ACTA Treaty

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Blood of Nightmares
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ACTA Treaty

Post by Blood of Nightmares » Sep 6th, 2010, 20:33

Spreading the word here:

Also known as the "Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement" Has anyone heard of this treaty?

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... _Agreement
http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/5285/125/

Now there alot of paranoia going around the internet and alot of concern about this treaty which is supposedly the "Patriot Act of the Internet" or basically globalized DMCA.

Also for those who concerned about this Treaty and anyone who wants to preserve their rights (just in case if this treaty is a threat) here is some links.

For those who live in the US:

https://www.eff.org/action/tell-your-la ... ing-treaty

For those who live in the EU:

https://www.eff.org/action/eu-action-al ... ernet-acta

http://www.laquadrature.net/wiki/Writte ... ories_list

http://www.laquadrature.net/wiki/Writte ... ignatories

Besure to type "ACTA" on this search engine below.

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/activitie ... sSearch.do

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NAto
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Re: ACTA Treaty

Post by NAto » Sep 6th, 2010, 21:14

Hmmmm it doesn't seem all that bad. Is it just to protect intellectual property? Maybe I've missed something though?

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Re: ACTA Treaty

Post by Umnir » Sep 7th, 2010, 16:35

The mere fact that this was attempted to go through in secrecy stinks shit.
Yet another cencorship, yet another restriction.
LOL HI!

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Panoptic Blur
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Re: ACTA Treaty

Post by Panoptic Blur » Sep 10th, 2010, 17:06

Thanks for the link, it makes for interesting reading!

Highlights on my read-through:

1. Countries can join in on a voluntary basis (it's plurilateral, not multilateral, i.e. you don't have to join it). Given the current anti-international climate and mood in the U.S. I'm not entirely sure the American leadership can justify acceding to this if it changes anything under American law. But it could happen if they reckon the gains to copyright, patent, and trademark protection are high enough. Or, more likely, if ACTA doesn't change a single thing for them.

Let's read on and find out!

2. Main focus is on patents, which are designs of products or processes and which have a much shorter protected period than most other types of IP. (20 years, under current law, after which they enter public domain for free use by anybody.) This is not surprising because you have many more lucrative corporate interests bundled in patents than anything else. (Copyrights merely last longer, so if you hit on something profitable under copyright law, you'll want to aggressively defend it but most corps would rather have a patent for short term exclusive use. Most games are copyrightable.)

3. The purported legal aim is to get developing countries which have had a poor track record of protection IP rights to actually do so. By name, these are listed: China, Russia, Brazil. The implication being that this is targeted more at BRICs than at the developed world, bringing them in line with the developed world's standards of trade.

4. Damages section seems pretty standard and in keeping with what Berne Convention signatory countries currently hold (this includes America). Countries can set preset damages for infringement, or can allow courts to determine the exact amount of wrongful profit and then assign damages from that. This is applicable even if you didn't intentionally infringe, which (though harsh) is the current state of US IP law. Countries can implement a "Loser pays all costs" rule (the U.S. already does). In addition to monetary compensation, countries can order impoundment or destruction of counterfeit goods (it's what the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency already does). Courts can also issue injunctions ("stop doing this while we figure out whether it's actually violative") - this already happens in the U.S.

5. Countries agree to give reasonable access to info about infringers, but this does NOT override certain current laws protecting confidentiality. e.g. it doesn't override lawyer-client privileged information and probably wouldn't override spouse confidentiality. It seems if there is a specific common law or statutory law protecting your privacy, ACTA doesn't affect it. (I wonder what would happen if a state passed a law essentially saying "ACTA has no discovery effect on private info at all".)

"Inaudita altera parte" essentially means "ex parte" but I'm not sure why they would use Italian instead of Latin.

6. In all cases, the plaintiff must show at least enough evidence that they're being infringed. Courts can order the plaintiff to set aside some monetary assurance to the defendant to compensate them if the court proceedings are hurting their business and it might turn out they were innocent. (This is unusually generous - in the U.S., court cases can and have bankrupted defendants who were injoined from doing business under mere suspicion. It's basically how Lucasfilm's law suits against individuals functions - threaten a lawsuit and you win because there's no way defendant can possibly afford it even if he's innocent.)

7. Exceptions! We all love exceptions.
a) de minimis - if your kid does a sketch of Mickey Mouse and you carry it in your luggage back to America from Eurodisney, then your country is free to make a law saying that is not a violation. Currently, IP laws do have a de minimis but it's ill-defined. Here it would be "small in quantity and with no commercial purpose", for which most user mods for a game would qualify as long as they don't turn a profit themselves.

