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[News] Digital Economy Bill Days Away from Democracy Subversion, ACTA Leaked and Attacked

  • Subject: [News] Digital Economy Bill Days Away from Democracy Subversion, ACTA Leaked and Attacked
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 01 Apr 2010 11:01:07 +0100
  • Followup-to: comp.os.linux.advocacy
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[ACTA leak]


The Digital Economy Bill: A taxation on salt

,----[ Quote ]
| MPs have the opportunity now to take the 
| Digital Economy Bill in wash-up and do just 
| what a wash-up implies: clean it out. If 
| they donât, and if lobbies like BPI get 
| their way, weâre in for a satyagraha.


Lib Dems to fight Digital Economy Bill over 'wash-up'

,----[ Quote ]
| The Liberal Democrats will try to block the 
| Digital Economy Bill from being fast-
| tracked into law before the election.
| On Tuesday afternoon, the party's chief 
| whip Paul Burstow tweeted that he had told 
| the government the Liberal Democrats will 
| not support the bill as it is drafted 
| because there is "not enough time for MPs 
| to examine it in detail".
| The bill is expected to be become part of 
| 'wash-up', a brief period at the end of a 
| sitting parliament when outstanding 
| legislation becomes the subject of back-
| room deals between the main two parties, 
| the Conservatives and Labour. 


7 days to stop the Bill!

,----[ Quote ]
| ORG and 38 Degrees are pushing to get 
| national advertising placed just before the 
| debate on Tuesday next week: when 
| Parliament will, in effect, allow the Bill 
| to be passed into âwash upâ without proper 
| democratic scrutiny, denying us a national 
| discussion about the rights and wrongs of 
| this Bill.


New ACTA leak: 01/18 version of consolidated text


Anti-ACTA poster on 4chan

,----[ Quote ]
| If you believed Rupert Murdochâs droppings 
| and other offerings from the lamescream 
| press corpse, youâd think the net was a 
| minor event, a passing fancy which, while 
| itâs having a certain effect on traditional 
| media, isnât terribly important in the 
| overall scheme of things.
| The reality is: modern 21st-century 
| communications wielded person-to-person, 
| direct, have already permanently unseated 
| the old-style print and electronic media 
| outlets. Increasingly, ordinary people are 
| talking to each other one-on-one, or group-
| to-group, via blogs, citizen journalist 
| sites, IM, chat, cellphones and other hand-
| helds, and so on.
| Rupert, et al, donât stand a chance.
| [...]
| Bottom line, although ACTA being touted as 
| a trade agreenment, itâs the thin end of a 
| wedge which would ultimately give the 
| cartels what amounts to governmental-type 
| control over what people do and how they do 
| it not only online, but off.
| But for the first time in history, People 
| Power rules. And they know it.


Delusional EU ACTA negotiator claims that three strikes has never been proposed at ACTA


Secret ACTA fights over iPod border-searches 

,----[ Quote ]
| The copyright industries wanted border-
| searches on anything digital you were 
| carrying that could be used to infringe 
| copyright, from your phone to your iPod to 
| the laptop that had your confidential 
| client documents, your personal email, your 
| finances, pictures of your kids in the 
| bath, etc.


IFLA Position on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

,----[ Quote ]
| IFLA and its members are gravely concerned 
| by the extreme secrecy surrounding the ACTA 
| negotiations and the complete lack of 
| transparency related to ACTA's procedures, 
| provisions, and priorities, which is 
| unprecedented for a global-norm setting 
| activity among democratic nations. The 
| issues involved have many facets and should 
| be discussed in an open and fair manner at 
| WIPO, the appropriate forum for such 
| topics.


UK record lobby has vehement feelings on Digital Economy Bill debate, won't say what they are

,----[ Quote ]
| My latest Guardian column, "Does the BPI 
| want MPs to debate the digital economy bill 
| properly?" addresses the British 
| Phonographic Institute's weird, vehement 
| silence on Parliament's debate on its pet 
| legislation, the dread Digital Economy 
| Bill. Vehement silence? Oh yes.


