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Europe To Block ACTA Disconnect Provisions

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the swing-and-a-miss dept.

The Internet 194

superglaze writes "The European Commission is 'not supporting and will not accept' any attempt to have ACTA (the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) force countries to disconnect people for downloading copyrighted material, a spokesman for the new EU trade commissioner has said. All the signs are that the new commission, which took office earlier this month, intends to take a hard-line stance against US proposals for a filesharing-related disconnection system. 'Three strikes' is allowed in EU countries, but not mandated by the European government itself, and it looks like the new administration wants to keep it that way. From trade commission spokesman John Clancy, quoted in ZDNet UK's article: '[Ac ta] has never been about pursuing infringements by an individual who has a couple of pirated songs on their music player. For several years, the debate has been about what is "commercial scale" [piracy]. EU legislation has left it to each country to define what a commercial scale is and this flexibility should be kept in ACTA.'"

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Call Me A Cynic ... (2, Interesting)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#31284846)

... but there's really now way all these countries are going to agree on everything these treaties propose. Some portions may even be contrary to a country's current laws, let alone their culture's mindset or philosophy.

Re:Call Me A Cynic ... (2, Interesting)

complacence (214847) | more than 3 years ago | (#31284906)

But they don't need to agree on everything, do they? Every little point on the agenda that does make it through can be considered a win by the IP lobby. The rest will follow, in time, after people had a chance to get used to the overall new IP climate. (Call me a cynic, too.)

Re:Call Me A Cynic ... (0, Offtopic)

BlueTrin (683373) | more than 3 years ago | (#31284924)

They already fail [guardian.co.uk] to agree on saving one EU country (Greece), so do not expect them to agree on anything unless it is trivial.

Re:Call Me A Cynic ... (3, Interesting)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285056)

What makes you think they have failed to agree on the case of Greece?

Not only did Greece cook the books to a degree that only Italy can match, but they also have a huge public sector and pension burden together with a very corrupt system. The damage to the EU if they were to just go in and rescue Greece to 'save' the Euro would be a huge liability that would lead to similar cases happening again.

No, more likely they are agreeing to fail to agree because Greece needs to be kicked into fixing their system. (not to mention that stand is popular amongst the masses despite any depreciation of the Euro)

Re:Call Me A Cynic ... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285172)

Greece is just step one.

A few more Member States are headed for the same destination, and the EU will be forced to act to save them with bailouts.

Either that, or the U.S. will experience a financial meltdown (according to Wall Street Journal within 5 years), and bring down the EU States with it. Similar to what happened in 1929.

.

>>>"EU intends to take a hard-line stance against US proposals"

Good for them!
I hope it doesn't lead to war.
(See Rome versus Carthage trade disputes.)

Re:Call Me A Cynic ... (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285262)

US would be out of its mind if it attacked EU.

Re:Call Me A Cynic ... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285488)

It wouldn't happen immediately. It would be the result of ~50 years of gradually declining regulations as these two superpowers (EU/US) struggle over economic control of the trans-Atlantic markets, until one day the wrong person becomes the US President or EU President and foolishly decides war is the solution.

It wouldn't be the first time these two continents fought one another. There was the American-French War in the 1740s, as France tried to gain control of the American colonies. The British-American Civil War in the 1770s. The British-American War of 1812. The Spanish-American War of 1898.

We have peace now but it doesn't mean it would last if the US and EU start having squabbles over the EU not protecting the US business interests (or vice versa).

Killing people for a fucking MP3 file !!!!???? (1)

viraltus (1102365) | more than 3 years ago | (#31286070)

OK, very few things really surprise me anymore if they come from politicians, but that one would.

Re:Killing people for a fucking MP3 file !!!!???? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31286160)

To your sig: I believe metamoderation affects your karma, so mods are not the only way for your karma to change. Of course, that is not to say that nothing weird happened in the case of your karma.

Re:Call Me A Cynic ... (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285514)

That never stopped American politicians before.

Re:Call Me A Cynic ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31286002)

Why out of its mind? The EU doesn't have the ability to oppose a US attack. While modern weapons cannot kill insurgents hidden in the mountains with much efficiency, they can totally devastate a modern industrial power and that's exactly what would happen. The first strike would be by Tomahawk missiles against key strategic military and industrial targets, after which the EU would sue for peace because it could not afford to have its economy destroyed. The only recourse it would have would be the French nuclear boomers, and the retaliation would mean complete destruction for all European countries.

In their "wisdom", europeans decided to let NATO bear the burden of their defence, and they're paying for it in terms of complete helplessness against any major power.

Re:Call Me A Cynic ... (1)

NoSleepDemon (1521253) | more than 3 years ago | (#31286334)

Rubbish. The EU has Nukes just like every other country worth its salt. It doesn't matter if they have 10 or 1000, they'll wreck Amerika just as well as Amerika will wreck them.

Re:Call Me A Cynic ... (2, Interesting)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285496)

There are a few more Member States heading the same way, yes.

On the short term you can probably say it hurts the EU to be so reluctant to help Greece due to the fear investors have for those other countries to also default with no help. Yet a few of those countries are actually to a degree relying on the safety net they think are there in order to avoid unpopular political decisions.

