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Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)
11-04-2009, 02:05 PM,
#1
Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)
With the 6th Round of ACTA negotiations underway in Seoul, Korea starting November 4-6, 2009. I am compelled to post information concerning this legislation and perhaps discuss ways to oppose it.

This current round of talks focuses on internet legislation and enforcement.

Negotiations on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement continue on Wednesday as the US, Europe, Japan, Korea, Canada, Australia, and a handful of other countries secretly negotiate a copyright treaty that includes statutory damages, new search and seizure power, and anti-camcording rules. Now the substance of the Internet chapter has leaked, with information that the proposed chapter would create a 'Global DMCA' with anti-circumvention rules, liability for ISPs, and the possibility of three-strikes and you're out requirements.
- /.

News about the leaked internet ACTA meeting points:

Michael Geist: The ACTA Internet Chapter: Putting the Pieces Together
November 3rd 2009
http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/4510/125/

Leaked ACTA Internet Provisions: Three Strikes and a Global DMCA
November 3rd 2009
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2009/11/leake...ee-strikes-and-

Related forum topic discussions:

P2P to be made totally illegal
July 6th 2008
http://concen.org/forum/showthread.php?tid=8722&highlight=ACTA

Anti-piracy strategy will help government to spy, critic says
May 26th 2008
http://concen.org/forum/showthread.php?tid=8893&highlight=ACTA

Feds Move To Control Internet
September 26th 2009
http://concen.org/forum/showthread.php?tid=600&highlight=ACTA

Do you "file share"? Are you "Christian"? Read this essay ...
January 28, 2009
http://concen.org/forum/showthread.php?tid=30640&highlight=ACTA

Plenty more -- just search for "ACTA" in all posts
There are no others, there is only us.
http://FastTadpole.com/
Reply
11-04-2009, 02:37 PM,
#2
Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)
Good post FT, what I really hate is this secret negotiations bent that the governments are into.

An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it.
Mohandas Gandhi


Each of us is put here in this time and this place to personally decide the future of humankind.
Did you think you were put here for something less?
Chief Arvol Looking Horse
Reply
11-06-2009, 02:31 AM,
#3
Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)
The internet chapter of the leaked Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement has been analyzed further- and it just gets worse. Your kids could go to jail for sharing non-commercial music or making fan art.

Quote:More on secret copyright treaty: your kids could go to jail for noncommercial music sharing
November 4, 2009
By Cory Doctorow

Michael Geist sez, "According to the official agenda, in a few hours the Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement talks will continue on the Internet provisions and then move into the criminal provisions chapter. It is worth highlighting the ongoing criminal provisions as well. As previously leaked, the U.S. and Japan supplied the initial text for this chapter. Their proposal included extending criminal enforcement to both (1) cases of a commercial nature; and (2) cases involving significant willful copyright and trademark infringement even where there is no direct or indirect motivation of financial gain. In other words, non-commercial infringement could lead to criminal penalties. Plus, jail time for unauthorized camcording of films and even for fake DVD and CD packaging."
http://digg.com/politics/More_on_secret_co...ould_go_to_jail
http://www.boingboing.net/2009/11/04/more-...cret-copyr.html
Full Article:
http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/4511/125/
There are no others, there is only us.
http://FastTadpole.com/
Reply
12-11-2009, 05:58 PM,
#4
RE: Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)
A worldwide coalition of Non-Governmental Organizations, consumers unions and online service providers associations publish an open letter to the European institutions regarding the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) currently under negotiation. They call on the European Parliament and the EU negotiators to oppose any provision into the multilateral agreement that would undermine the fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens in Europe and across the world.

Quote:ACTA: A Global Threat to Freedoms

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is a broad intergovernmental agreement under negotiation ranging from the key social issue of access to medicine[1] to criminal Internet regulation. We fear it could seriously hinder European innovation in the digital single market while undermining fundamental rights and democracy at large.

The negotiation process itself raises important questions of transparency and due democratic process, given that the content of the draft agreement has been kept secret for more than 18 months, although some details about the proposals recently leaked to the public. More worrying still, while the European Parliament has been denied access to the documents, US industry has been granted access to them, albeit only after signing non-disclosure agreements.

A recent analysis by the European Commission of the ACTA Internet chapter[2] proves that the topics under discussion go far beyond the current body of EU law. Most importantly, the Commission's analysis confirms that the current draft of ACTA would profoundly restrict the fundamental rights and freedoms of European citizens, most notably the freedom of expression and communication privacy. These are very much at risk, since the current draft pushes for the implementation of three-strikes schemes and content filtering policies by seeking to impose civil and criminal liability on technical intermediaries such as internet service providers. The text would also radically erode the exercise of interoperability that is essential for both consumer rights and competitiveness.

Consequently, we urge the Parliament to call on European negotiators to establish transparency in the negotiation process and publish the draft agreement, and not to accept any proposal which would undermine citizens' rights and freedoms. Furthermore, we urge the Parliament to make an unequivocal statement to the Commission and Council that any agreement which does not respect these core principles would force the Parliament to reject the entire text.

[1] See: http://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressrelease/2009-07-15/criminalize-generic-medicines-hurt-poor-countries

[2] See: http://sharemydoc.org/files/philip/ec_analysis_of_acta_internet_chapter.pdf
http://www.laquadrature.net/en/acta-a-global-threat-to-freedoms-open-letter
There are no others, there is only us.
http://FastTadpole.com/
Reply
02-24-2010, 07:01 AM,
#5
RE: Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)
Secret ACTA Treaty, Digital Provisions Leaked
http://concen.org/tracker/torrents-details.php?id=14535

or

Original Source:
http://1037461200264021837-a-1802744773732722657-s-sites.googlegroups.com/site/actadigitalchapter/acta_digital_chapter.pdf?attachauth=ANoY7cqBGmKOKahz4oFypzv7bbytzIogHCNjNGemWUSIdl-VmF9EelQ0Z0vxLGcJOR5CNJQeE457Ydaeah1zPLBzUUsThb93_gjs90IOJnIEj4QVqMtx-4ls1_2lg86nU3zK7-YKCRRKhcVx8uqDXHyhwTvtq4qXVztuB54FcygDD3g5dIPNuoIYvjylmMmIJ73itQ86ruDxFKT5b8_LeUhvbqF-dkwBqg%3D%3D&attredirects=0

Quote:ACTA "internet enforcement" chapter leaks
By Cory Doctorow at 11:35 AM February 21, 2010

Someone has uploaded a PDF to a Google Group that is claimed to be the proposal for Internet copyright enforcement that the USA has put forward for ACTA, the secret copyright treaty whose seventh round of negotiations just concluded in Guadalajara, Mexico. This reads like it probably is genuine treaty language, and if it is the real US proposal, it is the first time that this material has ever been visible to the public. According to my source, the US proposal is the current version of the treaty as of the conclusion of the Mexico round.

I've read it through a few times and it reads a lot like DMCA-plus. It contains, for example, a duty to technology firms to shut down infringement where they have "actual knowledge" that such is taking place. This argument was put forward in the Grokster case, and as Fred von Lohmann argued then, this is a potentially deadly burden to place on technology companies: in the offline world Xerox has "actual knowledge" that its technology is routinely used to infringe copyright at Kinko's outlets around the world -- should that create a duty to stop providing sales and service to Kinko's?

This also includes takedown procedures for trademark infringement, as well as the existing procedures against copyright infringement. Since trademark infringement is a lot harder for a service provider to adjudicate (and since things that might be trademark infringement take place every time you do something as innocuous as taking a photo of a street-scene that contains hundreds or thousands of trademarks), this sounds like a potential disaster to me.

This calls on all parties to ensure that "third party liability" (the idea that ISPs, web-hosts, application developers, mobile carriers, universities, apartment buildings, and other "third parties" to infringement are sometimes liable for their users' copyright infringements) is on the books in their countries. It doesn't spell out what that liability should be, beyond "knowingly and materially aiding" an infringement -- see the Kinko's point above for why this is potentially deadly.

And, of course, this contains the DMCA's injunction against breaking digital locks (that is, circumventing DRM), even though this provision has been in international treaties since 1996 and has done nothing to reduce infringement, has never shown itself to be effective in shoring up the power of these technologies to prevent copies, and has introduced enormous anti-competitive effects into the market.

Also buried in a footnote is a provision for forcing ISPs to terminate customers who've been accused -- but not convicted -- of copyright infringement (along with their families and anyone else who happens to share their net connection).

There's plenty more here -- and we don't know what the rest of the treaty reads like, or what the competing drafts said -- and I'm sure that more astute legal scholars than I will be along shortly with their commentary.
http://digg.com/tech_news/ACTA_internet_enforcement_chapter_leaks
http://www.boingboing.net/2010/02/21/acta-internet-enforc.html

Here's an IDG report on the leak, with more analysis.

Quote:Leaked ACTA draft reveals plans for internet clampdown
ISPs must snoop on subscribers or face being sued by content owners
By Paul Meller | Brussels | Sunday, 21 February, 2010

The US, Europe and other countries including New Zealand are secretly drawing up rules designed to crack down on copyright abuse on the internet, in part by making ISPs liable for illegal content, according to a copy of part of the confidential draft agreement that was seen by the IDG News Service.

It is the latest in a series of leaks from the anticounterfeiting trade agreement (ACTA) talks that have been going on for the past two years. Other leaks over the past three months have consisted of confidential internal memos about the negotiations between European lawmakers.

See also:
ACTA briefing reveals little, details kept secret
ACTA talks in Mexico to address transparency concerns
ACTA progress in Mexico, but no consensus

The chapter on the internet from the draft treaty was shown to the IDG News Service by a source close to people directly involved in the talks, who asked to remain anonymous. Although it was drawn up last October, it is the most recent negotiating text available, according to the source.

It proposes making ISPs (internet service providers) liable under civil law for the content their subscribers upload or download using their networks.

