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European Parliament Declaring War Against ACTA

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the taking-out-the-trash dept.

Government 307

An anonymous reader writes "The European Parliament is preparing to take on ACTA. A joint resolution (DOC) has been tabled by the major EP parties that threatens to go to court unless things change. The EP is calling for public access to negotiation texts and rules out further confidential negotiations. Moreover, the EP wants a ban on imposing a three-strikes model, assurances that ACTA will not result in personal searches at the border, and an ACTA impact assessment on fundamental rights and data protection."

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307 comments

ACTA (5, Interesting)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414044)

It's getting heated up in my country too. People are demanding answers from politicians, but even they don't know what the fuck is going on. ACTA is seriously the kind of secrecy movement that should not be allowed. It's good to see we actually have some backbone. My image towards EU has growth a lot with this.

An American (5, Insightful)

Das Auge (597142) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414190)

As an American, I say, "Thank you very much", to the EU.

Re:An American (3, Funny)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414254)

It's times like this where I'm tempted to start calling myself a European-American. (Except that it would come across too white-power-y, so I don't.)

Re:An American (0)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414818)

White-power types generally call europeans fags and threaten to beat them up (presumably with jesus' blessing). So I don't think you need to be worried about being mistaken for one.

Re:An American (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31414906)

Different kinds of white-power types.

Re:An American (4, Insightful)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414776)

I came to post the same thing. Or, actually -

Today I sit as an American watching the Europeans teach us a thing or two about Freedom.

Re:An American (5, Informative)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414788)

Don't forget Canada and New Zealand. The leaked ACTA docs show that they were standing up for rights and good law from the beginning. The EU was going along with the US before it became public.

Mind you, EU has two sides, parliament are the good guys in general (looking at a large number of cases). The commision (the bad side) is appointed by the EU, they fuck up pretty much everything. Parliament is elected and seem to actually fight for the people. So the shift shouldn't be too shocking. EU commision secretly fucking over the people w/ ACTA, parliament finding out and being pissed about it.

Nitpick (2)

Das Auge (597142) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414994)

I'm not going to nitpick their reasons. So maybe they had plans to go along with that crap, then they were exposed, and are now fighting against it to look good.

I don't care. I'm just thankful they're doing it.

I love my country. We do a lot of good things, but we also screw thing ups pretty good. The agreement has been brought to light and, unlike the EU, my country is not chancing its stance. That's what matters.

As for Canada and New Zealand? Thank you too, guys!

At least the Lisbon Treaty got something right (5, Informative)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31415530)

It might be worth explaining for non-European readers that the balance of power between the (elected) Parliament and the (appointed) Commissioners shifted significantly as a result of the Lisbon Treaty, which recently took effect. There was plenty to worry about in that treaty, but this part, at least, they did get right.

A similar difference in opinion between MEPs and the appointed guys explains the recent oddities about allowing the US access to bank records: that provision was pushed through by the appointed government weenies literally hours before Lisbon came into effect, and the MEPs have been working to get it fixed since the change.

Re:An American (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31415102)

Amen!

Re:An American (3, Insightful)

Xphile101361 (1017774) | more than 4 years ago | (#31415620)

As an American, I say, "Thank you very much", to the EU.

As an American, I say that we should have the balls to do what the EU is doing for us.

Re:ACTA (3, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414194)

My image towards EU has growth a lot with this.

*cough* No, I think the EU is doing this as an act of self-preservation. Unlike the US, that has an economy that is mostly closed (despite what you may think, our import/exports make up only a small amount of GDP), most of the EU has an open economy. The ACTA would screw them a lot harder than the United States. The US is just looking for a way to justify backing out of various free trade agreements and the ACTA is basically a way of us adding tariffs to our imported/exported services by creating artificial marketplaces while maintaining the illusion that we're all about free trade. We've created an artificial division between goods and services because our economy has transitioned from producing goods to producing services. It's in our best interests, financially, to create an artificial framework now to ensure we'll get our cut when other countries' economies transition to this as well -- basically continuing the long-standing tradition of passing the production to poor countries and living on top of them by providing the services and support that ultimately control the means of production.

Quite clever, don't you think? The EU can portray itself as the hero to the people, but it's only delaying the ACTA and similar acts -- once its economy gets closer to being representative of the US model, it'll quietly resurrect. So they get to be heroes today, and tomorrow they're just "going with the flow", portraying it as the inevitable price we have to pay for economic progress.

Re:ACTA (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31414270)

once its economy gets closer to being representative of the US model

Why would it get closer to the US model? If anything, the European economies have only got more open in the past decade.

Re:ACTA (3, Informative)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414664)

The US model is even more open. There are relatively minor state level trading restrictions (the biggest currently is probably the state level differences in health insurance regulation, which are significant obstacles to an interstate insurance market and a contributor to the high US health care costs). And from a pragmatic point of view, there's no language barrier (English being dominant throughout the US) nor a transportation barrier (US transportation infrastructure and regulation is very uniform).

