Posts with tag "ACTA"

When the ISPs worry about ACTA you know we’re in deep shit

I have written quite a bit about the whole ACTA mess because to me this is one of the most dangerous pieces of global trade laws that has ever been put together. It is well documented that the driving force behind ACTA has been the US entertainment industry that is looking to grab as much control of the Internet under the guise of protecting antiquated copyright laws. However that is only part of what ACTA is intended for.

It is the other part that according to Prof. Michael Geist that has Ken Englehart concerned. So why should it matter what some guy by the name of Englehart thinks about ACTA? Well Mr. Englehart is the Senior VP Regulatory for Rogers Communications which is one of Canada’s largest ISPs.

In a recent appearance before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage Mr. Englehart, in a reply to a question from NDP MP Charlie Angus, said the following

We are concerned, as many ISPs are, about the ACTA negotiations. It’s supposed to be about counterfeiting, but it seems to have gone way past counterfeiting to talking about issues of ISPs and the downloading activities of our customers. We don’t think ISPs should be put in the position of being traffic cops to decide what is legal and what is not. We really hate any idea that we would have to terminate our customers’ service on a three-strikes policy. We do not want to do that at all. I have a great deal of sympathy for the copyright holders who feel that their content is being stolen. It’s a big problem. But I don’t want to see this done by putting ISPs in the position of having to disconnect their customers or aid in the conviction of their customers.

When you have one of the greediest of an already greedy bunch of ISPs voicing concern over something like ACTA you have to know that this isn’t a good thing.

Seriously people you really need to get involved in stopping this thing before it gains even more traction than it already has. If you do want to get involved Professor Geist’s blog is the best place to start becuse we are all going to get screwed if we don’t.


Does the White House really listen?

Anil Dash has a great job as part of a non-profit organization call Expert Labs whose goal is to help the Obama White House find the answer to what are the big scientific and technological challenges that America should tackle

According to Anil all you have to do in order to have your thoughts heard by the White House is to send a @whitehouse reply on Twitter with your suggestions and it will be heard.

Cool because I have a question that I really would like answered


ACTA: The acronym hardly anyone knows yet should be scared to death of

I don’t normally cross-post stuff here that I write at any of my other haunts except in cases of something I feel really strongly about, which in this case I do. If there is one thing happening right now that you really need to understand the implications of it is ACTA.

In light if the FCC loss to Comcast in the courts Fred Wilson wrote an interesting post where he uses the phrase Internet Freedom and how it is an important concept for his company Union Square Ventures and how it impacts their investment thinking.

Our firm, Union Square Ventures, focuses most of our time on finding companies, investing in them, and working with the entrepreneurs to build them. But a few years ago, we made the decision to invest a small amount of our time on public policy issues, like net neutrality, patent reform, spectrum reform, immigration reform, and a handful of other ones. All of this and more is about Internet Freedom. Our business requires it. If we lose Internet Freedom, we won’t have any companies we would want to invest in and we’ll close up shop and move on with our lives. That would be our loss.

Noble words indeed.

Idealism versus citizens under siege

During this conversation around the FCC loss there was another big Internet Freedom action going on in Britain. I am of course referring to the Digital Economy Bill which was passed in their House of Parliament much to the horror of anyone involved with Internet policy and freedom. It wasn’t so much that it past but the fact that it was done so with next to no debate because of tactic used by the Labour Government to sneak it by in the quiet days leading up to their upcoming election.

Simon Mackie at GigaOm writes:

Shortly before midnight last night, the UK’s Labour Government finally managed to push through its Digital Economy Bill. It’s a controversial and wide-ranging piece of legislation that is aimed at tackling copyright infringement and, among other things, will force ISPs to cut off persistent file-sharers. Because the bill was forced through during the “washup” period before parliament is dissolved in advance of May’s General Election, there has been concern that the bill hasn’t been debated thoroughly, and not enough attention has been paid to its implications for digital freedoms — for example, the Bill could have the unintended consequence of forcing places like libraries and cafes to stop offering free Wi-Fi. It could also give the government the power to block sites like Wikileaks, just because it hosts copyright-infringing material.

On one hand we have the idealistic thoughts of Fred Wilson and on the other we have the total capitulation of a government to paranoia and draconian methods of trying to control one’s population.

Read the rest of the post over at The Inquisitr


Canada and its laws under siege from the European Union

For those who follow the whole copyright war that is going on – and trust me it is a war – much of the attention is being centered around the backroom dealings on a global level by those looking to get ACTA accepted as the new law of the land.

At the same time that Canada is being targeted by this group it is also finding itself under attack by the European Union.

You see the EU wants Canada to totally change all its laws when it comes to copyright and intellectual property. Laws that have stood this country in good stead for more than a few decades and have been lauded as some of the fairest in the world. Of course it isn’t the entertainment industry that praises them but rather the actual artists, writers and actors who do the real creating.

So how bad of an effect would this have on our country?