The EU as a whole will not benefit from such a situation, and is likely better served with making an example of Greece despite the short-term damage it will do. This does however not mean the EU should let those countries go bankrupt.

When the IMF gets involved they make some rather extensive demands on the country receiving the money, which due to political reasons the rich EU member states would have a harder time making. So in some ways it is better for them to stall until Greece has no choice but to turn to IMF for help. Despite the blow to the European Project image, this is more of a concern for those who are overly concerned with saving face.

Re:Call Me A Cynic ... (1)

mweather (1089505) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285330)

Greece did not ask for nor will they accept a bailout.

Re:Call Me A Cynic ... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285228)

Some portions? Pretty much all of it. It already starts with the basic provisions necessary for ACTA to work altogether, like having ISPs retain some sort of connection information (i.e. who connects with whom) past what's necessary to bill their users, which already is a big problem with some countries' privacy laws.

Re:Call Me A Cynic ... (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285324)

ISP's already have to keep connection log data in EU.

Re:Call Me A Cynic ... (2, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285824)

Yes, they do. And in more than one countries this caused a lot of headaches because they have/had laws stating explicitly that ISPs must not store that data beyond what's absolutely necessary for billing purposes. At least one country already has a lawsuit up its ass because they couldn't get that mess sorted in time.

Re:Call Me A Cynic ... (2, Interesting)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285618)

... but there's really now way all these countries are going to agree on everything these treaties propose. Some portions may even be contrary to a country's current laws, let alone their culture's mindset or philosophy.

Countries agree to treaties that are contrary to their pre-existing laws all the time; depending on the provisions of the treaty and the fundamental legal structure of the government, either the mere act of ratifying the treaty changes the law or subsequent conforming legislation is required, but it is a regular occurrence.

The "mindset and philosophy" is usually a bigger issue than preexisting law, and that's mostly because of public political pressure on the governments involved. But if you keep a treaty secret, that reduces the ability of public political pressure to be brought to bear against it.

Re:Call Me A Cynic ... (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285978)

... but there's really now way all these countries are going to agree on everything these treaties propose.

Cynic? I'd call that optimistic.

Some portions may even be contrary to a country's current laws, let alone their culture's mindset or philosophy.

That isn't necessarily a problem. In many countries, international treaties trump the constitution. It's stupid and terribly undemocratic (which is also why a culture's mindset and philosophy may not stop international treaties), but it's the way some countries work.

Personally I'd like to see our constitution changed to say that unconstitutional treaties are automatically void, or something like that.

In any case, I'm glad that we're hearing some official EU objections to some of the scarier ACTA-rumours.

Go Pirate Party? (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 3 years ago | (#31284868)

A nice debate on the relationship of open source and ignoring copyrights (aka "piracy") would be interesting.

Re:Go Pirate Party? (4, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#31284952)

OK, here you go:

Big Corporation: Open Source is bad for everyone.
Open Source Advocate: No, monopolies are bad for everyone.
BC: Open Source leads to piracy.
OSA: No, monopolies lead to piracy.
BC: It's people like you who are what's wrong with the world today.
OSA: No, it's people like you who are what's wrong with the world today.

Hopefully that will save us about 50 posts in this thread.

Re:Go Pirate Party? (3, Insightful)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 3 years ago | (#31284974)

Big Corporation: We use the best tool for the job, be it a free tool or a pay for use one.
Open Source Advocate: No, you should always use open source.
BC: No, sometimes commercial apps are better than the free alternative.
OSA: No, use OSS all the time, no matter what!
BC: It's people like you who are what's wrong with the world today.
OSA: No, it's people like you who are what's wrong with the world today.

This is more what I see here on slashdot. Somewhere in the middle is the common ground.

Re:Go Pirate Party? (2, Interesting)

Ltap (1572175) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285068)

Actually, most of the time the best tool for the job is open-source. They care about price, you know.

Also, people need to proselytize, or else OSS gets nowhere.

Re:Go Pirate Party? (5, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285098)

No, companies don't really care if they need to pay a few hundred to get the programmer Visual Studio and increase his productivity by 1500% instead of using the free Dev-C++.

Same thing as most companies working with graphics aren't shy to buy Photoshop instead of frustrating their workers with GIMP.

Re:Go Pirate Party? (1)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285132)

Man you guys are jaded all to hell. Where do you work where they don't care about what tools you use that could make you more productive?

I want to know so I'll know to stay away from any products you might produce for the public.

Re:Go Pirate Party? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31285260)

Reading has failed you.

Re:Go Pirate Party? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31285182)

Who uses Dev-C++ these days? Ever heard of Eclipse and the numerous other IDEs around today?

I must admit though. Visual Studio is indeed king with it's compiler quirks if you're looking for an expensive lock-in.

Re:Go Pirate Party? (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 3 years ago | (#31286316)

It's been ages since I've used it, and I wouldn't want to touch it with a 10-foot pole now, but Visual Studio was the first time I was really impressed by a piece of software from Microsoft. It's pretty good. But if I'm going to pay for an IDE, I'll probably go for IntelliJ.

Re:Go Pirate Party? (1)

StayFrosty (1521445) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285224)

No, companies don't really care if they need to pay a few hundred to get the programmer Visual Studio and increase his productivity by 1500% instead of using the free Dev-C++.