Leaked ACTA Text Shows Possible Contradictions With National Laws 

,----[ Quote ]
| âNo changes in domesticâ law promised the 
| partners currently negotiating the Anti-
| Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. A leaked 
| 56-page recent consolidated version of the 
| much-discussed agreement shows that this 
| might not be completely true. The draft 
| version with a lot of bracketed text shows 
| that some countries are more open about the 
| potential need to change their domestic 
| laws than others. 


Three core reasons for rejecting ACTA

,----[ Quote ]
| These three points have been repeatedly 
| documented in each and every piece of 
| information that has been disclosed, since 
| the beginning of the ACTA process:
|     * ACTA is policy laundering1 in which 
|     an international negotiation is used to 
|     circumvent democratic debates at 
|     national or European level and adopt 
|     policy that the Parliaments will have 
|     no choice but to reject completely or 
|     adopt as a whole. Congress might not 
|     even be consulted in the case of the 
|     United States2.
|     * The promoters and drafters of ACTA 
|     have created a mixed bag of titles3, 
|     types of infringement and enforcement 
|     measures, in which life-endangering 
|     fake products and organized crime 
|     activities are considered together with 
|     non-for-profit activities that play a 
|     role in access to knowledge, 
|     innovation, culture and freedom of 
|     expression. ACTA would create a de 
|     facto presumption of infringement.
|     * In the negotiations, the EU is 
|     pushing the worse parts of the former 
|     directive proposal on criminal 
|     sanctions for IPR enforcement (IPRED 2, 
|     withdrawn because of uncertain legal 
|     basis), that is criminal sanctions for 
|     abetting or inciting to infringement.


Toward an ACTA Super-Structure: How ACTA May Replace WIPO

,----[ Quote ]
| For the past two years, most of the ACTA 
| discussion has centered on two issues: (1) 
| substantive concerns such as the 
| possibility of three strikes and a 
| renegotiation of the WIPO Internet 
| treaties; and (2) transparency issues.  The 
| leak of the comprehensive ACTA text 
| highlights the fact that a third issue 
| should be part of the conversation.  The 
| text reveals that ACTA is far more than a 
| simple trade agreement.  Rather, it 
| envisions the establishment of a super-
| structure that replicates many of the 
| responsibilities currently assumed by the 
| World Intellectual Property Organization.  
| Given the public acknowledgement by 
| negotiating countries that ACTA is a direct 
| response to perceived gridlock at WIPO, 
| some might wonder whether ACTA is 
| ultimately designed to replace WIPO as the 
| primary source of international IP law and 
| policy making.


The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

,----[ Quote ]
| The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, a 
| plurilateral agreement negotiated outside 
| of the WTO's processes and protections, is 
| the biggest set of new laws to hit 
| international Intellectual Property. Many 
| organizations have had serious concerns 
| about the potential civil liberty and 
| economic impact of ACTA. A draft text of 
| ACTA has been leaked here.
| [...]
| 6) Seizure of goods at the border: a 
| potentially injured party may apply for the 
| suspension of the release of potentially 
| infringing goods- and that one application 
| is valid for ONE YEAR from the date of 
| application. This places the work burden on 
| the government as opposed to the private 
| companies who fear infringement (regulatory 
| capture). Singapore proposes an alternative 
| that applies to specific shipments and 
| lasts for 60 days only.


Digital Economy: The Mandelson letters

,----[ Quote ]
| Last September, as debate raged about the 
| government's plans to crack down on illegal 
| file-sharing - and the extent to which they 
| might have been influenced by lobbying - 
| the BBC put in a freedom-of-information 
| request to the Department for Business. We 
| requested information about any 
| correspondence relating to online piracy or 
| illegal file-sharing.
| Now, after a long wait, we've been supplied 
| with a stack of letters to and from Lord 
| Mandelson and other ministers relating to 
| this issue. Those looking for a smoking gun 
| - perhaps a despatch from a Hollywood 
| tycoon warning "Cut 'em off or else!" - may 
| be disappointed.
| But the letters do show a sustained 
| campaign of lobbying in favour of the 
| Digital Economy Bill by music-industry 
| trade bodies - and by opponents trying to 
| persuade Lord Mandelson that some of its 
| measures will be damaging to civil 
| liberties, as well as being costly and 
| ineffective.


