EU secretly pushing to put kids in jail for sharing music: ACTA leak

More leaks from behind the scenes at the secretive Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement negotiations: the EU is pushing for criminal sanctions for non-commercial copyright infringement. That means putting kids in jail for trading music with one another.
"The ACTA agreement, by its opacity and undemocratic nature, allows criminal sanctions to be simply negotiated. The leaked document shows that the EU Member States are willing to impose prison sanctions for non-commercial usages of copyrighted works on the Internet as well as for 'inciting and aiding', a notion so broad that it could cover any Internet service or speech questioning copyright policies. EU citizens should interrogate their governments about their support to policies that obviously attack freedom of speech, privacy and innovation. Around the next round of negotiations and beyond, ACTA should be restlessly combatted and opposed worldwide." concludes Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson for citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net.
Leak: EU pushes for criminalizing non-commercial usages in ACTA (Thanks, Adam!)


  1. This is one of those cases where creative headline grabbing demonstrations including civil disobedience might actually get the word out. The worst problem is most people just don’t know or care that this is happening. There is also a perceived economic incentive to the copyright jackboots to push and finance these criminal and civil cases that doesn’t exist for something like unauthorized pharmaceuticals(drugs).

    1. I’d say have some sort of download day; get a whole bunch of people together (say 200 people or more) and go to a public place (a park or something, have a local band there, make it into a party) and share “copyrighted works” and see what happens, if the police march in, take pictures and video, see if the media would come. I know that if Bill C-32 passes here (in Canada) I want to organize (or probably someone with more clout and experience can organize)some sort of event where everyone gets together at the local cafe and rips and shares CD’s and MP3’s again.

  2. The only reason things like ACTA, and the DMCA and all of its derivatives exist is because major corporations are funding them. How much more of this are we consumers going to take before we just stop participating in the “entertainment” that these companies have foisted onto us. We as a whole didn’t do anything when kids and grandmas were getting sued by record labels for having a file in a shared folder, and I doubt we will do anything when this whole Hurt Locker thing shakes out. Is it going to take kids being thrown in jail for people to finally wake up and say “I’m not giving these assholes another cent of my money until those people are free”?

  3. why do i have the growing suspicion that behind either US or EU representatives do one find lobbyists from the same major corporations?

  4. If I want to share with my family a book (that I wrote) or a Song (that I composed) via Internet they can send me to Jail?
    ACTA and DMCA destroying our freedom.
    When would Enough be Enough for people to SEE how Big Corporations (“Entertainment Industry” and others) are bringing us a Cyberpunk world?.
    I like Cyberpunk as literature, not living in a Cyberpunk world, should we return to Steampunk?
    It is time to fight and let them know that we exist.

  5. i think that its more to do with who finances the litigation as to why the civil crime is being upped to criminal.

    if its a criminal offence then the tax payer foots the bill for all litigation.

    we live in a corporate police state.

  6. “He said, “What were you arrested for, kid?”

    And I said, “Filesharing.”

    And they all moved away from me on the bench, there………..

  7. Remember the 1960’s in the US, you political clods. Piss off enough youth, reap the consequences of riots and other organized civil disobedience.

    It was an oil-company-sponsored war that did it then. This time, a dying dinosaur of an industry.

    Imagine, the next Kent State massacre caused thanks to EMI Records…

  8. Amazing…start the witch hunts! I still can’t believe we are still trying to get our voices heard about ACTA, it has been way too long and we are still putting up a fight! Goes to show that determination can and will always find a way to bring down the richest armies(corporations).

  9. But putting kids in jail is great! With no access to the ‘Net, it means the paedos can’t get to them through the screen of their computer. We must think of the children.

  10. I hate to be a party pooper but,

    “..domestic use in the course of trade on a commercial scale of labels”

    I think, means the selling of copyright material with fake brand name labels on it. This looks to be aimed at the criminal mob operations that routinely copy other people stuff in hugh corying factories and dress it up in a fake but real looking box, and sell them for half price under the counter through their money laundering front businesses.

    I think we are all in agreement that ACTA should be aimed at these people – for everyone’s benifit.

    Am I missing something. This is a false flag.

    1. How exactly does it help everyone if companies like Louis Vuitton get more laws to criminalize people make counterfeits of their stuff? Especially when these laws break the internet, and punish people far in excess of the minor crimes they commit. It’s even been shown that companies like Louis Vuitton actually benefit from people buying counterfeits because it popularizes the brand and makes people more likely to move up to the real thing.