To avoid being sued by a record company or Hollywood studio for illegally distributing copyright-protected content, the ISP would have to prove that it took action to prevent the copyright abuse, according to the text, and in a footnote gives an example of the sort of policy ISPs would need to adopt to avoid being sued by content owners:

"An example of such a policy is providing for the termination in appropriate circumstances of subscriptions and accounts in the service provider's system or network of repeat offenders," the text states.

Terminating someone's subscription is the graduated response enacted in France last year that sparked widespread controversy. The French law is dubbed the "Three Strikes" law because French ISPs must give repeat file sharers two warnings before cutting off their connection.

Other countries in Europe are considering similar legal measures to crack down on illegal file-sharing. However, EU-wide laws waive ISPs' liability for the content of messages and files distributed over their networks.

European Commission officials involved in negotiating ACTA on behalf of the EU insist that the text being discussed doesn't contradict existing EU laws.

"There is flexibility in the European system. Some countries apply judicial solutions (to the problem of illegal file-sharing), others find technical solutions," said an official on condition he wasn't named.

He said the EU doesn't want to make a "three strikes" rule obligatory through the ACTA treaty. "Graduated response is one of many methods of dealing with the problem of illegal file-sharing," he said.

He also admitted that some in the Commission are uncomfortable about the lack of transparency in the ACTA negotiations.

"The fact that the text is not public creates suspicion. We are discussing internally whether the negotiating documents should be released," he said, but added that even if it was agreed in Brussels that the documents should be made public, such a move would require the approval of the EU's 10 ACTA negotiating partners.

The participating countries are the US, the E.U., Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Singapore, Jordan, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates.

In a separate leak that first appeared on blogs last week, the European Commission updated members of the European Parliament on the most recent face-to-face meeting between the signatory countries, which took place in Mexico at the end of last month.

According to that leak, the internet chapter of the treaty was discussed, but no changes to the position suggested by the US last fall were agreed.

"The internet chapter was discussed for the first time on the basis of comments provided by most parties to US proposal. The second half of the text (technological protection measures) was not discussed due to lack of time," the memo said, adding:

"Discussions still focus on clarification of different technical concepts, therefore, there was not much progress in terms of common text. The US and the EU agreed to make presentations of their own systems at the next round, to clarify issues."

The Commission official refused to comment on the content of the leaked documents.

The next meeting of ACTA negotiators will take place in New Zealand in April.
http://digg.com/politics/Computerworld_g_Leaked_ACTA_draft_reveals_plans_for_inter
http://computerworld.co.nz/news.nsf/news/leaked-acta-draft-treaty-reveals-plans-for-internet-clampdown

Now this may be a hoax, it looks official but nothing is referenced to an original document I'm doing a search for this being a part of another linked document. It is neither stamped official or dated.

ACTA could be a red herring or a distraction so federal or state courts pass laws to mirror it. Then when all parties are closer to the ACTA-like agreement it can be passed more easily via the totalitarian tiptoe methodology.

More on ACTA here:

Michael Geist's Blog :: ACTA Section
http://www.michaelgeist.ca/index.php?option=com_tags&task=view&tag=acta&Itemid=408
There are no others, there is only us.
http://FastTadpole.com/
Reply
03-21-2010, 12:37 PM,
#6
RE: Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)
Here are some quotes compiled by the League for Programming Freedom that I tend to (mostly) agree with. They pertain to software patents but are very much all encompassing of other IP, property and patent issues. Some pearls of wisdom spattered throughout history here.

Quote: Paraphrasing Orwell. Modern public discourse has become rigid
like a childs' Mecano set, it consists of the bolting of standard
phrases together that are known to produce desired emotional
responses. The reader is not required to think about what is
written, indeed, the reader is required not to think about what
is written. Instead the reader is expected to focus upon the
style with which the information is presented.

Getting a good sound-bite is more important than the content.

[Has television made for more reasoned public discussion, or has
it made such discussion more difficult?]

Unfortuantely Orwell is right - would you be reading this if it
was a 20 page article on economic aspects of the patent system?

If you can't beat them, join them.

======================================================================

The advantages ... [of not having patents] in the machine industry
generally, lie less in the free use of developments themselves, than
in the free scope for engineers in general. With great complicated
machinery, individual, perhaps not very essential, parts can be
patented, thus preventing a complete and perhaps much more valuable
construction and forcing better engineers to an exacting study of all
such little patents.

-- Bureau der Kaufmannischen Gesellschaft Zurich, 1886.

======================================================================

Watt refused applications for licenses to make engines under his
patent: he discouraged experiments by Murdoch with locomotive models;
he was hostile to the use of steam at high pressure; and the authority
he wielded was such as to clog engineering enterprise for more than a
generation. If his monopoly had been allowed to expire in 1783
England might have had railways earlier. If a similar privilege had
been extended to Arkwright - if, indeed, his wide patents had not been
annulled in 1781-5 - it is at least possible that a dead hand might
have rested on the cotton industry also, and that forces tending to
raise the standard of life of the poor would have been stifled.

-- Ashton T.S.,
An Economic History of England: The 18th Century.

======================================================================

In the electronics industry, patents are of no value whatsoever in
spurring research and development.

-- vice-president of Intel Corporation,
Business Week, 11 May 1981.

======================================================================

Few writings on the subject of intellectual property expose the
circular and issue begging use constantly made of the word 'property'.
'Property', of course, means little more than legal protection for a
claim made by a person. It usually refers to the guarantee of an
entitlement to exclude. The reasons for finding such an entitlement
necessitate, in intellectual property law as in all other areas of
law, an enquiry as to whether the conditions of protection are met.
But whatever the precise definition of 'property', the point here is
that it is not 'reason' to say that something deserves protection
because it is 'property'; 'property' is a shorthand description for a
'conclusion' of law. It is meaningless, for example, to claim
protection on the ground that one has 'natural property rights' in
something. Land and moveable goods are commonly called 'property'
because they are typical subjects over which exclusive rights are
recognized by law, but whenever the existence or extent of a right to
exclude is challenged no assistance is gained by stating that one's
interest is 'property'. Particularly must all fog be lifted for the
next few years when some copyright law reform in Canada may reasonably
be expected. Wringing hands or raising voices over 'expropriation of
property' or 'piracy' or quoting the eighth commandment, will not
contribute to the settlement of issues beyond providing an
inarticulate point of view, without reasons, on policy questions
concerning both the fact and form of incentive to be provided to
creators.

-- Bruce C. McDonald,
Canadian Bar Review, vol. XLVII, 1969, p. 145.

======================================================================

It is indeed an entire climate and environment that must be sought --
an environment characterized by good access to information of all
kinds, intellectual curiosity, eagerness to learn, speculative
thinking, experiment, enterprise and the entrepreneurial spirit. To
obtain all this, there must be efficient distribution as well as
production of knowledge, information and innovation -- a spreading
about of these things. From this process will derive the kind of
advancing society that benefits, firstly, consumers; secondly,
artists, researchers, inventors and other creative people; and
finally, and very importantly, the highly essential "innovative
entrepreneurs" in between.

....

On the whole, it is hard not to emerge from this analysis with the
assessment that, as a means of encouraging industrial innovation in
Canada, whether based on domestic inventions or on foreign inventions,
plus rapid "technology transfer" into Canada, the existing patent
system has not been an outstanding success. ... Looking at patents as
an international system, there is a presumption that we are carrying
too large a proportion of the costs of the system in relation to the
proportion of the benefits that we receive.

....

It is often pointed out that in the United States, the rights of
authors and inventors are enshrined in the Constitution. That
document does indeed deal with such rights, but the context and
language of the relevant passage are worth noting. The passage occurs
not in the Bill of Rights, but in the enumeration of the powers of the
Congress, which are stated to include, among other things, the power
"... to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing
for limited times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to
their respective Writings and Discoveries...." In other words, a
limited right is granted in order to promote a stated social end.

-- Report on Intellectual and Industrial Property,
Economic Council of Canada, 1971.

======================================================================

On the basis of the review and analysis contained in this first part
of the working paper it is evident that Canada should give serious
consideration to the possibility of abandoning the continued
maintenance of a patent system in any form.

-- Working Paper on Patent Law Revision,
Canadian Department of Consumer and Corporate Affairs, 1976.

======================================================================

The Patent System as it stands today has to a considerable extent
"just growed", without much reference to fundamental principles,
escaping the social planning of men into unexpected byways ...

....

[Discussing patents in the 17th century.] The public outcry against
these restrictive and privileged monopolies, covering as they did,
such daily necessities of life as salt, oils, vinegar, starch and
saltpeter was loud and persistent. Under these early grants patentees
had extensive powers of control. They could search the premises of
alleged infringers and seize their goods. These powers were
frequently exercised with considerable violence, high-handedness and
irresponsibility, and they intensified the popular resentment against
the entire system.

....

Up to the present, the regime for the international protection of
patent rights has been developed primarily in the interests of
patentees. The gains to be derived from an extension of the patent
system have been stressed, but the concomitant increase in social
costs has been seriously neglected.

-- E. Penrose,
The Economics of the International Patent System, 1951.

======================================================================

In my specification I mention no particular salt, but reserve myself
the choice of whatever salt I find by experience to answer my purposes
best ... I cannot determine precisely which is best for these
purposes, but apprehended I am at liberty to use any, or either, or
several of the same, in preparing my powder.

-- R. James, 1750.

======================================================================

That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe,
for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and the improvement of
his conditions, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently
designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all
space, without lessening their density in any point, and like the air
in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of
confinement of exclusive appropriation. Inventions then cannot, in
nature, be a subject of property.

-- T. Jefferson,
Letter to Isaac McPherson, 1813.

======================================================================

Article 19

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this
right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to
seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and
regardless of frontiers.

....

Article 27

1. Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life
of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific
advancement and its benefits.

2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material
interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic
production of which he is the author.

-- Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
United Nations, 1948.

======================================================================

2. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this
right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart
information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers,
either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or
through any other media of his choice.

-- Article 19,
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

======================================================================

1. The States Parties to the present covenant recognize the right of
everyone:

(a) To take part in cultural life;

(b) To enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications'

© To benefit from the protection of the moral and material interests
resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of
which he is the author.