LibDem MPs won't fight for debate on Digital Economy Bill

,----[ Quote ]
| Rather than calling for a full debate on 
| the bill's provision allowing the record 
| industry to take away your family's 
| internet access if they believe (but can't 
| prove) you've infringed on copyright, the 
| LibDems have joined the other parties in 
| supporting a short, 45-minute half-day 
| second reading.
| After that, the Digital Economy Bill will 
| disappear into "wash up," a fast-track, no-
| debate way of passing bills, usually 
| reserved for bills that everyone agrees on 
| and that need to get pushed through before 
| an election.


Outrageous Treaty Nonsense, or The Copyright Tail Wagging the Internet Dog

,----[ Quote ]
| Iâve been remiss, as the VCâs (sort-of) 
| copyright/Internet law guy, in not 
| commenting previously about a truly 
| outrageous bit of executive branch over-
| reaching on Hollywoodâs behalf. I am 
| referring to the ongoing negotiations about 
| ACTA, the multilateral âAnti-Counterfeiting 
| Trade Agreement.â [See Jonathan Adlerâs 
| posting earlier today about ACTA here] The 
| US Trade Representativeâs office has been 
| conducting these negotiations entirely in 
| secret (on some ridiculous trumped-up 
| ânational securityâ rationale) for several 
| years now on this Agreement; a current 
| draft was recently leaked to the press, and 
| it confirms many peoplesâ worst fears. 
| Hereâs my attempt at a summary of whatâs 
| going on â if youâre interested in more 
| details (and I hope you are), Iâve listed 
| at the end of this posting some excellent 
| sources of further information.


The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement 

,----[ Quote ]
| In short, ACTA is geared up to do almost 
| exactly what I predicted in a "Recent 
| Development" in YJIL last year (The Origins 
| and Potential Impact of the Anti-
| Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), 34 
| Yale J. Intâl L. 261 (2009)). It amps up IP 
| protection and criminal sanctions, without 
| respecting existing international 
| institutional process and involving the 
| interests of developing countries.


Some More Lowlights From The Leaked ACTA Draft: Whole Thing Can Be Rammed Through With 5 Votes

,----[ Quote ]
| Michael Geist points us to a rather 
| thorough review, by Margot Kaminski, of 
| some of the more troubling aspects of the 
| leaked ACTA draft. Kaminski highlights 24 
| different points, but we'll just pick out a 
| few key ones. For example, she notes that 
| ACTA would create an express lane for 
| intellectual property cases in the courts, 
| and questions: "Why should copyright take 
| precedent over other cases and have such a 
| fast turnaround?" There are a few 
| concerning things about border searches. 
| While ACTA negotiators and defenders keep 
| insisting that ACTA won't mean border 
| searches for individuals, the draft 
| highlights a few things that are troubling. 
| For example, the US, Canada and New Zealand 
| want to change the exemption criteria for 
| border searches from the current "small 
| quantities of goods of a non-commercial 
| nature" to the much lower standard of 
| "reasonably attributable to personal use of 
| the traveler." In other words, this does, 
| in fact, grant more powers to customs and 
| border patrol to search laptops and iPods 
| and the like, if there's any indication of 
| more information that is "reasonably 
| attributable to personal use," -- though, 
| that standard seems quite vague and 
| subjective.


ACTAâs beginning of the end

,----[ Quote ]
| Secondly, Devigne denied the second item in 
| the answer to Hammerstein, who asked about 
| the Commissionâs name and shame list. It 
| seems riddiculous to deny such an approach 
| and plan given the âGlobal Europeâ strategy 
| contents, also given earlier statements 
| from the directorate. They would no do 
| that, indicated Devigne. How pathetic!
| Oh, and letâs not mention the desasterous 
| performance of Devigne regarding admitting 
| that they wonât respect the parliamentâs 
| resolution on limit to counterfeiting. 
| There he stressed being in line with the 
| acquis again.


Anti-counterfeiting agreement raises constitutional concerns

,----[ Quote ]
| The much-criticized cloak of secrecy that 
| has surrounded the Obama administration's 
| negotiation of the multilateral Anti-
| Counterfeiting Trade Agreement was broken 
| Wednesday. The leaked draft of ACTA belies 
| the U.S. trade representative's assertions 
| that the agreement would not alter U.S. 
| intellectual property law. And it raises 
| the stakes on the constitutionally dubious 
| method by which the administration proposes 
| to make the agreement binding on the United 
| States. 


