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It didn't make much news on this side of the pond, but one of the most significant pieces of legislation in the digital era was passed in the United Kingdom just prior to the recent national election. It is called the Digital Economy Act, pushed by a powerful coalition of media interests. It is a sweeping piece of legislation. Notably, its odious provisions are headed for America and the world.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation recently noted:

The Digital Economy Bill has been the subject of heavy entertainment industry lobbying and widespread concern amongst U.K. citizens and telecommunications companies because it included provisions that would allow the U.K. government to censor websites considered "likely to be used for or in connection with an activity that infringes copyright," and disconnect the Internet connection  of any household in the U.K. with an IP address alleged to have engaged in copyright infringement.

That means YOU, Wikileaks.

Other powers granted by the new law include:

   * Although proof is required before disconnection, the evidence does not have to relate to you: you can be punished for the actions of a friend or even a neighbour who has used your Internet connection.
   * Rights holders could have the power to demand that sites they believe to contravene copyright law be blocked by ISPs. Right now, we don't know what the govrnment will propose, as they have yet to draft their new proposal.
   * As it is not the perpetrator that is punished, as you might expect, but the owner of the connection, and others using it, cafés and bars may have to stop providing wifi.

You could go to your local coffeeshop tea room and use their WiFi. Some other user at that shop is using BitTorrent or some other P2P software to download music or a movie. Under the DEA, that WiFi network can be disconnected from the internet. Permanently. More ominously, if a right holder, such as News Corp. or Halliburton believes that certain websites are likely to be used to publish copywritten materials, that website can be blocked from the internet. Whoa. Not an actual incident of copyright infringement, but the likeliness of it happening allows the holder of that copyright to request that website's ISP block it.

For more analysis of the law and its implications, read this.

Similar provisions included in the DEA are being negotiated, in secret, by a consortium of nations in a new trade agreement called the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. The United States is part of the negotiations which recently concluded their eighth round in New Zealand. Thanks to pressure from civil society and privacy activists, the first public draft of the new law is available. The draft provisions look remarkably like the DEA:

In civil judicial proceedings concerning the enforcement of [copyright or related rights and trademarks] [intellectual property rights], each Party shall provide that its judicial authorities shall have the authority [subject to any statutory limitations under its domestic law] to issue [against the infringer an injunction aimed at prohibiting the continuation of the] [an order to a party to desist from an] infringement, including an order to prevent infringing goods from entering into the channels of commerce [and to prevent their exportation].

[2. The Parties [may] shall also ensure that right holders are in a position to apply for an injunction against [infringing] intermediaries whose services are used by a third party to infringe an intellectual property right.8]9

What this legalese means is every party to the trade agreement must adopt policies that give "judicial authorities" the authority to not only go after the person who infringes on the copyright at the behest of the right holder, but also against "intermediaries." That could mean ISPs. That could mean your unsecured WiFi network. That could mean sites that act as publishing platforms for the general public.

And then there is this:

[X. Each Party shall provide that its judicial authorities shall have the authority, at the request of the applicant, to issue an interlocutory injunction intended to prevent any imminent infringement of an intellectual property right [copyright or related rights or trademark]. An interlocutory injunction may also be issued, under the same conditions, against an [infringing] intermediary whose services are being used by a third party to infringe an intellectual property right. Each Party shall also provide that provisional measures may be issued, even before the commencement of proceedings on the merits, to preserve relevant evidence in respect of the alleged infringement. Such measures may include inter alia the detailed description, the taking of samples or the physical seizure of documents or of the infringing goods.]

  1. Each Party shall [provide][ensure] that its judicial authorities [shall ]act [expeditiously][ on requests] for provisional measures inaudita altera parte, and shall endeavor to make a decision[ on such requests] without undue delay, except in exceptional cases.

Emphasis mine. Now, it seems reasonable to me that courts should have the power to issue injunctions to prevent imminent infringement by a copyright abuser. But to also grant the power to disconnect intermediaries, seize evidence inter alia of said intermediaries, and to do it all ex parte is beyond odious. This is all being done in the name of ending online software and content piracy, which is certainly a reasonable goal. This response, however, is draconian. Since it is expensive to go after each and every person who downloads a music file for free, the media conglomerates must slowdown or shutdown any network where it is or might possibly take place. This will have the effect of forcing ISPs to police what their users are doing and that is where the Internet experience start to feel like watching cable: lots of stuff on but nothing worth seeing.

The EFF strongly opposes ACTA much as it opposed the awful Digital Economy Act in Britian. Liberal Democrat leader, now Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg promised to repeal it if elected. However, the new Conservative minister responsible for the law has made it clear it is here to stay.

You can take action against ACTA by first fighting for sunlight.

Oh...almost forgot:

Because ACTA is being negotiated as anExecutive Agreement, it will not be subject to the Congressional oversight mechanisms that have applied to recent bilateral free trade agreements, even though it appears likely to have a far greater impact on the global knowledge economy than any of those.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon May 24, 2010 at 07:00 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Maybe it doesn't matter (13+ / 0-)

    We're looking at so much unemployment and misery, internet use should drop by half. Then too, Comcast intends to create a monopoly and rates will rise. The whole electronic communication thing is a clusterfuck right now.

    I'm envisioning my world in the not-too-distant future will not include telephone, internet, or maybe even food. And these fucks don't want anyone to download a freaking movie. Dumbasses. The world is on fire, and this is what nation states debate and legislate.

  •  I'm discouraged and resigned (7+ / 0-)

    I don't see how we push back on big-copyright if both parties are in their pocket - and they are.

    It's going to take some upstart nation to void copyright altogether (yes, that would be too far, but that's what it's going to take) and booming as a result.

    That's what happened in early America - we didn't respect copyright and the Brits were furious about it.  It wasn't the only reason we boomed, but it was a little part of it.

    Progressive -> Progress; Conservative -> Con

    by nightsweat on Mon May 24, 2010 at 07:05:59 AM PDT

    •  Iceland. (7+ / 0-)

      They're drafting what will be the best online privacy and free speech provisions in law.

      with cheap hydroelectric and no cooling costs, they're vlooking to rebuild the economy as a global data haven.