-- Article 15,
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

======================================================================

3. All States shall take measures to ensure that scientific and
technological achievements satisfy the material and spiritual needs of
all sectors of the population.

....

5. All States shall co-operate in the establishment, strengthening and
development of the scientific and technological capacity of developing
countries with a review to accelerating the realization of the social
and economic rights of the peoples of those countries.

-- Declaration on the Use of Scientific and Technological Progress
in the Interests of Peace and for the Benefit of Mankind,
United Nations, 1975.

======================================================================

The subjects, or citizens of each of the contracting states shall
enjoy, in all the other States of the Union, so far as patents ... are
concerned, the advantages that ... [the law grants] to their own
nationals. Consequently they shall have the same protection as the
later, and the same legal remedy against any infringement of their
rights ...

-- Article 2,
[Paris] Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, 1883.

======================================================================

Patents as an instrument to stimulate innovative activities appear to
be of little relevance for small firms. It was found that no
significant changes in R and D behavior would take place if the patent
protection time were reduced or extended. Also, for large firms, the
R and D behavior seems to be rather independent of the availability of
patent protection. The survey showed that increased patent protection
time is likely to provide, at most, a modest stimulus for R and D
activities. Chemical, and particularly pharmaceutical, firms appear
to be more sensitive to such changes.

-- O. Granstrand,
The use of patents for the protection of technological
innovation: A case study of selected Swedish firms
[A commissioned report for the]
UN Conference on Trade and Development Secretariat, 1990.

======================================================================

The general picture emerging from our sample regarding restrictive
provisions is therefore that the majority of licensors limit the
markets available to their licensees as a fairly common feature of
their agreements, and in particular attempt to limit competition in
their home markets through selective licensing and export restrictions
on foreign licensees. Limitations on the quality of output under
license and on uses for which licensed products are sold and for which
licensed processes are used are also very common, but these are said
to refer almost always to misuse or lowering of standards, and are
essentially intended to protect the reputation of the patentee.

-- The Economic Impact of the Patent System,
Cambridge University Press, 1973.

======================================================================

Main Sources of Technological Information
for Engineers Involved with the Patent System

Source Percent

Technical and trade journals 38.0
Informal contact with
other organizations 13.8
Conferences and seminars 12.8
Informal contact within
your organization 10.0
Visits outside Australia 7.8
Newspapers and magazines 6.2
Government departments 3.5
Courses in edu. institutions 2.7
Computer data bases 2.0
Internal training courses 1.7
Patents specifications 1.0
TV and radio 0.5

First ranked source given a weighting of 3, second
ranked source a weighting of 2, third ranked source
a weighting of 1.

Main Reasons for Companies Consulting Patent Information

52% Check on potential patent infringements
25% Consider new products or processes which could be manufactured
or used with or without a licensing agreement
10% Assess the state of the art before embarking on a R&D project
7% Assess the novelty of an invention with a view to patenting
5% Check on what competitors are doing
1% Solve technical problems

-- T. Mandeville, et al.,
Economic Effects of the Australian Patent System - Supporting Papers,
[A commissioned report for the]
Australian Industrial Property Advisory Committee, 1982.

======================================================================

In England by the late 16th century, patents had regularly been
granted by the Crown for the encouragement of invention and
innovation. But Royal prerogative in this as in other matters soon
degenerated to near total misuse with patent monopolies being granted
to reward favourites and to help consolidate the power of the Crown.
As restrictive patent monopolies began to cover such daily necessities
as salt, oils, vinegar, starch and saltpeter, public outcry became
great. Eventually pressures exerted via the House of Commons and the
Courts led to the next major development in the world history of the
patent system: the English Statute of Monopolies of 1623. This
Statute which declared monopolies to be void under common law, made an
exception for invention patents. Patent law was thus contradictory
from the beginning.

By the end of the 18th century, the U.S. and France had established
patent law based on the English Statute of Monopolies. In the early
decades of the 19th century many European countries adopted formal
patent laws. However, controversy and debate on the patent system
heightened as the 19th century progressed. Indeed for a few years it
appeared as if the patent abolitionist movement, which was linked to
the free trade movement would prevail.

Parliamentary committees and royal commissions investigated the
operation of the British patent system in 1851-52, in 1862-65, and
again in 1869-72. The findings of these reviews lent considerable
weight to the arguments of the patent abolitionists: "Some of the
testimony before these commissions was so damaging to the repute of
the patent system that leading statesmen in the two Houses of
Parliament proposed the complete abolition of patent protection."
However, compromise prevailed and the eventual Patent Reform Bill that
arose out of the 1872 Commission's Report advocated changes to patent
law that would significantly weaken the harmful effects of patent
monopolies: "... a reduction of patent protection [from fourteen
years] to seven years, strictest examination of patent applications,
forfeit of patents not worked after two years, and compulsory
licensing of all patents." This Bill was passed by the House of
Lords.

[Note, the current request for comments suggests increasing the term
to 20 years.]

....

While ultimately a matter of judgement, this study leaves little room
for doubt that the benefit/cost ratio of the patent system in
Australia is negative, or at the very best, in balance. However, this
conclusion does not necessarily imply an economic justification for
abolishing the patent system. The costs and benefits of an
institution need to be distinguished from the costs and benefits of
abolishing that institution. In the perspective of the national
economy, the economic effects - both costs and benefits - of the
patent system in Australia are quite modest. However, the costs of
the unilateral abolition of the patent system to Australia's
international commercial relations could possibly be much larger; the
Swiss experience outlined in the historical section of Chapter 2 is
pertinent.

Since the benefits of the patent system are so tenuous and subtle and
the overall benefit/cost ratio is considered to be negative, there is
no economic justification for extending patent monopolies by
lengthening the term, or by widening the grounds for either
infringement, or patentability (for example, Plant VAriety Rights or
computer programs). However, in the light of our findings, there is
considerable economic justification for policy action to reduce the
negative effects of the patent system by stricter examination, by
reducing the length of term and the scope of patent monopolies, and by
action to deal with undesirable restrictive practices in patent
licensing.

An historical awareness of the political economy of patent reform
suggests that this task is not easy at the domestic policy level.
This is basically because those who perceive they would lose by such
reform are concentrated, powerful and active defenders of their
interests. In contrast, those who would gain by patent reform are
diffuse and hardly aware of their interest in the matter. Again a
pertinent parallel could be drawn with the tariff issue. Furthermore,
since the patent system's costs and benefits cannot be measured
precisely, "the optimum limits of the patent system, whether with
respect to time, space, patentability or restrictions on the use of
the grant must always remain a subject of controversy. There is no
doubt, however, that the costs have been underestimated". For these
reasons, as well as the patent system's intrinsic international
nature, patent reform is best pursued in international forums - such
as the conferences for the revision of the Paris Convention. This
need not preclude unilateral action by Australia whenever such action
is deemed practically appropriate or feasible. There is now ample
economic justification for measures which might be taken to reduce the
costs of the patent system in Australia.

-- T. Mandeville, et al.,
Economic Effects of the Australian Patent System,
[A commissioned report for the]
Australian Industrial Property Advisory Committee, 1982.

======================================================================

While Australia has made poor use of the patent system in the past and
its overall effects may not have been positive, we must take into
account aspirations to become a significant exporter of
skill-intensive goods and services. Given this situation, the most
critical element may become Australia's potential capacity to become
technologically competitive.

....

The accepted international patent data base comprises 16 million
documents, averaging 16 pages per document, and has an annual growth
rate of approximately 500,000 documents.

-- Patents, Innovation and Competition in Australia,
Industrial Property Advisory Group,
[Australian] Attorney General's Department, 1984.

======================================================================

[Dissenting statement by the sole economist working on the above "do
nothing" report.]

This report does not live up to its claim to have adopted economic
perspectives and to have applied economic criteria. It has not
consistently applied economic criteria; it has not made use of the
available empirical evidence; and the concept of social cost, so
frequently mentioned, has never really been fully grasped. ... The
sensible objective is rightly declared to be "to modify the Australian
patent laws, adjusting the length, strength and breath of patent
rights" to maximize the net benefit. It is unfortunate that the
Report soon strays from this path.

No amount of talk about individual patent successes nor about a future
in which the Australian economy has magically become progressive,
innovation-oriented, and competitive on the world scene, can hide the
fact that Australia exports little in the way of manufactured goods
and has few innovations for sale. Most patents are granted to
overseas firms. To make the most of this situation, Australia needs
to reduce the social costs to the extent possible without inhibiting
innovation and without provoking international retaliation. As a
small nation, there is scope for such action. The constraints of the
[Paris] Convention are largely a myth.

....

To acknowledge the circumstances of the Australian economy and to seek
such a balancing of social costs and dynamic benefits is to reject much
of this Report. In particular, it points to:

(a) reduction of standard patent term [from 16] to 10 years;

(b) some freeing of import competition from the restrictions patents
permit ...

© ...

(d) making sure that provisions such as compulsory licensing and
re-examination can function effectively;

(e) ...

(f) avoiding the restrictive consequences and additional social costs
that can arise if the scope of the patent system is extended
unnecessarily in the development of the information economy;

[Unfortunately the Australian Patent Office has now spontaneously
decided to allow patents on "software related innovation".]

(g) weakening the professional patent attorney monopoly of costly
advice;

(h) significantly improving the educational requirements for those
working within the patent system; and

(i) clarifying the extent to which Patent Office operations are to
be subsidized.

....

This report is not an imaginative one. It is constrained by the very
"haze of assumptions about rights and rewards for inventors, special
pleading by those directly involved, and a plethora of legal
procedures and criteria in the Patents act" that it deplores. Many of
its recommendations are for no change; and when change is implemented
it is all too often merely procedural or has little prospect of being
effective. A good opportunity to adjust an ancient institution to the
current needs of the Australian economy has been missed.

