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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Transparency? Hope? or just Change

The internet chapter of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, a secret copyright treaty whose text Obama's administration refused to disclose due to "national security" concerns, has leaked. It's bad. It says:
  • * That ISPs have to proactively police copyright on user-contributed material. This means that it will be impossible to run a service like Flickr or YouTube or Blogger, since hiring enough lawyers to ensure that the mountain of material uploaded every second isn't infringing will exceed any hope of profitability.

  • * That ISPs have to cut off the Internet access of accused copyright infringers or face liability. This means that your entire family could be denied to the internet -- and hence to civic participation, health information, education, communications, and their means of earning a living -- if one member is accused of copyright infringement, without access to a trial or counsel.

  • * That the whole world must adopt US-style "notice-and-takedown" rules that require ISPs to remove any material that is accused -- again, without evidence or trial -- of infringing copyright. This has proved a disaster in the US and other countries, where it provides an easy means of censoring material, just by accusing it of infringing copyright.

  • * Mandatory prohibitions on breaking DRM, even if doing so for a lawful purpose (e.g., to make a work available to disabled people; for archival preservation; because you own the copyrighted work that is locked up with DRM)
The above is stolen from BoingBoing. Below is my thought. Do yourself a favor. Vote for conservative candidates who stress individual liberty and not hive-minded, the-Government-knows-best, liberals who think that denial of individual liberty is the best way to go. Above all, plug your ears during the campaigns and LOOK at the candidate's voting record and history. Rhetoric is louder than historical record, but needs to be ignored. (Me)


Jean&Vic said...

Kind of makes me wonder if this will be used in the political arena during the next election. or worse if it will be used to censor anything above a local level for the current term of office, or until repealed. Best of thoughts on this are to make it so unwieldy it has to be revoked, especially for the people who made it and implemented it in the first place. My worst thoughts I refuse to publish, as they are just that, my worst thoughts ;-)