From ACTA to Bill C-32

Psssst… Malcolm, hate to tell you this, but the “loose tie” network told me…
mouse ears on the world: text says ACTA ATTACKS INTERNET
via my wonderful UK Journalist source Glynn Moody dented “#acta: “Companies that benefit from using pirated software products will be exposed to criminal penalties” – http://bit.ly/d4oCdM clear?” on Identi.ca

which gave me American James Love‘s KEI online report of

the USTR’s Talking Points of the United States for TRIPS Council Meeting of October 26, 2010 – Agenda Item P

which led me to the Government of Canada site where it took a little digging before I found

Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) which is in fact only most of the final text:

Negotiating Parties have agreed to release the October 2, 2010 text of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. Some Parties have expressed reservation on specific parts of the text, which are still under discussion. These parts are identified in the text by underlines and italic letters.

So, some bits aren’t in it. It would appear that ACTA has NOT in fact yet been signed by Canada. Of course I could be wrong, being a secret treaty and all, perhaps it’s been signed in secret?

NEWS FLASH:

jamie love tweets:  I was told today there is a new modified #ACTA text, that is different from Oct 2 version, and secret.

ACTA just keeps on ticking….

Meanwhile, I was impressed with all the things you can find on the site (since Usage Based Billing won’t be implemented for a few months yet, Canadians can still afford to search the Internet):

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada : Further Opportunities: Intellectual Property: Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement – Fact Sheet

and… Oh LOOK!… they have this lovely call for public Input on the site as well. Apparently it’s from way back in 2007 when our government was just contemplating entering into the secret ACTA trade agreement. Still looks to me as though the contact info is still good…

Canadian Flags reconfiguted to sell cars

Hey Canada, why not tell them what we think about ACTA?

All parties interested in submitting comments regarding this initiative are invited to do so. Unless otherwise specified, all comments provided in this consultation can be made available to the public.

E-mail: consultations@international.gc.ca

or Fax: 613-944-7981

or postal mail:
Consultations and Liaison Division (BSL)
Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
Lester B. Pearson Building
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0G2

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada: Ongoing Consultations: The Government of Canada is seeking the views of Canadians on the proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)

Funny, I never heard about the consultation back then. (And this was of course before it was leaked that the real thrust was the supposed Anti-Piracy bit).

Bill C-32 in Second Reading

Interestingly enough, the ACTA text is not yet finalized, consensus was NOT reached, with no further negotiation planned, yet all the countries are supposed to sign it anyway. Huh?

I guess all the other countries are simply expected to bow down to the USTR position? That would be the same USTR that routinely libels and slanders Canada as a ‘pirate haven’ when the facts show that the United States has far higher rates of both copyright infringement and bootlegging than Canada does, in spite of (or maybe because of?) the more repressive DMCA legislation. At least unless Bill C-32 passes, since the Canadian DMCA would leave Canada with the more repressive copyright legislation, since even the American DMCA doesn’t go so far as to criminalize non-infringing circumvention of DRM. Even under the DMCA Americans are allowed to break the digital locks placed by manufacturers and rights holders on digital devices and media if copyright isn’t being infringed.

Pirate Party of Canada Pirate Ship logo
The Pirate Party of Canada is a legitimate Canadian political party seeking balanced copyright

Speaking of digital “piracy,’ as of course our intrepid Minister of Heritage did the other day in his speech launching the second reading of Bill C-32 in Parliament…

why isn’t the word ‘piracy’ mentioned even once in Bill C-32, the supposed Copyright Modernization Act?

Could it be that if the word ‘piracy were included in the legislation it would then require definition?

Once you assign a legal definition to a word like ‘piracy’ you are stuck with it. If ‘Intellectual Property piracy’ had a legal definition under Canadian law, that would make it much harder to allow the word the flexibility to cover all the diverse aspersions and innuendos that the Honourable Mr. Moore chooses to cast around. By keeping it vague, ‘piracy’ can mean whatever it is you think it means in your own head, without having to rely on anything as pragmatic as facts.

And of course, our Heritage Minister can also rail against piracy to the approbation of law abiding Canadians who don’t realize that he’s talking about format shifting their own legally purchased property and equating that with commercial bootlegging.