-- Dissenting Statement by Professor D. Lamberton,
Patents, Innovation and Competition in Australia,
Industrial Property Advisory Group,
[Australian] Attorney General's Department, 1984.


....

Governments have taken different views of whether publicly sponsored
research should also be patentable. The U.S. government permits and
even encourages patenting of results from government sponsored
research; for example, the Boyer-Cohen patent. In contrast, the
British government forbade the Cambridge Molecular Biology Lab from
patenting monoclonal antibodies in the mid-1970s. Permitting patents
on government sponsored research rewards successful innovators twice,
once through government funding and again through patents.

....

It appears that patent policy is a very blunt instrument trying to
solve a very delicate problem. Its bluntness derives largely from the
narrowness of what patent breadth can depend on, namely the realized
values of the technologies. As a consequence, the prospects for
fine-tuning the patent system seem limited, which may be an argument
for more public sponsorship of basic research.

-- S. Scotchmer,
Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: Cumulative Research
and the Patent Law,
Journal of Economic Perspectives, 1991.

======================================================================

It is surprising ... that in numerous cases gadgetry wins judicial
approval while inventions of some consequence fail to make the grade.
The bench of the United States Supreme Court found that Marconi's
contributions did not rise sufficiently above the level of the art as
to make him the inventor of the wireless; yet the same bench found a
new combination of circuits in a pinball machine to be genuine
invention. ... An exhibit was once presented of a collection of can
openers, each of which had its distinct identity and none of which
infringed the patent of any other. ...

-- The Politics of Industry,
Walton Hamilton, 1957.

======================================================================

There is an ever widening gulf between the decisions of the Patent
Office in granting patents and decisions of the courts who pass upon
their validity.

-- Report of the [U. S.] National Patent Planning Commission, 1943.

======================================================================

If and when the Patent Office administers the standard of
patentability indicated by the Supreme Court, the number of patents
should be reduced at least one-half. The granting of fewer patents
would in turn lead to fewer applications and the need for fewer
examiners; moreover, it would reduce correspondingly the need for
taking out so-called defensive patents.

-- F. Vaughan,
The United States Patent System, 1956.

======================================================================

Property in ideas is an insoluble contradiction. [He who complains of
"theft" of his idea] complains that something has been stolen which he
still possesses, and he wants back something which, if given to him a
thousand times, would add nothing to his possession.

-- H. Rentzsch,
Geistiges Eigenthum, 1866.

======================================================================

Inventions do not belong in the category of intellectual property,
because inventions are emanations of the current state of civilization
and, thus, are common property. ... What the artist or poet create is
always something quite individual and cannot simultaneously be created
by anyone else in exact likeness. In the case of inventions, however,
this is easily possible, and experience has taught us that one and the
same invention can be made at the same time by two different persons;
inventions are merely blossoms on the tree of civilization.

-- M. Wirth,
Vierteljahrschrift fur Volkswirtschaft und Kulturgeschichte, 1863.

======================================================================

Before ... [the inventors] can ... establish a right of property in
their inventions, they ought to give up all the knowledge and
assistance they have derived from the knowledge and inventions of
others. That is impossible, and the impossibility shows that their
minds and their inventions are, in fact, parts of the great mental
whole of society, and that they have no right of property in their
inventions, except that they can keep them to themselves if they
please and own all the material objects in which they may realize
their mental concepts.

-- The Economist, 1850.

======================================================================

.... no convincing argument has yet been put forward to show that ... a
"licence of right" system whereby, after a very short period, anyone
might use a patent on paying a license fee to the inventor, would ...
diminish the flow of invention.

....

Patent monopolies have employed nearly every means of competition
unfairly. They have tended to destroy competitors and discourage
would-be rivals regardless of their efficiency.

-- Lionel Robbins,
The Economic Basis of Class Conflict, 1939.

[I suspect citing this source might not go down so well with the
review committee, perhaps the next tittle would be more to their
liking.]

======================================================================

Technology moves now with a speed once undreamed of - its swift march
dictates a shortening of the life of a patent.

-- W. Hamilton,
Patents and Free Enterprise,
Temporary [U. S.] National Economic Committee, 1941.

======================================================================

["Do you have any opinion as to whether, if it were not possible for a
company to acquire a patent on an invention, the same work would
nevertheless be carried on?"]

I feel quite definitely it would be carried on.

-- President of the Ford Motor Corp,
Hearings before the
Temporary [U. S.] National Economic Committee, 1939.

======================================================================

I believe the law is essentially deficient because it aims at a
purpose which cannot be rationally achieved. It tries to parcel up a
stream of creative thought into a serious of distinct claims, each of
which constitutes the basis of a separately owned monopoly. But the
growth of human knowledge cannot be divided up into such sharply
circumscribed phases. Ideas usually develop shades of emphasis, and
even when, from time to time, sparks of discovery flare up and
suddenly reveal a new understanding, it usually appears on closer
scrutiny that the new idea had at least been partly foreshadowed in
previous speculations. Moreover, discovery and invention do not
progress only along one sequence of thought, which perhaps could
somehow be divided up into consecutive segments. Mental progress
interacts at every stage with the whole network of human knowledge and
draws at every moment on the most varied and diverse stimuli.
Invention, and particularly modern invention which relies more and
more on a systematic process of trial and error, is a drama enacted on
a crowded stage. It may be possible to analyze its various scenes and
acts, and to ascribe different degrees of merit to the participants;
but it is not possible, in general, to attribute to any of them one
decisive self-contained mental operation which can be formulated in a
definitive claim.

-- M. Polanyi,
Patent Reform, Review of Economic Studies, 1944.

======================================================================

Each novel element arises inevitably from the past and itself sets up
a complex interplay of causes and effects which in turn induce still
further change. These novel elements are what we call inventions.
They are, of course, created by individuals; but these individuals
merely make explicit what was already implicit in the technological
organism which conditions their thought and effort and within which
they must work. Strictly speaking, no individual makes a invention,
in the usual connotation of the term. For the object which, for
linguistic convenience, we call an automobile, a telephone, as if it
where an entity, is, as a matter of fact, the aggregate of an almost
infinite number of individual units of invention, each of them the
contribution of a separate person. It is little short of absurdity to
call any one of the interrelated units 'the' invention, and its
"creator" 'the' inventor.

-- A. Kahn,
Deficiencies of American Patent Law,
American Economic Review, 1940.

======================================================================

.... the fairness of the patent laws is contested on the ground that
they reward only those who put the finishing touch leading to
practical utilization of achievements on many predecessors. These
precursors go empty-handed although their contribution to the final
result was often much more weighty than that of the patentee.

-- L. Mises,
Human Action: A Treatise of Economics, 1949.

======================================================================

Those great men, those favoured mortals, those sublime spirits, who
share that ray of divinity which we call genius, are entrusted by
Providence with the delegated power of impairing to their fellow
creatures that instruction which heaven meant for universal benefit.

-- Lord Camden, 1774.

======================================================================

In the field of industrial patents in particular we shall have
seriously to examine whether the award of a monopoly privilege is
really the most appropriate and effective form of reward for the kind
of risk bearing which investment in scientific research involves.

-- F. Hayek,
Individualism and Economic Order, 1948.

======================================================================

A patent is a device to prevent the diffusion of new methods before
the original investor has recovered profit adequate to induce the
requisite investment. The justification of the patent system is that
by slowing down the diffusion of technical progress it ensures that
there will be more progress to diffuse. The patent system introduces
some of the greatest complexities in the capitalist rules of the game
and leads to many anomalies. Since it is rooted in a contradiction,
there can be no such thing as an ideally beneficial patent system, and
it is bound to produce negative results in particular instances,
impeding progress unnecessarily, even if its general effect is
favourable on balance.

-- J. Robinson,
The Accumulation of Capital, 1956.

======================================================================

A patent system applicable to inventions in general clearly cannot be
justified, however, by exceptional circumstances of this kind.
Economics, in short, has not yet evolved any apparatus of analysis
which would enable us to pronounce upon the relative productivity of
this particular infant industry - the production of inventions; nor
does it provide any criteria for the approval of this method of
special encouragement.

....

Expedients such as licenses of right, nevertheless, cannot repair the
lack of theoretical principle behind the whole patent system. They
can only serve to confine the evils of monopoly within the limits
contemplated by the legislators; and, as I have endeavoured to show,
the science of economics, as it stands today, furnishes no basis of
justification for this enormous experiment in the encouragement of a
particular activity by enabling monopolistic price control.

-- A. Plant,
The Economic Theory Concerning Patents for Inventions,
Economica, 1934.

======================================================================

[the patent systems] principles are paradoxical. It is meant to
encourage over the long period the widest possible use of knowledge,
but it starts out by conferring upon the inventor the power to
restrict to himself the use of that knowledge. It grants statutory
monoplies, but it arose out of an act to curb monopoly. ... it is more
robustly defended and embodies the most extensive monoploy rights in
those countries which ternaciously adhere to the competitive system of
private enterprise. It is a crude and inconsistent system. ... It
provides rewards for certain kinds of discoveries, but usually confers
no such reward for other kinds of discovery. ...

The patent system lacks logic. It postulates something called
"invention" but in fact no satisfactory definition of "invention" has
ever appeared, and the courts, in their search for guiding rules, have
produced an almost incredible tangle of conflicting doctrines. This
confusion has lead to extensive and costly litigation. ...

The system, too, is wasteful. ... It is dangerous in that the monoply
it confers can often be widened by its owner into fields and forms
which it was never intended he should possess.

It is almost impossible to conceive of any existing social institution
so faulty in so many ways. It survives only because there seems to be
nothing better.

-- J. Jewkes,
The Sources of Invention, 1958.

======================================================================

Of course, nothing is easier than to excite people on the argument
that everything should be made in this country and not imported:
though what would happen if anybody really tried to carry that out is
the same as would happen if everybody expelled his breath from his
body and never drew any breath in.

-- Viscount Simon,
Parliamentary Debates,
House of Lords, 1949.

======================================================================

Except, perhaps, cases of warranty of horses, there was no subject
which offered so many opportunities for sharp practice as the law of
patents.