A few ACTA notes

,----[ Quote ]
| After speaking with people in or close to 
| the negotiations, European Commission and 
| Spanish Presidency of the EU, this is some 
| of what I have gathered despite dealing 
| with very tight-lipped people:
| 1.  The negotiations are not going that 
| well and many issues are still wide open. 
| It is doubtful they could wrap up soon.
| 2. There is a significant problem in making 
| US and EU legislation compatible on a 
| number of issues. One of the important 
| topics of contention, but not the only one,  
| is probably  the differences between US 
| âfair useâ and the âcommercial scaleâ, term 
| the EU negotiators seem adamant on leaving  
| very ambiguous to be interpreted later a la 
| carte, even with all the risks involved.


Report From The Field: ACTA Negotiations Not Going Well

,----[ Quote ]
| As well they should. This is a point that 
| we've raised repeatedly, noting not just 
| the similarities between the methods used 
| for censorship in authoritarian countries 
| and ACTA, but also in the way that those 
| countries will almost certainly use ACTA to 
| justify their own censorship. 


Digital economy bill to be pushed through parliament next month

,----[ Quote ]
| The controversial digital economy bill will 
| be pushed through in the "wash-up" leading 
| up to an election, after the government 
| confirmed that it will receive its second 
| reading in the Commons on 6 April â the 
| same day that Gordon Brown is expected to 
| seek Parliament's dissolution.


Entertainment Industy letter to Obama on ACTA

,----[ Quote ]
| Just in case anyone does not appreciate how 
| difficult it will be to change the USTR 
| direction on ACTA, note that today the USTR 
| proudly put this letter on the USTR Blog:
| http://www.ustr.gov/about-us/press-office/blog/2010/march/new-information-ustrgov/acta
| (Maybe best to first skip down to see who 
| signed it).


USTR Wants People To Know That At Least Someone Likes ACTA

,----[ Quote ]
| But, really, it's incredibly telling that 
| the USTR is only willing to promote the 
| letters it's received in support of ACTA, 
| isn't it? Lots of people have been 
| contacting the USTR with concerns about 
| ACTA, and those don't get highlighted on 
| the website at all. It's as if the USTR 
| wants to make it clear that it works for 
| the RIAA and the ITA, rather than the 
| citizens of the country. It's reached the 
| point where it's obvious that the USTR's 
| focus is not on creating a good trade 
| agreement, but on the trade agreement that 
| some lobbyists wanted. It seems obvious 
| that the USTR is not interested in 
| understanding the complaints, but only in 
| getting ACTA finished.


ACTA Draft: No Internet for Copyright Scofflaws

,----[ Quote ]
| The United States is nudging the 
| international community to develop 
| protocols to suspend the internet 
| connections of customers caught downloading 
| copyrighted works, according to a leaked 
| draft of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade 
| Agreement.


Written Declaration 12/2010 signatories list


[Digital Economy Bill protests photo]


File-sharing and the War on the Internet

,----[ Quote ]
| Well, as I pointed out yesterday, the 
| reason for this cognitive dissonance is 
| that the Digital Economy Bill should really 
| be called the *Analogue* Economy Bill: it 
| seeks to preserve the old way of doing 
| business in the world of music and films, 
| where people bought CDs and DVDs - physical 
| objects that cost money to make. Today, by 
| contrast, the marginal cost of producing an 
| MP3 file, say, is as near zero as to make 
| no difference.


ACTA Set To Cover Not Just Copyrights & Trademarks, But Seven Areas Of IP

,----[ Quote ]
|    1. Copyright and Related Rights
|    2. Trademarks
|    3. Geographical Indications
|    4. Industrial Designs
|    5. Patents
|    6. Layout-Designs (Topographies) of 
|    Integrated Circuits
|    7. Protection of Undisclosed Information


ACTA to cover seven catagories of intellectual property

,----[ Quote ]
| The ten defined terms include:
|     * days
|     * intellectual property (See below)
|     * Council (ACTA Oversight Council)
|     * measure
|     * person (natural or juridical)
|     * right owner (includes federation or 
|     assicaitons that have legal standing or 
|     authoirty to assert rights)
|     * territory
|     * TRIPS Agreement
|     * WTO
|     * WTO Agreement