Re:ACTA (2, Informative)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414830)

That's because US is a single country while EU is many different countries with several languages, and I would also like to keep it that way.

Regarding trade, EU mandates it to be open within EU countries. On top of that you can also freely live and work in any other EU member country. This is in my opinion the best compromise between independent countries and free trading, movement and living within EU area.

Re:ACTA (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414886)

That's because US is a single country while EU is many different countries with several languages, and I would also like to keep it that way.

Doesn't seem to be the way the EU is going though I imagine the multilingual aspect will stay for a while.

Re:ACTA (4, Informative)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414278)

You do know that many of the richest EU countries base their economies heavily on providing servies already?
We're not all ignorant savages outside the US.
The service sector is the dominant sector of the UK economy and also many of the other big rich EU countries.

Re:ACTA (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 4 years ago | (#31415076)

It is even the largest sector in Europe's largest industrial agglomeration, the Ruhrgebiet [wikipedia.org] (Ruhr Basin). Once famous for its steel, now 40% of the workforce in the Ruhrgebiet work in services, and only 16% are still working in the industrial sector.

Re:ACTA (3, Informative)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414310)

The EU can portray itself as the hero to the people

You do know EU has a lot different system than US? First theres different political systems in all of their member countries, most of them who actually do have 6-8 different parties that have saying over things. EU doesn't need to portray itself as an hero to the people - it pretty much is the EU people, and that's why it will fight ACTA.

(btw, I've seen you shouting bullshit in many different areas, from running trackers to some china government and now this - do you even know what you're talking about?)

Also, are you really serious about us economy being closed? Did you forget China and Taiwan, the Indian coders and phone support, even us mail manual processing being offshored to Singapore? You can't be serious.

Re:ACTA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31414416)

do you even know what you're talking about?

You're replying to someone whose handle starts with the word "girl". On Slashdot that itself is +1 worthy.

Re:ACTA (1)

JaumPaw (48149) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414520)

Also, are you really serious about us economy being closed? Did you forget China and Taiwan, the Indian coders and phone support, even us mail manual processing being offshored to Singapore? You can't be serious.

Subcontracting/off-shoring doesn't say anything about something being open or not.
They may cause leaks, but they can also be made to comply with arbitrary corporate bylaws.

mod up parent, mod down grandparent (2, Interesting)

openfrog (897716) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414590)

Moderators please read the parent before modding up the grandparent. The grandparent starts well reflecting on national interests and then veers into total nonsense.

The EU parliament is waking up to a serious threat to democracies everywhere and this is a case for us to acknowledge them wearing pants.

Re:ACTA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31414738)

But it's the european *commission* which I am personally afraid.

Re:ACTA (0, Flamebait)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414870)

(btw, I've seen you shouting bullshit in many different areas, from running trackers to some china government and now this - do you even know what you're talking about?)

Ad hominim attacks will get you nowhere.

Also, are you really serious about us economy being closed?

Yes [cia.gov].

...and that's why it will fight ACTA.

Ah, a righteous uprising by the people is a much more reasonable explanation than their import/export imbalance [wto.org] being a lot different than the US. And compare what is being imported and exported with the United States, and you'll see what I'm trying to say.

Did you forget China and Taiwan, the Indian coders and phone support, even us mail manual processing being offshored to Singapore? You can't be serious.

We weren't talking about the price of tea in China. We were discussing why the ACTA is being fought by the European Union. Please stay on topic.

Re:ACTA (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31415070)

Yeah good job linking me to a 200-page PDF file. Please paste those imbalances and differences in what is being exported if they actually matter.

And like another poster here pointed out [slashdot.org], if you're going to do an US vs EU compare, you have to look at it at whole EU scale. In that case it's pretty much the same amount (except that 4% more in export GDP compared to US)

Re:ACTA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31415454)

Ad hominim attacks will get you nowhere.

Asking if you know what you're talking about is not an ad hominim attack, but thanks for trying to grasp at straws.

Re:ACTA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31414982)

"EU doesn't need to portray itself as an hero to the people - it pretty much is the EU people..."

Hilarious. It represents the people so well that it couldn't even allow them a vote on whether or not to adopt the Lisbon Treaty (read constitution). The EU has so many tiers of government that the level at which decisions are made no longer has any connection with the bottom layer which consists of the people.

If the EU is working in the interests of the people now, it is coincidence. Wait till the corporations get the hang of the EU lobby system, then it will be back to business as usual.

Re:ACTA (2, Insightful)

YeeHaW_Jelte (451855) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414454)

Your theory fails on account of it assuming some centralized leadership that is actually able to coordinate all these manoeuvres so as to make the false impression that they are acting on behalf of the people of the EU, at least for the time being.

