White House petition to end support for ACTA

ACTA is a secretly negotiated copyright treaty that obliges its signatories to take on many of the worst features of SOPA and PIPA. The EU is nearing ratification of it. ACTA was instigated by US trade reps under the Bush Administration, who devised and enforced its unique secrecy regime, but the Obama administration enthusiastically pursued it. This White House petition asks the administration to withdraw its support for the treaty. (Thanks, Horn55!)


      1. I don’t think it is, actually, which would explain why so many politicians partake of it, but petitions like these would at least send the message that it ought to be illegal.  This is at least a public outcry for change, and not just a vague hope of change, but a specific sort of change that would pull government approval ratings out of the gutter.

        1. When I first saw that I was literally right at the point of a human BSOD. Mostly since I had thought it was an unrestricted ability to re-copyright things rather than simply comply with treaty.

          I still feel it’s inherently wrong, but not soul crushingly Evil like I first thought.

      1. Mostly because i have a limited attention span I hadn’t really looked at OPEN. I know in a sorta vuage sense it’s being backed by Google, Amazon and the like but any reasons it would suck as a bill are beyond me. Mostly because of the attention span thing. And legaleese makes my head spin.

  1. I’ve signed both this and the one about investigating Chris Dodd.  (Sheesh, what was he thinking?  Is “Dodd” short for “Doddering Old Fool”?)  Here’s hoping the shockwaves set off by the Internet Blackout continue to roll across the political landscape and reshape it for the better.

    Why doesn’t anyone try introducing some bills to protect/expand freedom of speech though?  We can’t play defensively like this forever if we want to see real progress.  There ought to be a way to go on the offensive and score some little victories that could lead to something bigger, something like the kind of change the people really want.

  2. uhm, if like the US would collapse its ACTA pushing, can we please roll ACTA back in switzerland too? Pretty please? And as we’re on it, that other copyright revision as well, the DMCA equivalent.

  3. This is what is so disheartening to me. No matter if we defeat PIPA and SOPA, they’ll either sneak something like this in or just keep bringing new legislation until they get their way. Some way or another, the MPAA will win. 

  4. Why? 

    Neither this blog post nor the petition it links specifically state what the problem is with ACTA. Getting this clear is very important. The proponents of SOPA have accused all of its opponents of being misinformed about what SOPA does. I think that in general the problems with SOPA are correctly understood by the Internet community, but this argument was made easier by oversimplifications and hyperbole by SOPA opponents, and it has allowed some corners to rationalize dismissing that opposition. 

    If we’re going to fight we need to be clear what we are fighting for. There are already rumors circulating on Twitter that ACTA will have US Customs searching iPods for illegally copied music. That is not correct. While US border search policy for electronics is deeply problematic, ACTA will not make it worse for individuals – ACTA is clearly focused on large scale smuggling of copyrighted works and not on individual’s iPods. 

    Googling around, most of the reasonable arguments against ACTA relate to the process through which it was crafted and is being passed, and particularly the level of secrecy involved, moreso than the actual text that has survived the negotiations. If the point is about the process and not about the text, should our petition not call for Obama to let Congress vote on the treaty instead of simply calling for him to decide not to sign it? 

    It honestly seems as though a lot of the language that was initially problematic has been softened. The concerns that are now being raised have more to do with worst case scenarios regarding what ACTA might be used to justify rather than what ACTA itself requires. 

    The Internet blacklist that SOPA called for is a really really bad idea – the kind of idea that is so bad that it reasonably provokes the ire of millions of people. There might be something really really bad in ACTA – so bad that the Internet Community must rise up and stop it, but I honestly don’t know what it is. 

    I think the lack of clarity here is a weakness that supporters of ACTA WILL exploit to discredit this opposition, so I think you need to get it right. And if clarity can’t be obtained, it might be better to focus people’s efforts on asking Obama to veto ISP data retention legislation.

    1. Section 2 Artical 11 (article 2.4 in the draft copy) requires that the parties involved provide for the judiciary to require infringers to turn over information on their infringing.