I Feel Like Iâm Taking Crazy Pills: EUâs Latest ACTA Proposal Outlaws the Internet

,----[ Quote ]
| Sometimes a story is so insane that you 
| canât help but wonder if someone has 
| slipped you some crazy pills.  See, for 
| example, the Google prosecution in Italy. I 
| honestly thought that story could not be 
| topped. But lo and behold, it appears that 
| the EU has proposed to add third-party 
| CRIMINAL liability to the Anti-Counterfeit 
| Trade Agreement (ACTA). This essentially 
| outlaws the entire Internet. Insanity.
| Background: Third party civil liability for 
| copyright infringement is an emerging, but 
| still controversial, doctrine as applied to 
| the Internet. A site may be liable if it 
| has incited and/or facilitated the 
| violation of copyright, see Grokster. The 
| limits of this doctrine are still being 
| tested: it is not clear what level of 
| hosting or facilitating actually triggers 
| liability.  For an example of this endemic 
| uncertainty, the  512 of the DMCA creates 
| a safe harbor for ISPs, provided that the 
| ISP expeditiously removes infringing 
| content after the ISP is put on notice. 
| However, it is unclear what material is so 
| obviously infringing that its very presence 
| should put the ISP on notice (this is the 
| controversial âred flagâ test). 


The broad threats of ACTA

,----[ Quote ]
| ACTA aims to create a new model of global 
| governance that bypasses the normal 
| procedures of multilateral international 
| institutions, the European Parliament and 
| national legislatures.
| ACTA is a vast protectionist initiative to 
| defend a few economic interests of the 
| richest countries and to limit access to 
| knowledge and other socially essential 
| goods like medicines in the developing 
| nations. Poorer countries will be forced to 
| agree to ACTA's unfair provisions as a 
| condition for free trade agreements and 
| other bilateral accords.
| ACTA willfully confuses fake, fraudulant 
| drugs with legal, generic drugs under the 
| same suspicion and same possible 
| confiscation. Draconian border measures and 
| criminal enforcement imposed on third 
| countries will create barriers to trade in 
| essential, life-saving medication and other 
| goods.


ACTA and the European Commission: The great escape

,----[ Quote ]
| Members of Act Up-Paris and La Quadrature 
| du Net attended this morning a  
| stakeholders meeting  on ACTA hosted by 
| the European Commission. Questions asked by 
| the public faced a wall of condescendence 
| and disdain. Luc Devigneâs answers did not 
| reassure us. On the contrary, they 
| strenghtened Act Up-Paris, April and La 
| Quadratureâs concerns that ACTA could 
| endanger access to medicine, Free Software 
| and freedom of expression on the Net, while 
| circumventing democratic processes.


ACTA â Stakeholdersâ Consultation Meeting


ACTA New Zealand meeting agenda


ACTA: an unseen treaty in the making

,----[ Quote ]
| Le Monde diplomatique has just obtained a 
| copy of section 2 of the ACTA treaty 
| project, titled âBorder Measuresâ and 
| consisting of a dozen pages outlining, in 
| very detailed practical terms, the future 
| of customs practices with respect to âgoods 
| suspected of infringing intellectual 
| property rightsâ.


EU defends itself from attack on ACTA

,----[ Quote ]
| At a public hearing in Brussels today, the 
| EU executive tried to reassure business and 
| civil liberties groups that the EU would 
| impose criminal sanctions only on 
| counterfeit goods "on a commercial scale," 
| but not on "proverbial housewife file-
| sharing," meaning by private individuals.


EU Negotiators Insist That ACTA Will Move Forward And There's Nothing To Worry About

,----[ Quote ]
| The talking points from ACTA negotiators 
| seem clear. When accused of being 
| secretive, deny it and insist that you're 
| being open. If really pushed on the matter, 
| blame mysterious, nameless "others" for 
| keeping the documents secret. Then, when 
| specific items in the text are brought up, 
| insist that these are being misrepresented, 
| and if only you could see the real text 
| (which you can't, because it's a secret) 
| you'd know that it was all blown out of 
| proportion. Then, finally, insist that ACTA 
| won't change any laws. Of course, if that 
| were the case, there would be no need for 
| ACTA at all.