You have to take my word for it that 'the' EU as such does not exist, nor that it is lead in such a coherent fashion.

Re:ACTA (1)

mrclisdue (1321513) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414466)

Interesting points of view, git (an acronym! not an insult!).

My initial, hence knee-jerk, concern is that you seem to be intimating that there has been a tremendous amount of groupthink from a certain perspective (ie., self-preservation) as opposed to a simpler, less evil-sounding perspective: that perhaps this "declaration of war" is a response to the sentiments that ACTA is so wrong beginning at its core, in the first place.

I'm not pretending to be any less cynical when *good* things *appear* to be taking place, but sometimes the constant looping of the Keystone Cops and the Three Stooges in my brain causes me to don rose-coloured glasses.

cheers,

Re:ACTA (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31414480)

This is not a struggle EU vs. someone else, it's between the various branches within Europe.

The EU Parliament gained additional privileges in December, and they're eager to use them now, while the EU Commissions feel like they can go on like before. It's an act of self-preservation of the EP as a relevant entity in the European framework. If they don't make sure they get their say in these agreement now (no matter what the outcome), they're mostly irrelevant again.

This is not about eliminating ACTA, but about the secrecy around it. The EP's main gripe is that someone is representing Europe without a mandate or accountability, to create a deal that the EP is eventually asked to sign. And guess what the arguments will be once ACTA is at that stage:
1. "You have to sign this, or the international community will not consider the EU a reasonable partner"
2. Just look what the US did with the SWIFT agreement (ambassadors etc. stalking our representatives)

Re:ACTA (5, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414578)

Unlike the US, that has an economy that is mostly closed (despite what you may think, our import/exports make up only a small amount of GDP)

A quarter of the US GDP is in imports and exports. It's not a small amount. Looking at the CIA World Factbook [cia.gov], the EU and US seem to have similar levels of imports and exports (remember interstate trade between EU members doesn't count as imports and exports from the EU itself, else we should count interstate trade between US states as well). I get that the US has 15% of its GDP in imports and 9% in exports. The EU has 11% of its GDP in imports and 13% of its GDP in exports.

Re:ACTA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31415308)

*cough*

Stop it. Stop it right now. It wasn't funny 15 years ago when it was popular, and it's downright annoying in 2010.

Re:ACTA (1)

Ironhandx (1762146) | more than 4 years ago | (#31415062)

I must extend a heartfelt thank you to the EU as well.

As a Canadian I knew that our governments position was not going to influence the overall picture on its own.

Hell, the US even tried to put Canada on its Special 301 watch list over this crap(http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/3911/125/).

Re:ACTA (1)

evilbessie (873633) | more than 4 years ago | (#31415162)

They have been doing this for years, it's why most people in Europe like the EU. They stand up for the people and ask for openness, we don't really need any more wars in Europe we'd all like to find ways to work together.

Re:ACTA (1)

alexborges (313924) | more than 4 years ago | (#31415176)

Europeans are complaining about the EU too much. I dont get it: democracy is working there and its working very well, as we can all see.

Netherlands too. (1)

El Jynx (548908) | more than 4 years ago | (#31415218)

People are worried it's another one-two by the record companies (and it probably is). This is great news and comes down to a bitchslap to the pencil pushers trying to get away with it.

Btw, if you want to rally more support: join our facebook group: We Need 5m people to prevent the labels killing internet freedom with ACTA. http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=213704134963 [facebook.com]

Sometimes I hate the EU for it's bureaucratic crap (0)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414076)

but sometimes it's worth the corruption and the bureaucracy.

Re:Sometimes I hate the EU for it's bureaucratic c (1)

nicolas.kassis (875270) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414130)

Yeah in this case, politics works. It's not because they see this as for the good, they are doing it because they can get political capital out of it. Which in this case works out to be in favor of the people. The irony.

Give an example of such bureaucracy (3, Insightful)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414404)

One, real life example of this alleged "bureaucracy" inconveniencing you.

Go ahead. ....

Stop reading the Daily Fail. kthxbye

Re:Give an example of such bureaucracy (2, Interesting)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414872)

stop being a self rightous cunt.
I'm pro EU.
I like the whole free trade and free movement.

Not everyone who thinks the EU is overly ineffecient and bureaucratic is a daily mail reader or even actually against the EU.
Not everyone who thinks the EU has had a long standing problem with corruption and lack of accountability is a daily mail reader or even actually against the EU.

Re:Give an example of such bureaucracy (2, Interesting)

Plammox (717738) | more than 4 years ago | (#31415030)

Judging from your top level domain, you don't see the conflict in the first place. The EU system seems to be closely modelled on the French way of government, i.e. non-transparent decision making, the European School system for EU employee's kids (my sons are in one of these) are resembling the insane way the French conduct their education system, the EU hiring competitions (French as well) plus the insane and bureaucratic francophone administrators employed in the system.