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Memo to World: Stop ACTA Now!

[Just in case there is any confusion about the title, this blog article is purely my own. It should not be blamed on one of the many excellent grassroots movements in opposition to the secret ACTA trade agreement, Mexico’s Open ACTA whose Twitter account name is @StopACTANow. ]

In case you don’t know what all the ACTA fuss is about (and why should you, the mainstream media, with it’s vested interest, is not reporting on ACTA) this is a Video that gives a pretty good overview:

NO ACTA – Stop the Kraken

Converted to OGG format (large): NO ACTA – Stop the Kraken
Converted to OGG format (small): NO ACTA – Stop the Kraken
And this is the transcript of the text from the film.

ACTA proposes only one remedy against counterfeiting and piracy, and that remedy is repression. ”

KEI: Brazilian intervention at TRIPS Council: ACTA

 

This is Marietje Schaake, Member of European Parliament, on ACTA

Marietje Schaake on ACTA on YouTube
Converted to OGG format (large): Marietje Schaake on ACTA
Converted to OGG format (small): Marietje Schaake on ACTA

It’s not over yet

The world wears Mouse ears and reads ACTA attacks Internet is the La Quadrature Du Net ACTA Logo
Funny, even though consensus couldn’t be reached, the ACTA countries have each taken the agreement back to their respective governments to try and get it signed. They have all agreed that there will be no further rounds of negotiation.

Apparently though, changes can still be made to the text. Since I am a citizen, not a diplomat, I have to wonder if this means that each country can sign a version of ACTA that they are comfortable with, respective of the wants and needs of the others? If so, it would detract from the point of having one universal treaty.

Do the participating parties know? Apparently President Obama wants to have something signed before his election. Its beginning to sound as though anything will do.

This is, of course, how bad laws and bad treaties are made.

Would ACTA benefit the citizens of any country? Clearly, the answer to that would have to be “no.” ACTA is to the benefit of specific corporations at the expense of people. In it’s original incarnation it was purely a corporate wish list.

Either way, it still hasn’t gone away.

Here are a few links worth checking:

TechDirt points out that Korea (a possible model for ACTA) was pressured into a 1 strike law as part of a “free trade” agreement. In South Korea One ACCUSATION gets you evicted from the Internet.

Open… : KEI’s Jamie Love on what EU must do About ACTA Respected UK journalist Glynn Moody reports Jamie Love’s tweet which points out that an ACTA footnote opens the way to removing Patents from ACTA altogether. (Weak ties, eh? Sure looks like International Co-operative Activism to me, Malcolm.)

online petition: ACTA – PEOPLE BEFORE PROFITS! Avaaz petition regarding ACTA’s pharmaceutical aspects.

Media Industries: ACTA, Pharmaceuticals opinion piece makes a nice ethical point.

OUPblog (Oxford University Press): The Proposed New Copyright Crime of “Aiding and Abetting”

Balkinization: Open Letter to the President on ACTA Negotiations

More than 70 academics, mostly legal scholars, are urging President Barack Obama to open a proposed international intellectual-property agreement to public review before signing it.

ThreatLevel: Scholars Say International Property Accord Needs Senate Approval

There’s even an online Blogazine devoted to stopping ACTA, the ACTA Daily

Canadian Flag

Oh! Canada: A.C.T.A.: Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (double speak) article is kind of a resource roundup from a few months back. Lots of great links to help explain the background and the process.

Canada is one of the parties to ACTA.
Isn’t it time that our government spoke up?
Maybe we could hear from Charlie Angus?

Hello?

a horizontal border of red graphic maple leaves



“A desire for profit is not wrong in itself, but it isn’t the sort of urgent overriding cause that could excuse mistreating others.”

Richard Stallman, president of the Free Software Foundation



Credits

 

Thanks to Dr. Roy Schestowitz for the beautifully apt Richard Stallman quote.

OGG transfers via TinyOGG

“Marietje Schaake on ACTA” video converted/hosted with permission

No ACTA – Stop The Kraken
Released under a Creative Commons
Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike License (CC by-nc-sa)
Credits:
Video & Audio: Anonymous
Music by Wasaru – New Andromeda Theory