      When Sheriff Arpaio asks for my papers, I'll hand him a pack of ZigZags.

      by ben masel on Mon May 24, 2010 at 07:37:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Copyright was adopted (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jabney

      ...in the US (under the guidance of Ben Franklin, previously a copyright infringer) in order to CREATE a vital community of writers and artists who could then benefit from their work, by oh say, paying their bills, so they could continue to make art or literature.

      What this shortsighted, infantile grabby society is doing is ensuring that no one will be able to devote themselves to their art, music or literature and survive. You are destroying professional art. The result is a degraded amateur culture, or a dilettante culture of the wealthy who could care less whether or not their excrescences are appreciated.

      If you were someone who actually survived by creating intellectual property (art, music, literature, performance) you would not be so shallow. Culture is collapsing in the world, just like the rainforests and the seas, because people are just plain too damned greedy.

      It seems to be easy these days to delude yourself that you can help yourself to other people's labor. It's harder to respect artists' civil right to earn a living from their labor.

      I say it's about time something was done about copyright infringement. I can't wait for it to be enacted. Had people been respectful, this would not have been necessary. As it is, the entire profession of art/music is in full collapse.

      "The survival value of intelligence is that it allows us to extinct a bad idea, before the idea extincts us." -- Karl Popper

      by eyeswideopen on Mon May 24, 2010 at 03:01:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good bye fair use. So long First sale. (21+ / 0-)

    We have a sorry recent history of deciding that individual rights don't matter for squat compared to the entertainment industry's "right" to make a dollar in any way they see fit.

    What happened to your rights end where my rights start?

    This stuff reeks.

    Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

    by dinotrac on Mon May 24, 2010 at 07:11:25 AM PDT

    •  What about the artists' (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jabney

      ..."individual right" to make a living from their labor? You seem to think the only rights in question are the rights of thieves.

      "The survival value of intelligence is that it allows us to extinct a bad idea, before the idea extincts us." -- Karl Popper

      by eyeswideopen on Mon May 24, 2010 at 03:02:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Artists rights don't trump my rights. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dinotrac

        What we are witnessing is a sea change in society, and if they think these laws will shut down piracy, they are just fools. They won't stop piracy, they'll just shut down the free range exchange of ideas on the internet and use it as an excuse to gag free speech on the internet.

        These laws will stop piracy in much the same way that drug laws stop drug use.

        I guess many of these artists will have to go through job retraining, just like the rest of us workers who have seen our jobs exported or replaced by advanced technology.

        Of course, Buckminster Fuller saw this coming in Critical Path and pointed out that society would have to change away from capitalist society. As such, I think you would be better off attacking a capitalist system that commodifies art itself as the source of the problem.

        The sleep of reason produces monsters.

        by Alumbrados on Mon May 24, 2010 at 03:43:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The problem is (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jabney

          ...shortsightedness and greed, plain and simple. Capitalism is merely a symptom of this regrettable feature of human nature. All you "the music should be free" folks just don't see that the good music will end and you'll be left with amateur garage excrescences or whatever the independently wealthy want to generate for your delectation. Yes, artists will have to go through job retraining (jealousy much?), but the "art" you'll have to drown your miserable day in will be anything but well-wrought. You are headed for a sad, dull culture of amateur excreta to soothe your souls in.

          Pathetic political landscape we're in when the so-called "liberals" hate artists.

          "The survival value of intelligence is that it allows us to extinct a bad idea, before the idea extincts us." -- Karl Popper

          by eyeswideopen on Mon May 24, 2010 at 04:00:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You are not talking to a "music should be free" (0+ / 0-)

            person.

            You are talking to a "people should respect the rights of others" person -- ie, your legal rights should not trump mine.

            Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

            by dinotrac on Mon May 24, 2010 at 04:06:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Like what? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jabney

              So, just what rights are you wanting to protect that are in conflict with mine? I severely doubt they are such that they should trump the rights of entire class of workers who, since time immemorial have worked to make life more livable (imagine, for a moment, life without art/music/literature), to simply make a living?

              "The survival value of intelligence is that it allows us to extinct a bad idea, before the idea extincts us." -- Karl Popper

              by eyeswideopen on Mon May 24, 2010 at 04:32:35 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, lets try a few. (0+ / 0-)

                For example, there is a doctrine known as first sale.

                That doctrine says that, by purchansing an item, I can do with it as I please.

                In the case of an old vinyl record album, that meant that I could play it on a fancy stereo, or a crummy little portable record player.  I could play it at the right speed, a faster speed, or a slower speed.

                Thanks to the Home Recording Act (not fair use), I could even make a tape recording for my own use.

                Thanks to lovely DRM, if I buy a DVD in Europe and bring the legally bought and paid-for DVD, complete with licensed content home to the US, I probably can't play the fool thing without violating the DMCA because of region-encoding.

                If my wife downloads a song from iTunes, she will have a royal pain replacing her iPod with, say, a Sansa device because of the encoding on the iTunes song.

                Obviously, if I wanted to use a portion of a recording for a legally protected fair-use purpose, I can't do so if I can't play it at all.

                And the new law is going to make things worse.

                People who love music should respect the rights of artists.  Copyright and the like is a huge improvement on the system that was in place before them.  Music by gifted artists was the right of the privileged few -- those wealthy enough to commission work and act as patrons, along with their friends and families.

                We need a way to protect those rights in the digital age, one that balances the rights of the artist and the audience.

                I don't think anybody is seriously looking for such a solution, however.  The big push is coming from folks who want to lock things down as much as possible and to squeeze the turnips dry.

                Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

                by dinotrac on Mon May 24, 2010 at 04:46:39 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Dino (0+ / 0-)

                  You say:"People who love music should respect the rights of artists." The whole problem is that they don't. That's why law must be invoked.