If a programmers productivity goes up 1500% because you switched editors/IDE's, maybe the company should consider hiring better programmers.

Same thing as most companies working with graphics aren't shy to buy Photoshop instead of frustrating their workers with GIMP.

That's assuming the graphics design people are trained in Photoshop and not GIMP. A graphics designer who learned GIMP would be equally frustrated in Photoshop.

Re:Go Pirate Party? (4, Insightful)

gillbates (106458) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285842)

If a programmers productivity goes up 1500% because you switched editors/IDE's, maybe the company should consider hiring better programmers.

Only 15 times? Honestly, I'd say there's a good two orders of magnitude between the most productive development environment and the least. Yes, programmer productivity can vary by an order of magnitude, but I've personally seen a team of 7 engineers get more done with Linux than 40+ could do with Windows.

Look, according to Brooks' Mythical man month, the average programmer can write 1000 lines of code a year. I, however, work in a company where anyone who *can't* write 10k+ per year is at serious risk of getting fired. Here, the difference between editors really can make or break your career. And yes, there is a tremendous difference in the amount of work you can get done with an editor which supports mouse-driven copy/paste, and one that does not. Most people assume editor choice is a matter of preference. Most people don't keep track of their productivity metrics. I, however, do, and I've seen a dramatic difference in the amount of work I'm able to get done. It's not so much that I can't do my job in other editors, but rather, that other editors force an inefficient working paradigm on the user. Consider the difference between someone working in Emacs who has to open a different shell window and grep through header files, vs. an IDE that automatically cross-references the source tree and displays the definitions as the user browses the file. Both coders will get code written, but the second will get it done much faster than the first, all other things being equal.

Granted, a poor programmer won't be made great by a great IDE, but a good programmer with professional ethics is going to insist on having the tools needed to do the job in the most efficient manner. It's not whining to ask for the proper tools; rather, it's foolish to expect good results when one uses the wrong tool for the job. It's not 1970 anymore, and the days of programmers ruling the roost are long gone. Business now expects *everything* to be faster-cheaper-better, and you can't deliver that writing code with ed.

Re:Go Pirate Party? (1)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285946)

And yes, there is a tremendous difference in the amount of work you can get done with an editor which supports mouse-driven copy/paste, and one that does not.

And there's where I realized you were trolling...

Re:Go Pirate Party? (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285382)

While you're right, that isn't really the reason in most cases. Else, explain to me the success of SAP, which lowered productivity and increased overhead in most companies it was employed in.

The reason why commercial software is successful is simply that software is not bought by the people who use it the most. Software, like pretty much anything in a large company, is bought by some sort of "buy crap" department, who does often not have any idea what exactly they're doing. They're responsible for buying car spare parts, printing paper, office furniture, computer hardware, cleaning detergents and of course software. Even assuming they know what they're doing in one area (9 out of 10 times NOT, because their expertise is in business administration, for good reason), they will be out of their league most time when they're tasked with buying something.

So they will go for brand names. You can't go wrong with Photoshop because everyone uses it and so you can argue the expense if someone comes and complains. Same applies to Windows and VS. It's used in other big companies and while it may not be the "100% right tool", it also won't be the wrong tool. It's not something you will be questioned about.

Buying "commercial brands" is a way to cover your ass for the "buy crap" department. They don't buy it because it's the right decision, they buy it because it's almost certainly not the wrong one.

Re:Go Pirate Party? (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#31286048)

given its name, it sounds like SAP did what it was supposed to do. sap company productivity *badabing*...

Re:Go Pirate Party? (1)

Nite_Hawk (1304) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285474)

Since you got modded insighful I'll bite. When it is company money people don't care what they spend so long as it follows the right norms. We spent hundreds of dollars on copies of dream weaver because our administration staff manager thought that's the only way you could make websites. It was never used, but that doesn't really matter. Just like you, the higher ups will make the assumption that the software will lead to productivity increases or is necessary to do the job and will write it off without a second thought. They'll even insist it gets purchased over the recommendations of their workers because they think that is how things (should) work. In the end, as long as the expense *looks* good that is all that really matters.

Re:Go Pirate Party? (1)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285564)

And I'll say once again, you folks work in an environment that sucks.

Guess your managers are either stupid or don't value your input.

Sorry.

Re:Go Pirate Party? (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285654)

in the short term? maybe companies don't care if they have to buy software. In the long term? They end up using open source for a multitude of reasons.

Lots of companies are by default, stupid and shortsighted so it is to be expected.

Re:Go Pirate Party? (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285848)

No, companies don't really care if they need to pay a few hundred to get the programmer Visual Studio and increase his productivity by 1500% instead of using the free Dev-C++.

Same thing as most companies working with graphics aren't shy to buy Photoshop instead of frustrating their workers with GIMP.

Especially if their worked had lots of practice with the product already. Training usually was with a pirated or free version of the product however, which is exactly Microsoft strategy. So both points are somewhat true. The commercial product is better funded, and is indeed frequently more productive. Its use free of cost however, pirated or free, is questionable. It does steal attention from alternatives which compete based on cost or other factors, such as being open source, rather than design. So piracy is anti-competitive, yes, frequently *in favor* of the copyright owner, in the case of a monopoly.

Re:Go Pirate Party? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31285222)

Actually, most of the time the best tool for the job is open-source.

