10 January 2010

Personal Luggage *Will* be Subject to ACTA

One of the fairy tales being told about the oppressive ACTA is that it's only going to apply to large-scale criminal offenders, and that the Little People like you and me don't need to worry our pretty heads. But that's a lie, as this fascinating blog post has discovered:

It was very interesting to talk to Mr. Velasco. He said the negotiations could be understood, in a very very simplified way, as you basically could get cheap cars in exchange for IPR enforecement laws.

Interestingly enough, his materials published on the interenet also provided some kind of explanation to why people are afraid of having their iPods searched. Under "What is new" in a presentation about Enforcement of IPR Mr. Velasco says:

[it] "No longer excludes from the scope of the regulation counterfeit or pirated goods in a traveler's personal baggage where such goods are suspected to be part of a larger-scale traffic."

But don't put any great hopes in that fig-leaf "where such goods are suspected to be part of a larger-scale traffic": you can bet that once customs officials have the power to search through your laptop or MP3 player, they damn well will.

After all, potentially a *single* unauthorised copy can be used to spawn thousands of copies that would certainly constitute "larger-scale traffic"; so surely that means that all it takes is for a sufficiently suspicious customs official to "suspect" that single copies on an MP3 player might be part of larger-scale traffic - and then Robert is your father's Brother.

Make no mistake: if ACTA is agreed in its current form, it will impact every one of us directly - and direly.

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