Did you ever read the annual audit reports from the EU court of auditors? Left page: EU Court of Auditors: "We think the commission didn't provide enough documentation to show where billions of Euros went in agricultural support" EU commission response: "We don't see the problem....". The list goes on.

Incidentally, the previous EU commissioner of anti-corruption was implicated in a major corruption case in his home country.

Not to mention the lack of an investigation into the case of Antonio Quatraro. The EU commission prevented the Belgian police from investigating their premises for several hours after his death. Any investigation into this case has been obstructed by the commission and even the whistle blower from the EU court of Auditors, Douglas Watt, lives in hiding in fear of his life.

Understand that this culture of corruption is contrary to the customs in some other (typically northern) EU member countries.

Re:Sometimes I hate the EU for it's bureaucratic c (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31414558)

It shouldn't surprise you that the only part of the EU which is directly elected by the people is the only part of the EU which works for the people. The rest of the EU (commission, etc.) is the legislative arm of the corporations.

Re:Sometimes I hate the EU for it's bureaucratic c (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31414890)

err, we're talking about the European Parliament, not a some government, no member can afford to send a corruption prone representative since a screw-up will tarnish the image of the country permanently, so ... more bureaucracy, true, more corruption, no.

Three-strikes (5, Insightful)

ibwolf (126465) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414120)

Recent polls show that most people regard Internet access as a fundamental right and considering how important Internet access has become that is very understandable.

Thus any three-strikes law would likely be in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights and be struck down by the European Court of Human Rights.

Given that it makes sense for MEP to oppose three-strikes provisions as they can not be certain of implementing them and could potentially suffer very negative fallout for trying.

Re:Three-strikes (4, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414160)

Exactly this. Most of the government services in my country are being moved to over internet too (or at least trying to), so cutting down ones Internet connection wouldn't cut. It is really required in current day.

Re:Three-strikes (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414556)

Here's the article on it:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8548190.stm [bbc.co.uk]

The stats are quite interesting, although I'm not sure that the low amount of people who see corporate prescence on the internet as a problem is a good thing, particularly when violent/explicit content is rated so highly. I'm not convinced content is ever a problem- if you don't want to see it, don't look at or for it, but then, that's just my personal view. I guess by the stats I'm quite a minority although I do share the sentiment that privacy is a big issues online, as is fraud for those not aware of the various online scams that get pulled.

Re:Three-strikes (1)

Interoperable (1651953) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414754)

No, rights outlined in the European Convention on Human Rights are protected by it; internet access isn't one of them. You'll also notice that it makes no statements regarding access to other utilities. As much as denial of internet may seem like torture to a Web 2.0 addict, it isn't.

Re:Three-strikes (1)

cbope (130292) | more than 4 years ago | (#31415084)

Not too long ago, internet access here in Finland was granted a right to all citizens. That flies smack in the face of the three-strikes laws that some countries and governments have tried to enact as a result of treaties like ACTA.

I applaud the EP for standing up for our rights as citizens, and not bending over backwards for ACTA and those behind it. It's about time the extortionist tactics (ab)used by the media companies gets a serious challenge. Killing ACTA would go a long way towards leveling the playing field.

As an American living abroad, it makes me feel good to live in the EU. The mere idea that backroom, secret deals like ACTA can be passed without public knowledge just makes me sick. As far as I'm concerned, ACTA is corporate corruption of elected (and sometimes unelected) government officials, hidden behind the pretty face of "protecting copyright and IP".

The EU's backbone is growing... let's hope it continues. If you live in the EU, be sure to write your elected officials and tell them you support the war against ACTA. Keep it going.

Contact MEPs! (4, Informative)

Adelbert (873575) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414124)

Finally we have the chance to lobby elected representatives rather than aetherial bureaucracy! Don't let's waste it, guys...

If anyone in the UK wants to write to their MEPs about this resolution (you should), you can use this [writetothem.com] page to do so. I'm sure similar services exist in other countries, or you could just post the MEPs a dead tree version of your complaint.

Re:Contact MEPs! (4, Informative)

bloobloo (957543) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414430)

This is why the Lisbon Treaty is a Good Thing. The power of the unelected commissioners has been reduced and the EP can start to be useful. If they can only stop the ridiculous moves to and from Strasbourg, then the future looks bright (for the moment)

The outcome doesn't make the system good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31415280)

You need to separate the system from the subject it has been used to process. Democracies and dictatorships are capable of arriving at the same solution to a problem, or answering the whim of the people.

The reason why you might want to implement a representative democracy, a dictatorship, or a direct democracy (or the EU Lisbon Treaty) etc. is separate from the reasons why you might want to implement, say, dog licences.

The fact that the EU may have done something good (in someone's eyes) doesn't mean that the EU system itself is good, any more that a popular policy implemented by a dictator means that dictatorships are good.

