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back to article ACTA can't get its act together

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is losing its international momentum following the European Parliament’s rejection of the global treaty, which many member states claim is flawed. Australia and New Zealand, who have signed the agreement but not ratified it, are under increasing pressure to withdraw their support. …

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FAIL

Not secretive?

What planet does this guy live on?

Secret meetings and secret treaty text, negotiated between governements and large corporations, explicitly keeping the public out of the loop that there was anything going on, let alone the real shape of it... yeah, totally not secretive. And of course you believe it's fair and balanced, you're an industry shill that probably helped pen some of it.

Yuck. ACTA should not be forced through in a few places, nor should it be renegotiated and forced through afterwards, it should be chucked. On the off chance that we actually need an anti-counterfeiting treaty, and I'd argue that we don't, but *if* we do then the whole process should be started from scratch, with democratic oversight and public input.

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Not secretive?

Ha, "not secretive" indeed. Even El Presidente brazenly declared this private, corporate, undemocratic "lawmaking" as ... a matter of national security, before subjugating American citizens with this corporatocratic "law" by executive order (i.e. a dictatorial ruling without public debate or consensus, usually in direct contradiction to the will of the people, which is exactly why it's implemented in such a totalitarian manner).

Incredible but true.

Of course, we later discovered exactly what El Presidente thought gave these private corporations the - erm - "mandate" to make law, in secret or otherwise, as MAFIAA® Godfather, Chris Dodd, make crystal clear live on television.

The more I think about it, the clearer it seems that America is basically a country operated by gangsters, and it's high-time they were permanently extricated from the political process, preferably by lethal injection. At the very least "campaign funding" and "lobbying" (i.e. legalised bribery and corruption) should be outlawed. Failing that, I seriously believe it's imperative that the US be ostracised by the rest of the international community, before the transformation of the entire planet into a gangster-politics society is complete.

I just hope it's not already too late.

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I live in hope that, for once, Australia won't drop its pants, bend over, and take everything the US wants to give it. It'll be a first.

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Vic
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> I live in hope that, for once, Australia won't drop its pants

It's marvelous to see such optimism in these cynical times...

Vic.

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You'll have to get in behind NZ

Who'll be racing to get there first, with no pants on, painted red white blue offering not only to bend over but to slobber all over whatever parts its asked to.

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@Not secret

There are nothing secretive about the meetings or the agreement. All those parties that needed to be involved were there and added their input.

No need for pesky open government types, whinging civil libertarians or victims (sorry I meant to type customers). They don't need to have no say, they're just their to pay and pay and pay again.

Actually IP creators don't need to be involved either. There are too many of them.

No what's needed is a small easily coordinated cabal of monopolistic enterprises who can sensibly make the right decisions to maximise their own payola.

Can't you just see that? What's wrong with you David?

Joking aside

Now personally I can see the need to have an anti counterfeiting treaty, and I can see that negotiating in an open way is very difficult. But surely the whole process does need to be much more open that it was. Proposals need to be openly published. All interested parties need a chance to have their say. That doesn't necessarily mean that anyone will listen, but some good ideas will come from unexpected sources. They normally do. In the case of the Music industry for instance then the idea of making it easy to download an album in the middle of a rainy night started life as ripping off the music business and artists, but what it really told us was that people wanted to be able to be able to get music when ever and where ever they happened to be, not to have to conform to an existing distribution channel. This or course turned out to be a business opportunity, but it took those that the traditional record companies view as their enemies to point it out to them.

At the end of the day there needs to be an incentive for people to invest in developing things. The modern world makes developing new drugs eye poppingly expensive, but we would quite like to avoid another thalidomide case. Unless there is some way for drug companies to recoup their investment in new drugs there won't be many new drugs. Charities, even the Welcome trust, can't do it all on their own.

But consumers need to be allowed to have a say in the rules that govern what and how they consume.

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Anonymous Coward

Speaking of drugs

Drug companies can make huge profits with 12 years' protection on their expensively researched products. Why does a Lady Gaga song knocked out in an hour in some basement need 70 years' protection?

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Re: @Not secret

Joking aside?? You do realise what you wrote is in fact the way the British government works over all legislation.

Its not fucking funny its the truth.

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Re: Speaking of drugs

"Why does a Lady Gaga song knocked out in an hour in some basement need 70 years' protection?"

70 years after she dies. In reality quite easily over 100 years of protection

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Anonymous Coward

No information economy without intellectual property

Unless intellectual property has value - which means protection and enforcement - there is no information economy. Other nations like China can manufacture stuff more cheaply than we can. Developing nations can grow stuff more cheaply than we can. The *only* part of the stack where over paid westerners can compete is in creation and licensing of IP. If we can't sell that - and the rollback of IP protection and enforcement championed by companies like Google indicates that very soon there won't be any protection for IP - we've got nothing else to take to the market.

What use is Information Technology when information is free?

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Bollox

Oh, the evil Google story.

http://tales-of-the-sausage-factory.wetmachine.com/mr-shermans-magical-thinking/

The problem with ACTA is that Hollywood hijacked what was a well intentioned treaty, and has become a solution totally out of proportion with the problem.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/07/op-ed-eus-rejection-of-acta-subtly-changed-trade-law-landscape/

If China is not playing game with IP, why is the solution to push for criminal charges against every young person downloading an MP3 in the US and Europe? You know, the same people that also spend the most money on buying music and movies? How about tackling the really important counterfeiting and technology theft instead?

http://news.theage.com.au/breaking-news-business/china-denies-technology-theft-20100729-10x81.html

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/07/how-us-software-ended-up-in-chinese-assault-helicopters/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/12382747

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FAIL

Re: No information economy without intellectual property

"very soon there won't be any protection for IP"

LMFAO.