  11. Jeez Will, I thought we were talking about sharing crappy copies of usually bad movies, music, writing – not supporting the mafia who are just trying to replace the corporate oppressors we have now, but with a lot less rule of law (that protect us by the way).

    1. Wow way to be reductionist. I never said that there should be no laws over counterfeiting, I said that we shouldn’t make new laws that could result in destroying the internet as we know it. And how would a few companies losing business to people who would likely never buy their product in the first place result in the mafia taking over?

      1. Well AFTER I knee jerked my last comment I watched the link. Great talk. It’s complicated, when I said, “I think we are all in agreement that ACTA should be aimed at these people”, I didn’t mean that we need ACTA, in fact I’m working against ACTA; but laws against theft are needed, but ACTA isn’t that.

        As you probably know this is an insider, backroom deal by the biggest player and the result will likely be very bad for the average artist and consumer, not to mention national cultural independence.

        On the open internet, yes that’s the biggest issue, but the article in this current leak doesn’t seem to be pointed in that direction. As I said false flag. What’s going on elsewhere that they who leaked this don’t want us to notice right now? :)

  12. The tactics of the mafia and protection rackets come to mind when reading the above article about copyright.Don’t forget the fat cats,shareholders and governments are hungry for your cash!!The original artist/composers never look destitute.So think how much money is involved; and they have the temerity to equate infringement as theft!

  13. So how America is going to bomb not only axis of terror but – even greater – axis of piracy which is direct threat to homeland security.
    OMG piracy: BOMB them!!
    No ACTA signed BOMB them!!
    No 3xstrikes BOMB them !!

  14. The linked article seems to say that the EU is in discussions about the part of the draft that deals with criminal sanctions. I would interpret that as opposition of some EU-member states rather than support as the latter would not warrant “discussion”. Discussion, btw. being diplomat-speak for disagreement.

  15. [quote]EU citizens should interrogate their governments…[/quote]

    Nicely put.

    (Captcha: riotous car. Reminds me of Asimov’s “Sally”)

  16. Going back to the 1930s broadcasters were having a tough time. The newspapers wanted to restrict the wire services to the exclusive use of newspapers and cut off this upstart known as radio. Common sense that says that more customers are better prevailed and radio got its own wire.
    In music the royalties demanded by ASCAP were excessive and broadcasters formed BMI to have their own pool of talent to draw from. Most people have forgotten about this. What is needed now is a Creative Commons copyright organization to supplant the existing monopoly and make a boycott of the copyright mafia doable. It wouldn’t take much. They’re desperate and have been running on empty for years.

  17. They can’t really “criminalize” conduct which does not carry that maleficent animus at its heart, the wicked desire and intent to hurt others, which grounds all true crimes. Rather they are simply being punished for disregarding the King’s simple command not to do something (but if you were to deprive the King of his tax revenue, you are a criminal – for that’s maleficent enough).

    That said, they wish to levy sanctions, including jail time, for this conduct.
    But it is NOT criminal conduct, if you are not hurting anybody.
    No matter what they may call it: nor does the penalty make the conduct truly criminal.
    The vicious will to harm others is what renders any conduct “criminal”: not simply the King or Congress’ command that such conduct not be engaged in by the citizenry, “or else they shall feel the King’s wrath”.

    Again: just because you’re are being punished for conduct, does not necessarily make what you have done a crime: it is rather, simply a violation of a rule.

    There is a difference.

    1. “They can’t really “criminalize” conduct which does not carry that maleficent animus at its heart, the wicked desire and intent to hurt others, which grounds all true crimes”

      Or that at least the said conduct caused harm to others by criminal negligence…

      A gross majority of the laws in the books would not pass the test if it were there and would have to be repealed.

      And we would be better off without them.

      Now, it’s the King’s command anyhow. Even if the King is “democratically” elected, he still decides, being one person (or a group of them, as in Congress). We delude ourselves thinking that government can be our friend, even under a ton of limitations, and being democratically elected. Not even then.

  18. Is ACTA the change we can believe in? President Obama sure seems to think so:

    “There’s nothing wrong with other people using our technologies, we welcome it –- we just want to make sure that it’s licensed, and that American businesses are getting paid appropriately. That’s why USTR is using the full arsenal of tools available to crack down on practices that blatantly harm our businesses, and that includes negotiating proper protections and enforcing our existing agreements, and moving forward on new agreements, including the proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.”

  19. The key to China’s success is that they have the death penalty for government and corporate corruption.

    The plastic milk guy? Executed in front of his family.

    The bank that failed in China? Account holders got bailed out, the CEO was executed. Suddenly, the other banks were able to fix their problems without government bailouts.

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