back to article European Parliament prepares for crucial ACTA vote

On Thursday the European Parliament's International Trade Committee will vote on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) and give its recommendations on whether or not to recommend the controversial treaty. Some votes are already pretty clear: Scottish MEP David Martin's opposition, for example is plain. He is serving as …

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Big Brother

Relax

Trust us, ok?

Now back to your daily toil.

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Anonymous Coward

Benefit for whom?

Remember that the decisions made here is to benefit the Political elite, the law makers and the institutions of the European Union. It is purely self interest.

It has absolutely nothing to do with a benefit to European citizens, human rights, fair play or good law.

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Not due process

Regardless of any merits it may possess (not many, it would seem at an admittedly casual glance), this thing should be booted straight out of the window because of the way it was negotiated - in smoke filled rooms with only politicans and lobbyists present. Next time, can we see who voted for what and why - and have a mechanism for EVERYONE to have input?

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Devil

Re: Not due process

Indeed. Rejecting ACTA is absolutely necessary, if only not to encourage similar attempts in the future.

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Stop

Think about the poor creatives

The........ Jimmy Carr's, Gary Barlow, Howard Donald, Mark Owen, The U2's and the Bob Geldolf's struggling with all the money they are losing.

Somebody is being robbed and its not them!

Pay tax then we can talk about fairness

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This will probably now get outvoted as they have managed to do something much worst, start censoring the web (which satisfies those lobbyist (such as the BPA)).

In theory, there is no need to deal with this expensive legislation any-more.

At least, that's what I hope they think. But then it is a sensible approach, so probably they wont :-(

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Big Brother

It doesn't modify any existing rules and regulations...

O'RLY??

Then why do we need it?

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Re: It doesn't modify any existing rules and regulations...

If it doesn't modify any existing rules and regulations but they really want it - it can only mean one thing - it creates new rules and regulations.

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Jail Time needed

Legislation like this is constantly being proposed. There is never-ending pressure from the various monopolies, oligopolies, cartels and mobs to press for ever greater advantage. As we can see from the series of outrageous legislation all over the world, they continue to succeed. At least the mob is up front about it.

We should identify the small (ish) number of operatives and their masters and prosecute them. If you attempt murder, it is a crime. If you attempt to push the horrendous self-serving legislation we see happening all over the world, it should also be a crime. Murder is a 'one-up' and even so prosecution is generally harsh. These constant attempts to steal the commons from the world's citizens and destroy their rights are much worse than a single murder. They are ongoing and they aid in our oppression by creating a mechanism to abridge free speech. This crime transcends treason because it goes even beyond the borders of sovereign nations.

Contrary to the rent seekers protests that copying is unlawful, the activities of the copyright and patent lobbies are the ones that create a disrespect for law. They have sought taxes on communications bandwidth, storage, processing power and even on speech itself. They have attempted to criminalize lawful commerce between individuals. Sadly, they have been incredibly successful. In the United States they have been able to coerce the Federal Government into acting as enforcer to lend weight to their civil complaints. Every time I see one of those FBI warnings on a video I think that we need to find the people in the FBI who allowed that message and prosecute *them*.

ALL of copyright is a dangerous fiction. There is no proper way to square copyright with the public good in the age of computer networks. Without copyright, every one of us would essentially have access to the entirety of the world's intellectual and cultural output going back into the mists of time. Freeing this material would make the world a much, much better place.

Without the rent-seekers inhibiting our communications and storage of information, everything would rapidly be available to all. The overall value of currently copyright-able material would radically increase if copyright became illegal.

Similarly, patents are also a dangerous fiction. In fact, as it pertains to software and algorithms, it is likely even worse. By allowing rent-seekers to control the use of ideas we destroy vast amounts of wealth.

Both Copyrights and Patents are generally evil. They are entirely for the benefit of non-producing rent-seekers and lately even of tyrants looking to control our thoughts, speech and actions. The notion that 'artists' and 'inventors' somehow benefit from copyright is laughable. The vast majority of artists *pay* more for copyrights than they ever have any hope of earning. The tiny handful of artists that actually make a living from copyrighted material often make it another way. Most working musicians likely make their money touring or teaching.

For the sake of an Eagles' "Don Henley" being able to bully the domain name "DonHenley.com" from the original owner (named Don Henley) and claim a disproportionate share of proceeds from the world's music, we financially (and musically!) impoverish nearly everyone else.

Only essentially criminal elements can ever hope to benefit from Patents and Copyrights. For the rest of us, it is an unfair tax and interference with our *rightful* activities. Things like ACTA are, in my opinion, in violation of common law and the people tirelessly pursuing this advantage should be brought to trial.