The Lisbon Treaty requires so many things of the component nations that they have been left unable to make decisions for themselves which might undermine the open market and capitalism. FIne if you are a capitalist, but not so fine if you aren't. In a real democracy the people could vote either way, and even change their mind. The EU system doesn't allow that.

And by the way, only the Irish got a vote on this before it was adopted. In my books that is closer to dictatorship than democracy.

Re:Contact MEPs! (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414800)

Of course, if you elected sensible representatives in the first place then you wouldn't need to lobby them to act in your interests later. Yes, I am smug that my MEP is an active member of the FFII and is opposing this without my wasting her time with petitions.

Nice! (2, Funny)

spammeister (586331) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414128)

Could this be a sudden outbreak of common sense? News at 11...

Re:Nice! (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414944)

I believe EU parliament always felt this way. It is a sudden outbreak of leaked papers reaching them. I think there wasn't nearly enough parliamentary oversight of the commision in ACTA before now. Note that commision is for and parliament is against most of the things /.ers hate in ACTA.

Americans and Europeans (4, Insightful)

Akido37 (1473009) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414136)

For all the anti-European sentiment here in the United States, specifically against France, it's ironic that we're becoming more dependent on them protecting our civil liberties.

If they don't do it, our government (no matter what Administration) surely won't do it.

Re:Americans and Europeans (-1, Troll)

evilbessie (873633) | more than 4 years ago | (#31415334)

We Europeans cannot help that Americans are stupid, sorry, but it's nice to know some of you appreciate us.

Good (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414150)

I wish I was European so I could take pride in the fact that someone is finally standing up and calling bullshit on this entire process. I just wish Canada's government would do the same but, so long as Stephen 'Bush-wannabee' Harper is in power (proroguing government in an attempt to remain in power), I don't imagine that will ever happen so I'll have to simply be glad that the Europeans are doing the right thing.

Re:Good (2, Interesting)

KlaymenDK (713149) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414550)

I'm a European. I'm not particularly proud that it took this bloody long for some common sense to throw a spanner in those works.

Re:Good (1)

mrclisdue (1321513) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414552)

Let me guess - you're either from Toronto or Ottawa, the last true bastions of the Liberal party. You're correct to disregard the ROC (rest of Canada)

You're right, though - the leader of the Liberal party, a Canadian who has called himself an American in American television spots, would be much less like a former AMERICAN president.

Run that by me again....

cheers,

Re:Good (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414876)

You guessed wrong. Thanks for playing. No parting gift for you.

And anyone who would defend Harper _regularly_ proroguing parliament - halting the government from actually doing their _jobs_ - in an attempt to save his skin is someone who's opinion I could not give a rat's ass about. Harper knows that he'll be voted out if forced into an election. For him to put the entire parliamentary process on hold just so he can get a couple more months in power is disgusting. Every Canadian, regardless of political affiliation, should be outraged by his actions. We pay their salaries. We should demand they do their jobs.

Re:Good (1)

TheCycoONE (913189) | more than 4 years ago | (#31415118)

He didn't say anything about being pro-liberal. He may be NDP or Green, both of which would be undeniably unlike Bush. If anything his anti-American sentiment and extreme distaste for proroguing parliament would lead me to believe he was a supporter of the Canadian Action Party.

We don't have a two party system here, so you can't assume that because you're against Evil1 that you're automatically in support of Evil2.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_federal_political_parties_in_Canada [wikipedia.org]
http://www.canadianactionparty.ca/ [canadianactionparty.ca]

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31415636)

were those spots in North American or South American tv station?

And the US is .. leading the PUSH for ACTA ... sig (5, Insightful)

jgreco (1542031) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414250)

Wasn't there a time when the US led the world in freedom, liberty, and openness?

I know I'm going to get horribly trolled for this, but damn it, it needs to be said.

Re:And the US is .. leading the PUSH for ACTA ... (3, Interesting)

Vayra (1744282) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414396)

Having too much freedom for the people and too transparent a government is endangering the power of individual politicians as they can more easily be held accountable for their actions. This they do not like, and so they came to the conclusion that going back to secrecy and less freedom for the people is the way to go, as that would help secure their powers. Sucks monkeyballs, but that's what you get when you have people who think of themselves instead of the people they represent in power.

Re:And the US is .. leading the PUSH for ACTA ... (4, Insightful)

Vapula (14703) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414470)

Well, I think it's only a false image... At first, "american" were greedy colonists (either going to america to flee some judicial problems in europe or going there to make some big profit).

While esclavagism had mostly disappeared in Europe, it had been brought back in US...

US has always be about freedom without limits... If you succeed in earning money, it gave you the right to "enslave" other people (well, employing them with minimal salaries), to crush the other trying to earn their living (most known example on slashdot is Microsoft... but it's true for many other),...