                  You go on to say "Music by gifted artists was the right of the privileged few -- those wealthy enough to commission work and act as patrons, along with their friends and families." Which shows how little you know about the history of music. Most of the compositions of composers over the last few centuries were published as sheet music which the public could buy -- there was often someone in the household competent at an instrument who would learn and play the music -- a human jukebox, as it were. Women were often trained for this, and affected their marriageability. Music was performed at public concerts. Music was performed in taverns. Music was performed in homes. Music was performed in the streets.

                  You folks are so spoiled, I can't believe it. Bellyaching because you have to do some button-pushing -- I'm sorry, I can't sympathize at all. For ~$50, you can get a region-free player. Solved. And you can buy MP3s at Amazon. Solved. You sound like a whining baby with your electronic trinkets causing you difficulty being able to "consume" your music when and how you want it! Try working your whole life at mastering an art and then having the people who supposedly "love" it steal it. It is an act of hate towards the artist.

                  "The survival value of intelligence is that it allows us to extinct a bad idea, before the idea extincts us." -- Karl Popper

                  by eyeswideopen on Mon May 24, 2010 at 05:26:05 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  People have been making music for a whole lot (0+ / 0-)

                    longer than the last few centuries.

                    You should get your arguemnts straight, btw.

                    You are the one who talked about "all music should be free" leading to amateur low-qualtiy music, which is what you offer up with human-jukeboxes, which is yet another mixing and matching -- live performance with recorded (even if merely on sheet music) work.

                    And, ahem, you want me to spend money and add additional devices for something I have a legal right to? And you have the audacity to call me spoiled?  How self-indulgently narcissistic can you get?

                    You make me question my personal positions against illegally downloading music.

                    Who,after all, wants to support a self-important privileged caste of people who believe that they are entitled to trash the rights of others.  

                    Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

                    by dinotrac on Mon May 24, 2010 at 05:49:06 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  ...who happen to make (0+ / 0-)

                      ...the music and movies and art that you think are yours by divine right? It is you who are incredibly spoiled and arrogant. The cost of enjoying music was much higher in the past -- you had to actually learn how to play an instrument, which, by the way, all too few kids are doing anymore -- and even fewer will in future because now there's no career left to them. That's the legacy you babies are leaving with your greed and selfishness.

                      As Al Gore, champion of artists' rights, recently said: "This is a criminal generation". I just feel sorry for the young artists among them. They have been cannibalized.

                      And yes, I know, 40,000 year old bone flutes were found recently. Pity you want to end the history of music and leave electronic noise in its wake, which you will get in industrial quantities created by amateur "musicians".

                      All professional musicians -- including those you love -- think people who steal copyrighted material are no better than common thieves. Deal with it.

                      "The survival value of intelligence is that it allows us to extinct a bad idea, before the idea extincts us." -- Karl Popper

                      by eyeswideopen on Mon May 24, 2010 at 06:16:09 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

      •  You haven't studied this issue, have you? (0+ / 0-)

        Fair use rights, for example, are derived from both English common law and the Constitution, and were finally codified into the Copyright Act.

        Those are individual legal rights and are not the domain of thieves.

        I fully support the right of artists to profit from their work, but not by enacting laws that take away my rights.

        Likewise, I believe in the right of restaurants to make money, but not by forbidding me to buy food at the grocery store and cook it up myself.

        Or, for that matter, to say I can't take food that I've paid for but couldn't finish home with me.

        Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

        by dinotrac on Mon May 24, 2010 at 04:03:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I severely doubt (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jabney, dinotrac

          ...that fair use will be inhibited. Downloading all of an artist's life's work at a click of a mouse rather than buying it is NOT fair use. It is theft, pure and simple.  And yes, I have the right to make a living, too. I have a right not to let weasels take the food out of my mouth.

          "The survival value of intelligence is that it allows us to extinct a bad idea, before the idea extincts us." -- Karl Popper

          by eyeswideopen on Mon May 24, 2010 at 04:08:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It already has. (0+ / 0-)

            Current DRM mechanisms are clumsy, overbearing, and over-reaching.

            The old book metaphor for copyright rights and limitations has been blown to hell.

            Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

            by dinotrac on Mon May 24, 2010 at 04:34:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Current DRM mechanisms (0+ / 0-)

              ...haven't worked. Theft continues unabated. I fully support shutting down all the torrent sites that serve up our life's work for free at the click of a mouse. It should have been a criminal issue all along, not a civil one, necessitating us to sue tens of thousands of thieves. This is a crime against all of us -- everyone suffers the consequences. Why someone who shoplifts a trinket at WalMart is ushered off to prison but these assholes are defended by you folks is a real mystery to me.

              "The survival value of intelligence is that it allows us to extinct a bad idea, before the idea extincts us." -- Karl Popper

              by eyeswideopen on Mon May 24, 2010 at 04:40:47 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You folks? (0+ / 0-)

                When you get stuck in a rut you like to cling to the sides, I see.

                I have yet to offer a single word in defense of thieves.

                Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

                by dinotrac on Mon May 24, 2010 at 04:47:55 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  If you think an effort (0+ / 0-)

                  ... to shut down the sites that impoverish artists is a problem, then we're on opposite sides.

                  "The survival value of intelligence is that it allows us to extinct a bad idea, before the idea extincts us." -- Karl Popper

                  by eyeswideopen on Mon May 24, 2010 at 05:27:27 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You have made that up all by yourself. (0+ / 0-)

                    I've said nothing of the sort.
                    Perhaps you can't read.

                    Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

                    by dinotrac on Mon May 24, 2010 at 05:49:53 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Well, by everything (0+ / 0-)

                      ...I've read of yours in this thread, you demonstrate an unwillingness to entertain the notion that the law being discussed may in fact be a very welcome thing to a large group of people who have been traditionally extremely liberal and helpful in liberal causes. You seem to think minor inconveniences for the "consumer" are sufficient to extinct an entire sector of society, while even then relishing what they do.

                      Perplexing, to say the least.

                      It seems you haven't yet really thought it through.

                      "The survival value of intelligence is that it allows us to extinct a bad idea, before the idea extincts us." -- Karl Popper

                      by eyeswideopen on Mon May 24, 2010 at 06:20:27 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You don't read well. I'm well aware that the law (0+ / 0-)

                        in question would be welcome to lots of people.

