03 November 2009

ACTA's All-out Assault on the Internet

Michael Geist has some deeply disturbing details about what may well be in the Internet section of ACTA:

1. Baseline obligations inspired by Article 41 of the TRIPs which focuses on the enforcement of intellectual property.

2. A requirement to establish third-party liability for copyright infringement.

3. Restrictions on limitations to 3rd party liability (ie. limited safe harbour rules for ISPs). For example, in order for ISPs to qualify for a safe harbour, they would be required establish policies to deter unauthorized storage and transmission of IP infringing content. Provisions are modeled under the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, namely Article 18.10.30. They include policies to terminate subscribers in appropriate circumstances. Notice-and-takedown, which is not currently the law in Canada nor a requirement under WIPO, would also be an ACTA requirement.

4. Anti-circumvention legislation that establishes a WIPO+ model by adopting both the WIPO Internet Treaties and the language currently found in U.S. free trade agreements that go beyond the WIPO treaty requirements. For example, the U.S.-South Korea free trade agreement specifies the permitted exceptions to anti-circumvention rules. These follow the DMCA model (reverse engineering, computer testing, privacy, etc.) and do not include a fair use/fair dealing exception. Moreover, the free trade agreement clauses also include a requirement to ban the distribution of circumvention devices. The current draft does not include any obligation to ensure interoperability of DRM.

5. Rights Management provisions, also modeled on U.S. free trade treaty language.

This is nothing less than the copyright cartel's last stand against the Internet - a desperate attempt to lock down everything. As Geist observes:

it provides firm confirmation that the treaty is not a counterfeiting trade, but a copyright treaty. These provisions involve copyright policy as no reasonable definition of counterfeiting would include these kinds of provisions.

That is, the Powers-that-Be *lied* to us, as usual. We must fight this, or we will be paying the consequences for years to come.

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Crosbie Fitch said...

Corporations are under the delusion that monopolies are in their interest, so one could let them keep them IFF individuals were completely exempt.

When corporations see that individuals prosper quite happily without copyright they will then start lobbying ferociously for the abolition of the copyright that prevents their own prosperity.

Otherwise, bring it on. Make people realise why copyright is so completely anachronistic and unethical. The more draconian copyright becomes the better, the sooner it starts sending vast swathes of ordinary families off to labour camps and work houses where they can be properly educated to understand why they don't have the cultural liberty they thought they did, the better it will be for society.

People won't understand why copyright is a blight on their culture and a violation of their liberty until their noses are rubbed in it. At the moment it's too easy to write copyright infringement off as 'The moral decay of my inferiors'. No doubt just as holier-than-thou politicians need only apologise for their embezzlement as accidental (unlike that of the criminals who are prosecuted for it), so upstanding citizens only infringe copyright unwittingly - for which apologies would also be profuse. Whereas, those scum and their ASBO kids who engage in this online theft from our treasured publishing corporations should be carted off to a correctional facility.

This is soon going to turn into a stone fight between those without sin against those with. It'll probably take a while after this descends into civil war before Lilliputians and Blefuscudians finally recognise that no law should be made governing which end of an egg should or should not be broken, and copyright and patent will be abolished.

PS I would have posted this on the ComputerWorld UK article, but there's a 1000 char limit there.

Glyn Moody said...

Thanks - you could break up it into two, if you wished - sorry about the limit.

Crosbie Fitch said...

I took the 1,000 char limit as "We only want short comments, thanks.", so, in respecting that implicit wish I didn't post my comment - even divided into pieces. Why would I disrespectfully thwart your wish for short comments?

I assumed you were only prepared to accept long comments at this blog.

Glyn Moody said...

good thinking, but nothing to do with me in fact...