Obama’s Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement Is Not Hopey or Changey

Over at BoingBoing, we read about the leaked version of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, a copyright treaty (so much for the Obama Administration’s commitment to transparency. Maybe it’s something in the White House water?). Two items caught my eye:

•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.

This shows a complete lack of understanding of the internetz.

What this will do is not preserve news organizations’ profits. What it will do is make people ignore their material. Why would I discuss an AP story if I’m worried about getting accused of copyright violation (and having my entire family blocked from the internet)?
That strategy might work back in the days of xeroxing. Publishers always used to get upset when professors would include xeroxed book chapters and articles in a course packet (and given that the copying stores make money from this, there is an argument against this). But either people will just summarize news stories and blog that, or, if news agencies are too strict, ignore what they’re reporting and discuss something else. Meanwhile, news organizations won’t get the links.
Stupid. And not hopey or changey.

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3 Responses to Obama’s Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement Is Not Hopey or Changey

  1. This is insanity! The current rules in this country are bad enough, but now we’re going to make them worse and go international with them? This is going to be disastrous!
    1) There’s no way that they’re going to be able to enforce this. These rules display a deep misunderstanding of how the webz werks.
    2) And just who do you think is going to benefit from the spotty enforcement of draconian rules? John Q. Webuser? Not a chance!

  2. Zaxro says:

    This isn’t too surprising considering that Joe Biden is the Vice President. He is the greatest friend people like the RIAA and MPAA ever had in Washington DC. I am going to guess his love of absurd copyright laws applies here.

  3. Ray Ingles says:

    “Trying to make bits uncopyable is like trying to make water not wet. The sooner people accept this, and build business models that take this into account, the sooner people will start making money again.” – Bruce Schneier

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