-- Earl of Granville,
Parliamentary Debates,
House of Lords, 1851.

======================================================================

[Arguing against the using economics to determine the scope of the
patent system.]

How far legal protection should reach different fields of industry is
primarily a field for the Jurists.

-- W. Stuber,
Die Patentierbarkeit chemischer Erfindungen, 1907.

======================================================================

[And the opinions of another lawyer.]

After jurisprudence has taken hold of any area treated by the law, it
is up to science to develop it and all the other disciplines must
resign; from now on it is the method of judicial thinking which must
rule.

-- J. Kohler,
Handbuch des Deutschen Patentsrechts, 1900.

======================================================================

[Questioning the qualification of Walter Hamilton to write on the
subject of patents.]

What are those qualifications? Is he a lawyer? Has he ever practiced
law? Has he any law degree? ... Professor Hamilton ... prior to his
Professorship in the Yale Law School was a Professor of Economics ...
It does not appear that an affirmative answer could be given ... to
any of the foregoing pertinent questions as to his qualifications to
speak as an expert on the subject of patents or the patent system.

-- G. Folk,
Patents and Industrial Progress,
Law and Contemporary Problems, 1942.

======================================================================

The conclusion is unavoidable that in an economic society such as the
United States the general rule should be to discourage cartels.
Either we believe in competition and economic democracy or we do not.
If we do we cannot, as a general policy, endorse cartels, which are
neither competitive nor democratic.

-- C. Whittlesey,
National Interest and Internation Cartels, 1946.

======================================================================

According to a published commentary to the Patent Act of 1952 which
deleted the clause [requiring patents to be confined to "useful and
important" inventions], the requirement of importance "had seldom been
resorted to either in the Patent Office or in the courts." The
official explanation for its deletion is as follows: "The phrase 'and
the invention is sufficiently useful and important' is omitted as
unnecessary, the requirements for patentability being stated in secs.
101, 102, and 103." (The requirements stated in these sections
include "usefulness", but not "importance.")

....

Economists usually argued for shortening the period of protection: the
bulk of inventions are not so costly as to require the stimulus
provided by protection for such a long time, and not important enough
to deserve the reward that it affords; a much shorter period would
provide sufficient incentive for almost the same amount of inventive
activity; the period should not be so long as to allow patentees to
get entrenched in their market positions; ...

In actual fact, the patent terms where lengthened to 15, 16, 17 and 18
years in most countries, and to 20 years in some. But the explanation
is probably more political than economic; one clear fact is that many
patent attorneys and few economists were heard by the legislative
bodies.

....

Examples of important patents whose application had been pending for
extremely long periods - with or without fault on the part of the
applicants - are the Gubelmann (cash register) patent with a pendency
of over 26 years, the Fritts (photographic sound recording) patent
with a pendancy of 36 years, and the Stelmer (automatic glass
machinery) patent with a pendency of 27 years. A more recent example
is the Jorgensen (automatic choke) patent, issued to General Motors
Corp. in 1955 after a pendancy of over 23 years, chiefly due to 12
interference procedures and litigation. ... The official life of a
patent begins of course, only after its issuance. Hence the total
lives from application to expiration, of the first 3 mentioned patents
varied from 43 to 53 years.

[More recent examples are I believe that of the laser and
microprocessor (Hyatt).]

....

Within certain limits prior use and incomplete disclosure, if proved,
make a patent invalid, but proof is not easy to come by. The Alien
Property Custodian who had taken the United States patents from enemy
owners during the First World War testified: "Since we took up the
patents, more than a million dollars have been spent on finding out
how to work them, because always something was left out and always
something was covered up."*

* - Pooling of Patents Hearings.

....

Substantial control of an industry can be obtained by a "basic patent"
(on a bona fide basic invention), by an "umbrella patent", where
illegitimately broad or ambiguous claims, covering the entire
industry, have been allowed and are not tested by the courts*, by a
"bottleneck patent", which is not basic but good enough to hold up or
close the entire industry, by an aggregation or accumulation of
patents which secure domination of all existing firms and effectively
close the industry to newcomers, or by use of restrictive licensing
agreements establishing domination or cartelization of the industry
and exclusion of newcomers. Control, sometimes is extended to markets
of products not covered by the patent, through the use of tying
clauses in licensing agreements.

* -The patent on the idea of the automobile, the Selden patent,
applied for in 1879 and granted after long delay in 1895, is the most
famous example. Henry Ford had to litigate until 1911 to destroy this
"umbrella". The patent on hardboard is another.

....

[economists] stress the idea that inventions really are arbitrarily
differentiated slices of a more or less continuous social growth in
which the individual contribution cannot reasonably be identified.

....

That experts in the chemical, electronics and other industries testify
that their firms could not maintain their research laboratories
without patent protection may persuade some, but probably should be
discounted as sell self serving testimony.

....

No economist on the basis of present knowledge, could possibly state
with certainty that the patent system, as it now operates, confers a
net benefit or a net loss upon society. The best he can do is state
assumptions and make guesses about the extent to which reality
corresponds to these assumptions.

If one does not know whether a system "as a whole" (in contrast to
certain features of it) is good or bad, the safest "policy conclusion"
is to "muddle through" - either with it, if one has long lived with
it, or without it, if one has lived without it. If we did not have a
patent system, it would be irresponsible, on the basis of our present
knowledge of its economic consequences, to recommend instituting one.
But since we have had a patent system for a long time, it would be
irresponsible, on the basis of our present knowledge, to recommend
abolishing it. This last statement refers to a country such as the
United States of America - not to a small country and not to a
predominantly nonindustrial country, where a different weight of
argument might well suggest another conclusion.

-- F. Machlup,
An Economic Review of the Patent System,
[A commissioned report for the]
Study of the Subcommittee on Patents Trademarks and Copyrights,
Committee on the Judiciary,
United States Senate, 1958.

======================================================================

A proposition placed before the Constitutional convention would have
empowered Congress "to establish public institutions, rewards and
immunities for the promotion of agriculture, commerce and
manufactures." This was rejected by the convention in favour of one
which authorized Congress "to promote the progress of science and the
useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors
the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries."

....

The first United States Patent Law, of 1790, was administered by
Thomas Jefferson and his colleagues under very strict standards, and
relatively few patents were issued. Three years later a more relaxed
system was adopted whereby "anybody who swore to the originality of
his invention and paid the stipulated fees could secure a patent", its
validity being decided by the courts. In 1836 this second law was
repealed ...

-- D. Noble,
America by Design: Science, Technology, and the Rise of
Corporate Capitalism, 1979.

======================================================================

Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine,
manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful
improvement thereof, may obtain a patent ...

-- Section 101,
United States Code, 1988.

======================================================================

Scientific truth, or the mathematical expression of it, is not a
patentable invention.

-- MR&T v. RCA,
U. S. Supreme Court, 1939.

======================================================================

An algorithm, or mathematical formula, is like a law of nature, which
cannot be the subject of a patent.

-- Gottschalk v. Benson,
U. S. Supreme Court, 1972.

=========================================================

Excluded from such patent protection are laws of nature, physical
phenomena, and abstract ideas.

-- Diamond v. Diehr,
U. S. Supreme Court, 1981.

--
------------- Sean Sebastian Batt - sean@coombs.anu.edu.au --------
http://digg.com/business_finance/Great_Quotes_on_Software_and_other_Patents_and_Copyright_Law
http://progfree.org/Patents/quotes.html
There are no others, there is only us.
http://FastTadpole.com/
Reply
03-21-2010, 08:58 PM,
#7
RE: Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)
This was posted on another thread the other day:

[Image: 39724349.jpg]
http://www.v3.co.uk/v3/news/2259827/youtube-turns-viacom

It seems there's a big "crackdown" going on, on all fronts.
"He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." -- 1 John 2:6
"Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly... This is the interrelated structure of reality." -- Martin Luther King Jr.
"He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him." -- Proverbs 18:13
"Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself." -- Leo Tolstoy
"To love is to be vulnerable" -- C.S Lewis

The Kingdom of God is within you! -- Luke 17:20-21

https://duckduckgo.com/
Reply
03-22-2010, 12:16 AM,
#8
RE: Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)
Yes recently there has been a bit more heat -- referencing a few threads including the one you just cited.


YouTube accuses Viacom of being a serial video leaker
http://concen.org/forum/showthread.php?tid=32126

.. and this one concerning the ram through of legislation amidst all the Obamacare coverage slipping it in under the radar.

Digital bill will 'sidestep democracy'
http://concen.org/forum/showthread.php?tid=32140
There are no others, there is only us.
http://FastTadpole.com/
Reply
04-22-2010, 03:51 AM,
#9
RE: Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)
The document has been released! Now we have something substantive to dig into. I'll be upping it to the tracker soon unless someone beats me to it.

Quote:ACTA Released, Only Very Slightly Less Awful Than Expected
from the debating-a-global-copyright-nanny-state dept
by Karl Bode
Wed, Apr 21st 2010

After fighting every step of the way to keep the ACTA secret, the USTR last week disengenuously proclaimed that it was finally time to make the international agreement public -- to "help the process of reaching a final agreement." Of course this proclamation of transparency and cooperation comes only after much of the agreement had been hashed out without substantive public input, after the European Parliament voted 633-to-13 to demand the release of ACTA's text, and after most of the agreement had already leaked to the press. Today the European Union finally released the full agreement (pdf) -- as well as a statement by EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht insisting that the release proves ACTA concerns have been unfounded (shockingly it turns out that's not true).

Most of what's in the agreement isn't a surprise given the leaks, and while the ACTA remains a bevy of awful policies, there are a few minor changes to degrees of said awfulness. While the leaked versions of the ACTA didn't explicity mandate ISP "three strikes" provisions, they did threaten to take away ISP safe harbor protections if ISPs didn't agree to police copyright, with the only real example of acceptable behavior being -- to employ three strikes provisions. This freshly-released version of the agreement gets rid of that language, instead simply insisting that ISPs can only retain safe harbor protections by adopting a "takedown" policy that will "address the unauthorized storage or transmission of materials protected by copyright."