ROFL. Thanks for the laugh this early in the morning!

Re:Go Pirate Party? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285264)

>>>people need to proselytize, or else OSS gets nowhere.

Want the new Windows 7?
Want the new OS X 10.6?
Don't have $200?
No problem. Goto ubuntu.com and get a FREE OS that's just as good as Windows 7. Guaranteed or your money back. ;-)

Re:Go Pirate Party? (3, Insightful)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285558)

I would not call Ubuntu "just as good as Windows 7" for the same reason that I would not call a pry bar "just as good as a hammer." They are similar and can both be used for hammering nails in and pulling nails out, but the pry bar is better at prying nails out (and a bunch of other things) but a hammer is still better and hamming nails in.

If you tell somebody that Ubuntu is just as good as Windows, the person will expect Ubuntu to be just as good as Windows at every single thing he did with Windows, and will end up thinking Ubuntu sucks.

Re:Go Pirate Party? (2, Funny)

dougisfunny (1200171) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285872)

I personally would go with the pry bar. You never know when there will be a resonance cascade.

Re:Go Pirate Party? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31285078)

Big Corporation: This software needs a bugfix.
Open Source Advocate: Yes, please fix it and submit a bugfix.
BC: But that's not our area of work. You said open source is better solution than proprietary software.
OSA: It is.
BC: Why?
OSA: Because it's open and free.
BC: How does that help our current issue?
OSA: You can fix it yourself.
BC: But as said we don't even...
OSA: Please submit a bugfix when you are done.
BC: ...

Re:Go Pirate Party? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31285292)

I've submitted a fair number of bugs/feature requests to open source projects. Never once have I been told to fix it myself.

Re:Go Pirate Party? (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285614)

More methods of funding, encouraging, and generally promoting open source development are indeed necessary. Google Summer of Code is great. I think something like programming Lan Parties [wikipedia.org] are great too. Perhaps some longer term events though, like summer-long camps, including more activities to make it healthier.

Re:Go Pirate Party? (2, Interesting)

h00manist (800926) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285166)

Somewhere in the middle is the common ground.

The common ground may be what's politically realistic in the short term, that's just a given. Best solution is usually something else however. In the case of IP, it would involve aiming to modify laws. In my opinion, restricting the validity of IP would be a good start compromise.

Re:Go Pirate Party? (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285576)

This is more what I see here on slashdot. Somewhere in the middle is the common ground.

That's because facts do not exist, and all opinions are equally right, amirite?

Re:Go Pirate Party? (1)

Reapman (740286) | more than 3 years ago | (#31286344)

Man, I would actually love to work for a large company that would accept OpenSource as a POSSIBLE solution, right now it's kicked to the curb on mention.

Going into a meeting probably next week to discuss Subversion, they feel it would be a security risk since it's Free Software. Nevermind that the platform is Solaris and their baby, VSS, probably won't like running on a *NIX system much.

Re:Go Pirate Party? (0)

BlueTrin (683373) | more than 3 years ago | (#31284980)

Thank you for the productive summary.

Re:Go Pirate Party? (2, Funny)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285170)

Big Corporation: have a nice entertaining trip with our lobbyists while you think about our point of view
Open Source Advocate: Hey! Wait!

Re:Go Pirate Party? (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285522)

It's not even that.

I was for while the CTO of a large company. Never again, but that's another story. You often have no choice but to buy their crap. Even if you know that some OSS tool would do the trick better, easier and of course cheaper. Nobody wants change in their office world. They are already used to the previous version of whatever you get to buy. So whatever change you plan to employ will be met with utmost resistance, on all levels, from your CEO to the post office grunt. Even if the change meant they'd have to trade their wash board for a washer/dryer combo that fills itself, they'd complain that there is no wash board so they have no idea how to use it.

You can now either use a lot of effort to overcome that resistance (which sometimes borders on sabotage) and risk being the scapegoat should the tinyest bit go wrong, or just rubberstamp the purchase of the next version of the (maybe even inferior) tool you had for the last 20 years, which will cause at least as many headaches but nobody will complain about that.

Be honest! Which one will you choose?

Re:Go Pirate Party? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#31286128)

Even if you know that some OSS tool would do the trick better, easier and of course cheaper. Nobody wants change in their office world. They are already used to the previous version of whatever you get to buy. So whatever change you plan to employ will be met with utmost resistance, on all levels, from your CEO to the post office grunt.

That's not against open source, that's a barrier to competition at all. But what I think is that too many in large corporations have been involved - or rather victim of - huge switchover projects that just don't go well. It turns out that this other huge software company that looked so shiny on the outside got equally much dirt on the inside but nobody wants to really back out of a huge migration project and admit this was a waste of time and money. The migration is pushed through, focus is held on the shiny spots that actually got better but the average employee just think everything stayed the same or got worse. That brings out the "Oh God, not this again" in people.

Not that long ago I got roughly the same comment about workplace, was from a guy that was moving again for the 7th time in five years. You really have to ask, is this corporate version of musical chairs productive? Or is it just because some bean counter drew up a new office plan or some PHB redrew the organization chart that is supposed to be 1% more effective but will never live long enough to justify the cost? Even if it's a tiny thing to pick up your laptop and personal effects you end up relearning a lot of trivial things like what meeting rooms are on this level and what they're called, the new coffee machine, finding out where everybody ended up, setting up the printer and so on. If you want change you'd better make sure there's a point and that the people see it. Demonstrate the workflow and there's a much better hope people will accept it.