8. Border stuff: Each country will establish rules at the border allowing seizure of suspected counterfeit stuff. ACTA can't decide yet whether to put the burden of proof on the defendant or the plaintiff in the initial seizure - they have two outlined provisions here, one vague and one fairly detailed (with 60-day or one-year deadlines etc.). Reassuringly they have a provision saying "if you seek to game the system and abuse it by filing frivolous suits to keep others from importing, we will ignore you" which is good. Alternatively, they can force importers to pay a security bond if there's suspicion but (as yet) no proof. If they turn out innocent then the bond is repaid. If they turn out guilty, the bond is retained to try to compel them to come to court.

All the rest of the stuff is basically about inter-country dealings which we're probably not interested in. Fast forward to p.15, Art. 2.14 - Criminal Offenses.

Countries must punish willful copyright infringement even if it has no commercial use. The main difference in wording is that you only need some infringement to prosecute if it was commercial in nature, but you need "significant" infringement to prosecute if it was non-commercial in nature.

What would this be? I'd imagine that making a mod of an existing game may not count as copyright infringement under this framework. (It does count as copyright infringement under current U.S. law though.) Provided the mod doesn't come with a working copy of the game (so your players can circumvent buying the game) AND provided you're not making money off the mod, you could make an argument that this is not "significant" infringement. To really cover your tail you probably want a disclaimer saying "no infringement or challenge to [owner] is intended". You might even prevail in a court case.

The rest of the stuff appears to be about cinema goers sneaking cameras into a theater and filming screen releases, so it's not relevant here.

Actual penalties: ACTA does not specifically recommend any penalties - it merely says each country must do something sufficiently punitive to violators to dissuade them. The U.S. already does this: if you watch the blurb carefully, FBI warnings say you could face up to 5 years in jail and a $250K fine for copyrighting already. I can't imagine ACTA would top that threat anytime soon - this is already a pretty horrifying penalty for any individual to face. And most American cinema-goers don't even register this warning, which comes up before every single movie!

Countries should be able to seize the pirated stuff, as well as implements used to make it. (Traditionally this would be tape-copying devices but today it could well include your computers and any other electronic copying stuff.)

Section 4 seems interesting - it's specifically tailored to digital age stuff.

Section 4: Calls for countries to put in place measures to protect IP even in the digital age. But it also calls for restraint: "remedies shall also be fair and proportionate". (U.S. copyright law may fall outside of this!) Also, online service providers may have some shield from liability if it's somebody else using their service to do the infringement. (This is similar to the Safe Harbor provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which exempts ISPs from liability if some user logs on and engages in infringement.) The service provider would have to be unaware that the user was doing this, and must not have done anything to encourage the user to do this - also, the service provider must take action to stop this from happening when it does, e.g. removing illegal copies of stuff from its servers.

ACTA has specific provisions advising against monitoring! "The Parties shall not impose a general monitoring requirement on providers when acting in accordance with this paragraph 3." So fears of a "Big Brother" style body are overblown. I suspect this provision was put in so that authoritarian states like China could not use ACTA as an excuse to further increase surveillance - probably as a political move by American drafters to protect them from the accusation that they were encouraging oppression in foreign countries.

However, it then goes on to say that once a plaintiff has identified infringement at a certain server, they should have legal means to request (and obtain) information about that infringer's identity from the server. I can't remember what the current U.S. law is - it's probably related to the given state's laws on discovery and personal privacy.

As an affirmative step to stay "one step ahead" of a technological arms race, ACTA allows nations to make laws that proactively make it illegal for you to try to circumvent copy protection. (So "cracking" software protection is illegal.) This is actually already the case in the U.S. and has been for decades - if my memory serves me right, it was first instituted in the 1980s. More seriously, you can make laws that make it illegal to even produce machines or processes that have substantially no use except to circumvent or infringe copyrights. (The humble household VHS player fell afoul of lawsuits for this in the 1980s. The VHS player won, though.)

ACTA does not recommend what offenses should be criminal and which should be civil. It just says countries should implement both. (This can be a serious distinction. In authoritarian countries it can be the difference between financial punishment and corporal punishment.)

Chapter 3 is irrelevant to us - it talks about developed nations helping developing nations to get these measures in place.

