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Fw: [Multidimensionalman] ACTA agreement, and it's effect on free speech. From the net, for info only.

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  • s reeves
    Namaste, Stephanie ... From: andrew wainwright To: bernard jenkin ; daviesd@parliament.uk;
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 3, 2012
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      Namaste, Stephanie


      ----- Forwarded Message ----
      From: andrew wainwright <andrewrichardwainwright@...>
      To: bernard jenkin <perryc@...>; daviesd@...; editor@...; info@...; info@...; info@...; letters@...; letters@...; multidimensionalman@yahoogroups.com; office@...; paul@...; sean gabb <sean@...>; sos.politicalparty@...; revolutionarysocialiststeve@...; mirror newsdesk <mirrornews@...>
      Sent: Thu, February 2, 2012 2:27:08 PM
      Subject: [Multidimensionalman] ACTA agreement, and it's effect on free speech. From the net, for info only.

       

      Some worries about the ACTA laws going through the European Union institutions at the moment. Not my opinions or words, just passed on for information.


      ACTA - the latest threat to internet freedom, just signed by the EU
       Pirate Party UK

      Yesterday the European Union, the UK and over 20 other countries signed the 
      controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). ACTA is an 
      international treaty, disguised as a trade agreement, whose purpose is to 
      increase and harmonise copyright and trademark enforcement. Many of the 
      goals of ACTA are similar to SOPA and PIPA - proposed laws which the US 
      congress recently abandoned following a huge outcry. ACTA is, if anything, 
      even more objectionable.

      It is objectionable because of the process it has followed - secret 
      negotiations, conducted without democratic oversight, a process so underhand 
      it led to official criticism from the European Parliament [1] and the 
      resignation of the Parliament's rapporteur in disgust [2]. It is yet another 
      example of the power of corporate lobby groups, who buy influence starting 
      with the laughably corrupt US political body, and then foist extremist laws 
      on the rest of the world.

      It is objectionable in its content, as an assault on civil liberties. It is 
      likely to require unprecedented levels of surveillance of ordinary Internet 
      users by ISPs [3][4]. It insists that copyright infringement become a 
      criminal offence in a worryingly wide range of situations.[5] It provides 
      for massively disproportionate penalties, including mandatory imprisonment. 
      Anyone who has followed settlements in copyright lawsuits over the past 10 
      years will find this hard to believe, but it allows rights-holders to make 
      up even more astronomical figures when demanding "compensation" [6].

      The extremist position of ACTA will make the Internet fraught with danger 
      for ordinary users. For example, if a blogger innocently links to another 
      website, and that website, without their knowledge, infringes copyright in 
      some way, they may well face criminal charges and prison time for "aiding 
      and abetting" copyright infringement. For a link.

      The provisions on Digital Rights Management ("DRM") are so extreme as to be 
      laughable. ACTA continues to demand that attempts to circumvent DRM be 
      criminal offences, meaning that blind people could face jail time for 
      attempting to read e-books using text-to-speech, for example [7]. But new 
      provisions mean that any tampering with information that identifies "the 
      work, its author(s), producer(s) or right owners" also becomes an offence, 
      so merely renaming a file could become illegal.

      Enough is enough. The music, film and fashion industries make more money 
      every year. Even if you assume that copyright must be enforced in all cases, 
      that Something Must Be Done -- just because ACTA is "something" does not 
      mean we should do it. The way it was created is unacceptable, its content is 
      destructive and it is against the public interest. The pirate party and I 
      will do everything we can to stop it, and we urge others to join the 
      campaign against ACTA [8][9]. We do not have to stand for this.






      ACTA is a treaty that will eventually introduce a law with important effects 
      on the internet and how we use it.

      ACTA has been formulated by technocrats behind closed doors. Attempts to 
      gain access to the process and the documentation accompanying it have been 
      resisted and frequently rejected. Parliaments are being asked to approve it 
      without proper scrutiny or understanding of its implications.

      Here's how the Slovenian ambassadress to Japan managed to sign the treaty on 
      behalf of her country:

      "On Thursday, 26th January, 2012, I signed the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade 
      Agreement (ACTA) on behalf of the Republic of Slovenia, following the 
      directive and authorisation of the Slovenian government. A somewhat longer 
      clarification of the signature can be found on the Media section of the 
      Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, which explains the role of the Ministry 
      and my role as the Slovenian Ambassador to Japan.  This explanation states 
      that I signed the agreement because I was instructed to do so by the 
      government, and because it is a part of my job.

      And yet, why did I sign ACTA. Every day there is a barrage of questions in 
      my inbox and on Facebook from mostly kind and somewhat baffled people, who 
      cannot understand how it occurred to me to sign an agreement so damaging to 
      the state and citizens. With this reply, which is of a purely personal 
      nature and expresses only my personal views, I wish to respond to all those 
      people, all my friends and acquaintances who have remained quiet, all 
      Anonymous, and not least also to myself and to my children.

      I signed ACTA out of civic carelessness, because I did not pay enough 
      attention. Quite simply, I did not clearly connect the agreement I had been 
      instructed to sign with the agreement that, according to my own civic 
      conviction, limits and withholds the freedom of engagement on the largest 
      and most significant network in human history, and thus limits particularly 
      the future of our children. I allowed myself a period of civic complacency, 
      for a short time I unplugged myself from media reports from Slovenia, I took 
      a break from Avaaz and its inflation of petitions, quite simply I allowed 
      myself a rest. In my defence, I want to add that I very much needed this 
      rest and that I am still having trouble gaining enough energy for the 
      upcoming dragon year. At the same time, I am tackling a workload that 
      increased, not lessened, with the advent of the current year. All in line 
      with a motto that has become familiar to us all, likely not only diplomats: 
      less for more. Less money and fewer people for more work. And then you 
      overlook the significance of what you are signing. And you wake up the 
      following morning with the weight of the unbearable lightness of some 
      signature.

      First I apologised to my children. Then I tried to reply to those 
      acquaintances and strangers who expressed their surprise and horror. Because 
      there are more and more of them, I am responding to them publicly. I want to 
      apologise because I carried out my official duty, but not my civic duty. I 
      don't know how many options I had with regard to not signing, but I could 
      have tried. I did not. I missed an opportunity to fight for the right of 
      conscientious objection on the part of us bureaucrats."

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