After weeks of extracts of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) being published on the interwebs, a French digital rights group has finally leaked a complete copy of the deal online. La Quadrature du Net published a consolidated version of the ACTA text dated 18 January, 2010. "This document contains information that …
Moan all you want, but we are just going to have to take ACTA up the wrong 'un.
Civil Servant: Minister, here is the first ACTA related bill for you to sign and make law.
MP: Some of this seems a bit off; a bit much.
CS: Negotiations went on for years minister. Everyone agrees.
MP: Oh, why wasn't I there?
CS: Secret negotiations minister.
MP: So who was there?
CS: The stakeholders minister and few representatives for the interested countries.
MP: "Stakeholders"? What, members of the public?
CS: No minister, the MAFIAA and other groups.
MP: So why do I have to sign this?
CS: It's all been agreed. The whole world agrees on it. if you don't sign it, we will never get an agreement like this again. You'll be against free trade. No one will trade with us.
MP: And what will it mean?
CS: Continued profits for the members of MAFIAA et al. But you can dress it up as "Less pirates selling porn to kiddies". The Daily Hate will love that.
MP: Won't there be public outcry?
CS: Not really, we'll do it bit by bit. Then in a few years we will just say the new ACTA bill simply harmonises and streamlines what we already have in place.
MP: Really can't see the public liking this.
CS: As you often say minister "Fuck the proles, show me the money". You will, of course be invited to all the upcoming ACTA conferences around the globe. First class travel, the works. I am sure you could be head of a few steering committees or the director of a consultancy related to this as well. You won't even have to declare it as an "interest"; I'll see to that.
MP: Jolly good! Where do I sign?
Pretty much says it...
As my late Dad used to say ... if democracy ever changed anything, they just wouldn't allow it...
Representatives of the people
ACTA: the most brazen example yet of how, even in "democracies", governments are not for the people, but instead represent the chums of those who have elbowed their way to the top. Remember that, next time some corrupt EU commissioner or MP tries to push through their business-friendly legislation under the pretext that it "protects jobs" or is for the "good of society". For them, "good of society" means "good for their offshore bank balance" and little more.
"The talks have been exciting conspiracy theorists for months, not least because they are expected to result in personal copyright infringement being classed as counterfeiting. "
Oooooh I like that! Especially since someone told me that counterfeiting was morally wrong (but not the same as copyright infringement). Onwards!
I hear brain death is a common symptom of low IQ! Why? Because counterfeiting can constitute copyright infringement, however the opposite is not true.
Not according to this article! Bless.
I can't see what everyone is complaining about
What's the problem? They are quite clearly arranging to give the public Royal treatment.
If it was good enough for Edward the Second, it's good enough for you.
What did we expect?
I seem to recall reassurances that this 'agreement' was primarily aimed at international commercial counterfeiting, however right at the top of the document:
"Article 2.1: [US/J:Availability of Civil Procedures] [EU: Scope of the Civil Enforcement]
1. Each Party shall make available to right holders [US/J: civil judicial] [Mex/NZ: or administrative] procedures concerning the enforcement of any [US/J: intellectual property right][Sing/Can/NZ: copyrights, and related rights and trademarks] [Kor: as provided for in the following individual articles in this Section].
[2. EU/Can/NZ: Those measures, procedures and remedies shall also be effective, proportionate and deterent.]"
So that was a lie! The text (so far) leaves it wide open to any state to enforce copyright infringements in any way they see fit. Just hope the European Parliament rides to the rescue on this one. Note the use of the word 'deterent' and the desired insertion of NZ and Mexico that they can merely implement an administrative procedure (rather than a judicial one) to deal with infringements.
The Man always wins, always.