To: EC's Directorate General for Trade

,----[ Quote ]
| Without much fanfare, the European 
| Commission has arranged an "ACTA 
| Stakeholdersâ Consultation Meeting". Of 
| course, the big problem is that it's in 
| Brussels, and few of us can afford to take 
| a day off work to attend - unless we are 
| professional lobbyists, of course, who get 
| *paid* huge sums to attend.


Big ACTA Leak: Full Consolidated Text

,----[ Quote ]
| La Quadrature du Net has obtained another 
| ACTA document - and it's a biggie, but at 
| the moment only a 56-page PDF. You can help 
| convert it into text.


ACTA's De Minimis Provision: Countering the iPod Searching Border Guard Fears

,----[ Quote ]
| The E.U. version:
| Where a traveler's personal baggage 
| contains goods of a non-commercial nature 
| within the limits of the duty-free 
| allowance and there are no material 
| indications to suggest the goods are part 
| of commercial traffic, each Party may 
| consider to leave such goods, or part of 
| such goods, outside the scope of this 
| section.]
| Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and 
| Singapore support alternative wording:
| Where a traveler's personal baggage 
| contains trademark goods or copyright 
| materials of a non-commercial nature within 
| the limits of the duty-free allowance {Aus: 
| or where copyright materials or trademark 
| goods are sent in small consignments} and 
| there are no material indiciations to 
| suggest the goods are part of commercial 
| traffic, Parties may consider such goods to 
| be outside the scope of this Agreement.]
| Japan favours the following:
| Where a Party excludes from the application 
| of the provisions in this Section small 
| quantities of goods of a non-commercial 
| nature contained in traveler's personal 
| luggage, the Party shall ensure that the 
| quantitites of goods eligible for such 
| exclusion shall be limited to the minimum 
| allowed within its available resources.]
| And Canada, New Zealand, and the U.S. would 
| also support this approach:
| Where a traveler's personal baggage 
| contains goods of non-commerical nature in 
| quantities reasonably attributable to the 
| personal use of the traveler there are no 
| material indications to suggest the goods 
| are part of commercial traffic, each Party 
| may consider that such goods are outside 
| the scope of this section]


The EU ACTA Consultation: European Commission vs. European Parliament

,----[ Quote ]
| The European Commission hosted a 
| fascinating consultation on ACTA today.  
| Luc Devigne, the lead European negotiator, 
| opened with a brief presentation and 
| proceeded to field questions for over an 
| hour.  The full consultation video is 
| available online.  The discussion touched 
| on many issues including Devigne arguing 
| that the WTO consistently blocked any 
| attempt to address IP enforcement issues 
| and stating that the treaty is limited to 
| enforcement and not new substantive 
| provisions (this assumes that anti-
| circumvention rules are a matter of 
| enforcement, not substance).


10,000 people call for proper debate on the Digital Economy Bill

,----[ Quote ]
| So far, over 10,000 people have written to 
| their MPs demanding that the government 
| does its job and holds a proper debate on 
| the Digital Economy Bill. If you haven't 
| done so already, send a letter to your MP 
| now, and ask your friends to do the same. 
| It's a simple, quick and easy process. You 
| can either email the standard letter 
| provided on that site, or write your own.


Your life will some day end; ACTA will live on

,----[ Quote ]
| The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement 
| (ACTA) isn't just another secret treatyâ
| it's a way of life. If ACTA passes in 
| anything like its current form, it will 
| create an entirely new international 
| secretariat to administer and extend the 
| agreement.
| Knowledge Ecology International got its 
| hands on more of the leaked ACTA text this 
| week, including a chapter on "Institutional 
| Arrangements" that has not leaked before. 
| The chapter makes clear that ACTA will be 
| far more than a standard trade agreement; 
| it appears to be nothing less than an 
| attempt to make a new international 
| institution that will handle some of the 
| duties of groups like the WTO and WIPO.