                        Your characterization of problems as minor inconveniences

                        -- having to buy equipment I shouldn't need, or patronize manufacturers I don't like, or learn to use computing systems I don't know use --

                        is very convenient for for you, not so much for those who must deal with them, but, more to the point...

                        You want to walk over my well-established legal rights in order to make money.

                        Not exactly the high ground.

                        Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

                        by dinotrac on Tue May 25, 2010 at 06:56:12 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Make a living. (0+ / 0-)

                          I assume you make a living? You work at day to earn enough so you can eat, pay the rent, the utilities, the medical bills? It is a civil right to be able to earn a living from one's hard labor. And yes, the arts are HARD WORK. And an enormous investment of time, energy and resources. And decades of sacrifice that you would never subject yourself to or even understand.

                          Yes, your minor inconveniences pale in comparison. Try recording an album someday.

                          I assume you care about the poor, the homeless, the unemployed, the discriminated against. However, for your petty little inconveniences, you're willing to throw an entire extremely productive sector of the working population under the bus. Disgusting.

                          There's a well-known phenomenon in biology called the "cheater" or the "free-loader". It happens even in bacteria, all the way up to humans. Most organisms of a group will do what it takes for the group to survive, but some will freeload onto the work of others. Too many freeloaders destroy entire communities of organisms. The only way to save the community is to punish the cheaters. Then the community can replenish itself.

                          But hey, we know about people who want to "consume" music and movies but hate and envy artists. We know that you have absolutely no comprehension of the creative process and the work involved. Do you think it's all fun and games and glamour and fame and babes and such junk? Someday, you should study what you wish to destroy before acting to destroy it.

                          "The survival value of intelligence is that it allows us to extinct a bad idea, before the idea extincts us." -- Karl Popper

                          by eyeswideopen on Tue May 25, 2010 at 03:28:26 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

  •  Not binding law in US if no Senate ratification (3+ / 0-)

    and even then, it appears to require additional legislation to implement.  So I'm not going for the pitchforks and torches just yet.

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Mon May 24, 2010 at 07:12:29 AM PDT

  •  The British East India Company lives on n/t (10+ / 0-)

    "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." -- Frederick Douglass

    by Egalitare on Mon May 24, 2010 at 07:12:45 AM PDT

  •  I find it ironic that when I clicked on a link in (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    moosely2006

    the story, my ISP gave me a "Broadband Link" error. . . .

  •  This will be a epic fail (6+ / 0-)

    Even if this legislation came to fruition here it will be an epic fail. Anytime someone has tried to step in the internets way and try to legislate it they will fail. People will find a way around it.
    I remember people screaming the end of world when Napster was crushed, and it didn't happen.

    •  Yes, some people will find a way around it. (8+ / 0-)

      Most people won't.

      The Republicans have turned into Archie Bunker's evil twin of the 21st Century.

      by gooderservice on Mon May 24, 2010 at 07:24:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Its not so much about finding a way around it (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      semiot, cybersaur

      as the big media companies are destroying their marketability.  If you build a high enough wall around your product, and treat your paying customers severely enough, eventually the customers will stop giving them money.

      Meanwhile, there are other forms of entertainment and cultural enhancement that don't come with so many bullshit rules.   Those will thrive.

      "Competent statisticians will be the front line troops in our war for survival..." George Box, 1976

      by aztecraingod on Mon May 24, 2010 at 07:53:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It can be used to shut down anonymizers too (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ChemBob, Yogurt721, Ezekial 23 20

      Obfuscators still need exit nodes, or IP nodes in the wild that the requests get directed too.  Before an operator could say, that isn't my traffic, and be allowed to stay up.  ACTA lets them shut down every exit node they see once it runs something that "might reasonably be used for copyright evasion".

      So any IP seen running torrent can get disabled, or any server seen as acting as a tracker or exit node or proxy server that sends out torrent traffic can have it's net connection yanked by the ISP.

      Routing hardware that can monitor packets in real-time reading below the header information, using DPI tools.  That is how Comcast "shapes traffic".   What this means relative to snail mail, is that the mail carrier now not only looks at the addressee and return address but opens the mail and views the contents to see what type of correspondence it is in order to determine how (and when) to deliver.  Right now many ISPs slow down delivery of packets they don't like, and in the case of Comcast, refuse delivery.

      ACTA makes it legal to refuse to terminate mail delivery from your address after they read one of the letters sent form that house and don't like the format.

      Darknet-type style workarounds may work.  Wrappers with encryption below header would work, but be very slow.  But we are now into areas where most users can't set up those tools.

  •  underground (18+ / 0-)

    I suspect some kind of 'underground" ip system will come from this if this type of crap actually comes to be.

    IP blackmarket.

    WOW, the future and this country just get shittier by the day.

    ALthough to be honest TV,music, hollywood industries really put out a shitty product for the most part, they should be careful, because in the end, they need us, we dont need them.

    (regarding the bank mess) They want to cure the patient but not deal with the disease.

    by dark daze on Mon May 24, 2010 at 07:15:04 AM PDT

  •  WTF? 18th Century armed struggle differentiates (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ChemBob, moosely2006

    us from the limeys and these continuing attacks on the Constitution and net neutrality needs to be turned back despite idiocies like Citizens United.

    "...calling for a 5" deck gun is not parody. Not by a long shot." (gnaborretni)

    by annieli on Mon May 24, 2010 at 07:15:08 AM PDT

  •  Bye, bye, DailyKos (13+ / 0-)

    Been nice knowing ya.

    I don't buy the claims that it's about copyright.  It's about smothering speech.  I wonder if constitutional lawyers will be able to have any impact on upcoming Red Queen legislation ("Sentence first, verdict afterward").

    It's like the BP Oilpocalyse.  Just when you think you've grasped how bad it is, it gets worse.

    I am become Man, the destroyer of worlds

    by tle on Mon May 24, 2010 at 07:15:39 AM PDT

    •  It's about money (5+ / 0-)

      It's always about money.  You just have to figure out in which way it's about money.

