Wikileaks has the full text of a memo concerning
the dread Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, a draft treaty that does away with those pesky public trade-negotiations at the United Nations (with participation from citizens' groups and public interest groups) in favor of secret, closed-door meetings where entertainment industry giants get to give marching orders to governments in private.
It's some pretty crazy reading -- among other things, ACTA will outlaw P2P (even when used to share works that are legally available, like my books), and crack down on things like region-free DVD players. All of this is taking place out of the public eye, presumably with the intention of presenting it as a fait accompli just as the ink is drying on the treaty.
Honestly, it's becoming clearer and clearer that the entertainment industry is an existential threat to the idea of free speech, open tools, and an open communications network.
Who is really behind ACTA? Follow the money:
Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA)
Top four campaign contributions for 2006:
Time Warner $21,000
News Corp $15,000
Sony Corp of America $14,000
Walt Disney Co $13,550
Top two Industries:
Lawyers/Law Firms $114,200
Other politicians listed also show significant contributions from IP industries.
See also: Anti-counterfeiting treaty turns into maximum copyright free-for-all
An official New Zealand government bulletin on yesterday’s conclusion of the still-secret Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations accidentally confirmed something we all believed was in there all along: an extension of copyright terms to match the USA’s bizarre, evidence-free, century-plus terms.
Tim Harford, the Financial Times’s Undercover Economist, writes about the Happy Birthday to You court case, which finally settled the question of whether the familiar birthday song was still in copyright (it isn’t) and uses that as a springboard to ask the question: how long should copyright last?
For most of a decade, government negotiators from around the Pacific Rim have met in utmost secrecy to negotiate a “trade deal” that was kept secret from legislatures, though executives from the world’s biggest corporations were allowed in the room and even got to draft parts of the treaty.
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