That's of course simply taking our notoriously unreliable DMCA letter warning process and exporting it to Canada and elsewhere. Here in the States several major ISPs are already voluntarily taking this idea one step further -- by threatening users with disconnection for trading copyrighted files via BitTorrent (in some cases these threats, which no ISP is willing to transparently discuss, have been found to be a bluff). Some new language in the agreement also appears to take aim at softening European law, allowing countries to "terminate or prevent an infringement" and pass legislation "governing the removal or disabling of access to information." Meanwhile, Michael Geist notes that three strikes may not be dead yet given countries still need to hash out their differences:

"However, that does not mean that three strikes has disappeared from the draft entirely. The U.S. proposal for ISP liability is one of three options currently being considered. The European option preserves, but does not require, three strikes . . . The EU will argue this is consistent with the law in a few of its member states. If the approach is adopted, it will clearly keep three strikes on the table and could be used in other ACTA member countries to encourage its adoption."

Most of the language that critics have grown familiar with (making the bypassing of copy protection illegal even in cases of fair use, making copies of a large quality of content illegal even if no money is exchanged, mandating that ISPs become copyright nannies) remain at the heart of the ACTA. The agreement's central thrust continues to be to foist clearly dysfunctional, unreliable, and draconian U.S. DMCA-style copyright enforcement policies upon other countries. Other than that? Sure, ACTA concerns are "unfounded" with the release of this latest draft. Of course it can still get better (or worse) in time.
http://digg.com/tech_news/ACTA_Released_Only_Very_Slightly_Less_Awful_Than_Expected
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100421/1007479129.shtml

ACTA Agreement (Public Release) [2010.04.21]
http://concen.org/tracker/torrents-details.php?id=16287
There are no others, there is only us.
http://FastTadpole.com/
Reply
07-17-2010, 10:56 AM,
#10
RE: Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)
Leaked ACTA Consolidated Agreement Draft July 1st
http://www.laquadrature.net/files/ACTA_consolidatedtext_EUrestricted130710.pdf

Signatories include US, Singapore, New Zealand, Morocco, Korea, China, Japan, Australia, The European Union and Mexico.

Amendments of Note:
* ISPs / Hosts must remove presumed infringing content if a claim by the alleged rights holder is filed but Hosts are not liable.
* Infringer is responsible for all legal costs
* Each country will prosecute with their own courts and have their own laws but they must follow and comply the treaty as outlined
* Infringer may be subject to jail time, fines and/or seizure
* Countries will be expected to employ best practices for monitoring and must employ a specially trained separate enforcement / monitoring task force. ISPs and hosts must cooperate with surveillance and install monitoring systems.
* Countries will be forced to share court papers and identify infringer
* A country can opt out given 180 days notice


This is the base document that is being amended by this draft:

ACTA Agreement (Public Release) [2010.04.21]
http://concen.org/tracker/torrents-details.php?id=16287


Quote:ACTA: new (leaked) text, new issues…
By Kim Weatherall
July 15th, 2010

What a surprise! Despite the best efforts of at least one negotiating party, the ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) text has leaked, again. This post looks at last night’s leak, and at the negotiations. In short, though: the text is an improvement that continues to have significant problems. The negotiations face some significant obstacles right now – but continue at break-neck speed, and I have this sinking feeling that ACTA could be spawning at least one evil little mini-me already…

Background

For those of you who haven’t been following this particular obsession of mine (see my April 9 and April 23 posts), ACTA is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement – a plurilateral agreement being negotiated between Australia, Canada, the EU (represented by the European Commission, and the EU President), Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States. The DFAT website on the agreement with background is here. In theory, ACTA is meant to be targeted at establishing “a new standard of intellectual property (IP) enforcement to combat the high levels of commercial scale trade in counterfeit and pirated goods worldwide”. In reality, it’s a comprehensive re-write of IP enforcement obligations at an international level, with something close to a rightsholders’ wishlist and little protection for end users or the rest of us.

The ninth round of ACTA negotiations took place in Lucerne, Switzerland on 28 June to 1 July 2010. You can basically ignore the press release: the latest one is here. In April, the parties decided to release a draft text, which has been comprehensively analysed (and criticised). If you’re interested, there’s a very long section-by-section analysis of the last draft text available online.

At the latest round, the parties decided not to release a text – but, surprise surprise, one has leaked already, this one dated 1 July. This post analyses some of the changes.

So, what’s changed?

There are basically 4 big ticket, big controversy issues in ACTA that have been getting attention in international circles, and where we need to see whether anything has changed.

1. Expansion of criminal liability in IP;
2. statutory damages (that is, ‘fixed’ amounts for damages that in some cases have led to very significant awards, like the US$200,000+ award against one US woman for file-sharing around 25 songs;
3. ISP liability and what ISPs have to do to get protection from liability (three strikes; notice and takedown; etc etc); and
4. The possible impact on access to medicines and the trade in generic drugs

Internationally, ‘anti-circumvention’ (digital lock) provisions are also controversial, but I won’t go in to them because Australia already has (and, through AUSFTA, is committed to) very strong provisions in that area.

Criminal Liability (leaked text page 15)

The criminal provisions are quite different to what we saw in the last text. The last text looked like the AUSFTA provisions – and would extend criminal liability to non-commercial acts of sufficient scale (read, file-sharing) and single acts of infringement for commercial gain. These provisions are gone, replaced with a requirement that parties apply criminal liability to “acts carried out in the context of commercial activity for direct or indirect economic or commercial advantage”, with a provision that would allow countries to exclude end consumers from criminal liability. The exclusion is a notable improvement on the previous draft which would have required criminalising lots of end users (although it wouldn’t help in Australia, because of AUSFTA).

Liability under the new text is still very broad. The reference to ‘commercial activity for direct or indirect economic or commercial advantage’ could be interpreted as covering single acts (eg, a business is found using one unlicensed copy of software), and has plenty of scope to catch legitimate businesses acting in good faith, who might have published a book believing they have a fair use or fair dealing defences, but who are certainly engaging in ‘commercial activity’.

As Daniel Gervais notes in the third edition of his book on the TRIPS Agreement, the references in TRIPS Article 61 to ‘wilful’ acts ‘on a commercial scale’ is “not synonymous with commercial activity. It requires that the activity have a demonstrable, significant commercial impact” (emphasis added). In a footnote, Gervais also notes that the TRIPS expression “corresponds to what have been referred to as ‘professional infringers’”. In my view, TRIPS is perfectly adequate; it should be left as is.

Statutory Damages (leaked text page 7)

The provision on damages has changed too. The April ACTA draft seemed to have moved away from requiring countries to adopt statutory damages, and, in particular, it seemed to allow Australia to retain its system of ‘additional’ (effectively punitive) damages. There’s some flexibility there still. Statutory damages are not required, but a country is left with a choice: statutory damages or other ‘presumptions’, or additional damages (to what end is entirely unclear; there’s no requirement that the damages be punitive for example or deterrent).

ACTA will still restrict what a country can do to protect end-users (ie teenagers, grandparents and anyone else with an internet connection) from excessive damages awards should they be caught infringing and have the misfortune to be sued. There is nothing in the text that limits the rules to exclude damages for ‘innocent infringers’. I’m a little unsure whether this means Australian law would have to change (it depends on whether the current Australian limit of additional damages to ‘flagrant’ infringement is ‘implicit’ in the reference to ‘additional’ damages). In short, I can see the provision is pretty vague, but I don’t like it. I think it achieves very little if you’re serious about increasing enforcement, but it does restrict policy freedom in the cases that ACTA isn’t meant to be targeted at – end users and consumers.

ISP Liability, Safe Harbours, Three Strikes

ACTA has a strong focus on intermediary/secondary liability. This is the big factor distinguishing ACTA from previous multilateral agreements that don’t touch on this at all. There seems to have been quite a bit of progress on ISP liability. Not all of it good.

For one thing, third party liability is still in the text (Article 2.18.2 page 19). This is bad, and takes ACTA well beyond its remit, which is supposed to be enforcement, not substantive law. Not just that, but I think the provision (at least, if it includes the proposed footnote) is inconsistent with Australia’s present law of authorisation, certainly in copyright and probably in patent and trade mark too. A few thoughts:

* Interestingly, the majority of countries (excluding Japan, EU and Switzerland) seem to want to confine the provision to copyright, excluding the question of third party liability for trade mark, patent, designs etc. This is good. At least in Australia, authorisation in IP outside the direct area of copyright is a less settled and almost certainly different;
* The US and Mexico want a footnote that seeks to define third party liability. Define it, not just give examples of what might be covered. And define it in a way that doesn’t match Australian law. The footnote seems to require liability for ‘knowingly and materially aiding any act of copyright infringement’. Under Australian law, you can ‘aid’ infringement and even know about it, but if you don’t have the power to actually prevent it, or if you’ve taken reasonable steps, say, to reduce infringement you won’t be liable;
* Still, as before, the footnote also says that “the application of third party liability may include consideration of exceptions or limitations to exclusive rights that are confined to certain special cases…” (etc etc). I have no idea what this meaningless language is trying to say; and
* There seems to be no requirement on the face of the text that the direct infringement occur. Australian law generally requires proof of actual direct infringement before there is third party liability (see eg WEA v Hanimex)

In addition, provisions on granting injunctions against intermediaries whose services are used for infringement are still in there. I’ve argued at some length this is a bad idea in a treaty.

Regarding safe harbours for ISPs, it looks like the EU has proposed a compromise position, and it has some improvements from last time (for a detailed consideration of the previous version, see Margot Kaminski on Balkinization). Importantly, there is no longer any language anything akin to ‘three strikes’ language that might require ISPs to start sending letters followed by termination of internet service. There is no requirement, as was found in the previous draft, that the ISP have a policy “to address the unauthorized storage or transmission of materials protected by copyright or related rights”; no requirement to terminate repeat infringers or the like.