      The Fifth amendment of the United States constitution holds that no citizen of the United States can be required to bear witness against their self.

      Thus it follows that the US would be required to violate its own constitution to uphold ACTA, and thus can not sign the treaty in good faith. As such, it is the Presidents duty to withdraw the signature as stated under Article 41 and explain that the US is unable to support ACTA as it is currently written.

      Article 9 paragraph 5 is one of things that I have seen cited on some websites that has not been altered, though the issue there is debatable.

      Article 12 paragraph 1 sub paragraph A could entail that an ISP should be held accountable as a third-party to prevent users of the ISP from being able to enter infringing IP materials into the commercial market. A chief argument against ACTA and something that binds it tightly to the SOPA/PIPA debate. “Where appropriate” is in there, but that is more likely to refer to situations where the infringer can’t be targeted directly than any protection for third-parties.

  5. This is Anonymous. This bill may be passed, regardless of what us free thinking people decide about it, but that’s just it, there is no deciding the outcome, if they want the bill to pass, I’m sure people behind the scenes, who pull all the strings will do so, but doing this, will bring the Millions of us around the world, to bring your New World Order, down.

  6. The Constitution, that quaint old document already guarantees Freedom of Speech, so there is no need for any additional legislation.

    Hahhahahahahaha..oops I think I just peed my pants…

  7. First, as Charles Boyer or whoever it was said in “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea,” “Nothing is inevitable, except defeat for those who give up without a fight.”
        — (1961), script by Irwin Allen & Charles Bennett.

    Second . . . note that in order to sign this petition, whitehouse.gov requires to put cookies on your computer, including “Multi-session cookies [that] last beyond a single session of browsing a website,” to send as well as receive content (whether or not you asked for or consented to it), and to track you at least to a certain extent, including how you got there and where you go while there.

    It says whitehouse.gov “does not use this info to identify or track” individual users, or sell or otherwise share your info “outside the Executive Office,” and “does not” do a lot of other stuff — EXCEPT “in response to lawful law enforcement requests or to protect WhiteHouse.gov from security threats.”  Not only are those exceptions gigantic – note, e.g., that there’s no such thing as an UNlawful law enforcement request, since law enforcement agencies are free to request whatever the h*ll they want – but “does not” is lawyer-speak for, “we’re not doing it right this second but we reserve the right to start at any moment in the future.”  This “does not” language prevails throughout the page.

    “The White House uses a third-party analytics provider (currently Google Analytics) to analyze the data collected through the session and persistent metrics cookies.  The third-party analytics provider does not” do some evil stuff with them — again, no promise that they won’t in the future.  Etc.

    The point being, really?  As supposedly savvy activists, the best we can do is set up/sign a petition on a Whitehouse website?  Which was probably created at least in part because they recognized how much easier crowd control would be for them if they could just get all the malcontents to register themselves?

    I’m not saying we shouldn’t sign — almost anything is better than nothing — but all this once again highlights the fact that we need online facilities owned and genuinely controlled by the users that enable us to do the things for which we now rely on corporations like FB or the corp.-owned government.

    User ownership works great for credit unions (which have needed no bailing out in connection with the ongoing economic meltdown); and it can work for a lot of other things.  And the people who run them can make a living at it, just as credit union managers do; they just have to be willing to give up the prospect of getting rich by selling it to a corporation once they’ve got it going. 

    And the rest of us would have to be willing to pay subscription fees; but honestly, we’re paying indirectly now.

  8. I was impressed when Obama put up this petition site, but after having signed many of them, and received the pandering responses to the ones that collected enough sigs, my hope for this public voice is totally broken. 

    I predict the White House will never initiate any action as a result of one of these petitions. 

  9. O_O Wow Shit just got real….I wonder why Obama is now going after to end ACTA after he pushed for it to be a reality….makes you wonder if he now realizes the MPAA and RIAA just want is power…I’m speechless…I really am

  10. Oh, yes, I’m so overjoyed that my great and oh-so-smart government is about to sign this piece of legislative excrement in two days. Come happy days for Poland.

Comments are closed.