Re:Go Pirate Party? (1)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285542)

Big Corporation: have a nice entertaining trip with our lobbyists while you think about our point of view

Open Source Advocate: Hey! Wait!

Open Source Advocate: Use our open source programs and I'll blow you!

Re:Go Pirate Party? (3, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285230)

Big Corporation: Open Source is bad for everyone.
Open Source Advocate: No, monopolies are bad for everyone.

Politician: Open source is good for the poor! It's free! Think of the children!

Big Corporation: Damn.
Open Source Advocate: Well..... (shrug)..... whatever works. Open source is good for the children! Free Ubuntu or Puppy Linux for everyone! Goto www.freeubuntu.com or www.freepuppy.com for your free computer OS.

Re:Go Pirate Party? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31285556)

Politician: Open source is good for the poor! It's free! Think of the children!

Big Corporation: Damn.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA

Re:Go Pirate Party? (2, Funny)

jc42 (318812) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285900)

Goto www.freeubuntu.com or www.freepuppy.com for your free computer OS.

Damn! I was really hoping that www.freepuppy.com was a real site. What a letdown.

A few months ago, I saw a cute sign in a store warning visitors that unaccompanied children would be given an espresso and a free puppy.

Re:Go Pirate Party? (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285644)

This isn't an argument, it's just simple contradiction!

Re:Go Pirate Party? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31285740)

no it isn't

Re:Go Pirate Party? (2, Insightful)

brit74 (831798) | more than 3 years ago | (#31286222)

Open Source leads to free software for society, which is a public good. It's the equivalent of charity.

Piracy undermines the ability of software developers to create the software that the public wants to use. The long term consequences is to deprive the public of software by undermining the engines that create it.

While it would be nice to believe that open-source would step in to fill the nitch left by piracy-bankrupted companies, I have a hard time believing that open-source, through volunteer effort, would create the variety and quality of software produced by the closed-source software businesses. Can anyone honestly claim that the video game industry would have anywhere near the quality and variety that it does if it was purely an open source effort? Would anything similar to WOW, Starcraft 2, Team Fortress 2, Left for Dead 2, Modern Warfare, etc, etc exist? I strongly doubt it. Yeah, I know open-source advocates are going to hate this post. If you want to disagree with me, then you should first run this mental test: think of the top one hundred closed-source games and compare their quality and depth to the top one hundred open-source games (preferably ones that aren't clones of closed-source ones).

You dont understand Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31284916)

With regards to Europe, it really doesn't matter. If the European commission decides something (it has to be voted by every country) then it's law. All countries have to accept it regardless.

In other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31284932)

The war on terror has now moved to Europe.

Re:In other news (2, Funny)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285800)

The war on terror has always been in Europe, it was just a secret...

What Process? (1)

Anti Cheat (1749344) | more than 3 years ago | (#31284944)

What exactly is the process set down by ACTA for those falsely accused? Or more to the point just accused?

Re:What Process? (2, Interesting)

headkase (533448) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285048)

Hopefully, if I am accused: and eventually exonerated it will result in a civil suit against the accusee where the lawyers get rich as usual and I get a pittance. Enough of those costs is called a "feedback" mechanism. Something that appears to only be in favor of one party right now: corporations.

D'oh! (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285074)

D'oh! accuser!!! ;) Open mouth, insert foot :D

March penguins march! (1)

voodoo cheesecake (1071228) | more than 3 years ago | (#31284978)

It will be nice when the day comes when open source has taken over and all of this will be a moot point.

Re:March penguins march! (2, Insightful)

jc42 (318812) | more than 3 years ago | (#31286230)

It will be nice when the day comes when open source has taken over and all of this will be a moot point.

Not likely. We should note that, as Bruce Perens and others pointed out the the open-source court decision story the other day, for open-source software to stay open and available requires that it be copyrighted (and/or patented), and accompanied by the right license that's been vetted by knowledgeable lawyers. Corporations like to treat open source as public domain, which permits them to make their own claim for it, sue you for infringement, and bankrupt you with legal expenses.

Of course, the idea of disconnecting people "for downloading copyrighted material", as the summary puts it, has its own built-in threat to all of us. Note, for example, the slashdot correctly places at the bottom of discussion pages: "All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments are owned by the Poster." This is literally correct in the US, the EU, and most other countries. Everything you're reading here is copyrighted. This message is copyrighted by me, by default, since I didn't explicitly declare it to be public domain.

You don't have written permission from me or anyone else to download this message or any other message on the page you're reading. So according to the proposed rule, you should be disconnected for unauthorized downloading of copyrighted material. Pretty much everything on every web page is copyrighted, with very few exceptions for quotes of ancient text that's out of copyright. So the proposed rule simply says that anyone using the Internet can legally be disconnected at any time by anyone in power. The charge of downloading copyrighted material will always be trivially true, unless the "copyrighted by default" law is repealed (or "fair use" is radically expanded and enforced).