      Progressive -> Progress; Conservative -> Con

      by nightsweat on Mon May 24, 2010 at 07:17:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, yes, copyright is quite often (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        moosely2006, QuestionAuthority

        about money. The sheer idiocy here is that you can sanction based on suspicion.

        Oh, well, I've always preferred paper-based publications. But I'll miss DailyKos, YouTube, and blog providers. Neither of them can guarantee content ex ante.

        Iuris praecepta sunt haec: Honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere. - Ulpian, Digestae 1, 3

        by Dauphin on Mon May 24, 2010 at 07:32:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Expect agents provocateurs (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tle, ChemBob, Ezekial 23 20, LiberalATX

      When the gubmint wants to shut down any political forum online, all they have to do is send in an anonymous stooge to post something, however briefly before the site manager notices, which infringes a copyright held by some entity friendly to said gubmint

      Then this law would empower the Administration to ask the copyright holder to yank all that forum's political speech off the bitstream, forever.

      That's a gross violation of the first amendment, of course. But we have five Supreme Court members for whom the first amendment guarantees the free speech only of corporate persons. Good luck challenging the law once it's in place.

    •  It's about copyright because... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Geotpf, Ezekial 23 20

      copyright is about smothering speech, when applied to private individuals.

      That is what "copyright" is -- a limitation on the expression of others. A "copy" is just an expression that the courts find similar enough to the original expression to quash.

      Copyrights seem sensible to me as applying to commercial organizations -- they don't have any inherent "expression" in the first place, so forcing them to "credit" each other (pay) is a reasonable system of market control.

      But applying it to private individuals? That is inherently contradictory with free expressions. It's about controlling what you "say" in the most general sense.

    •  Indeed, as I posted up thread... (0+ / 0-)

      ...these laws will stop piracy in much the same way that anti-drug laws stop drug use.

      The sleep of reason produces monsters.

      by Alumbrados on Mon May 24, 2010 at 03:45:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dovetails w/SC Court ruling for Comcast control (6+ / 0-)

    "Whoa. Not an actual incident of copyright infringement, but the likeliness of it happening allows the holder of that copyright to request that website's ISP block it."

    US Supreme Court ruled that Comcast can cut any content from your internet service.

    Corporations and government are getting significant control over who is on the net, much like China where control of the internet and news media is essential.

  •  It's ridiculous, utterly. If enforced as written (7+ / 0-)

    there won't be an internet.  That will not go down well.

    Elected officials don't swear on the Constitution to support the Bible; they swear on the Bible to support the Constitution.

    by NoVa Boy on Mon May 24, 2010 at 07:16:46 AM PDT

  •  Alleged? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OHdog, moosely2006, QuestionAuthority

    What is that? Guilt by corporate innuendo?

    And as the song and dance begins/The children play at home with needles/Needles and pins

    by The Lone Apple on Mon May 24, 2010 at 07:22:29 AM PDT

  •  Holy shit (8+ / 0-)

    Just read that first draft in its entirety and this makes the DMCA look quaint and reserved.

    Gotta poison the well for this one long before it comes close to be presented to congress.

    "Buying Horizon Milk to support organic farming is like purchasing an English muffin in an effort to prop up the British economy." -Windowdog

    by Windowdog on Mon May 24, 2010 at 07:25:01 AM PDT

  •  Let's get the tea partiers engaged (7+ / 0-)

    They're opposed to government intrusion, right?  They want more freedom, right?  They should be ALL OVER this issue, demanding that Socialist/Fascist Obama not negotiate an Executive Agreement.

    I won't hold my breath waiting for them to join the fight.

    Want a progressive global warming novel, not a right wing rant? Go to www.edwardgtalbot.com for a free audio thriller.

    by eparrot on Mon May 24, 2010 at 07:25:44 AM PDT

  •  Not a prob in America because we'll fix it later (3+ / 0-)
  •  #DEBill (8+ / 0-)

    For what it's worth, the LibDems were strongly and officially against the bill, and the Tories have no particular fondness for it (as it was, obviously, a Labour bill), so there is a decent chance that it will actually be repealed. In fact, some rumours have had it that repeal of the Digital Economy Act was one of the LibDems' (still largely unknown) preconditions for forming a coalition government.

    Since the LibDems are unlikely to get their way on, say, Trident, then repeal of the DEA could well be one bone that the Tories would be happy to throw their way.


    "I play a street-wise pimp" — Al Gore

    by Ray Radlein on Mon May 24, 2010 at 07:30:12 AM PDT

    •  Think again (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ray Radlein

      The Tory Secretary for Culture Media and Sport has said NO repeal:

      THE NEW GOVERNMENT'S new secretary for Culture Media and Sport, Jeremy Hunt has no plans to axe the Digital Economy Act, regardless of what the coalition parties might have said when they were canvassing for votes.

      I always knew the Con-Lib deal would leave the Libs with some tough pills to swallow.

      --
      Make sure everyone's vote counts: Verified Voting

      by sacrelicious on Mon May 24, 2010 at 10:09:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Back door to censor the net (10+ / 0-)

    Well- here we go-

    Say something critical of, say, BP, maybe on Kos-- and pressure is brought to bear to find, oh, an AP article quoted in its entirety in a diary... no more DailyKos.

  •  Unless, of course, you're Google (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    moosely2006, QuestionAuthority

    Google can steal any printed material it wants, because Google is now the governing (plutocracy) as opposed to the governed.

  •  All Corporate-Owned Propoganda, All the Time (3+ / 0-)

    Kinda like teevee. Just when you thought we couldn't possibly sink any further into the morass, we do. Digital equivalent of the Thought Police. 1984, here we come, and a "Democrat" will lead us...

  •  It's just the door opening (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ChemBob, RenMin

    and power is once again taken from the citizen under a duplicitous guise.

    This is a power play, pure and simple - and once established, a conservative regime could use it to shut down political speech and harass members of opposing parties.

    Not a good idea at all.

