16 November 2010
ACTA Final Agreement Leaked
The final (non-fiftyfive-lawyer-agreed-upon)
version of the uber-secret
Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement
has been leaked.
More to come after review,
but I heard you can grab a copy here (pdf),
or here (txt/accessible).
Background: The ACTA sets up an in-effect internationalized version of Intellectual Property(IP) law and allows cross-country enforcement of them.
It also exports IP rights to other countries that participate in the ACTA.
In essence, it allows corporations such as the RIAA, to extend their grubby hands across the pond, and "forces" other countries (by virtue of this Agreement) to comply to their copyright.
The problem is the lack of checks and balances, and the risks it has when theorizing about trade agreements, and repercussions/sanctions/enforcement abilities.
Only the "Big Boys" have been invited to discuss and finalize the ACTA, yet it's more than likely that all countries will have the ACTA pushed upon them.
Lots of folk have bitched about how the meetings have been held "in secret," a policy pushed out by -- drumroll please -- the United States Government. (In comparison, the EU recently crowdsourced elements from the agreement to its citizens inviting feeedback).
Ironic -- The US was 'created' over being fed-up with parliamentary overcontrol, and Here We Go, controlling and hiding things not only from our own citizens but from other Countries)... "Intolerable Acts, Redux".
But back to the ACTA:
It also proposes new legal, shall-we-call-them "incentives" to encourage (this is pronounced "RAID") Internet Service Providers to cooperate with rights-holders in takedown notices, a la the DMCA. It also opens the door for "three strikes" terms to be pushed upon people in terms of violations (I myself would in this case already have one strike for an, ahem, inadvertent download of an allegedly protected work, determined so simply by the name of the file and nothing else.. (see where I'm going here...))..
There are huge privacy-rights issues as well. Who is the arbiter of what's protected/copyrighted, and how is it verified? Current tech doesn't provide for this, which means the answer would be deep packet inspection (or essentially, wiretapping the Internet).
It gives huge leeway to rights holders with the dollar to take on other _countries_ while doing very little to individual rights holders, like the Android app developer or some guy that made a cool / useful website.
The EFF is strongly against it, as are others (I don't have a link at the moment b/c the EFF seems to be timing out). The only place seeming to care about the rights of its citizens is the EU, who, even they say, the ACTA goes beyond anything pushed by the WIPO (World IP) , but lacks any sort of discussion of digital access controls (DRM, which we all know by now, never works).
It was going to happen regardless, but meh that it's becoming more real..