So the farmers can produce food.
              So the farmers can live like human beings.
              So the small towns can be home to small businesses instead of congesting everything in the cities.
              So the farmers can run the equipment they need to do the job.

              But you don't really care about that, do you? Well, good luck surviving in the cities without food if the farmers all go belly up because they can't use the internet to sell their crops, find parts, locate equipment, review new equipment, etc.

              THAT's why you shouldn't be a selfish, navel-gazing jerk about subsidizing rural development.

            • Government solutions are absolutely the best for natural monopolies.

              Saskatchewan's state-run electric, gas, and telephone companies are the reason it has some of the lowest rates in the country. All this despite having very low population density, which make the servicing costs much higher.

              When the horrible evil socialists came to power there, shortly after WWII, there was basically no asphalt, electricity, or telephone outside of city limits. No private companies would step up, as it was far too long term

          • Forget those, how about the US Postal Service? It was mandated in the US Constitution (much to the chagrin of today's Teabaggers), with the requirement that it provide service equally to everyone in the nation, no matter where they lived. The Founders knew that good communications were essential to a healthy democracy, and with mail being the most advanced communications form at the time, they enshrined it in the Constitution and prevented one's location from being a barrier to communicating, by "socialis

        • You are creating a strawman here. The government doesn't provide the means to utilize rights so they wouldn't be required to provide internet access. If you are born without a tongue the government doesn't pay for the surgery to make one. If your tongue gets cut off the government doesn't foot the bill to sew it back on. Making internet access a right prevents the government from turning it off when people have it. It doesn't require the government to provide the access in the first place.

          I would go farther

    • by tobiah ( 308208 )

      If you remove the politicians who are selling out, they'll just be replaced by other sellouts. It's not enough to defeat bad laws as they come up, new laws affirming the freedom of data need to be fought for and won. The best defense is a good offense, and that is something sorely lacking in the IP wars. And the great difficulty with mounting that offense, is deciding what the objectives should be.

  • by sadness203 ( 1539377 ) on Monday February 06, 2012 @01:26PM (#38943593)
    Maybe one day, we'll look back and laugh at all these garbage laws that some odd fellow were trying to pass to "protect" some intellectual property. Maybe one day a good law will be passed, one made not for corporation, but for the people and innovation.

    I doubt I'll see that. Yet, I can still hope.
    • by kheldan ( 1460303 ) on Monday February 06, 2012 @01:29PM (#38943631) Journal
      I have it on the authority of someone older and much more experienced than I, that all this sort of bullshit is cyclic: it's happened before, it's happening again now, and it's likely to happen again in the future. We who live in these turbulent times must just endure it, and continue to raise our voices against that which is unjust, and eventually the bastards of the world will be shouted down and things will be quiet again. We might even come out ahead of the game. ;-)
      • The last time it happened? Oh, round about the time some dangerous up-start invented the printing press. And look at all the trouble they caused!
        It ruined economies and nation were aflame!
        Err...or not.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Jedi Alec ( 258881 )

          One of the reasons the US grew so powerful was its blatant disregard for intellectual property in the old world. And now, many years later, as the US is in decline, guess which other growing nation doesn't give a flying fuck about what the US thinks about intellectual property.

          I guess 50 years from now the US and Europe will be on the same side trying to fight off Intellectual Property laws being crammed down our throats by the Chinese. Assuming, of course, they need to resort to such silly things as laws t

    • by V!NCENT ( 1105021 ) on Monday February 06, 2012 @01:37PM (#38943709)

      It's neither. A population can take a lot, but only so much. It's when the last straw snaps that people are willing to die to overthrow their government in protest.

      It's only a matter of time before terrorism will be practised by western people against the west and not just by some random extremist nutcase-organisations.

      There maybe enough laws, technology, police and military personel, but they are all outnumbered once an entire population sais "Fsck it! I'm not taking this shit any longer!" and then the shit hits the fan, at 100.000 miles/hour.

      • The past is no guide - the modern world is like nothing that has been seen before.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I favor a 'continued use' inheritable copyright for fiction, and a 20 year or so copyright for printed non-fiction. With the condition that once something is broadcast, that quality of media (or lower) is public domain.

      Patents for actual technological advances, only. None of this drek about patenting the 'look' of an iToy.

      • I'd give 5yr terms at most for copyright of anything. Today's world moves too fast. Twenty year old software wouldn't be of any use to the public. Copyright exists to facilitate more material being created and filling the public domain. That's not much of a deal for the public if the material only enters the public domain after it has lost its value.