Copyright on new works is protected for longer than any of us will live, presuming the autor lives another decade or so after publication (not unlikely).

I'm not sure how this translates in your head to "No IP protection soon!", but I can't say that it screams to me that we need a new treaty, longer protections and harsher punishments.

Software patents are just ripe for abuse, as we can see with Apple and Samsung dragging each other through the court systems worldwide.

I can see sense in trying to get China and other Asian nations that don't respect any sort of IP to play ball on these rules, but do you see China on the list of treaty signatories? Hell no. We see the usual suspects who are looking for a way to crack down on the public in the usual countries with a nice long list of new offences and penalties. Bugger that, mate.

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Re: Bollox

The MPAA and RIAA pervert everything they touch.

I honestly don't know why governments, the US Government in particular, keeps kowtowing to the MPAA and RIAA. (Disclaimer: I'm a US citizen.)

Bravo to the countries that refused to ratify... hopefully the remaining signatories can also be convinced not to ratify.

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Silver badge

Re: No information economy without intellectual property

Yes thats all wonderful and such but where does IP protection end?

Look at Kim Dot Com. Not an American citizen. Not living in America. Hong Kong company. Somehow he broke American law, got locked up, had his money confiscated and currently is in the process of being extradited to America because the hosting company he owned had pirated material on it loaded on by third parties belonging to American companies.

Is ACTA, SOPA and the rest going to make the world a better place or is it going to make US law the defacto world law?

Team America World Police 2 will be about hunting down overweight pirates hiding in foreign countries

"Spottswoode: Great job, team. Head back to base for debriefing and cocktails.

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Re: Bollox

"I honestly don't know why governments, the US Government in particular, keeps kowtowing to the MPAA and RIAA."

Maybe it has something to do with the big piles of cash they keep giving them?

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"eleven signatories"

The consitituent EU countries (most of) were present and signed in their own right, along with the EU. By my reckoning that means that there were over 30 signatories, and I believe 6 at least have already ratified.

Or am I missing something?

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Re: "eleven signatories"

You're missing the fact that there are no ratifications.

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Re: "eleven signatories"

No ratifications - fair point. Somewhere in the past I thought that there had been some, but I can't find any record of it (though I wouldn't put it past UK Gov to quietly ratify it). That still leaves my main point, which is that there are 30-odd signatories, not 11.

It is still conceivable, as far as I can tell, for the EU to reject ACTA and individual countries (UK included) to ratify it. So I maintain that an EU rejection does not necessarily kill it.

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FAIL

ha no

Its what happens when a law is wrote up in a back room and gets leaked to public. When you get a bunch of pro-copyright people to write a bill with 0 input from the people its gonna effect its not gonna be a good law. Any country politicians know that voting for this is career suicide.

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FAIL

backroom deal

They are never good for the public at large, only the people involved in the deal are ones that win. This act was bad news from minute 1. When it was wrote up in a back room by pro-copyright groups everyone knew it was bad news without even reading it cause we didn't need to.

"ACTA intends to establish international standards to enforce intellectual property rights, as well as an international legal framework to target generic medicines, counterfeit goods, and copyright infringement online."

^ What a law Intends and what it could be used for are 2 different things. It can be ment to stop counter fit goods and drugs but if its worded wrong it can do a ton of hard to public rights and privacy. Yea those pro-copyright people can say its not but that is them saying with their fingers crossed behind them cause its worded for them to do everything they really want. In the end nothing will change and bill, tready what ever they want to call it besides SOPA or PIPA. It won't be enough when they still lose money using a 30year old business model

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g e
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Facepalm

"not borne out by the facts"

In fact I have rearranged the facts into a more pleasing set of facts which are nowhere as inconvenient to me.

Welcome to my world. La-la-la-la-la

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Coat

AFACT supports ACTA as a suitable agreement...

As long as the "rights holders" continue to supply me with money, private jets and other miscellaneous items.

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Flame

Not Secret? - - What a bloody joke!

As with all treaties but particularly those relating to trade, secrecy by governments is the order of the day. (Treaties being one aspect of government that governments have always kept for themselves.)

Treaties profoundly affect how a democracy works, as subsequent laws which relate to treaty matters are essentially not negotiable. Almost always, treaty negotiations are never negotiated with the citizenry first.

To me, this is anti democratic as those with a vested interest in a treaty have usurped and locked off the democratic process before it has even started.

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Kiwis can remember

When Chrysler attempted to block grey imports of Jeeps (parallel import used vehicles) on "copyright grounds"

The courts threw that one out. If ACTA was ratified then the first thing that would happen is that decision would get overturned.

I can't see any NZ politician voting to ratify it once they realised ACTA is a backdoor way of reactivating methods for trading cartels to carve up the world into walled markets.

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Big Brother

Re: Kiwis can remember

There would be a lot of people who could see the current NZ administration doing so gleefully, given the dim view of our honourable parliamentarians that they hold.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Kiwis can remember

Agreed... If the current administration haven't ratified this yet, it's only because they're holding out for a higher bid...

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