Michael Geist sez, "The World Intellectual Property Organization may be best known for the Internet treaties that led to the DMCA, but in recent years groups like EFF, KEI, and Public Knowledge has helped to open things up and move toward a Development Agenda that better balances international intellectual property policy.
That progress may be threatened by the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, which officials now acknowledge is designed to exclude WIPO, developing countries, and NGOs."
Moreover, the criminal provisions go well beyond clear cases of commercial infringement by including criminal sanctions such as potential imprisonment for "significant wilful copyright and trademark infringement even where there is no direct or indirect motivation of financial gain."
The ACTA Threat To The Future Of WIPO
Jail time for non-commercial infringement will generate considerable opposition, but it is the internet provisions that are likely to prove to be the most controversial. At the December meeting in Paris, the US submitted a "non-paper" that discussed internet copyright provisions, liability for internet service providers, and legal protection for digital locks.
While the substance of the treaty will remain fodder for much debate, Canadian officials recently hosted a public consultation during which they acknowledged the true motivation behind the ACTA. Senior officials stated that there were really two reasons for the treaty. The first, unsurprisingly, was concerns over counterfeiting. The second was the perceived stalemate at WIPO, where the growing emphasis on the Development Agenda and the heightened participation of developing countries and non-governmental organisations have stymied attempts by countries such as the United States to bull their way toward new treaties with little resistance.
Given the challenge of obtaining multilateral consensus at WIPO, the ACTA negotiating partners have instead opted for a plurilateral approach that circumvents possible opposition from developing countries such as Brazil, Argentina, India, Russia, or China. There have been hints of this in the past - an EU FAQ [frequently asked questions] document noted that "the membership and priorities of those organisations [G8, WTO, WIPO] simply are not the most conducive" to an ACTA-like initiative - yet the willingness to now state publicly what has been only speculated privately sends a shot across the bow for WIPO and the countries that support its commitment to multilateral policymaking.
Charles Duan from Public Knowledge sends us “a video we put together for Fair Use Week about copyright and fair use, to the tune of ‘Let It Go’ from Frozen, and full of clips of other fair use videos.”
An excellent excerpt from Aaron Perzanowski and Jason Schultz’s The End of Ownership: Personal Property in the Digital Economy on Motherboard explains how Section 1201 of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act — which bans tampering with or bypassing DRM, even for legal reasons — has allowed corporations to design their products so that using […]
Securelist’s report on the security vulnerabilities in Android-based “connected cars” describes how custom Android apps could be used to find out where the car is, follow it around, unlock its doors, start its engine, and drive it away.
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