The MPAA has updated one of its more ridiculous pro-censorship arguments; five years ago, they were telling lawmakers that blocking P2P would help block child pornography. Now they've presented at an information meeting in Mexico on ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, a secret, far-reaching copyright treaty that contains provisions for China-style censoring firewalls for every country. The MPAA wants these national firewalls to block sites like The Pirate Bay, but the case they've made to lawmakers for it is: "Bring in a censoring firewall to block piracy and you can use it to shut off sites that embarrass your government, like Wikileaks."
You can almost imagine the MPAA rep dry-washing his hands and licking his lips like a grand vizier manipulating a gullible sultan as he utters these words. During the Bush years, the MPAA recruited a bunch of Republican stalwart, ultra-conservative foot-soldiers (one of them told me that he believed in the Young Earth and Creationism). I can imagine that if you're one of these square-jawed rock-ribbed types, you could believe that the government had the right to cover up murder and torture by blocking Wikileaks.
In an open information meeting at the Ministry of the Economy in Mexico about ACTA last week. There were two oddities that they called attention to. The first is that there was an MPAA representative at the meeting, who apparently asked whether or not ACTA could be used to block access to "damaging" sites like Wikileaks. As the Open Acta Mexico people asked, what does Wikileaks have to do with movies? It seems like an interesting question, though, and I'm assuming that the MPAA is using Wikileaks as an example of a site they deem "dangerous" to get the idea across, so that later when they designate other sites (say... The Pirate Bay....) as dangerous, they can use this to make the case it should be blocked. Nice to see the MPAA is so blatant about using copyright for censorship...
MPAA Wants To Know If ACTA Can Be Used To Block Wikileaks?
I first started writing about the remarkable Joi Ito in 2002, and over the decade and a half since, I’ve marvelled at his polymath abilities — running international Creative Commons, starting and investing in remarkable tech businesses, getting Timothy Leary’s ashes shot into space, backing Mondo 2000, using a sprawling Warcraft raiding guild to experiment with leadership and team structures, and now, running MIT’s storied Media Lab — and I’ve watched with excitement as he’s distilled his seemingly impossible-to-characterize approach to life in a set of 9 compact principles, which he and Jeff Howe have turned into Whiplash, a voraciously readable, extremely exciting, and eminently sensible book.
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