Let's kill the Digital Economy Bill

,----[ Quote ]
| THE PEOPLE have the chance to rise up and 
| crush the Digital Economy Bill before the 
| UK Government grovels before the 
| entertainment cartels.
| Thanks to people power society 38 Degrees 
| and the Open Rights Group, Internet users 
| who object to the threat of disconnection 
| can write to their MPs and prevent the 
| Government from rushing the bill through.


If ACTA Gets Approved, Expect China To Use It As Justification For Censorship

,----[ Quote ]
| While one of ACTA's biggest supporters, 
| Rep. Howard Berman, is now pushing for laws 
| to stop companies aiding in China's 
| censorship, he might want to consider that 
| a better plan would be to back down on 
| ACTA. If ACTA passes, it seems quite likely 
| that China would then use it as 
| justification for its own "great firewall" 
| censorship program. Already, we're seeing 
| that China is looking to use plans for 
| internet filters in Australia to its own 
| advantage by comparing that system to its 
| own -- and you can bet China would be 
| thrilled to be able to use a US-backed 
| concept to support its continued 
| censorship. 


ACTA: the new institution

,----[ Quote ]
| KEI has access to yet undisclosed sections 
| of the negotiating ACTA text. The text is 
| organized in 6 chapters. The longest is 
| Chapter 2 on "legal framework for 
| enforcement of intellectual property 
| rights." The second longest is Chapter 5, 
| on "Institutional Arrangements." In ten 
| pages of text, the ACTA negotiators have 
| set out a plan to create a new institution 
| to administer, implement and modify ACTA. 
| ACTA is seen as playing an important role 
| that will rival in some ways the WIPO or 
| WTO.


New ACTA Leaks: Criminal Enforcement, Institutional Issues, and International Cooperation

,----[ Quote ]
| New ACTA leaks have emerged this week that 
| fill in the blanks about the remainder of 
| the still-secret treaty.  While earlier 
| leaks provided extensive detail on the 
| Internet and civil enforcement chapters, 
| these latest leaks shed new light into the 
| criminal enforcement section, the chapter 
| on ACTA institutional issues, and 
| international cooperation.


Would the actions of the Digital Economy Bill be tolerated âofflineâ?

,----[ Quote ]
| Thereâs a race on, and no itâs not the 
| Cheltenham festival. Should the election be 
| held on the 6th of May as is expected then 
| parliament will be duly dissolved around 
| the 6th of April, which leaves only 10 days 
| of parliamentary time to debate all the 
| remaining laws trying to be passed. It is 
| this reason that when the Lords finally 
| passed the Digital Economy Bill on the 15th 
| of March they spent a significant portion 
| of time discussing the issue of the âwash-
| upâ, or a (relatively) clandestine period 
| of legislative discussion that occurs in 
| the twilight between an announcement of an 
| election being made, and parliament being 
| closed down for the impending election.
| [...]
| The Digital Economy Bill is a step back for 
| all of us, and another shot in the foot for 
| our very democracy; a heavy handed approach 
| to a relatively small issue. So again, if 
| you havenât done so please write to your MP 
| and let them know you simply want them to 
| do their duty in representing you and 
| protecting you against hastily crafted law 
| that isnât in your best interests. If weâre 
| lucky then we may make sure that it is only 
| the few uncontroversial parts of this law 
| that make it on to the books.


Don't rush through extreme web laws

,----[ Quote ]
| Weâve teamed up with Open Rights Group to 
| make it easy for you to write to your MP 
| urging them to stop the Government rushing 
| the bill through. Itâll take you less than 
| 2 minutes. Just enter your postcode above 
| (so we can find your MP) and click 
| âparticipateâ to get started.


Just As It Tries To Kick People Offline, The British Gov't Wants To Move All Public Service Online

,----[ Quote ]
| Just as it considers kicking people offline 
| via the Digital Economy Bill, it looks like 
| the UK is getting set to move all sorts of 
| government services online -- giving every 
| UK citizen a unique webpage, where they can 
| access all sorts of personalized gov't 
| services. 


Rush to pass digital bill will 'sidestep democracy'

,----[ Quote ]
| A group of senior public figures have 
| called on the government to abandon its 
| plan to push through controversial digital 
| economy bill before the election, amid 
| claims that the move could "sidestep" the 
| democratic process.
| Earlier this week the government revealed 
| that it wants to force the digital economy 
| bill - which includes the controversial 
| "three strikes" rule to cut off the 
| internet connections of those accused of 
| illegal file sharing - into the statute 
| books in the next few weeks.