On the other hand, in Europe, it had been more and more about limiting personal freedom so it don't infringe on someone other's freedom (I won't say it was perfectly done)... Corporate greed also existed in europe... long ago... And it's brought back from the US (and other) thanks to the buyouts, merges, ...

Re:And the US is .. leading the PUSH for ACTA ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31414694)

Are you new here? Of course you'll be modded troll for expressing what we all know.

next,

Re:And the US is .. leading the PUSH for ACTA ... (1)

jbezorg (1263978) | more than 4 years ago | (#31415494)

And "I know I'm going to get horribly trolled for this" is like a giant bullseye.

Re:And the US is .. leading the PUSH for ACTA ... (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414940)

Yep, and at the time, the US was NOT the major power player in the world. Nowadays, the US has buy-in to the current system. Everyone from the politicians to the homeless folk on the streets have something to lose if the status quo changes in any significant manner. That said, rather than be the cocky young new kid on the block, that can try new things and write strongly worded declarations denouncing the old way of doing things, the US has grown into the upper management, middle aged, slick haired fellow that will screw you for a dollar, not out of maliciousness, but out of a desire for the preservation of his own way of life.

Once a country has something to lose, they will fight damn hard to keep it.

The US has a lot to lose these days.

Re:And the US is .. leading the PUSH for ACTA ... (1)

twisteddk (201366) | more than 4 years ago | (#31415012)

Wasn't there a time when the US led the world in freedom, liberty, and openness?

That was probably a long time ago. But I like the fact that Americans still think this, because that means that they want it to be true.
But for this to be true, it pretty much depends on what you consider to be freedom, liberty and openness. The rule of law has always been about protecting the strong from the weak, as stealing from others is easier than making things for yourself, thus laws must exist to protect our ability to evolve as a species. And as has been mentioned earlier, ACTA is simply a move to ensure that the US gets a bigger cut of IP, copyrights etc. Arguably what RIAA/MPAA et al. does, hardly falls under the category of human evolution, more like the opposite, but they're strong, and they seek the protection of the law to maintain their wealth and power. That's the American way.

So if the US is pro freedom, pro liberty, pro openness, but also pro capitalism, the question instead becomes: What takes priority among these values ?
And Presumably the reason for keeping stuff like this secret, is that it's really bad press when people find out that the US is willing to not only sacrifice its OWN citizens freedoms, but also that of its allies' on the altar of capitalism.

Apparently a lot of people (not just RIAA and others) have forgotten an old quote:
"The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either". (- Franklin, AFAIK)

I applaud Americans, chineese and pretty much anyone who would stand against any legislation that could be used to monitor limit or cut off internet usage. As this will limit our ability to communicate with eachother, and experience different views (political and otherwise), openly exchange ideas and cooperate virtually across borders, ethics, religion and race. The internet is what makes us a global community, and attempts to stop this globalisation must be met with resistance. Let us not forget that the internet can actually be used for WAY more than just distributing porn and pirated music.

How about we just kill ACTA? (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414308)

I don't see why it's necessary. Any compromise reached will just be another stepping stone in their agenda and they will be one step closer then, even if they get frustrated momentarily without total passage.

What's the old adage about bargaining - start way higher than your actual goals and then during negotiations inch lower on your demands but at least you end up with what you wanted. But at least with a negotiation, both sides get something they need and want. What are we getting in return that we don't already have?

Re:How about we just kill ACTA? (4, Insightful)

jgreco (1542031) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414428)

We (the consumers) aren't really a party to the negotiation; the government is negotiating on our behalf to work on legitimate problems such as counterfeit goods. The real parties to the negotiation are businesses and government. As such, the businesses are pushing to get all the things they'd like to see, even where they're not really in the interests of the public. Government is dazzled by the show, and will tend to go along with a lot of things, especially where the businesses have been successful with propaganda.

WOOT good work EP (1)

YeeHaW_Jelte (451855) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414336)

First they shot down the forced SWIFT bank transactions monitoring by the US of EU citizens (http://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/02/06/1836221/EU-Committee-Says-No-To-Bank-Data-Sharing) and now they're (trying to) blow the lid on all the secrecy surrounding this ACTA agreement.

Maybe the EU Lisbon treaty (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Lisbon) has really given th European Parlement some teeth. At least they are probing the limits of their power, in the right direction.

Re:WOOT good work EP (3, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414794)

Interestingly there's also a movement in the EU now to do away with the airline data sharing deal whereby something like 49 pieces of information like e-mail address, name, address, telephone number, credit card details and so forth are sent to the US before people are allowed to fly there from Europe.

It's quite a turn around since the Lisbon treaty and the last set of European elections, I was concerned there'd be less standing up to the US, but there is in fact even more now.

