WIPO proposes punishing, extortionist-friendly trademark treaty aimed at eBay, Google, and Twitter

The fun-loving weirdos at the World Intellectual Property Organization have a new and terrible wheeze they want to unleash upon the world: a treaty that would require "intermediaries" (web-hosts, ISPs, social networking sites, auction sites, etc) to enforce trademarks on behalf of mark-holders. Under the proposal, these companies and organizations would not only have to delete material that is alleged to infringe on a trademark, they'd also have to narc out their users, supplying IP addresses and other information to the trademark holders, without a court order.

Combine this with the current vogue to copyright trolling, where scumbag lawyers send out indiscriminate shakedown letters demanding copyright "settlements," these being sums priced below what it would cost a victim to get legal advice as to whether they should cough up, and you've got the making of a fine racket for the next generation of legal fraudsters, bottom-feeders and blackmailers.

I love that this UN agency has made its mission to provide full employment for extortionists and trademark lawyers.

English : Standing Committee on the Law of Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications : Twenty-Fifth Session (Thanks, Nick!)


  1. So why do they let used book stores and used record stores, and for that matter, flea markets and garage sales to continue to sell copyrighted media?

  2. They are all crooks. Politicians, Lawyers, Judges, and a lot of Police not to mention the Banks. The common man is surrounded by crooks and thieves.So this should be no surprise. Next u will have to be bonded to get net access or get the permission of some rights or trademark association. How about an Interpol i.p. background check.

  3. The genie is out of the bottle. Perfect digital copies, inexpensive media, inexpensive recording and mixing equipment have changed the industry.

    Film. Only a handful of large productions a year, produced by studios that use various tax breaks to stay afloat.

    TV. As low as you can go with production value, you get no writers, 1 camera, no set, no actors. The only thing left are cooking shows.

    Music. This is still an industry. Maybe we can make money off the t-shirts.

    Eventually governments around the world forced book printers to put their names in books, knowing that going after the penniless authors was useless. Going after the ISPs is better than going after the people who share content. As the old industries have given way the governments are trying to reassert this old technique.

    Waiting for the collapse. Local tv stations get subsidies to stay on the air, the primary advertising revenue comes from the automotive sector (that has collapsed) and from the real estate sector (that has collapsed). Much like the last days of the Soviet Union everything is a potemic village, propped up artificially and each thing television, cars, real estate dependent on the other. We are all Mohamed Bouazizi now, waiting for the old system to fall.

  4. Perhaps the best outcome we can hope for now is that these people get their every wish to come true – that ACTA passes and passes on its copyright-trolling, that this passes and lumps trademark enforcement on ISPs. Then when sites like Youtube and Facebook are forced to close or drastically downsize (eg with paywalls to finance all the lawyers they’d need) and when ISPs start shutting down and ruining the market for internet connections (who’s going to afford to invest in new infrastructure?), and economies start contracting as those nations with those laws start to lose the war of ideas, and those industries that the laws were supposed to protect are still doing no better, then maybe they’ll relent.

    At least, 10 or 20 years down the line, we’ll be able to say we told them so.

    1. Imagine explaining the internet to your grandchildren, who have never experienced it.

      They would think you were making it up.

      Sad thought.

  5. Not that this is a new idea, but I still feel forcing ISPs and other service providers to enforce copyright law is like making road contractors monitor the roads for stolen cars …

    1. I doubt they would be forced. They would get kick-backs, making it an additional revenue stream for the ISP et al. This being the case, they would be all over it like a fat kid on cake. There is no altruism involved in the ISP business. Certainly anyway when discussing the soulless f*cks that run the 3 companies that have 75% of the market share (in the UK).

      1. Luckily the situation in Norway isn’t nearly as monopolized (we do have 2-3 very big ISPs, but also many smaller ones), and we actually have a long history of ISPs refusing to hand out personal data linked to IP addresses – even going as far as contesting court orders, and suing to establish that these data shouldn’t be stored beyond what’s necessary for billing and such. This of course doesn’t apply to all ISPs, and for all the ones fighting back I’m willing to bet there are quite a few cases of data being handed over just to keep the media out of their hair. Still, there’s a strong (and growing) popular movement against the EU Directive 2006/24/EF (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telecommunications_data_retention#European_Union) which (hopefully) might lead to people being a bit more aware of how these things might affect them. Still, it’s pretty disturbing to see how these things are evolving throughout the world, and how a lot of people don’t seem to mind private companies circumventing due process in the hunt for profit.

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