There’s a new document posted at WikiLeaks here which would effectively propose a plurilateral (multi-national) strict top-down enforcement of protection of intellectual property by criminalizing non-profit distribution of intellectual property (note: this is not considered piracy because no one is making a profit). Typically worded (and titled) as the "anti-counterfeiting trade agreement" (ACTA) this is merely a facade.
From the article:
For example page three, paragraph one is a "Pirate Bay killer" clause designed to criminalize the non-profit facilitation of unauthorized information exchange on the internet.
It’s so much easier to position such an agreement as a measure to tackle intellectual property/copyright piracy and infringement as opposed to the real reason which is trying to establish criminal chanrges for anyone participating in usage of BitTorrent-type peer-to-peer operations.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: aren’t there *REAL* crimes to spend money on policing?
The only crime being committed here is that representatives of the people are wasting tax payer dollars in representing the will of a number of multi-national corporations (Buena-Vista/Disney, Time/Warner – take your pick of the others). Just read page one, the justification for these measures includes such ludicrous reasoning as "threatening consumer health and safety"! Let’s not forget reason #5 – loss of tax revenue.
Most disturbingly is this line item: "ex officio authority to take action against infringers (i.e., authority to act without complain by right holders)"
I’m sorry, but my understanding is that this is a key component (a copyright owner must make a complaint to the relevant authorities before action is pursued) of current copyright laws and keeps the establishment and ownership of copyrights fair to both IP owners and consumers.
Anyhow, my real concern is for the potential misuse of this policy against people who participate in non-commercial/non-profit exhanges and I strongly protest that such actions constitute a criminal act. If we are at that point in society, the penalty for copyright infringement might become more punished than assault. Doesn’t anyone see the error in logic there?