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[News] Why Microsoft Loves ACTA

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Microsoft Gets in on the ACTA 

,----[ Quote ]
| Now it looks like Microsoft is joining in:
|     a common tactic of intellectual 
|     property holders is to blur the 
|     distinction between counterfeit and 
|     pirated goods (and even legal generic 
|     goods, in the case of the 
|     pharmaceutical industry). Microsoft's 
|     press release exemplifies this, 
|     talking about "counterfeit Microsoft 
|     software purchased at resellers" and 
|     the "black market for pirated 
|     software" as if the two were 
|     synonymous. In fact, most consumers 
|     who obtain pirated goods on the black 
|     market realise that they are not 
|     original. Whilst Consumers 
|     International discourages consumers 
|     from using pirated goods, in many 
|     countries they have little choice, 
|     because originals are either 
|     unavailable or are priced far beyond 
|     their means.


Canadian Proposal for ACTA Secretariat

,----[ Quote ]
| The indispensable Jamie Love has posted a 
| much more convenient version of an earlier 
| leaked ânon-paperâ from Canada which 
| proposes an ACTA âCouncilâ, i.e. 
| secretariat, that would stand apart from 
| WIPO and the WTO.


Asian Tech Firms Buy Up Patents

,----[ Quote ]
| The days of U.S. technology companies 
| wielding patents to block Asian 
| competitors from the market or collect big 
| royalties may be waning. Ron Epstein, the 
| chief executive and co-founder of 
| IPotential, a San Mateo, Calif.-based 
| patent broker, says South Korean and 
| Taiwanese technology companies have been 
| contacting him to purchase patents. Their 
| goal? To ward off potential intellectual 
| property disputes before conflicts flare.
| The trend mirrors a path U.S. companies 
| took several years ago when they first 
| began buying patents defensively, say 
| Epstein, who calls patents a "competitive 
| tool." "Asian companies have seen the 
| success U.S. companies have had with 
| patent purchasing and are doing it 
| themselves," he says. He estimates that 
| Asian firms are two to three years behind 
| their Western counterparts in this regard. 



Ambassador Kirk: People would be âwalking away from the
tableâ if the ACTA text is made public

,----[ Quote ]
| I said that it was untrue that IPR
| negotiations are normally secret, mentioning
| as examples that drafts of the other IPR
| texts, including the proposed WIPO treaty
| for disabilities and the climate change
| agreement language on IPR, as well as
| several drafts of the FTAA text and the 1996
| WIPO copyright treaties had been public.
| Kirk said that ACTA âwas differentâ and the
| topics being negotiated in ACTA were âmore
| complex.â
| I brought up to Kirk that the USTR had shown
| ACTA text to dozens of corporate lobbyists
| and all of its trading partners in the ACTA
| negotiation, and the text was only secret
| from the public. Kirk did say USTR was
| discussing this issue with the White House
| and its trading partners, but that was about
| all he could say at that moment.


MPAA Says Copyright-Treaty Critics Hate Hollywood

,----[ Quote ]
| Dan Glickman, the MPAAâs chairman, informs
| lawmakers that millions of film-related
| jobs are in peril because of internet
| piracy. Simply put, those who donât back
| the proposed Anti-Counterfeiting and Trade
| Agreement donât support intellectual
| property rights, he wrote.


No, ACTA Secrecy Is Not 'Normal' -- Nor Is It A 'Distraction'

,----[ Quote ]
| A second point they make is that if the end
| result is really bad, countries can simply
| decide not to sign it and not to
| participate. Yes, stop laughing. It's as if
| they think that we're all idiots who
| haven't seen how lobbyists have
| historically relied on the line "but we
| must live up to our international
| obligations" to push through all sorts of
| laws the public does not support.


Will secret copyright treaty restrict your digital rights?

,----[ Quote ]
| Most Americans expect that their laws are
| only passed after some period of public
| debate between Republicans and Democrats or
| their news-channel proxies. However, the
| Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)
| may be an exception to this rule, and if it
| is signed, many United States laws
| concerning the Internet and ownership of
| data may become substantively different.


No, ACTA Secrecy Is Not 'Normal' -- Nor Is It A 'Distraction'

,----[ Quote ]
| Over the last few weeks people who are
| actually concerned about individual rights
| have done a decent job sounding the alarm
| about the problems with what little we've
| seen of the ACTA negotiations. In the last
| week or so, those who work for the
| entertainment industry have suddenly started
| scrambling to respond, after realizing that
| more and more people are starting to pay
| attention and to worry about ACTA. However,
| it's been pretty funny to watch the
| desperate attempts by industry lawyers to
| try to paint this all as much ado about
| nothing (with gratuitous swipes at those of
| us who have called attention to what's going
| on).


Stopping the ACTA Juggernaut

,----[ Quote ]
| The ACTA juggernaut continues to roll ahead,
| despite public indignation about an
| agreement supposedly about counterfeiting
| that has turned into a regime for global
| Internet regulation. The Office of the
| United States Trade Representative (USTR)
| has already announced that the next round of
| Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)
| negotiations will take place in January â
| with the aim of concluding the deal "as soon
| as possible in 2010."
| For the rest of us, with access to only
| leaks and whispers of what ACTA is about,
| there are many troubling questions. How can
| such a radical proposal legally be kept so
| secret from the millions of Net users and
| companies whose rights and freedoms stand to
| be affected? Who decides what becomes the
| law of the land and by what influence? Where
| is the public oversight for an agreement
| that would set the legal rules for the
| knowledge economy? And what can be done to
| fix this runaway process?


USA Treaty Priorities?

,----[ Quote ]
| Maybe the only explanation for the US being
| the last holdout from this worthy sounding
| treaty that even Somalia will ratify is that
| it is just too busy protecting the obsolete
| business models of the RIAA and MPAA through
| the secret ACTA treaty process and doesn't
| have enough time or resources to worry about
| lesser priorities, such as protecting
| children.

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