    Until we have an unfettered media, every battle we fight will be in the dark, uphill and against a head wind.

    by moosely2006 on Mon May 24, 2010 at 07:42:50 AM PDT

    •  For that matter, a "liberal" regime (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      moosely2006

      Obama certainly hasn't cloaked himself in glory on civil liberties issues.

      "[W]e shall see the reign of witches pass over . . . and the people, recovering their true spirit, restore their government to its true principles." Jefferson

      by RenMin on Mon May 24, 2010 at 07:50:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ridiculous (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    moosely2006, nchristine, RenMin

    I understand the problem for media companies (and really it's one of their own making that could be fixed with a change in sales models), but this is like having the road and sidewalk torn up in front of a record shop that sells bootlegs...or shutting down the postal system to keep people from mailing copied CDs to each other.  It's just assinine.  And where were they when people were trading tapes in the 70s & 80s?  (Funny how the guys in Metallica brag about how they used to do that, but were shocked when people used the new Napster technology to do the same thing with their music - Hypcrites?)If they didn't go after it then, then they lost all right to persue it now.  It's either a problem 100% of the time or not.  Can't cry now just beacause people have greater access to more people.

  •  Well, Many People Can Play This Game (0+ / 0-)

    Let's get the News Corp's and the RNC's internet connections disconnected.  John McCain ripped off Jackson Browne's song and Fox arguably rips off rights holders all the time.

    This could become a perfect way of upping the ante against your competitors -- trick them into using something you arguably "own" and then get them disconnected.

    We need to run with this one.

    This aggression will not stand, man.

    by kaleidescope on Mon May 24, 2010 at 07:49:57 AM PDT

  •  All of this crap was brought up under Labour (0+ / 0-)

    That party is no longer in power.
    It has been replaced by the Tory-LibDem mashup. In the UK, Tories & LibDems have joined under a banner of repealing the police state that has evolved there, mostly under Blair.

    We are all Fish in the Gulf

    by olo on Mon May 24, 2010 at 07:56:53 AM PDT

  •  I Write Songs - I Don't Play or Sing in the Band (0+ / 0-)

    My question for those of you that are against this type of law:

    Do people like me have a right to (potentially) make any money at all from our work?

    Real world example - this Friday, May 28th, the band I write some of the lyrics for (The Codes, out of Philadelphia) are playing the balcony at the Trocadero. I'm trying to figure out how to afford the gas to get there and back. And maybe buy a PBR.

    A healthier music business would give people like me a better chance to make a few bucks. The programmers that (largely) spearheaded the EFF, didn't mind if their efforts were pirated: the wide distribution typically led to decent paying corporate IT work. Last I heard, corporate headhunters weren't out looking to recruit lyricists <grin>.

    best,

    john

    I support socialized water

    by jabney on Mon May 24, 2010 at 08:01:37 AM PDT

    •  Consider this: (4+ / 0-)

      Lets say there are 100 guys using a wife connection in your area. 1 of them downloads your songs from your website and pay you. 1 of them downloads pirated version. The other 98 have no idea who you are.

      Would you want to shut down the one guy or the entire network, pissing off 98 potential fans and one confirmed one?

      Thats what this law allows.

      •  It's Been Mostly Free So Far (0+ / 0-)

        Most of The Codes songs have been free to download at one point or another. It is about getting traction. And persevering.

        But the financial environment for the kind of songs I co-write has been decimated. Of course Clear Channel is invited to program a song like, "Sammy the Wino" (by John Abney and Ian McCarthy), but with a chorus that goes:

        When you can't afford the city
        And you can't afford the 'burbs
        When your country doesn't want you anymore
        You're poor
        You're poor
        You're poor

        my expectations of heavy on-air rotation are - shall we say - muted. Or how about a (danceable) song from the viewpoint of somebody in an iron lung ("Inspiration")? Or a song about Aspergers ("French Pronunciation")? The only way current commercial radio would play songs covering topics like those would be if the songs were so mawkish and lugubrious that even Bobby Goldsboro would gag.

        The internet still could foster a healthy original music scene. But without a way to pay the content providers, it will more and more be dominated by unrehearsed bands playing slapped-together songs, or by trust-fund-kidz.

        best,

        john

        ps, none of the songs The Codes perform contain the words, "Mawkish" nor "Lugubrious"

        I support socialized water

        by jabney on Mon May 24, 2010 at 08:57:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yes -- and no. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lotlizard

      You have the right to try to make money from your work. But if making money from that work requires a police state, then find another fucking job.

      You have the right to be protected from large commercial entities trying to exploit your work without remunerating you. But you do not have the right to strip my private freedom of expression so that your business model will work.

      Here's the heart of the matter:

      The programmers that (largely) spearheaded the EFF, didn't mind if their efforts were pirated: the wide distribution typically led to decent paying corporate IT work.

      Those programmers WEREN'T pirated, at all. They openly gave out their code, source and all, as part of their business model. It took 20 years as a community to build up that business model, since the work of Stallman et al in the 70s, because some of those programmers realized how deeply offensive (and ultimately counterproductive) that model was -- how it inevitably locked up most of the profits in the hands of a few MBAs, while the programmers were locked in jobs as salarymen.

      Think of a better model and work at making it functional.

      •  Notice How Many Shelf-Feet of Auto-CAD Books... (0+ / 0-)

        ...there are (or at least were) in your local Borders. That program was (is?) priced in the thousands of dollars, yet it seemed that even the most impoverished student had a copy. Everybody was a winner, though. The student sales that Auto-CAD missed out on were more than made up for when those students went on to get jobs and then recommended that their bosses buy the program. Bill Joy wrote vi and then went on to co-found Sun Microsystems. He did OK for himself.

        When the 70's began, Linus Torvalds was four days old. "Open source" pre-GNU-Linux more often referred to things such as the Amiga assembly program that I successfully got to compile after typing it in from a magazine article (the program magnified part of the screen, and was amazingly fast - even for an Amiga).