    • Good luck with that. Some of these laws were made in the 18th century (which in law terms was a lot like right now), and we are still suffering from them. If food corporations use waste in the food production, get yourself an FDA for example. But the FDA mainly assures that it is legal to use all kinds of junk in the production of food. As like today, the laws were usually fighting symptoms, not problems. So working hours got regulated, but massive theft of land (the Enclosure) was supported. And an Enclosu

  • by kheldan ( 1460303 ) on Monday February 06, 2012 @01:26PM (#38943595) Journal
    This is an encouraging thing to read on a Monday morning. SOPA/PIPA gets shelved here in the U.S., and now the EU is showing some backbone. Should we dare hope?
    • by jdgeorge ( 18767 ) on Monday February 06, 2012 @01:33PM (#38943675)

      Should we dare hope?

      No. But vote. And it would be a good idea to plan ahead for what to do after something similar gets passed.

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        Vote and agitate. Be annoying, be pesky, don't give up and challenge them at every opportunity. Be their boss don't let them be your boss.

        Some lateral thinking, the single biggest target right now should be "TAX HAVENS". The US and Europe could shut them down overnight, ban trade in tax haven currencies and zero their value. Either cough up details and provide full access or choke or you organised criminal banking activities.

        Want a sign of real change, that's exactly where it starts. Substantially redu

    • by prefec2 ( 875483 )

      The EU is not showing some backbone. Poland and Czech are showing some backbone. Especially for Poland this is new. It must be related to Donald Tusk who looks like someone with a brain and ethics which is very seldom in politicians. Not to forget he is a conservative (by European standards).

      Thanks for that from Germany.

  • What's the point? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Saintwolf ( 1224524 ) on Monday February 06, 2012 @01:27PM (#38943609)
    Even if this gets vetoed to hell... some corrupt douchbag politician will most likely end up slipping it into a "Save the children" bill or similar...
    • This is the EU, where that sort of slight of hand is more difficult. Well, or at least they do things in different clandestine ways. Or something.

      • by am 2k ( 217885 )

        Yeah, like the software patent stuff, which was trying to slip by in the Agricultural and Fisheries Commission []. Luckily, it didn't work out.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Yep, and since this is the EU, they actually take the time to read the bills being proposed, unlike in the US where they just say Yes to the bill with the most financial backing. As a result of this, any unpopular law that somehow finds it's way into a completely unrelated bill, get's vetoed and removed before the bill can continue it's path, again unlike the US.

          • [I]n the US where they just say Yes to the bill with the most financial backing.

            That, and the one with the tenuous backronym or name which makes you look like a terrorist child abusing communist sympathiser if you vote against it.

        • by qbast ( 1265706 )
          Interesting that ACTA also passed on Agriculture and Fisheries meeting. There is something really fishy with those guys...
    • by prefec2 ( 875483 )

      They already tried the "save the children" thing. They failed. They have been caught. In Germany the government and parliament even submitted an act for web filtering. The commerical TV launched a campain to support the "save the children" topic with a "hunt the child abuser" show. Well the show was fake. And the law was never executed, due to massive public protests. Recently the made a new act which revoked the old one.

      They over used children and terrorists. But maybe they come up with something new. The

  • by SlovakWakko ( 1025878 ) on Monday February 06, 2012 @01:32PM (#38943669)
    ...for at least keeping the original title of my submission, when you removed the part where it says that Slovakia also suspended ACTA ratification today. I think that this situation, where former soviet satellite states oppose ACTA nicely reflects the fact that we still remember how it is NOT to be free...
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Welcome to Slashdot, where submissions are dumbed down to the lowest common denominator. Thanks Geek.Net!

    • by rastos1 ( 601318 )
      Election is due in Slovakia in one month. Political parties are ready to promise anything. An apt comment, I read today, says:

      This would be a great country if the election was held every 3 months.

  • If a "hacker" reads this, please explain what it is that "Anonymous" intends to accomplish by releasing the private info of Czech gov't officials publicly. It seems stupid.

    These acts will most likely provoke paranoia and promote web censorship. How is this furthering the agenda that "Anonymous" supposedly has? Is "Anonymous" just a few script kiddies stupid enough to risk imprisonment over a misguided sense of morality?

    Or maybe I'm missing the point. Please enlighten me.

    • The difference between Anonymous and most other groups is that Anonymous isn't really a group. Rather, it is more of a banner that individuals rally around for a common cause. There is no real agenda that Anonymous has because Anonymous really has no leader or real members. Anonymous is simply a rallying cry.

      Really, who knows what they intend to accomplish with this. But undoubtedly there are some "members" of Anonymous who agree with it and undoubtedly there are some that disagree.
  • by unity100 ( 970058 ) on Monday February 06, 2012 @01:43PM (#38943783) Homepage Journal

    It certainly does. if you dont know what it is, google it.