Tabled? (3, Interesting)

Rysc (136391) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414360)

A joint resolution has been tabled

Whose "tabled" is that? Is that "brought forward" or "set aside"?

Re:Tabled? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31414538)

It's the non-American English use of the term: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Table_%28United_States_parliamentary%29

Re:Tabled? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31414588)

In EU (at least in the UK), tabled means putting a proposal up for discussion. A Bill is tabled.

It goes back to the days when the (Again in the UK, AFAIK), when the items up for consideration in Parliament were written on paper and laid out on a table in the order in which they were going to be discussed.
This is turn leads to the things called 'order papers'. If you watch the proceedings of the House OF Commons on TV and especially PMQ's, you will see MP's waving sheets of paper in the air. These are the 'order papers' which are the timetable of business that is up before the house that day.

Quite a different meaning than in the US where tabled means put aside.
 

Europe (5, Funny)

Lifyre (960576) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414392)

I find your ideas intriguing and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

Sincerely,
USA

Re:Europe (3, Insightful)

cbope (130292) | more than 4 years ago | (#31415174)

Thank You!.. plus you won't need to go through that whole photograph, fingerprint and awkward questions thing at the border when you come for a visit! Welcome to the EU!

Kudos European Parliament (2, Insightful)

realsilly (186931) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414456)

The secrecy behind this act is insane. People have the right to Fair Use. And our Constitution and Bill of Right are meant to protect the people. Companies are not People, and that what this ACTA seems to be protecting, the bottom line of profit. Kudos European Parliament!

Re:Kudos European Parliament (2, Insightful)

KlaymenDK (713149) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414598)

Companies are not People

You're absolutely right. In many regards they enjoy superior rights than people. :-/

Re:Kudos European Parliament (4, Insightful)

Vapula (14703) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414624)

well, it's up to you (in USA) to push for SHORTER copyright terms... Vote with your wallet, write to your local politicians, organise some big MPAA hit boycott, ...

At first, copyright was about a SHORT LIMITED TIME, now, it's longer and longer... with the clear intent to make it infinite...

It's up to you to push for a ban on stupid patents... Explain to other that if they have to pay more for their MP3/camera/... it's because of the so many patent fees on trivial or outdated technologies... I'd say that for everything computer-related, max patent duration should be 1 or 2 year... That's the rate at which most computer technologies become more or less obsolete...

It's up to you to say no to the removal of HQ on analog signals on TV/DVD/BluRay/... and to say no to the enforcement of HDCP and removal of analog signal later... Unless you want that your equipment becomes obsolete and you had to replace it...

It's up to you to shake your legal system, to prevent bullies (oops... corporation) from dragging court process until the other part can't pay for court and attorneys fees.

Finally (0, Troll)

anonieuweling (536832) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414492)

Finally the EU does something _for_ the people!
(aside from money flowing to everywhere except to my country)

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31414846)

(aside from money flowing to everywhere except to my country)

C'mon, that's simply not true. The Schengen act allowed for more unhindered XTC exports from the Netherlands than ever before. Do you have any idea how much money flowed into our country because of it?

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31415476)

The EU only takes from you till you cry "Rape!" then they act all nice, and fight for your rights.... till you stop your crys then they start taking from you more.
So, everyone over in the EU, DON"T shut up. We need you to hold their feet to the fire.

Go Canada and the EU (5, Insightful)

rrossman2 (844318) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414606)

Yes, I'm an American and I find it fantastic that Canada and the EP have a damn head on their shoulders. As long as Americans believe there are ONLY TWO POLITICAL PARTIES, this country will be f'ed. Those in control have been there too long and need to be replaced. The problem is those two parties have all the money for running real political campaigns. If an independent or some other political party had the money to actually get their name out, AND (and a HUGE and) if the American people wouldn't just vote BASED ON A PARTY NAME, things in this country could be much better. As it is now, you have two real parties and one of them is basically given control of the congress and/or house so they can just push what bills they want out the door. IF American's would actually open up their mind and quit voting by party name, and IF we could get 4, 5, or 6 PARTIES into congress and house, thing would be less "This is what we (as in the controlling party) want, push it though!" to more checks and balances on the whole process. It wouldn't be a controlling group with the same ideas in charge, but a mix of ideas from a range of people.. and I have a feeling it would keep more crap like this from appearing, as well as cut back on all the bullshit tucked away in bills.

Re:Go Canada and the EU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31415172)

"The problem is those two parties have all the money for running real political campaigns."

You could try something that probably wouldn't be allowed in the U.S. (see below), but which has been tried with some success in Canada [elections.ca]: ban corporate and organizational donations entirely and limit personal donations per person per year. You can gasp at such a radical suggestion, but we've actually done it. I'm not saying that the change has been a glowing success here in Canada (the politicians still try to find ways around it), but it has changed the financial influence aspect significantly here.