This of course won’t stop individual countries introducing three-strikes type laws – but it will mean ACTA doesn’t require it. The closest the proposal comes to having such a requirement is the provision saying that Parties “shall endeavour to promote the development of mutually supportive relationships between online service providers and right holders to deal effectively with patent, industrial design, trademark and copyright or related rights infringement which takes place by means of the Internet…”. This is a Japanese proposal, and doesn’t look like much of an obligation, although no doubt it will be used rhetorically sometime. I don’t think it should be there, but I don’t think it goes near 3 strikes either.

Access to Medicines

The final ‘big ticket item is the question of the impact of ACTA on access to medicines and the trade in legitimate generic pharmaceuticals. This is something of a ‘hot button’ issue at the moment in international IP owing to Europe’s practice of halting shipments ‘in transit’ (ie going from one developing country to another) on the basis of infringement of EU IP rights (even though the goods never enter the EU market and even where there’s no infringement of rights in the exporting or importing country). Brazil and India have initiated a dispute in the WTO about this practice. Since earlier drafts of ACTA included provisions on applying border measures, to goods in-transit, to protect patents, and no reference to things like the WTO Declaration on Public Health, there have been legitimate concerns that access to medicines was going to be hindered by ACTA.

Where are we at now? Well, there is now reference to parties taking measures ‘necessary to protect public health and nutrition’ upfront in the text, so that’s an improvement. And according to the press release the border measures will not be required to be applied to cases of suspected patent infringement. On the other hand, several countries still want the provisions applied to ‘in transit goods’, and the text still allows a country to stop goods in-transit, on the basis that the goods infringe IP in the transit country, even where they do not infringe rights in either the exporting or importing country. And several of the seized shipments in Europe were stopped on trade mark, not patent issues. So I don’t think the concerns have entirely gone away by any means.

In addition to these ‘big ticket’ areas, the other issue that’s been troubling critics has been the lack of balance in the earlier ACTA drafts and the agreement’s potential impact on fundamental rights and liberties. To put it bluntly, there were all kinds of rights for right holders, and almost no acknowledgment that IP is about a balance of interests; that consumers and other users have rights too, and that right holders sometimes abuse their rights and that needs to be controlled. It was said in the last draft that there would be more provisions on the other side of the balance.

The new leaked text does have more detailed general principles upfront, including ‘public interest’ principles in draft. The provision on protecting privacy has been expanded. ACTA raises a lot of privacy issues because it anticipates the release of information about individuals to right holders to facilitate enforcement: in litigation evidence-gathering, by ISPs, by police to their colleagues overseas. Some of this information would be considered private: names, addresses…activities online… . So privacy is important. The text itself is pretty much what you’d expect: that is, it leaves it to individual countries to work out how they want to protect privacy. As I’ve said in my ACTA megapaper analysing the last public draft, this won’t help Australians all that much because our protection for private information isn’t all that strong and is based only in legislation (we have no higher constitutional or human rights principles to appeal to). But it’s good to have it in there.

Finally, too, there is some text:

* On the importance of ‘a balance of rights and obligations’, and to allow parties to adopt measures to protect public interests in health, nutrition, and socio-economic and technological development (Art 1.X.1-1.X.2 p3); and
* Acknowledging that “appropriate measures … may be needed <strong>to prevent the abuse of intellectual property rights by right holders or the resort to practices which unreasonably restrain trade</strong> or adversely affect the international transfer of technology” (Art 1.X.3 p3).

Bizarrely, this provision seems to be controversial: proposed by Australia, NZ, Singapore and Canada, there’s another bloc wanting it removed: Japan, Mexico, Korea and the US. Again, why? If ACTA is, as the negotiators keep saying, meant to be consistent with TRIPS and consistent with the WTO Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health, and will allow countries to respect fundamental rights and liberties, why protest these principles? Why even, as the EU wants to do, demote them to the level of ‘preambular statements’? (I will say though I’m pleased that Australia is on the side of the forces for good here – you go AG’s!). All I can say is that if this language, or something like it, isn’t included in the final agreement, it’s going to be embarrassing – and confirm a lot of suspicions about what the agreement is all about…

Where to from here? Hypocrisy, Red Lines, Racing Negotiations and the potential for ACTA-Spawn

So where to from here? The parties are still talking about concluding negotiations by the end of the year. According to IP Watch, some of the negotiators have seen “a real acceleration” in the more recent rounds of negotiations, and Prof Geist has opined that we could in fact see conclusion of the negotiations this year. Perhaps this is why the tension between some of the negotiating parties is bursting out a little in public.

US negotiator Stan McCoy has said that “there was some progress on ACTA in Lucerne, but not as much the U.S. had hoped”, and the EU negotiators have been accusing the US of ‘hypocrisy’ and drawing ‘red lines’. To an outsider, it looks like they’re getting to crunch time: and the question of exactly how far they’re willing to compromise has to be faced – but they will be faced, because everyone involved wants to move on after over 2.5 fairly intense negotiating years and more rounds in 2010 than one would care to count. Me? I think they’ll reach agreement, and soon, and they’ve all committed too much to see it fall over.

But regardless of what happens in the ACTA negotiations, I have a feeling that we’ll be seeing something very close to these provisions again real soon. Because there is another set of negotiations going on at the moment: the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. The TPP is supposed to be “a high-quality, comprehensive 21st century Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that increases economic integration in the Asia-Pacific region”. That is trade-diplomat-code-speak for “it’s an FTA with everything, like the AUSFTA”. And that means IP will be in it.

The TPP involves Australia, Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Singapore, Peru, the United States and Vietnam. So looking at that, you have Australia, NZ, Singapore, and the US who are all in both. Peru and Chile are already party to an FTA with the US, which means that it’s likely they can sign up to quite a lot of what you’d find in ACTA. That leaves Brunei, and Vietnam… who I don’t imagine will be focusing strong efforts on the IP aspects. And you can bet that at least some significant portion of the people doing the negotiating on behalf of the ACTA countries on IP issues is also in the TPP IP negotiations. Sheer practicality I suspect means they’ll be starting with some bastardised evil-spawn combination of the US FTAs and ACTA. The mega-long IP chapter from hell, I’m predicting. I can feel that strange combination of glazed eyes and boiling blood starting already. Grrr.

Kimberlee Weatherall is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Queensland
http://digg.com/world_news/Analysis_New_ACTA_Draft_Leaked_New_Issues
http://fortnightlyreview.info/2010/07/15/acta-new-leaked-text-new-issues%E2%80%A6/
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09-22-2010, 01:18 PM,
#11
RE: Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)
Missed this one.. Constructed in February - Released ~May 2010 but it was only privy to the US and the EU.

Quote:Restricted US-EU ACTA Copyright Treaty Civil Enforcement and Special Requirements Position Paper
10 May 2010

COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION

* 44 pages
* Restreint UE
* February 12, 2010

Download PDF: http://info.publicintelligence.net/ACTAFeb2010.pdf
http://publicintelligence.net/restricted-us-eu-acta-copyright-treaty-civil-enforcement-and-special-requirements-position-paper/
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12-09-2010, 10:39 AM,
#12
RE: Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)
Final Final ACTA Text
Dec 3rd 2010
27 Pages

Source: http://www.dfat.gov.au/trade/acta/Final-ACTA-text-following-legal-verification.pdf

.pdf   Final-ACTA-text-following-legal-verification.pdf (Size: 88.55 KB / Downloads: 72)

Quote:‘Final final’ ACTA Text Published; More Discussion Ahead For EU
6 December 2010 @ 10:05 pm
By Monika Ermert for Intellectual Property Watch

Negotiating partners today released the final text of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) after another week of what they called “legal scrubbing” which in fitting form was once again was performed behind closed doors, this time in Sydney.

The host Australian Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) not answer press inquiries on the agenda or a list of discussed changes. Now the ‘final final’ text has been published by several negotiating partners and is open to more interpretation from experts before national governments and in some cases parliaments decide whether to accept signing. The treaty text is available here [pdf].

Changes made this week were said to not touch on substantial issues. They include, for example, a change in the definition of “pirated copyright goods.” The European Commission had pushed for this change as it was concerned the original definition would create obligations to destroy goods that were not infringing rights in the EU.

The new text now states that pirated copyright goods “means any goods which are copies made without the consent of the right holder … in the country of production and which are made directly or indirectly from an article where the making of that copy would have constituted an infringement of a copyright or a related right under the law of the country” in which the ACTA measures are invoked. Fair use or private copy rules in national laws therefore might disallow procedures from jurisdictions where no such limitations exist.

With regard to definitions, one hot issue – at least for the EU – remains the definition of what constitutes “commercial scale” infringements. The final text reads: “Each Party shall provide for criminal procedures and penalties to be applied at least in cases of wilful trademark counterfeiting or copyright or related rights piracy on a commercial scale. For the purposes of this Section, acts carried out on a commercial scale include at least those carried out as commercial activities for direct or indirect economic or commercial advantage.”

There is a dispute about the nature of ACTA as an executive agreement in the US, and in some EU member states national parliaments will have to pass ACTA as proposed by their governments. In addition, the EU Council and Parliament will have to accept the agreement. The EU Parliament in late November voted for a more ACTA-friendly of two tabled resolutions [doc] welcoming the finalisation of the much-debated text. But given the tiny margin by which a more critical resolution was rejected (322 against, 306 in favour, 26 abstentions), members of the Parliament said after the vote the last word on ACTA had not been spoken.

No Agreement on ACTA Compliance with EU Acquis

The more critical joint resolution proposed by the Green group (including the Pirate Party), the Social Democrats, the Liberals and the Left, had bashed ACTA once more for its secrecy and asked for clarification with regard to consistency with the Lisbon Treaty. It also asked for evidence that ACTA would “not restrict the harmonization of exceptions and limitations for copyright and related rights in the EU” or future expansions of exceptions and limitations.

On 16 December, Green Party members will request a formal decision by the EP’s Legal Affairs Committee “to ask the legal service of the Parliament if ACTA is compatible with the Treaties of the European Union.”