  • by DerCed ( 155038 ) on Monday February 06, 2012 @01:54PM (#38943927)

    What is also quite impressive are the protests planned by Pirate Parties and others in numerous cities all over Europe (+ some other continents). Many events are to be held this Saturday, February 11st. The map looks absolutely breath-taking: []

  • by Anonymous Coward

    once we start cutting off aid, military support, impose trade embargos, etc.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Hint: Hard to embargo EU members. Clearly illegal for other European countries, hence any embargo would need to be addressed at the whole union, have fun trying to enact such a thing, not mentioning that the WTO would probably rule against any such embargo.

      • The US is who does the embargoing and it wouldn't be a direct blatant embargo like that. We control most of the worlds economy and can just start attacking EU interests in various trade lines.

  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Monday February 06, 2012 @02:20PM (#38944233) Homepage

    In a democracy, what is supposed to happen is the government doesn't listen to the people and makes desicions based on the amount of money business contributes to their re-election campaigns. It is dangerous to listen to the people because, as the great and wonderful Steve Jobs said, the people don't know what they want and it's not their job to know what they want. And if the people organize to make themselves heard, they are actually forming a threat against the government which is terrorism and you should never give in to terrorists.

    • "In a democracy, what is supposed to happen is the government doesn't listen to the people"

      You haven't been paying attention lately. These days the corporations ARE the people.

  • by poity ( 465672 ) on Monday February 06, 2012 @02:34PM (#38944389)

    Western Europe is the major source of intellectual property. Look at WIPO's top applicant nations - Germany, France, UK, Netherlands. Look at IMDB's top film making countries - France, UK. Look at the fashion world where you're nobody unless your're based in London, Paris, or Milan. In addition, Central and Eastern Europe are the conduits (if not the source) for many counterfeits. With ACTA, those governments would bear a share of the burden in protecting someone else's economy while their own not-quite-so IP-reliant economies see no benefit. So they'd go from not spending money enforcing someone else's IP while getting economic benefit from those citizen who profit from counterfeit, to spending money enforcing someone else's IP while killing off a pretty nice influx of money. Western EU countries are going to have to offer much more trade incentives to get what they want, but then by increasing trade incentives to get IP enforcement, they will just be switching from one hose siphoning money from them to another hose siphoning money from them.

  • is it every day the first thing I do is clean all the .cz .ru and .pl spambots off my forum selling everything from counterfeit Viagra to counterfeit purses and shoes? Of course they are opposed, apparently spam and counterfeiting are the only 2 industries in those dumps.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The Czech Republic will get told, by Hollywood, that if they don't sign up then Hollywood will stop coming to Prague to make movies.

    Which movies are shot in the Czech Republic?

    Well, there are numerous scenes from "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol" that were shot in Prague (youtube can help).

    That must bring a nice boost to the local economy when the entire troupe from a big production movie like that comes to town.

    • I think Europe needs to work on developing its own movie industry more, instead of sucking up to the assholes in Hollywood. I have Netflix, and on it I've seen a bunch of really great European-made movies over the last several years (probably made within the last 10); overall they're much better than the dreck that comes out of Hollywood.

  • by SD NFN STM ( 759426 ) on Monday February 06, 2012 @03:35PM (#38945219)
    SOPA and PIPA are dead... meet their cousin, ACTA. Please contact your MEP (Members of the European Parliament) using this link and register your protest:

    UK: []

    Rest of Europe:;jsessionid=EAF5D554A71EBE16A5E8A71092CD2DB9.node2 [] []

    A brief analysis of the issue, but obviously presenting a one-sided view... so weigh the info as you see fit: []
    • by Anonymous Coward
      My MEP is Christian Engström, you insensitive clod!
      I think he's already on the ball [].
  • Having been subjugated by tyrannical Communist regimes during the lifetimes of most of their populations, Central European countries are the best equipped to spot the tools of tyranny like ACTA.
  • that after wikileaks broke the cables, and after america broke SOPA, many european nations are finding they grow weary of the medium rare American shit sandwiches they find on their desks on a near perpetual basis.

    theyre also reminded as the french cable suggested so poigniantly that uncomfortable trade retaliation against your decisions as a soverign nation can only take place so long as youve committed yourself to trading with a nation that embraces economic distress as a means of trade.
  • The government wants to further analyze the issue.Loosely translated means RIAA/MPAA needs to pay us more money.
  • First SOPA, then PIPA, now ACTA. Our corporate overlords will not be pleased at seeing all their bribe, er, contribution money go down the toilet.

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"