Chapter 4 talks about enforcement. It's highly aspirational, with few concrete stipulations and even fewer detailed specifics. It basically boils down to: "each country should pass laws to protect IP, and then follow it up by actually paying their police and enforcers to enforce those laws, and then every so often they should exchange info about effective ways of doing this so everybody gets better at it quickly instead of having some countries lagging behind because of incompetence". Also, each country should make its police procedures public and transparent (again probably to stop authoritarian countries from using this as an excuse for repression) and each country should make its court rulings and rules public and transparent (so commerce can easily determine from the record what is legal and what is illegal for themselves in future).

Again, ACTA defers to existing local laws, and local privacy (although here it might just be to safeguard the operations of the local enforcement body): "Nothing in this [Chapter and Chapter 3][ Agreement] shall require any Party to disclose {confidential} information which would impede the enforcement of its laws and regulations, including laws protecting investigative techniques, right of privacy or confidential information for law enforcement, or otherwise be contrary to [its domestic laws or policy, or] the public interest, or would prejudice the legitimate commercial interests of particular enterprises, public or private."

Chapter 5 just deals with the institutional structure of ACTA, and we're not interested in that.

So, my final verdict: ACTA is an attempt by developed nations to get developing nations in line with their copyright and IP laws. The language is vague and aspirational and non-specific. There is little reason to suspect that American or other developed nation laws will be changed in any substantial way by this. ACTA defers to local laws, and (in Chapter 5) even to TRIPS laws under the WTO framework (which is the very thing it's supposed to be firming up!).

If you live in a developed nation, there is little reason why you should care about this.
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Re: ACTA Treaty

Post by Panoptic Blur » Sep 10th, 2010, 17:36

For the record, here is the current U.S. law, as I understand it. (And U.S. copyright law is a series of stopgap patchwork legal theories combining obsolescence, idealism, and lobbyist venality.)

1. If you make something of artist expression with some minimal amount of creativity, and you reduce it to a permanent state (i.e. not just an impromptu dance performance - you have to record it somehow) then you have copyright. This does not copyright ideas (e.g. "a big bad villain needs an armored suit to survive and breathe") but merely the expression (e.g. "Darth Vader has a distinctive costume and it looks and sounds like this").

2. Copyright allows you to stop anybody else from using your creation. If you're a human being, this lasts for your entire lifetime, plus 70 years after you die. If you're a corporation, it lasts for 95 years from the date you created it. (This duration has been steadily extended every time Mickey Mouse nears the end of the period of time. Disney Corp. is one of the most aggressive lobbyists to the U.S. Congress, pushing the period of time steadily higher to protect its biggest earner. Mickey Mouse would have become public domain in 2003 - after a 20-year extension to the law, he's private property until 2023.)

3. What is the definition of somebody else "using" your creation? Copying definitely counts, even if it's using it in a larger work. (E.g. if you draw a picture and I then copy it and put it into a huge mural of similar pictures, that's use.) The law also prohibits "preparing a derivative work", which automatically kills all game modding and fanfics, which are derivative works (they take the original and use some elements to create something different). There are other categories of rights, including distribution (can't spread your works around without your approval), anticircumvention (can't crack or hack your security protection), performance and display (even if I buy your film DVD, I can't put on a public show of it if you're still running it in theaters), and weakest of all moral rights (I can't make a porno out of your kiddie's program character - this is weak in the E.U. and practically nonexistent in the U.S.).

4. Exceptions:
a) You can quote small extracts or show small pictures if you're a journalist and your goal is to offer public critical input. This is a First Amendment right of freedom of speech and copyright does not override that.
b) You can do something similar if you're a teacher and your goal is to educate. (No Constitutional protection guarantees this - it's just something Congress wrote into the copyright law.) Most educational institutions will have some internal rule about how much you can copy from a given source before you have to just buy the book or tape or whatever.
c) You can prepare a parody or satire criticizing the original piece. This is protected by First Amendment freedom of speech. (Spaceballs could have been made without George Lucas' consent. The movie studios probably went ahead and made sure he was okay with it though, to prevent lawsuits.)
d) You can always make an agreement with the copyright holder to use their copyright. Here, Monolith shipped the game with a modding pack, and for a long time encouraged players to make nonprofit mods of the game. This is a history of Monolith telling people it did not want to enforce its copyright against mods. Given this history, it's unlikely Monolith would ever bring suit against you for making a nonprofit mod. Even if it did, it's unlikely a court would ever enforce it. (Estoppel - you can't "bait and switch" people by giving them encouragement to do something and then turn around and sue them for doing it.)