Follow the money (3, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285014)

Most imaginary piracy is of US imaginary products. The EU has far less to lose in terms of jobs and tax revenue - i.e. swill for the Brussels trough - than the US.

Re:Follow the money (1, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285396)

My tax bill disagrees with you, especially with the contributions that my country has to make to aid other countries in the EU. That comes from my tax too. Also, the population figures, employment statistics, governmental administrative costs (multiple governing bodies at country / EU level costs more than a single one would in the US), sales figures and basically any other statistic you would like to look at disagree with any assertion that the US has / invests / commands significantly more money / people than the EU as an entity.

However, what the EU does have is differing opinions within itself, various "checks" between each countries (when was the last time that the US was told by another country that one of its laws was illegal and must change immediately and it *did* it? In my country that was a few weeks ago. That's how the EU functions - other countries keep each individual country in check to make sure they're all singing from the same hymn sheet), absolutely no incentive to come up with a single-party plan for any political idea (it will be shot down by other countries no matter what, just for political gain, unless it's *truly* regarded as being in everyone's best interests) and an innate ability to fight *anything* that lands on its desk.

For the record, I'm British and thus, almost naturally, don't like the idea of the EU. But you can't argue that when it came to fining Microsoft and implementing controls, it stood up and did the job (the US DOJ couldn't - and MS are now contributing information that they've been forced to reveal and that the Samba team can actually *USE*, and have to introduce that stupid "browser choice" update, etc.). When it comes to throwing out dodgy laws and software patents, it does the job (on the whole, nothing's perfect). When it comes to uniting many countries into a single entity with common currency, with little hassle, it does the job (UK is an exception because we exercised a "favour", basically, and managed to postpone our conversion to the Euro for the time being).

Knock the EU as much as you like, but if you think this was in any way something the EU could easily do that the US could not, you're wrong. It's just that the US is inherently more easily corrupted at the moment. The EU stands to lose just as much industry support, potential revenue, etc. as anyone else signing up to the agreement. But the EU stands up and says no and it's rarely based purely on political gain. It's hard to convince countries that haven't ever really got on (Cyprus is in the EU, Turkey is a serious candidate to join, very rare occurrence for the two of them to do anything together) to join forces behind any decision. Different countries of the EU are using Open Source operating systems, office applications, file formats, etc. at a national level. ACTA just works against those ideas. ACTA breaks some of the world's strictest privacy / data protection laws. ACTA gives rights to personal searches for copyright material at international borders. It's a dumb idea. The EU have recognised that, and that the benefits to them are incredibly small in comparison, so they've recommended against it. That's called good sense. The other countries signing up to it (and the US isn't alone here) are on the whole being manipulated by the media industries, or drawn by the scent of money.

Re:Follow the money (1)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285822)

Just an interesting observation, but at times you compared the US to individual countries, and at other times compared it to the EU. There's more to that split personality than you think.

For the first half of its history, the US considered itself a collection of states (as in nation states). Strongly connected, but individual, much like the EU members. Now days we act like one country, but the laws and governance are still the original system. There are treaties between states (though they sometimes go by another name), extraditions, and so on. Most of the incompatibility between state as been sorted out over the years, just as EU members are doing. But it's still going on here to.

So the point you made in paragraph is both correct and a bit wrong. Externally, we look like one country. And no, the US hasn't recently changed any laws because of another country, just as the EU hasn't changed any laws because of someone outside the EU. But internally, states challenge, sue, harass, and fight each other over laws every day. Except for a few high profile situations, we don't even pay attention here. For example, credit card trouble because of SD was addressed last week by the legislature. But health care, education, energy, etc have all been adjusted by the legislature, executive, and judicial branches are fairly recently.

As far as calling the US more corrupt, that might not be quite the right word. More often its misguided. Corrupt implies knowing the right thing, but choosing to do the opposite. I think the guys making policy honestly believe they are doing the right thing, but are just misguided dumb-asses easily persuaded by people with influence who also believe they are in the right. The result is the same, so it might seem silly to argue the point. But if we want to solve the problem, the approach to dealing with corruption and ignorance are radically different.

Re:Follow the money (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285812)

I think you underestimate the local production/consumption of "cultural goods" here in EU. Most of the top50 songs here in France are not from USA.

Also, more and more studies show that the biggest sharers are also the biggest buyers of cultural products. It is not much about following the money than following the ideology and stupidity...

Bullshit (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#31286152)

i hate this american way of thinking : first sell EVERYthing, including thoughts concepts even basic logic mechanisms to private people, then come up trying to defend their feudal rights over even the logical thought process. yea, it has gone THAT far, if you havent been following the crap that goes on in u.s. patent office - numerous corporations have been trying to patent simple logic arguments and processes as software patents. the implications of this, naturally, as anyone with 2 brain cells can understand, goes WAY beyond the related field or anything else. claiming ownership on a simple process of thought ...

eu doesnt have software patents. this kind of skulldiggery wasnt allowed from the start. noone has been allowed to patent 'single click/double click' or so on. therefore, there are no issues with 'lost revenues' in Eu countries.

and there shouldnt be either. because, allowing people to claim ownership of thought phenomenon, and then letting them to attempt exacting tolls on anyone, who, god forbid, attempts to utilize basic principles for manipulating abstract concepts like mankind has done since the dawn of time, is BEYOND stupid, and feudal.