The problem in the U.S., of course, is that there is already well-established case precedent that would probably make such a law unconstitutional there. As difficult as it would be, maybe you could amend the constitution or find a way to still allow it to be constitutional, because there isn't much question that money can undermine almost any democratic system, even one as vibrant at the U.S. In any case, reforming campaign finance laws in a MAJOR way might be a way for you guys to try to improve the situation. Get the scads of corporate and union money out of the system, force candidates to actually get support from individual constituents en masse, and force the personal contributions to be made on an even playing field (rather than having multi-millionaires having disproportionate influence), and things could change for the better for everyone. We all know that a democracy is one person one vote, and that's fair. But it isn't fair if Joe millionaire or Company X has a representative in their pocket thanks to huge donations while regular citizens have only their one vote and maybe a few dollars.

Re:Go Canada and the EU (5, Insightful)

twisteddk (201366) | more than 4 years ago | (#31415210)

The multiparty systems exists in many countries, especially here in the EU.
And I'm sad to say that a lot of bull STILL gets passed, because for an extended period of time, several parties who jointly have a majority simply agree what laws are to be passed. It's no different than the two party system. In fact, on many levels it's WORSE, because now you have 3-4 parties who all wants a piece of the action, so everything is a compromise. And is they ever agree on something, its a political hot potatoe, and any legislation passed in a hurry is crap because noone considers the consequences.

The only real upside is that voters CAN actually "punish" their party by voting for a different party with largly the same views, so you dont have to go from one extreme to the other. Thus its slightly more democratic, and equally bad ;)

Re:Go Canada and the EU (1)

cbope (130292) | more than 4 years ago | (#31415220)

We can all hope, but frankly there is no sign of change on the horizon just yet. The 2 party system is seriously f'ed up and until that is fixed, well... not much will change.

acta backfires (4, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414934)

media corporations and their paid-for government whores are attempting to backdoor their oligopolistic unneeded parasitical existence into the internet age

but the people have spoken: we like our freedoms very much, and it is clear the internet has meant that your continued existence means compromising our freedoms in ways we don't like. so i guess you'll just have to die then, unnecessary media corporations

artists, writers, directors: you don't need old school distributors. there's a better, free, distributor: the internet. sure, you won't get pennies everytime someone sings your song in the shower (while some lawyer asshole gets the lion share of pennies) but you'll get fabulous exposure and advertising and presence. then you can tour, and make money the honest way

The demand is weaker than it seems (0, Troll)

H4x0r Jim Duggan (757476) | more than 4 years ago | (#31414942)

Calling for publication of the text is good.

The other provisions of this demand are pretty weak. Some example points:

#2 - no basis? Here's the basis: 2008-04-14: EU: negotiating guidelines for ACTA formally adopted by the Council

#10 - "subsidiarity" etc. - no problem, that's why the EU keeps pushing the words "Those measures, procedures and remedies shall also be effective, proportionate and deterrent" into the ACTA text (see March 1st leaked draft [swpat.org])

And the criminal sanctions are EU okay because the treaty will be handed to the member states for implementation.

Still a great move. Just don't starting thinking we win with it.

Another nonwar (5, Insightful)

Thaelon (250687) | more than 4 years ago | (#31415254)

Can we please stop saying we're declaring war on things that aren't sovereign nations?

Let's especially stop if they're ideas, conferences, or pieces of paper.

War Metaphor (1)

AP31R0N (723649) | more than 4 years ago | (#31415348)

The "war on" metaphor has become trite. Can we just say what it is: The EU Parliament is investigating/opposing/*something* against ACTA. The way people use the word war has stripped it of effect. War used to be a big deal... no it just means arguement/conflict/opposition.

Sure we can use metaphors, but when we over use them or use them incorrectly, the original word loses meaning and the metaphor becomes "cute" at best.

"Declaring War" is a tired cliche (1)

ari_j (90255) | more than 4 years ago | (#31415396)

I vote that we no longer refer to this kind of thing as "declaring war," since that terminology has become cliche. I suggest the replacement of "calling intervention on." For instance, the headline here should be "European Parliament Calls Intervention on ACTA."

The difference between the EU and the European Par (1)

Lagurz (908275) | more than 4 years ago | (#31415580)

Usually when reading mainstream media the always say that EU wants this or EU wants that. This is a severe simplification, and makes the whole issue wrong.

There are three institutions in the EU that have power and they usually want different things. The 3 are:

* European Commission (members not elected)
* Council of Ministers (members are elected ministers of their home countries, not elected on a European level)
* European Parliament (members are elected in democratic elections all around Europe)

The European Commission has been handling the ACTA negotiations in secrecy with USA and other countries. What has happened now is that the European Parliament has come up with a resolution saying the the European Commission can no longer do this in secrecy and all negotiations must now be public.

In short, the Parliament, representing the people, wants to see the ACTA files.

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