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[News] Cronies & Lobbyists Successfully Corrupt Politicians for Extended Monopolies

  • Subject: [News] Cronies & Lobbyists Successfully Corrupt Politicians for Extended Monopolies
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 08 Feb 2009 10:27:41 +0000
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • User-agent: KNode/0.10.9
Hash: SHA1

[A2k] EU term extension directive

,----[ Quote ]
| It seems that this visit was a mere formality. According to information given 
| to our Parliament EU has already reached a compromise: the term will be 
| extended by 20 years.  


ACTA to make file sharing sites a crime

,----[ Quote ]
| The Governments negotiating ACTA seem to be planning to make file sharing 
| sites a crime. And they refuse to tell citizens what they are doing. 
| This is the standard procedure by which governments use trade treaties to 
| attack their citizens. First they draw up a treaty by which they all promise 
| to do so. Then they say, "We have to agree to every provision of we won't get 
| the business benefit of the treaty." Then people surrender their freedom.    



Rethinking Think Tanks

,----[ Quote ]
| "Fueled by tax-deductible donations and an explosion in philanthropic assets,
| think tanks have dramatically grown in size and influence during the past 100
| years," writes J.H. Snider, himself a think tank fellow.


Is the EU Acting Duplicitously Over ACTA?

,----[ Quote ]
| It is clear that the scope of this treaty is far reaching: indeed, there is a
| clear attempt to use it to slip in very powerful clauses that would over-ride
| national and international legislation. This is simply unacceptable.
| Moreover, if it turns out that the EU is *not* fighting the above moves, it
| is nothing short of scandalous that it should be acting in such a duplicitous
| fashion over ACTA – in which case, those responsible for following this
| course should be called on to resign.


Draft copyright code disputed by both sides

,----[ Quote ]
| A draft ISP Copyright Code of Practice, aimed at clarifying sanctions against
| illicit downloaders of copyright works, has been released for public comment
| — and internet industry sources are already critical of the effort.
| The 29-page document (with a further four pages of suggested alternative
| wording on procedures for disputing an accusation) was drawn up by the
| Telecommunications Carriers Forum in consultation with internet service
| providers and organisations representing copyright owners.


ACTA Proposal Would Criminalize Substantial Non-Commercial Infringement

,----[ Quote ]
| With various governments still insisting that ACTA negotiations must be done
| in near total secrecy, various folks are working hard to at least shine some
| sunlight on the details. Michael Geist discusses what he's been able to piece
| through, and it's not pretty. The only good news is that everything is still
| in the early stages, and there's some disagreement among the participating
| trade reps concerning how certain things should work. However, that's about
| the only good news.


88% of YouTube is New and Original Content, Professor Says

,----[ Quote ]
| If you can watch it without dropping your litigation against YouTube, Viacom,
| you need to see a doctor right away. Seriously. I hope YouTube lawyers play
| it for the judge if you insist on going to trial.
| Watch the part about the song that ended up being professionally released. It
| made the company some money. Cluestick: there is more than one business
| model, for those who can get with the new. Sooner or later, your shareholders
| will be furious with you if you don't course-correct and modernize. Yes. They
| will. Eventually, your shareholders will be YouTubers, you know. And you'll
| be what media used to be.


Canada's Private ACTA Talking Points

,----[ Quote ]
| While the Canadian government has dutifully followed the U.S. line on ACTA
| with bland releases following each of the four 2008 negotiation sessions,
| newly obtained documents under the Access to Information Act reveal that the
| Canadian delegation may be speaking out on some of the public concerns that
| have been raised around transparency and the exclusion of many countries from
| the negotiation process [download here].  The documents include several
| noteworthy revelations:
| First, the documents confirm that the leaked ACTA document from last year was
| indeed the ACTA Discussion Paper distributed among governments.  At the time,
| there was some question as to whether this was an industry wish-list or a
| government document.  The Canadian documents confirm that this was a
| government document, a suggested intervention notes that "we would like to
| raise the issue of communications.  As you all know by now, the ACTA
| Discussion Paper has been leaked . . . "


Does ACTA Secrecy Violate European Law?

,----[ Quote ]
| One of the most problematic aspects of the negotiations around ACTA, the
| Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, is how the entire process has been
| shrouded in secrecy. Those involved in the process try to brush off this
| complaint by saying something along the lines of "but we always negotiate
| treaties this way!" but that's hardly a good reason to do so -- especially
| when the impact of ACTA could be wide ranging.


