Skip to comments.Leaked documents reveal draft text of top-secret global copyright deal
Posted on 04/08/2010 12:34:11 PM PDT by day21221
Leaked documents reveal draft text of secret global copyright deal
OTTAWA As negotiators from 37 countries prepare to meet in New Zealand on Monday to discuss a top-secret trade agreement, a draft text of the document has found its way onto the Internet.
While bits and pieces of the agreement, called the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), have been leaked in the past, this is the first time a full draft is available to the public.
The agreement, negotiated privately for the better part of two years, aims to create a global organization to oversee worldwide copyright and intellectual property issues, which are now the responsibility of the World Trade Organization, the World Intellectual Property Organization and the United Nations.
The release of the draft text comes at a time when the Canadian government is holding cross-country consultations to collect public input for new Canadian copyright laws. Agreeing to the treaty would require Canada to meet certain legal requirements. Many of the legal requirements mimic laws already in place in the United States.
"To Canada this would require quite a change from domestic laws," said Gwen Hinze, international director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "That's a good question to be asking of the Canadian negotiators: 'Is this going to leave a lasting legacy that effectively moots any domestic consultation process on copyright issues?'"
The draft text of the treaty includes enhanced search powers for border-crossing guards, allowing them to comb through the personal computers and iPods of travellers.
It also prohibits the use of products which could be used to circumvent the digital locks on media, such as DVDs. The practice is not illegal in Canada and is used by many to create backup copies of movies.
The agreement will also place more responsibility on Internet service providers, such as Rogers and Bell, to become content police and prevent users from sharing pirated content over the Internet.
Punishment for repeat offenders includes a ban from the using the Internet for up to 12 months.
A spokeswoman for Industry Canada, which is responsible for Canadian copyright laws, said the federal government is moving ahead with new copyright legislation and the trade agreement would have no impact on the bill. However, she would not comment on changes that would have to be made to legislation if Canada adopts the trade agreement.
Peter Van Loan, minister of international trade, said Wednesday in an e-mail that the Canadian government would not sign on to the agreement unless it "reflects the best interest of Canadians."
"Negotiations are continuing and there is not yet an agreement," he noted.
The agreement is being structured much like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), except it would create rules and regulations regarding private copying and copyright laws. Although federal trade agreements do not require parliamentary approval, large trade agreements such as NAFTA have been brought before Parliament for debate.
The agreement is being pushed forward by the Office of the United States Trade Representative.
In early March, U.S. President Barack Obama spoke in favour of the agreement, saying it was necessary to protect American businesses and technologies.
David Fewer, director of the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic at the University of Ottawa, has been following the development of the treaty closely and believes it provides little benefit to anyone but large U.S. content producers such as record labels, software makers and technology companies.
"Early on I described ACTA as a Christmas wish list for rights holders and I'll be damned if that doesn't look like what it is," he said. "It's obviously not made in Canada. This doesn't reflect any kind of domestic agenda."
The leaked text of the trade agreement came from officials in France, who are unhappy with the cloak and dagger techniques being employed to keep the contents of the trade agreement secret.
Earlier this month, parliamentarians in the European Union voted to open the negotiations to the public and allow consultations on its contents. The vote passed with 633 EU parliamentarians voting in favour of opening access, only 13 voted against it.
Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/Leaked+documents+reveal+draft+text+secret+global+copyright+deal/2774774/story.html#ixzz0kXMLcK71
Something I've heard Airport Customs already can do (and it includes searching for illegal mp3 downloads).
Anything tied to the WTO and the UN is never good....the Liberal Globalists may feel otherwise.....but I do not want the WTO or UN involved in anything in the USA
Republicans should come out strong against this... but I doubt they will... corporate america will want it...
Internet license, coming to your future soon, comrade.
Because nothing is going to force the corrupt Ahmet Engums of the world who ran the Atlantic Records of this world to actually PAY the Ruth Browns and Sam & Daves of this world. It's business. Collect money off other peoples' efforts and get rich. Settle after decades of lawsuits later.
Big Media is a powerful lobbying group.
How can they tell if an MP3 was illegally downloaded or not?
Would the Bible fall under a copyright protected document? Any way the government could regulate that?
Maybe everything should become public domain after some reasonable length of time. I would hate to export our IP mess into a global mess.
And of course the government would NEVER impart any viruses, spyware, or upload your private information...
There are embedded names in some of the files.
And itune purchases would look different than ripped CD files.
Ultimately the authorities will charge first and let you fight it later.
Recall you are in an international travel and the “innocent until proven guilty” world of America is not universal.
“Would the Bible fall under a copyright protected document? Any way the government could regulate that?”
Actually, yes it is and yes they could.
Intellectual property law is already about as corrupt constitutionally as the “health care reform” bill: the enumerated power under which Congress can pass patent and copyright laws reads
“To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.”
It says nothing about securing exclusive rights to commercial interests who neither wrote nor invented anything, nor to literary or scientific estates. The perpetual extensions of copyright terms make a mockery of “for limited Times”. And, objectively, the main effects of current patent and copyright law is to impede progress in science and the useful arts by making derivative works nearly impossible within the law, despite the supposed recognition of fair use.
Could Saudi customs search your computer for an encrypted or zipped Bible text?
That's what I was afraid of. I think we all have a pretty good idea where all things go from this point forward.
It’s just an excuse for a fishing expedition.
"All the big music sellers may have moved to non-DRM MP3 files long ago, but the watermarking of files with your personal information continues. Most users who buy music dont know about the marking of files, or dont care. Unless those files are uploaded to BitTorrent or other P2P networks, there isnt much to worry about. A list of which music services are selling clean MP3 files without embedded personal information, and which arent, is here. Apple, LaLa (owned by Apple) and Walmart embed personal information. Amazon, Napster and the rest have resisted label pressure to do so. ..."
Would that our own gov't felt this way.
I would imagine they could, but that's not my ultimate concern. My thought is that some sort of copyright protection deal including the Bible would eventually lead to the government strictly controlling who has access to the text and who doesn't. I know it sounds crazy, but it also sounded crazy 2 years ago that we would have a government in place that doesn't give a crap about what we think, take over the HC system, etc. Things aren't lookin' good for us fellas.