In any case, score one for Eu. whereas legislation to justice, usa has been the total bitch of corporations, and havent even been able to convict confirmed monopolies and fine them, Eu has been making those stubborn, reckless companies adhere to proper business practices and respect the market since a long time. and now there is this. dont be fooled - it wont stop here - the stuff in acta actually contradict with many basic rights and liberties that have been used as the founding principles of modern society since last 300 years, and eu will come up against those too.

however no surprise in there that, the country which comes up with a 'treaty' that tramples the democratic governance processes of not only their own, but other countries, and also attempts to violate and undo basic human rights for self profit of private interest, happened to be united states. tells heaps about how down you, 'the people' let your country go, while being fooled by those alan greenspan hordes. 'let businesses be, so they can come back and fuck you up in the ass and take even your liberties away' ...

death sentence for alledged killer whale? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31285018)

'stuff that matters' to follow?

BGates - "People should be discreet about piracy" (4, Insightful)

h00manist (800926) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285026)

Re:BGates - "People should be discreet about pirac (5, Funny)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285186)

Let he who is without copyright infringement cast the first takedown notice.

Re:BGates - "People should be discreet about pirac (1)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285882)

Let he who is without copyright infringement cast the first takedown notice.

Do as we say not as we do...

Re:BGates - "People should be discreet about pirac (1)

brit74 (831798) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285918)

Let he who is without copyright infringement cast the first takedown notice.

True story: when I was a kid, I shoplifted once and didn't get caught. Out of curiosity, does this mean that if I ever own a store, I can never prosecute anyone for shoplifting?

Microsoft Admits Company Benefits From Piracy (4, Informative)

h00manist (800926) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285092)

Jeff Raikes, head of the company's business group, said at a recent investor conference that while the company is against piracy, if you are going to pirate software, it hopes you pirate Microsoft software. --- http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20070312/165448.shtml [techdirt.com]

Re:Microsoft Admits Company Benefits From Piracy (2, Interesting)

Voyager529 (1363959) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285202)

Of course it does. If you purchase MS software, they have both revenue and market share. If you pirate MS software, they don't get revenue, but they do get market share. If you use $NON_MS_SOFTWARE, their competitors gain market share (and possibly revenue, if you buy it). If Microsoft (or any other company, for that matter) has to choose between revenue+market share, market share, or neither, their choices will generally be in that order.

Doesn't really solve much though (4, Interesting)

jimicus (737525) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285108)

All this means is that international lobbying doesn't have a nice easy single point they can go to in order to get similar laws to be enacted in all EU member states.

Being as there is no EU-wide proposal to explicitly ban member states from imposing internet disconnection, it follows that the lobbyists will talk to individual countries instead.

Re:Doesn't really solve much though (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285304)

>>>Being as there is no EU-wide proposal to explicitly ban member states from imposing internet disconnection

Why not? What's stopping the EU Parliament from making continent-wide laws such as "3 strike"? From my reading of the EU Lisbon Treaty (constitution) there's nothing to prevent them from doing that.

Re:Doesn't really solve much though (2, Interesting)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285596)

there's nothing to prevent them from doing that.

Sure there is. Countries will start leaving the EU if it imposes laws that the member countries do not like.

It remains to be seen if the EU member states that think they can leave at will run into the same situation as the US member states that thought they could leave at will in 1860.

there are. (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#31286224)

there are base principles like freedom of speech, freedom of information, and other human rights.

and there will be individual countries coming up with recognizing internet connectivity as a legal right. finland was the first one. european union countries will follow. the next likely ones will be sweden and norway.

eu is that kind of union, aside from britain. britain actually, shouldnt have been in eu in the first place, for they are not compatible with anything eu represents.

UK experience (4, Informative)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285110)

Despite this, the UK takes a line that typically follows the US one. Our govt sees no problem in disconnecting users without anything like a 'trial'.

Re:UK experience (1)

severn2j (209810) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285388)

I find it quite interesting that we in the UK have always received news and opinion from the EU in a very negative light, as if Europe was about to destroy all that the UK stood for and yet as time goes on, it looks more and more as if the EU is the only thing that can save us from our own government.. If we ever get a referendum on this subject, Im definitely going pro Europe.

"downloading coyprighted material" (5, Insightful)

shoppa (464619) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285314)

Something is wrong with the way we keep using the phrase "downloading copyrighted material" like it implies something illegal is going on.

The Linux kernel is copyrighted. Me downloading it is not illegal.

If I buy a book for my Kindle and download it, that's not illegal either.

But they are examples of downloading copyrighted material.

There needs to be a language adjustment such that we use "illegally downloading copyrighted material" instead.

Re:"downloading coyprighted material" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31285658)

There is perfectly good language for this: "Copyright infringement". Downloading the Linux kernel is not infringement because the copyright explicitly gives you the right to do so. Downloading a Hollywood movie is (typically) infringement because its copyright does not.

Re:"downloading coyprighted material" (1)

magus_melchior (262681) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285680)

To an industry who has said on the record that making even an archival copy of a CD is piracy, yes that Kindle e-book is illegal.

To an industry whose very existence is based on an essay deriding the practice of freely sharing software (which Linux, in turn, owes its very existence to), downloading the Linux kernel source and GNU sources is illegal.