ACTA Negotiators Hold Closed Door Meeting To Say They Need To Be More

,----[ Quote ]
| One of our biggest complaints with ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade
| Agreement that was initially written by the entertainment industry, and is
| being used to effectively sneak through new copyright law requirements around
| the world (every time you hear an industry supporter claim that copyright
| laws must be changed to live up to "international obligations" you know
| they're leaving out the part where it was the same industry that wrote those
| international treaties), is that the whole thing is being negotiated in
| secret.


EU Council refuses to release secret ACTA documents

,----[ Quote ]
| Heaven forbid that these consumers turn out to be also citizens that want to
| have a say in what their buying power is being exchanged for. After all, they
| might think that criminalising themselves in case they put a home movie of
| their children dancing to Britney Spears' latest song on Youtube might not be
| such a good idea. Paying higher subscription fees for Internet access so that
| Internet Service Providers can install filtering devices resulting in lower
| speeds and censored web access may not sound very attractive either. And
| neither does giving patent trolls free reign, with compliments of the various
| governments.


Anti-piracy agreement re-discusses copyright infringement liability

,----[ Quote ]
| The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) has strongly
| criticised the secret negotiations concerning the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade
| Agreement (ACTA) and the package of measures for counteracting infringements
| of the rights to intangible goods considered by the EU Commission. The
| foundation considers it particularly questionable that Brussels intends to
| renegotiate the current liability regulations and exemptions for internet
| providers in the E-Commerce Directive.


ACTA of Hypocrisy

,----[ Quote ]
| Basically, it's a case of the lady protesting too much: earnestly assuring us
| that it doesn't intend to bring in a shopping list of legal nasties -
| criminalisation of infringement, summary injunctions for those suspected of
| infringing, "three strikes and you're out", etc. - but convincing no one.
| [...]
| And yet, strangely, getting rid of monopolies is something that the people
| working so feverishly on ACTA simply cannot contemplate - despite all the
| economic evidence that it is the solution to so many of the the problems they
| claim to be addressing.
| Counterfeiting bad, monopolies good.


Government Keeps ACTA Consultation Results Under Wraps

,----[ Quote ]
| Earlier this year, many Canadians were taken aback by reports of a secret
| trade agreement that conjured up images of iPod-searching border guards and
| tough new penalties for every day activities.  The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade
| Agreement, currently being negotiated by Canada, the United States, Japan,
| the European Union, and a handful other countries, generated sufficient
| public concern such that then-Industry Minister Jim Prentice specifically
| denied any links between the treaty and proposed new legislation.
| While the ACTA debate has largely disappeared from the public radar screen,
| the negotiations continue. Over the summer, I reported about attempts to
| establish a private consultation committee composed of industry groups that
| excluded public interest organizations.  The status of the consultation
| committee remains unknown, but my latest technology law column (Toronto Star
| version, homepage version) reports on newly obtained documents [13 MB] under
| the Access to Information Act that provide additional insights into the
| secretive nature of the negotiations as well as the results of a limited
| public consultation conducted by the Department of Foreign Affairs in the
| spring...


ACTA is a fuel for patent trolls?

,----[ Quote ]
| ACTA, a multi-lateral treaty currently being discussed secretly behind closed
| doors, might export the dangerous IPRED1 directive to the United States,
| which allow patent trolls in Europe to preventively freeze bank accounts of a
| company in case of "suspicion of infringement".


ACTA = ISP liabilities, Criminal sanctions for file sharing, and cheap guns for
Patent Trolls

,----[ Quote ]
| According to a leaked document authored by the European Commission DG Trade,
| the secret ACTA treaty will reopen the debate on the liabilities of Internet
| Service Providers (ISPs) over content, as well as trying to achieve criminal
| sanctions in the EU under the French Presidency Sarkozy. France has already
| criminal sanctions for file sharers, and a law project on file sharing
| and "graduated response" has been recently passed the Senate. ACTA might also
| export the dangerous IPRED1 directive to the United States, which allow
| patent trolls in Europe to preventively freeze bank accounts of a company in
| case of "suspicion of infringement".


FFII opposes stealth legislation, demands ACTA documents

,----[ Quote ]
| The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) has requested 12
| secret Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) documents from the EU
| Council. Behind closed doors, the EU, US, Japan and other countries are
| negotiating ACTA. The negotiating parties plan on making the ACTA text public
| only after the parties have agreed to it.