The BPI's China-like clauses in the Digital Economy Bill

,----[ Quote ]
| In other words, the Secretary of State gets 
| to decide what counts as misuse, and 
| reputational damage. Clauses 20 and 21 give 
| further powers to take over management of a 
| registry and change it's constitution, 
| again by fiat.


A state-sponsored book-burning parade.

,----[ Quote ]
| For months, my head has been jammed with 
| anger and ideas about the Digital Economy 
| Bill that's in the last stages of being 
| rushed through parliament. I keep meaning 
| to discuss it on this blog, and I haven't. 
| Not because I don't care - actually, this 
| piece of legislation offends me personally 
| and politically more than anything Labour 
| have done since they took us into Iraq - 
| but because I care so profoundly that I 
| don't think anything I can say can really 
| do it justice. Pathetically, I'm also a bit 
| intimidated by the volume of clever stuff 
| that's been already been said about 
| corporate copyright protection, and I'm 
| scared that if I try to express how I feel 
| I'll reveal myself as a Stupid Shouty Girl 
| who Doesn't Understand. But I've got to at 
| least acknowledge that this matters to me. 
| It matters because the Digital Economy Bill 
| is one of the most significant assaults on 
| human rights that Labour has managed to 
| execute in its twelve-year trigger-happy 
| showdown with British civil liberties.


Debate: Will The Digital Economy Bill Undermine Our Basic Rights?


The Digital Economy Bill: A wise move?

,----[ Quote ]
| In one corner, we have the major record 
| labels saying filesharing is theft that has 
| "cost" billions; in the other we have the 
| rest of the market showing that they donât 
| agree. That cost includes the death of a 
| retail market, which would seem an 
| inevitable part of all downloading, not 
| just illegal downloading. Music is 
| downloaded (legally and illegally) on a 
| scale that record sales never matched and 
| there is evidence to show that consumers 
| who download and share the most music are 
| also the people who are buying it. Some 
| companies want to grasp the opportunities 
| the internet gives, but not adjust to its 
| challenges.


Brits: last chance to demand debate on Digital Economy Bill -- act now!

,----[ Quote ]
| We're in the final days for the British 
| Digital Economy Bill. This Thursday, the 
| House of Commons will decide whether to 
| subject the bill to line-by-line debate 
| (which will probably kill it or at least 
| delay it until after the election), or 
| whether to pass it without any real 
| scrutiny or debate. Given that the DEB will 
| touch every part of British life, from 
| education to civic engagement to health to 
| law enforcement to justice, it's insane to 
| think that Parliament might pass it without 
| even examining what it says. 


BPI Boycott


BPI lobbyist Mollett tries for parliament

,----[ Quote ]
| What does the Parliamentary candidacy of 
| the BPI's main spokesperson tell us about 
| the links between the BPI (the four major  
| record labels) and the Labour party? 
| [...]
| Mollett is unlikely to be elected. In fact, 
| Mollett stands a greater chance of scaling 
| the north face of the Eiger than he does of 
| winning leafy Farnham under a Labour 
| banner.  But his candidacy tell us  more 
| about the close ties between the 
| organisation he lobbies for - the BPI - and 
| the Labour party. The BPI, for which 
| Mollett is head of corporate 
| communications,  has lobbied extensively  
| for the Digital Economy Bill, and wrote at 
| least one amendment. The BPI   is currently 
| trying to get  the bill through Parliament 
| without a debate, before the election.  It   
| is lobbying for  the bill to either be 
| voted through by lazy and uncaring MPs, or 
| that in the so-called âwash-up' before the 
| election, a deal will be done which ensures 
| it goes through. A leaked email recently 
| exposed the BPI's attitude (see also my 
| previous article on the BPI email).


The Pirate Party UK Launches its 2010 Election Manifesto


U.K. Anti-Piracy Law To Allow Appeals 

,----[ Quote ]
| The U.K. government says it will add 
| measures to the Digital Economy Bill that 
| will create an appeals procedure for those 
| accused of online copyright infringement.

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