Or at least, to these fat cats, "there oughta be a law against it". And so they lobby.

Re:"downloading coyprighted material" (4, Insightful)

h00manist (800926) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285724)

Something is wrong with the way we keep using the phrase "downloading copyrighted material" like it implies something illegal is going on.

It illustrates how industry lobby manages to mold what we say and think through repetition of a term or opinion thousands of times. It's not our opinion, but we usually say what we have read somewhere. And indeed, digital information in general has been productized, everything is now interpreted as a priced, owned, sold, market-valued product even if it isn't a commercial product or even a product at all.

Re:"downloading coyprighted material" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31285760)

If you download RIAA shit off the piratebay it is not illegal either. Copyright infringement is civil matter. If the owner of the data has evidence that you copied it without authorisation he can sue you.

Police is only involved on large scale copying done for profit(eg: counterfeiting). In such case the charges are of frauds, not copyright infringement. The crime here is not copying the date, but frauding costumer by selling fakes.

Re:"downloading coyprighted material" (2, Interesting)

devent (1627873) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285772)

How can you distinguish between illegally available copyrighted material and legally material before you downloaded it? How can I know that a publisher of a software, video or song is publishing it illegally and not have the permission of the copyright owner?

If I go, for example, to http://www.gog.com/en/frontpage/ [gog.com] (where I can buy older games and download it) or http://www.abandonia.com/ [abandonia.com] (where I can download abandoned games), how can I know if the publisher have the permissions to do so?

After this "three strikes law" I can be disconnected without doing anything wrong, except to believe that the mentioned sites have the permission to publish the games.

Re:"downloading coyprighted material" (1)

kazade84 (1078337) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285792)

Even that's not right, it's not illegal - it's unlawful (in the UK at least).

Re:"downloading coyprighted material" (2, Interesting)

ljw1004 (764174) | more than 3 years ago | (#31286326)

Something's wrong when we think that DOWNLOADING is the problem. All the RIAA cases (and their massive financial demands) have arisen from UPLOADING not downloading.

The "commercial scale" excuse (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31285316)

Yes yes, proponents of ACTA and the like do not tire to claim the average Joe would not be affected as only "commercial" piracy would be targetted.

Of course that's all nonsense. In Germany we have this "commercial scale" clause in copyright laws. The result is that judges twist words until they can define a single album or movie as "commercial scale", as long as said album/movie is commercially available somewhere.

Phrases like "commercial scale" are the usual smoke and mirrors to silence critics without backing down one bit.

Police blackmail cyber-cafes in Brazil (4, Interesting)

h00manist (800926) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285476)

I live in Sao Paulo, in a middle class neighborhood where the law sort of works, work in a cyber cafe. I have had policemen, who can barely double click an icon, walk in insinuating they will confiscate everything because there is pirate software. They are often paid to go away, they want money. A cybercafe owner told me he once had all hard drives of the place confiscated for months, because they found a few mp3 files on hard drives. Been to places where downloading *all* mp3 files is banned. All access to CD burners or pendrives is blocked out of fear of the copyright police. Cybercafes typically have no software at all on workstations, only duly-licensed windows xp, costing half a month's pay for the typical worker, and OpenOffice. Nothing else. So what I see is, copyright law results in driving access to digital information underground. Linux is rare in private-run cybercafe's, because of ActiveX, MSN messenger, and user culture hooked on ms-windows. Government-sponsored net cafes do run linux, and are full, mostly because they are free, but there are not many of those. Cybercafes on the outskirts of town, poorer neighborhoods, have all kinds of software, all pirated. everything in these places is pirated, the net connection, the electricity, even the land usually has no title. Result --- piracy = free intelectual property = low costs = competitive advantage. Go China!

I'm an American... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31285536)

and all I have to say is "thank god someone is standing up to us".

Counterfeiting? (2, Informative)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 3 years ago | (#31285612)

I imagine most warez groups will be quite insulted to have their work branded as counterfeiting... Counterfeit goods are typically cheap (often inferior) copies which are falsely sold as originals...
Warez on the other hand, at least the kind you download, is quite clearly labelled as warez and often branded by the group who ripped it, and is usually a superior product to the original work as the warez copies have drm schemes and other nasties removed.

as long as... (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#31286010)

there are less judges, police, lawyers or soldiers then ordinary people in a nation, maintaining any kind of draconian law will fail in the long run.

Canada (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31286020)

There's already a lot of laws that have been passed to calm down the CRIA [www.cria.ca] , but in return we got rights, such as copying music for personnal use. We get charged on blank media, the CRIA tries to pass taxes on mp3 players and even tried to pass it on blank hard drives. Fortunately, the ones in charge of passing the laws aren't as stupid as in some other countries which I won't name.

Definition of Piracy... (2, Interesting)

MrTripps (1306469) | more than 3 years ago | (#31286046)

To the US media industry, piracy is anything that does not make them money. Making your own YouTube video. That's piracy. Using open source software: piracy. In the Demolition Man future even a snug with the misses will be piracy if you don't use their DRMed interface gadget (which pay on a per use and per monthly basis).

get my parachute pants ready jives! (1)

eXFeLoN (954179) | more than 3 years ago | (#31286272)

it's the final countdown!
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