An ACTA Leak – EU Analysis on the Internet Chapter

Michael Geist (Canadian Copyright Guru) has published a summary of a document leaked [link] which contains the European Commission’s advance analysis of ACTA’s (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) Internet chapter which was recently discussed in Seoul, South Korea at the start of last month (November, 2009).

Of particular note should be provisions for the establishment of International harmony with regard to “contributory copyright infringement" (which sunk Kazaa in Australia, though at least they got a trial and the opportunity to defend themselves), legal protection for digital locks (civil and criminal enforcement) and lastly, in effect, the creation of a universal DMCA and a three strikes law. 

From Geist: “The anti-circumvention provisions are also designed to stop countries from establishing interoperability requirements (ie. the ability for consumers to play purchased music on different devices).”

What we have, folks, is an honest-to-god attack on our right to fair use, our right to “inspect under the hood” and to circumvent locks (such as the DVD Region System).  Modifying your Xbox (and going online), for example, could technically be a civil and/or criminal act under the ACTA’s Internet provision.

Do you still think this should be discussed behind closed doors without any transparency or input from we, the citizens?  The ACTA is pure evil and has nothing to do with anti-counterfeiting. 

It is quite clearly aimed at individuals and not professional piracy groups.  The veil hardly covers the anti-Peer to Peer nature of the agreement, as well.  It does have a lot to do with policing the holdings of fat cat corporate conglomerates and comes at the cost of our culture and the public domain.

As one commenter on the blog quipped: “Since this is being pushed by the US, where is "due process" and "innocent until PROVEN guilty" – no room for legal rights in the digital age?”

Did I mention the provisions for takedown notices with no oversight (unlike current WIPO treaties)?  The body which would be formed to enforce the provisions would be privately elected and would have the authority to override the existing laws in signatory countries (which is essentially what a universal DMCA does).

We can’t allow this abomination pass into our laws!

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