ACTA and other monsters discussed behind Council closed doors

,----[ Quote ]
| The Council is discussing measures to curb infringements of progress bars and
| others counterfeited shoes. ACTA and other monsters are discussed behind
| Council closed doors.


ACTA-ion and ReACTA-ion

,----[ Quote ]
| Basically, it is an attempt to bring in yet more punitive measures against
| alleged infringements of intellectual monopolies, with less judicial
| oversight and no pesky European privacy protection.
| But the trouble with these kinds of crude instruments, cooked up in haste
| without much deep consideration of their knock-on effects, is that they can
| backfire.
| Here, for example, is a letter to the US Trade Representative from a bunch of
| big names, including Amazon, eBay and Yahoo. They have noticed a few tiny
| probs with ACTA:
| 'We appreciate your objective of protecting the intellectual property of
| American rightsholders from infringement overseas. However, in light of these
| European decisions, there is a very real possibility that an agreement that
| would require signatories to increase penalties for “counterfeiting”
| and “piracy” could be used to challenge American companies engaging in online
| practices that are entirely legal in the U.S., that bring enormous benefit to
| U.S. consumers, and that increase U.S. Exports.'
| Is this rich, or what? Here we have a trade agreement that is essentially
| trying to export the insanely aggressive US system for dealing with alleged
| infringements to the rest off the world, but when it works the other way –
| with European norms exported to the US – suddenly, that's a problem.


Research firm emails 20,000 addresses in the clear

,----[ Quote ]
| Today's doofus is investor research company Digital Look. It sent a mail
| yesterday morning which revealed 22,129 email addresses.


Stop the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

,----[ Quote ]
| I just heard about the proposed ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement)
| over at Free Software Daily and from the Free Software Foundation. Right now
| the governments of the United States, the European Commission, Japan,
| Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Canada, and Mexico are
| secretly negotiating this new treaty which aims to increase the enforcement
| of intellectual property laws yet again.


ACTA's Unspeakable Acts

,----[ Quote ]
| Since neither the EU nor the UK government has deigned to let us peasants
| know anything about the current ACTA negotations, I was interested to see New
| Zealand's government releasing a statement...


Free Software leader slams NZ copyright

,----[ Quote ]
| “New Zealand’s law does not go as far as the DMCA in the US, but it is unjust
| nonetheless,” he says.
| “DRM is nearly always the result of a conspiracy of companies to restrict the
| technology available to the public. Such conspiracy should be a crime, and
| the executives responsible for it should be sentenced to prison.”
| Stallman’s other mission here is to promote the Free Software Movement. The
| creator of the GPL licence, under which most free software is distributed, is
| at pains to correct misunderstandings of what the term “free software” means
| and to draw a distinction between it and the open source movement.


Act Now on ACTA

,----[ Quote ]
| One of the things that has amazed me recently is the power of the letter –
| or, more specifically, the power of the letter when sent to an MP or MEP.
| Naively, I would have expected a deafening silence from these exalted beings
| in receipt of my ever so 'umble communications, but by and large they are
| astonishingly quick to respond, often with personal replies. From this I draw
| an important lesson: that it is always worth writing to your Mps/MEPs about
| things that matter to you.
| Against that background, over the next few weeks, I aim to present a few
| worthy causes to readers of this blog that they might like to take up with
| representatives. Remember, finding the latter – and sending stuff to them –
| is trivially easy thanks to the wonders of the WriteToThem site, so there's
| no excuse for not joining in.


Sysadmins slam ACMA web filtering study

,----[ Quote ]
| The Guild also expressed concerns about the false positives encountered
| during the ACMA test. The most accurate filter tested incorrectly blocked
| three percent of requests, but when scaled up to the traffic volumes of a
| medium to large ISP this would mean over 3000 requests would be blocked every
| second.


IETF tackling P2P data traffic in Tokyo even though the same content is
available on a server in London.

,----[ Quote ]
| There are a number of possible solutions: The P4P working group at Yale
| University has conducted initial testing in the Verizon and Telefonica
| networks. On the other side of the pond, an EU supported research project is
| working on a solution called Network-Aware P2P TV Application Over Wise
| Networks. In spring, Berlin computer science professor Anja Feldmann
| presented the concept of an "oracle" server, which would deliver a rating
| list of the closest P2P nodes.
| [...]
| Another SIP expert, Henning Schultzrinne of Columbia University, raised the
| possibility of giving end users more control over data traffic costs.
| Currently, users face the disheartening possibility of risking a hefty bill
| for P2P traffic. At his university, it is standard operating procedure to
| block access to users who have exceeded their 252 gigabyte monthly volume.


