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The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement and You ACTA Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   Mighty BOB! 

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 03:14 AM

Who here remembers the DMCA? (That's Digital Millennium Copyright Act to you non-DRM-savvy folks.) It's a piece of legislature that, for example, makes it technically illegal for you to copy songs from a CD you own to your computer (among many other assaults on users' fair-use rights).

Well that thar crafty guv'n'ment thing is up to its no-good rights/privacy violating tricks again. This time several "developed" countries are secretly planning the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. According to information leaked so far, the Agreement (backed by "big-media" lobbying groups such as Time Warner and Sony) would impose severe enforcement of intellectual property rights.


If adopted at the 34th G8 summit in July 2008, the treaty would establish an international coalition against copyright infringement, imposing a strong, top-down enforcement regime of copyright laws in developed nations.


Newspaper reports indicate that the proposed agreement would empower security officials at airports and other international borders to conduct random searches of laptops, MP3 players, and cellular phones for illegally downloaded or "ripped" music and movies. Travelers with infringing content would be subject to a fine and may have their devices confiscated or destroyed.

The leaked document includes a provision to force internet service providers to provide information about suspected copyright infringers without a warrant, making it easier for the record industry to sue music file sharers and for officials to shut down non-commercial BitTorrent websites such as The Pirate Bay.

ACTA would create its own governing body outside existing international institutions such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) or the United Nations.

So to recap, if enacted, this will allow these people to look through your personal files and private information whenever they want and they can take and destroy your hardware if they even think you have infringing content (which is almost impossible to prove due to the nature of digital information), they can force ISPs to give away your information, and they would make proxy/anonymizer software illegal.

If the public has any sort of brain they'll oppose this entirely and it will never succeed. Of course even if they are dumb enough to pass this (and they are, they're politicians after all), it is nigh impossible to control what happens on the Internet. Everything is decentralized and always changing. No government could hope to fathom regulating it. This is all just useless blather from bureaucratic morons that don't understand that the people, the consumers, will dictate what they want. As with DRM it only drives legitimate users to illegitimacy and hurts everyone except the pirates.

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