        But all the examples mentioned above involved the making of tools. Based on the vehemence of your reply ("...find another fucking job...") it would not be a surprise to find you posting over on slashdot.org. Hey, that's OK. Software patents covering even the most trivial things do exist. And they can be a real threat to your freedom of expression. A songwriter hoping to make some money off his or her particular expression of an idea is not a real threat to your freedom of expression.

        Do copyrights last too long? Yes. But that's a Disney thing. They were trying to protect the tools in their particular tool-chest (Mickey and Minnie et al) and the only opposition seemed to come from the 'all copyrights are evil' camp. It was IP-purity vs. mega-corp greed. And guess which side won.

        Think of a better model and work at making it functional.

        Only if I can make it fit in a three minute song. And I don't do 'mission statements' either.

        best,

        john

        I support socialized water

        by jabney on Mon May 24, 2010 at 10:43:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well -- choose your future. (0+ / 0-)

          We can have professional songwriters and a police state to protect them, or go without pros (like the human race did until the last century) and avoid draconian measures. Choices must be made.

          Even in the 19th century, songwriters didn't make money off the music -- it was part of the opera/symphony/... industry. That was lost, to be replaced by jingles once jingles could be protected. Would it be so bad to lose the jingles?

          "It was IP-purity vs. mega-corp greed. And guess which side won."

          You think the IP-purity folk lost because of their "purity"? That's ahistorical. The purity folks make a movement -- the "moderates" are just followers. The loss was because no one who would be the followers saw how it affected them. The radicals only lose if they're not co-opted -- in this case, there was no co-option, as opposed to the open source movement.

          And you have to give the real credit there to Stallman (not Torvalds per se). Sure, there was lots of open source production before then -- but Stallman was the radical that gave it structure, allowing Torvalds to be successful, and thereby creating an ecosystem, rather than just a few pieces of disjointed code.

        •  They don't stop at "hoping" (0+ / 0-)

          A songwriter hoping to make some money off his or her particular expression of an idea is not a real threat to your freedom of expression.

          A songwriter telling me that I can't share certain information is a threat to my freedom of expression. When my speech is restricted so that someone else can make a buck by selling that same speech, that's a threat. Freedom of speech doesn't only apply to speech you thought up on your own.

          They don't stop at "hoping to make some money". They demand the right to control what the rest of us do with our own property, in order to monopolize the market for particular expressions.

    •  I've bought CD's after downloading individual (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jabney, Hannibal

      songs for free.  I don't listen to the radio, and I don't buy CD's if I don't know I'm going to like the music.

      Good luck selling your songs if other folks are like me.

      Your 'chance' to sell won't exist if no one is willing to spend 'disposable' income in a bad economy without knowing what they're getting first.

      Am I cynical? Yes I am! - Bob the Builder's lesser known brother Pete the Politician

      by Ezekial 23 20 on Mon May 24, 2010 at 10:03:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's Why The Codes Offer Free Downloads (0+ / 0-)

        The audience is growing and audience members seem to like the songs. Check them out, you might like some of them too. (The songs, that is, not the audience members, come to think of it, though, you'll probably like the audience as much or even more than the songs - it's a great audience.) I don't want to push my luck by giving any links to songs, except to say it's not a dot-com URL.

        best,

        john

        I support socialized water

        by jabney on Mon May 24, 2010 at 11:11:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Internet changed things... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jabney

          The trick of monetizing music is something that's still in the process of evolution. It wasn't until very recently that one had a chance at making a living as a musician without finding a wealthy patron, whether a monarch or, later, a member of the music publishing industry.

          If you go back twenty years, your only avenue for success was to impress somebody in the music industry.  There was a window of time before that where DJs had power over the content of their stations, and perhaps if one was lucky enough that would be enough to build an audience.

          Does a struggling musician have it better or worse now?  I'd argue better. There's at least a chance in this environment to find an audience for your material no matter how niche. Monetizing that audience isn't as easy as pressing discs and putting them on store shelves, but it could involve signed memorabilia or live-streamed concerts. BitTorrented lossless audio versions after the concert behind an inexpensive paywall. High-quality DVDs to be mailed out after the concert for people paying at a certain tier. Subscriptions to the BitTorrented audio library. Finding like-minded musicians to combine your system with such that you can increase the value of your shared offerings (through cross-promotional deals?)

          I don't know if anybody can make out like The Beatles or Metallica in this environment, but I do suspect that once we hand the keys to the Internet over to the content publishing industries we go straight back to there being no chance whatsoever at viability for any musician that doesn't meet with their approval and sponsorship.

          !¡!¡!  Bureaucracy is the epoxy that greases the wheels of progress.
          !¡!¡!  -- Dr. Jim Boren

          by ferment on Mon May 24, 2010 at 12:03:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Here we have Grover's bathwater. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Churchill

    The final element needed to seal the fate of democratic opposition to the oligarchy.

    "Who am I to give science the brush?" Sugarpuss O'Shea

    by semiot on Mon May 24, 2010 at 08:02:59 AM PDT

  •  my reading for the week (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Churchill

    includes Huxley, Brave New World. When I checked it out of the library (how much longer will we have those?), I'd no idea I was so prescient.

    If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.--A Boston cabbie, to Gloria Steinem, in the 1970s

    by Mnemosyne on Mon May 24, 2010 at 08:05:12 AM PDT

  •  This is the revenge of the Newspaper (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Churchill

    Publishers. If they can't spoon feed the masses the misinformation they want to, they will make it impossible for the masses to inform themselves via internet. Keep the masses stupid and afraid and you have silly putty in your hands.

    "Looks like we got ourselves a reader" - Bill Hicks

    by blueoregon on Mon May 24, 2010 at 08:07:28 AM PDT

  •  if stopping personal "piracy" is "reasonable" (0+ / 0-)

    then "draconian" steps are necessary.

    This is all being done in the name of ending online software and content piracy, which is certainly a reasonable goal. This response, however, is draconian.

    That's the issue here. Normal judicial restraints work against organizations -- corporation "pirating" each other works, since they need to get credit (aka money) and therefore are traceable and have pockets which can be picked.