Why We Must React to ACTA

,----[Quote ]
| The name of the “Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement” – ACTA – is indicative
| of the overall approach being taken. First, this is a trade agreement, which
| means that it by-passes many of the more open processes for drawing up
| international agreements. This has allowed it to be discussed in secret,
| amongst a cosy club of interested parties and their chums – notably, those in
| industries based on exploiting intellectual monopolies.
| Moreover, this is an invitation-only club, which has led to the exclusion of
| most developing countries, and hence most of the world in terms of
| population. It is nothing less than cyber-imperialism by the rich countries
| that for so long have imposed their agendas on the rest of the globe, but
| which finally see their traditional hegemony threatened by the rise of new
| powers – and new ideas. ACTA is a last-ditch attempt to lock the world into
| an old and outdated mindset.



Senators Plan To Unveil New IP Bill

,----[ Quote ]
| Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy and ranking member Arlen
| Specter will join Sens. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., and George Voinovich, R-Ohio, on
| Thursday in unveiling new legislation intended to boost government efforts to
| crack down on counterfeiting and piracy.


FSF organizes against Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

,----[ Quote ]
| "At the moment, the campaign's mostly information," Lee says. "What we want
| to do is get more people involved who can help us build public awareness and
| also build up the information on ACTA."
| Other ways that free software users can help the FSF campaign, Lee suggests,
| include local campaigns that contact your elected representatives and
| starting grass root organizations to help create a world-wide action network.
| Lee also stresses the importance of translating information from English to
| help resistance to ACTA in non-English speaking countries.
| "It's early days for the campaign," Lee says. "It's an ongoing battle, but
| ultimately we're going to ride this through and see ACTA defeated. But we
| need people to get involved to help us do this."


ACTA threatens free software

,----[ Quote ]
| 1. It makes it more difficult to distribute free software: Without file
|    sharing and P2P technologies like BitTorrent, distributing large amounts
|    of free software becomes much harder, and more expensive. BitTorrent is a
|    grassroots protocol that allows everyone to contribute to legally
|    distributing free software.
| 2. It will make it harder for users of free operating systems to play
|    media: Consumers will no longer be able to buy media without DRM -- and
|    DRMed media cannot be played with free software.
| 3. It increases the chances of getting your devices taken away: Portable
|    media players that support free formats are less common than devices which
|    support DRM, such as the iPod. Will this make them suspicious to border
|    guards?
| 4. It creates a culture of surveillance and suspicion, in which the
|    freedom that is required to produce free software is seen as dangerous and
|    threatening rather than creative, innovative, and exciting.


The right to peer inside your iPod

,----[ Quote ]
| An agreement on intellectual property rights to be ratified by the G8 heads
| of government highlights conflicts between ownership and privacy


Microsoft could force your mobile into silence

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft is developing a new technology that could force mobiles into silent
| mode, or even prevent calls from being made.
| [...]
| Phone jammers, which work in small spaces, are banned in the UK and come with
|| a hefty fine for use.


Digital copyright: it's all wrong

,----[ Quote ]
| The ACTA draft is a scary document. If a treaty based on its provisions were
| adopted, it would enable any border guard, in any treaty country, to check
| any electronic device for any content that they suspect infringes copyright
| laws. They need no proof, only suspicion.
| They would be able to seize any device - laptop, iPod, DVD recorder, mobile
| phone, etc - and confiscate it or destroy anything on it, merely on
| suspicion. On the spot, no lawyers, no right of appeal, no nothing.


Embattled ACTA Negotiations Next Week In Geneva; US Sees Signing This Year

,----[ Quote ]
| Criticism from NGOs
| Canadian law expert David Fewer, staff counsel at the University of Ottawa’s
| Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic, told the Ottawa Citizen
| that the discussion paper was very close to a potential Christmas wish-list
| by Hollywood companies.
| Knowledge Ecology International (KEI), in an earlier statement filed to USTR,
| warned against a lack in differentiation and clearness of core terms, like
| counterfeiting, infringement or piracy. “Is Microsoft a “pirate” for
| insisting on the right to continue to infringe the z4 patents in order to use
| an infringing DRM technology to protect Microsoft software itself from
| infringement by unauthorised uses?” KEI asked in its statement.

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