Most of what you earn now goes into paying one or more types of 'taxes'. Most of those taxes, in my opinion, are entirely misused and we would all be much more wealthy if we eliminated them and their hangers-on entirely.

The world is about 100 Trillion Dollars in debt, just about entirely due to the ability of some citizens to improperly divert funds from the rest of us into their own pockets. We need to wise up and simply declare all of this nonsense against the law and then round up the culprits. There are not many of them and they should be fairly easy to find. They would be living in one of those enormous buildings they own.

It amazes me that, for instance, the spooky 'DHS' in the United States could steal domains from people and put up those odious takedown notices and it hardly got a peep of protest. Legislation in the U.S. has gotten ever bolder in skirting the bounds of civil sensibility and executive branches responsible for administrating this legislation stretch the limits even further. How far does it go? The U.S. president now has a 'kill list' so we know in advance who he will (by definition unlawfully) have put to death without a trial or even a charge.

I am hopeful that there will be a limit to all this nonsense and people will reclaim their rights. However, I am also fearful that our increasingly invasive information technology and vanishing right to privacy will make the kind of revolutions we have seen in the past impossible.

The fact that ACTA has gotten to a vote should concern us all. It is a shocking attack on the body politic and the sovereignty of the world's nations. The attack itself merits punishment, regardless of whether it passes. If we don't punish the perpetrators, they will try again. As the PATRIOT act and the recent NDAA, stealthily signed while we celebrated the New Year, demonstrate, they will eventually succeed no matter how outrageous and fundamentally unlawful the legislation.

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Re: Jail Time needed

Patent Holders generally don't get the benefit of their own patents, even in the unlikely event they make money. This is just about 100% rent-seeker territory. A few genuine inventors in the world may have created something novel and gone on to profit from it. However, their rare good fortune is not a fair price for *the rest of us* to pay so that non-inventive rent seekers can prevent us from using all of the world's ideas. For software developers, copyrights and patents are a complete disaster. Think about that the next time you have problems with a computer.

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WTF?

@btrower

"ALL of copyright is a dangerous fiction. There is no proper way to square copyright with the public good in the age of computer networks. Without copyright, every one of us would essentially have access to the entirety of the world's intellectual and cultural output going back into the mists of time. Freeing this material would make the world a much, much better place"

Nonsense! Those who create works have the right to exploit those works themselves and be paid for their work and effort in developing them. Why should someone bother to create *anything* if there is no protection from them being ripped off?

We have "access to the entirety of the world's intellectual and cultural output going back into the mists of time" except that which is most recently created, the problem is the "copyright industry" which wants to control access to "life plus 75 years" which is ludicrous.

Also "patents are also a dangerous fiction" is also nonsense. However we need to fix the ridiculous situation of "software patents" or frivolous ones, especially when such patents are clearly based on prior art.

But that is not the same as getting rid of the whole system which you seem to want.

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Re: Jail Time needed

Tricky to respond to this one because some of what you say has merit.

"ALL of copyright is a dangerous fiction. There is no proper way to square copyright with the public good in the age of computer networks."

This argues that no intellectual output of anybody has any value. The end result of this attitude would be no art, no published research and no new software since the writers would have no means to support themselves. If you go down this road then there would be no 'standing on the shoulders of giants' because nobody would publish anything.

"The overall value of currently copyright-able material would radically increase if copyright became illegal."

I call bollocks. The overall value would tend to zero. Who's going to spend their time, effort and money creating anything if it's then going to be free for anybody's use?

"The tiny handful of artists that actually make a living from copyrighted material often make it another way."

so they don't make a living from copyrighted material then?

"The vast majority of artists *pay* more for copyrights than they ever have any hope of earning."

Not if they're producing original material. Mashups don't count.

"Most working musicians likely make their money touring or teaching."

True, but that doesn't make it right.

"For the sake of an Eagles' "Don Henley" being able to bully the domain name "DonHenley.com" from the original owner (named Don Henley) and claim a disproportionate share of proceeds from the world's music, we financially (and musically!) impoverish nearly everyone else."

True. I had a vaguely entertaining video pulled due to Hotel California being played in the background which had no chance of reducing their sales, but the Eagles are famous for this attitude.

"The world is about 100 Trillion Dollars in debt"

..to whom exactly? This is one of the things that bothers me about modern capitalism. Every country seems to have massive amounts of debt, but where are the creditors? It can't be only Germany!

From further up the comments, 'Think about the poor creatives', spare a thought for the other creatives that you've never heard of because they only have a few thousand fans. There are always going to be a few headline-grabbers who manage to evade their taxes, that's the sase in any industry (and at least Jimmy Carr seems to have seen the error of his ways: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-18531008 )

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