    But private individuals aren't "traceable" and "creditable" -- any more than it would be practical to sue an individual for copyright infringement for singing "Happy Birthday" at a party.

    We must distinguish corporate "piracy" from individual "piracy". The only way to stop individual "piracy" is through draconian means -- means so extreme, that they demand an effective police state (see Wikileaks).

    On the other hand, stopping corporate "piracy" requires no new laws. Corporations already have all the necessary judicial means to enforce copyrights and patents against other corporations.

    Here is the problem of all commercial law -- the lack of distinction between commercial entities, and individuals. This goes from Citizens United, through patent and copyright law, through eminent domain actions. The inability of our (and the world's) legal systems to distinguish private individuals and corporate entities, their rights and responsibilities, is a massive logical error of type that is a fundamental flaw in the world culture.

    And of course, it is the logical error at the root of Liberterian ideology.

    •  No Individuals in Cloud-Space (0+ / 0-)

      We must distinguish corporate "piracy" from individual "piracy". The only way to stop individual "piracy" is through draconian means -- means so extreme, that they demand an effective police state...

      Why would a corporation pirate something that's already essentially free? 'Sharing' songs in person with a friend is no great threat to a healthy music scene. 'Sharing' songs with thousands of anonymous strangers is having an adverse impact on the people that write and perform songs.

      It's subtle because when you turn on the radio, it seems like every other play is some guy bragging about his 20 inch rims or drinking insanely expensive beverages in 'the club.' But there is exaggeration, sometimes. The person bragging about his Bentley may have actually had to take a city bus to the studio.

      best,

      john

      I support socialized water

      by jabney on Mon May 24, 2010 at 12:05:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't want to live in a world (0+ / 0-)

        with "no individuals".

        Why would a corporation pirate something "essentially free"? Because they want to use it in a movie, in a commercial, sample it for their own music that they sell on cds....

        Because "essentially free" isn't free. If someone is using a good for commerce, it's essentially different. Corporations have no "free speech" in my little world.

  •  NewsCorp might shut down left-wing blogs (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    statsone

    Our leaders wait til problems become huge and then they can't solve them. Climate change, 9/11, Katrina, BP

    by Churchill on Mon May 24, 2010 at 08:25:32 AM PDT

  •  Go back to sleep. (0+ / 0-)

    Please.

    the intelligence community is no longer geared towards telling the president what they think the president wants to hear

    by Salo on Mon May 24, 2010 at 08:30:14 AM PDT

  •  Tell the teapartiers that one-world gov't (0+ / 0-)

    is out to get them.

    I'm sure the Republicans will vote against this bill once the teapartiers start frothing.

    There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

    by upstate NY on Mon May 24, 2010 at 08:43:57 AM PDT

  •  Universities? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    statsone

    Does this mean every college in the country could have their internet taken away?

    Citizenship is a contact sport!

    by horowitz on Mon May 24, 2010 at 08:47:57 AM PDT

    •  Yes, and why... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      horowitz

      ...this will fail.  No way every college in the country gets their internat access yanked.

      I still don't understand how the government could require ISPs to pull the plug without a law being passed by Congress and signed by the president.  Executive Agreements normally are things that don't need actual laws being passed, like the leasing of a military base by a foreign country to America.

  •  It's like closing a road... (0+ / 0-)

    ...because somebody used it as a peeping Tom.

    Memo to Republicans: Playback is hell.

    by jimbo92107 on Mon May 24, 2010 at 08:51:22 AM PDT

  •  I'll get worried when it looks like it might (0+ / 0-)

    actually happen. "They"'ve been trying to straitjacket the internet since the World Wide Web began (before that, nobody cared who was actually doing what on the internet...a whirl through Usenet archives should illustrate that...because there just weren't enough (of the right kind of) eyes online). Since Mosaic and HTML were released c. 1993-94, the internet began to be seen as a commercial place. And commercial places must be controlled, if only to maximize the commercial possibilities. Of course, there was (and still is) another strain of thought, coming out of that anarchy of pre-Web internet, that said that information must be free.

    The history of the intersection of the internet and the law since 1994 has been the history of the mainstream media and corporations trying desperately to shove that anarchical strain into a sack and drown it once and for all. And yet...it still keeps escaping the sack! Despite DCMA, despite RIAA's lawsuits against 80-year-old great-grandmothers and 10-year-old girls, despite the wavering likelihood of Net Neutrality, we're still trying to keep the internet welcoming to gadflies and critics and social revolutionaries. And we're succeeding, so far.

  •  What idiot would support this? (0+ / 0-)

    Move along, folks -- there's absolutely nothing to see here. Stay away from that curtain!

  •  Obama serving the content industry (0+ / 0-)

    On ACTA and in this, Obama serves the content industry to the detriment of his own national broadband plan. Lobbyists over change, unfortunately.

    Depending on who you ask, FCC net neutrality policy is:

    http://www.newnetworks.com/... -- Charade

    http://www.publicknowledge.org/... -- Big Lie

    http://blogs.wsj.com/... -- about reassuring the big companies

    "Your victory has demonstrated that no person anywhere in the world should not dare to dream of wanting to change the world for a better place." -- Mandela

    by agoldnyc on Mon May 24, 2010 at 10:10:24 AM PDT

  •  Outrageous. (0+ / 0-)

    Completely outrageous. Guess it's time to ring the WH phone; it probably won't make a difference, but it will at least let me vent my spleen.

    (By the way, it's "copyrighted," not "copywritten.")

  •  The Digital Eonomy Act (0+ / 0-)

    was the final swan song of what had essentially become Neo Con Labour. It was a lobbyist written bill, published on Industry websites before its publication in the House of Commons.

    It was pushed through by the awful Peter Mandleson and offered no help for the digital economy only the aid of draconian laws to protect a near dead distribution method for music.

    What summed it up most, the Lobbyist runing the campaign ran as a firmly "New Labour" candidate against the Tory spokesman on the issue.

    The Con / Lib coalition has promised a "great repeal bill" of some of the worst excesses of the last very un Labour government. The bill is actually a collaborative wiki project and many posters have suggested that this act should go.

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