11.05.2009

Secret copyright treaty leaks

http://www.blacklistednews.com/news-6197-0-32-32--.html
The internet chapter of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), a secret[!!!] copyright treaty whose text Obama’s administration refused to disclose due to “national security” concerns, has leaked. It’s bad. It says:
  • That ISPs have to proactively police copyright on user-contributed material. This means that it will be impossible to run a service like Flickr or YouTube or Blogger, since hiring enough lawyers to ensure that the mountain of material uploaded every second isn’t infringing will exceed any hope of profitability.
  • That ISPs have to cut off the Internet access of accused copyright infringers or face liability. This means that your entire family could be denied to the internet — and hence to civic participation, health information, education, communications, and their means of earning a living — if one member is accused of copyright infringement, without access to a trial or counsel.
  • That the whole world must adopt US-style “notice-and-takedown” rules that require ISPs to remove any material that is accused — again, without evidence or trial — of infringing copyright. This has proved a disaster in the US and other countries, where it provides an easy means of censoring material, just by accusing it of infringing copyright.
  • Mandatory prohibitions on breaking DRM, even if doing so for a lawful purpose (e.g., to make a work available to disabled people; for archival preservation; because you own the copyrighted work that is locked up with DRM)
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Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Counterfeiting_Trade_Agreement
The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is a proposed plurilateral trade agreement which is claimed by its proponents to be in response "to the increase in global trade of counterfeit goods and pirated copyright protected works." The scope of ACTA is broad, including counterfeit physical goods, as well as "internet distribution and information technology".
In October 2007 the United States, the European Community, Switzerland and Japan announced that they would negotiate ACTA. Furthermore the following countries have joined the negotiations: Australia, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Mexico, Jordan, Morocco, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, Canada and the European Union. The ACTA negotiations have been conducted in secrecy until on 22 May 2008 a discussion paper about the proposed agreement was uploaded to Wikileaks, and newspaper reports about the secret negotiations quickly followed.
Negotiations were originally anticipated to conclude by the end of 2008, however in November 2008 the European Commission stated that negotiations were likely to continue in 2009. The next (sixth) round of negotiation is scheduled for South Korea in November 2009. At the fifth round of negotiations, in Morocco in July 2009, participants indicated their intention was to conclude the agreement "as soon as possible in 2010". According to New Zealand, ACTA would "establish a new international legal framework" and "the goal of ACTA is to set a new, higher benchmark for intellectual property rights enforcement that countries can join on a voluntary basis."
Critics argue ACTA is part of a broader strategy of venue shopping and policy laundering employed by the trade representatives of the US, EC, Japan, and other supporters of rigid intellectual property enforcement. This strategy entails negotiating for terms in international treaties that might prove too politically unpopular to pass in national assemblies. Similar terms and provisions currently appear in the World Customs Organization draft SECURE treaty, and critics have argued that the anticircumvention provisions of Title I of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act were similarly passed after policy laundering via treaties negotiated through the World Intellectual Property Organization.
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