5. Damages:
Federal: The FBI has a separate criminal damages scheme where you can get up to 5 years' jail time and/or a $250K fine for copyright violation. Nominally, the FBI only gets involved when your activities cross state lines. In practice, this requirement is almost always satisfied by any given action you do, because of the legal theory of aggregation. ("If everybody engaged in the activity you're doing, it would probably cross state lines.") This is mostly aimed at cartels and organized criminals rather than individuals.
Statutory: The copyright statute allows for recovery of lost profits and injunctions ("you can never use this character again").

There are a whole host of really piddly small exceptions here and there, like having an entire fund set up to pay money to the RIAA because technology is evolving beyond a medium they can easily profit from. But I'll end here because those exceptions and special provisions to the law are already outdated and really exist only because some powerful marginal group got a lobbyist into D.C.
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Re: ACTA Treaty

Post by Status Cruo » Aug 8th, 2012, 20:29

To put it in perspective. If someone pirated anything of my authorship, I'd be happy to have him/her executed. I can't see nothing but good in such treaty, and it was about time.

Finally something global that isn't some sort of unconstitutional anti-western mandate from a gaggle of depraved socialist dictators 8)

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Re: ACTA Treaty

Post by Blood of Nightmares » Aug 9th, 2012, 02:41

First of all why did you bump this topic?
Status Cruo wrote:Finally something global that isn't some sort of unconstitutional anti-western mandate from a gaggle of depraved socialist dictators 8)
You lost all creditability that you don't even know what socialism even is other than what capitalists have indoctrinated you all your life.

http://www.bing.com/Dictionary/search?q ... ORM=DTPDIA
1. political system of communal ownership: a political theory or system in which the means of production and distribution are controlled by the people and operated according to equity and fairness rather than market principles
2.
movement based on socialism: a political movement based on principles of socialism, typically advocating an end to private property and to the exploitation of workers
3.
stage between capitalism and communism: in Marxist theory, the stage after the proletarian revolution when a society is changing from capitalism to communism, marked by pay distributed according to work done rather than need
Well a better understand of socialism from a leftist website:

http://www.revleft.com/wiki/index.php/Socialism

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Re: ACTA Treaty

Post by Status Cruo » Aug 9th, 2012, 14:23

Blood of Nightmares wrote:First of all why did you bump this topic?
Because I had something to say about it. It's either this or a duplicate thread, for whatever stupid reason.
Blood of Nightmares wrote:You lost all creditability that you don't even know what socialism even is other than what capitalists have indoctrinated you all your life.
My family and I came from East Germany, I know exactly what kind of damage this filth can do.
Blood of Nightmares wrote:3.
stage between capitalism and communism: in Marxist theory, the stage after the proletarian revolution when a society is changing from capitalism to communism, marked by pay distributed according to work done rather than need
To refresh your intentionally forgetful memory. This is also known as "the dictatorship of the proletariat" in the communist manifesto, a process in which the decent, productive people of a country are systematically looted, enslaved, tortured and ultimately murdered by the socialist regime (aided by the useless, parasitic scum in the common population but still commanded by a more influential criminal elite living the good life on behalf of everyone else's hard work, money and property). Tradition, religion and ethnic pride are completely destroyed so to take people's identity away from them, while education is turned into heavy indoctrination and morals inverted to there exact opposites in order to reflect the new rule of degeneracy that's to make of a once prosperous country, a mere concentration camp. As a direct result of turning people into objects, social classes disappear for everyone except for the new elite. At this point, there's no economic model, only work for the regime till you drop dead and be grateful they let you have enough of anything to live another day.

Now the rich (save for the socialist elite) have gone poor, while the poor continues being poor, though they no longer have the opportunity to improve as they do in capitalism.

For reasons obvious to said criminal elite that's having a good time, a socialist regime has never shown intentions of achieving communism, where the socialist regime breaks up (and so the advantages of being a slave owner) and everyone magically continues being miserable just for the fun of it, and that's why the genocidal socialist tyrants of Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam, Venezuela, a plethora of Sub-Saharan coontries, etc, stand still after so many years.

I dare any of the pieces of shit supportive of socialism explain what the socialist regime does to people who refuse to give up there property and freedom.

And this is exactly what's happening on a world scale. The fact that we, the "first world" have yet to suffer the intensity of the crimes perpetrated in a more advanced form of socialism, doesn't mean we're not getting there (Ask the French). The armed robbery (a must for any self-respecting socialist regime) has it's own akin in extreme taxation and jail time for people who don't feel like giving the stupid, lazy, goodfornothing parasites (e.g. Obaboon voters) tons of KFC, Colt45 and a new flat panel.

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