Axel Metzger, chair of the Institute of Legal Informatics at the University of Hannover (Germany), told Intellectual Property Watch that the resolution taken by the EP purporting that ACTA is in line with the acquis (current EU law) is based on a fallacy.

“All criminal sanctions that go beyond ‘may’ clearly are outside of the EU acquis,” Metzger said. Metzger pointed to the fact that the Parliament in its discussion about criminal sanctions for IP infringement in 2007 had explicitly excluded acts of private persons that were non-commercial.

Another extension of IP enforcement favouring rights owners in the text are criminal measures against parallel imports of generic drugs. “While there is agreement in the EU that this constitutes a copyright infringement, having criminal sanctions in place for it, is clearly outside the EU acquis,” he said.

Medical assistance organisations like Médicins sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders) in late November started a new campaign against ACTA and other upcoming bilateral IP agreements of the EU, including the EU-India agreement that will be negotiated later this week.

Metzger’s preliminary conclusion with regard to ACTA is that there is a clear shift to extend IP protection, sometimes just by limiting redress for the alleged infringer, for example by allowing seizure without a hearing. Metzger and other experts plan to publish their analysis before month’s end.

In some countries, however, ACTA seems to be a done deal.

Singapore’s Ministry of Law announced even before the last, legal expert round in Sydney that it had “set sights on ACTA” and explained on its website: “If Singapore chooses to sign the agreement, it is not expected that ACTA implementation will require significant changes to the law.” Australian IP law expert Kimberlee Weatherall gave as an update on Australia: “Not much discussion.” The general view is that ACTA would not require changes in Australian law. Experts in Australia appear to be more focussed on where the benefit was in signing, she said.
http://www.ip-watch.org/weblog/2010/12/06/%E2%80%98final-final%E2%80%99-acta-text-published-more-discussion-ahead-for-eu/

Here's more on the EU angle, close (like a good wrestling match or a SCOTUS judgement) but ultimately passed.

European Parliament Passes Pro-ACTA Resolution
Thursday November 25, 2010
In a close vote of 331-294, the European Parliament has passed a resolution expressing general support for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. Insiders note that it was not a convincing or clear outcome for the EP.
http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/5472/196/
Full story: http://www.euractiv.com/en/infosociety/acta-comes-one-step-closer-existence-news-499991

Here's the CBC angle as told on The National (Video - 2:42):

Copyright Changes
December 5, 2010
The federal government is drafting new rules that could change the way you use certain electronics like DVDs
http://www.cbc.ca/video/#/News/TV_Shows/The_National/1233408557/ID=1684267467
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10-05-2011, 09:34 PM,
#13
Thumbs Down  RE: Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)
Well that slipped under the radar..

Quote:The United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea Sign ACTA
By David Kravets, wired.com | Published about 23 hours ago

[Image: the_battle_of_copyright_2011_christopher...-26176.jpg]
Photograph by CHRISTOPHER DOMBRES

The United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea signed the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement on Saturday, an accord targeting intellectual property piracy.

The European Union, Mexico and Switzerland—the only other governments participating in the accord’s creation—did not sign the deal at a ceremony in Japan but "confirmed their continuing strong support for and preparations to sign the agreement as soon as practical," the parties said in a joint statement.

The United States applauded the deal.

"As with many of the challenges we face in today's global economy, no government can single-handedly eliminate the problem of global counterfeiting and piracy. Signing this agreement is therefore an act of shared leadership and determination in the international fight against intellectual property theft," said Mariam Sapiro, deputy United States trade representative.

The deal, more than three years in the making and open for signing until May 2013, exports on participating nations an intellectual-property enforcement regime resembling the one in the United States.

Rashmi Rangnath, a staff attorney with Public Knowledge in Washington, DC, said the deal "clearly, is an attempt to foist US law on other countries."

Among other things, the accord demands governments make it unlawful to market devices that circumvent copyright, such as devices that copy encrypted DVDs without authorization. That is akin to a feature in the the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in the United States, where the law has been used by Hollywood studios to block RealNetworks from marketing DVD-copying technology.

The accord, which the United States says does not require Congressional approval, also calls on participating nations to maintain extensive seizure and forfeiture laws when it comes to counterfeited goods that are trademarked or copyrighted. Most important, countries must carry out a legal system where victims of intellectual property theft may be awarded an undefined amount of monetary damages.

In the United States, for example, the Copyright Act allows for damages of up to $150,000 per infringement. A Boston jury has dinged a college student $675,000 for pilfering 30 tracks on Kazaa, while a Minnesota jury has awarded the Recording Industry Association of America $1.5 million for the purloining of 24 songs online.

A US-backed footnote removed from the document more than a year ago provided for "the termination" of Internet accounts for repeat online infringers. US internet service providers and content providers, however, have brokered such a deal toward that goal.

Until European Union authorities began leaking the document’s text, the Obama administration was claiming the accord was a "national security" secret.
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/10/us-signs-international-anti-piracy-accord.ars

Speechless..

Canadian angle from Michael Geist:

Quote:Canada Signs ACTA: What Comes Next
Monday October 03, 2011

Canada became an initial signatory to the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement over the weekend in Japan. Other countries to sign the agreement include Australia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Singapore and the United States. That leaves out the majority of countries that were part of the negotiations as all the European Union countries, Switzerland, and Mexico attended the ceremony but did not sign. Canada's decision to sign is not surprising given its participation throughout the negotiation process and the flexibility that was built into the agreement. While there are many concerns with ACTA (both procedural and substantive), it is not the agreement the U.S. envisioned when it started the process several years ago.

The signing of the agreement does not mean the agreement is enforceable yet. ACTA stipulates that it takes effect when six countries have deposited instruments of ratification, acceptance, or approval. In other words, most countries must still ratify the agreement (much like the WIPO Internet treaties, signing indicates general approval of an agreement but being bound by the terms requires ratification).

In Canada's case, this will require at least two bills. The first is Bill C-11, the re-introduced copyright bill that will address some of the digital copyright requirements. Note that ACTA's digital lock provisions are sufficiently flexible to allow changes to C-11. A second bill is also on the way. As I've posted before (here, here) Canada has an intellectual property enforcement bill drafted and ready to go. That bill will create new border measure powers and establish additional enforcement tools. Look for Budget 2012 to include funding to support the intellectual property enforcement initiative that will pave the way for the IP enforcement bill and subsequent ratification of ACTA (as well as agreement on the Canada - EU Trade Agreement).

As for other countries, there is still considerable controversy with many hurdles in Europe, a Senate resolution opposing ACTA in Mexico, and doubts in the U.S. that ACTA can be implemented without implementing legislation. These issues will continue to play out even as countries that are major sources of counterfeiting activity rightly criticize ACTA as an effort to sideline the international community and craft rules behind closed doors that do not reflect a global consensus or a binding agreement on anyone excluded from the process.
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/10/us-signs-international-anti-piracy-accord.ars

Related:

From NAFTA to CETA: Canada-EU Deep Economic Integration
http://concen.org/forum/showthread.php?tid=37228

LegisInfo :: C-11 Copyright Modernization Act (external)
Passed First Reading 2011-09-29
http://www.parl.gc.ca/LegisInfo/BillDetails.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&billId=5134851
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11-16-2011, 08:35 PM,
#14
RE: Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) - Signed October 1st 2011
What happens when the powers that be reject the work
and research of perhaps another genius like Tesla or historian
or conspiracy theory.

The work of Velikovsky had to be published and copyrighted
instead of becoming approved by authorities and textbook
ready as common knowledge. The rest of Velikovsky's work
to a large extent is available free on the internet but the
published and copyrighted work can not seen.

Dr. Fell just about proved travel to the Americas before
Columbus but if accepted just about makes the opportunity
to have other theories gone from lesser gifted writers.
Unpublished by William R. Lyne are his researches into records
into pre AD activities in the Americas leaving off from Dr. Fell's
checking into Roman coins in North America. Lyne's work
quickly became useless as writers of ancient visitors flooded
the market and official recognition would never be given.
Probably the reason Lyne flushed out Tesla and the hidden
elite power structure in copyrighted publications.

What about Shakespeare, Roberta Ballantine just about
proved Christopher Marlowe exposed the spy network while
giving details of his own life in the plays published under
Shakespeare who died before Marlowe and the first folio
published after Marlowe dies in Italy. She presented her
work and was rejected and is now copyrighted locked up
from accepted official stories.

The full extent of Tesla's work is never discussed as part
of scientific history. The publications of William R. Lyne
are copyrighted that also locks up his research into Tesla.
I once gave links to a web site claiming free use but 99%
of the work has to be funded by the 1% to keep the 99%
out of the very simple facts there is more in life than they
insist on giving us.
Reply
02-02-2012, 05:33 PM,
#15
RE: Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) - Signed October 1st 2011
Looks like the rejected copyrighted publications of William R. Lyne has a
work around in a proposed patent law change that allows the first
patent to go uncontested for first right without first documented theory
and working model to contest the patent. This seems to be an Illuminati
buzz scam to make Bill run to the patent office.

Well I always thought first come first serve when it came to patents
anyway but I guess there might be some cases I am not aware of.
I think there was a squabble over the Laser and Transistor. At lest
they were won by US citizens. However Japan made use of the
patents in the commercial market. The Bell telephone patent had a
same day rival but the standoff was dated in Bell's favor seemingly
on the back of a parts order which seems weak but the opposition
may have had fudging engineers on their side that were exposed.

We don't think much of England being in control now a days but medical
business is quite big and a few innovations should end up in England's
coffers. Sir Godfrey Hounsfield in 1971 invented the computer
tomography scanner, Sir James Black 1992 synthesized heart-regulating
beta blockers, Sir John Charnley 1962 total hip replacement operation
pioneer if they count as much a designing car carrier for each
production. I liked the time someone said a relative designed the
part that extended over the top of the truck. One extra car to
sell and an add on for money in the designers pocket.

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