Posted 1394 days ago
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.
Posted 1429 days ago
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
Posted 1433 days ago
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
Posted 1443 days ago
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?
Posted 1513 days ago
Age of privacy discussions are pointless when compared to the real war going on.
It isn’t pretty and glamorous to be involved in but its impact will be deeper than any open data argument.
This is a war that crosses national boundaries and yet not a whimper is being heard. This is a war that is subverting national policies but the voices of cyber Paul Reveres are ignored as we play FarmVille. Countries from Canada to New Zealand and Australia to Costa Rica are facing everything from outright economic pressure to underhanded backroom dealings signed away in NDAs.
Under the acronym of ACTA landing boats are bringing lawyers, trade organizations and promises of global ostracization. This is the war that the entertainment industry is doing everything it can to keep under the radar.
Yet this industry is seeking to forever change how we use technology and the Internet. Primary among its weapons is the hijacking of a growing number of countries and their laws surrounding copyrights. Primary among its ways to affects these laws is political pressure by members of political parties who they have been financing for years.
It is those politicians who are threatening the economic viability of countries like Costa Rica using threats of blocking US markets for Costa Rican sugar – unless they agree to radically changing their copyright laws.
Canada is being assaulted on two fronts in a war that wants our country to acquiesce our copyright laws. From the US and ACTA to the European Union and their CETAEU our country is being told to change our laws that have been called some of the fairest copyright laws in the world.
This is a war that if lost will make concerns about privacy seem petty and archaic. It is a war if lost will make Google and China’s little dance seem like pointless. It is a war that lives in the background and has no glamour or cute buzzwords to gain fame with.
It is a war I fear we will lose before we realize that we need to fight. But then we’ll always have things like FarmVille to fall back on eh.
Posted 1570 days ago
As I have said before I don’t normally cross-post stuff that I write at The Inquisitr but there are the rare occasions and I think this is one of them.
We are coming up to a watershed moment in the existence of the Internet and very few people seem to care. Right now there are two separate events happening that will have a direct impact on both the Internet we have right now and the one we will have in the future.
While they might seem like two disparate events they are in fact being lead by one industry. Under the guise of copyright infringement and piracy the entertainment as a whole is spearheading the adoption of the Digital Economy Bill in England and the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) which would be global in impact.
It is easy to shrug our collective shoulders over the Digital Economy Bill suggesting that it’s strictly a British problem and doesn’t affect the rest of at all. Well one only has to look at the persuasive use of CCTV in Britain and how it became the template for other countries like the U.S. to follow suite to see how foolish that argument is.
When I first wrote about the Digital Economy Bill here back in August of 2009 it was in light of how the original bill was changed after a weekend meeting get-together on the Greek island of Corfu. This little confab consisted of Lord Mandelson, the British business secretary, members of the Rothschild banking dynasty; who paid for the retreat, and David Geffen, an American billionaire record producer.
Prior to this retreat in sunny Corfu the Digital Economy Bill was actually a forward looking document that the British government hoped would take the country into the next millennium. After the trip though it suddenly became a totally different beast all together that saw everyone using the Internet as a criminal.
Now just this past week thanks to Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing we find out that this new Digital Economy Bill that is now before the British Parliament not only will treat web users as criminals but it is also being used to create a process that will see unelected officials able to do just about anything without Parliamentary oversight or control as long as it is done in the name of protecting copyright.
Read the complete post at The Inquisitr