Leaked ACTA Treaty Will Outlaw P2P

ACTA—the misleadingly named “Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement”—is the worldwide copyright treaty that’s being negotiated behind closed doors, and that will create a sort of global DMCA if continues in its current state. Now Wikileaks has posted a draft of the treaty, and Boing Boing’s Cory Doctorow gives his take:

Among other things, ACTA will outlaw P2P (even when used to share works that are legally available, like my books), and crack down on things like region-free DVD players. All of this is taking place out of the public eye, presumably with the intention of presenting it as a fait accompli just as the ink is drying on the treaty.

Wikileaks points out that the U.S. politician behind ACTA is Howard Berman from California, a Democrat whose top four campaign contributors for 2006 were Time Warner ($21,000), News Corp ($15,000), Sony Corp of America ($14,000), and Walt Disney Co ($13,550).

So what can you do, other than shake your head in disgust? Well, here’s a list of members of the subcommittee overseeing the U.S. side of things, so you could start by seeing if your rep is listed and contacting him or her directly. One Boing Boing reader suggests contacting your representative regardless of committee membership—you can find the correct contact information here using your zip code or address.

“Proposed US ACTA multi-lateral intellectual property trade agreement (2007)” [Wikileaks via Boing Boing]
(Photo: Getty)

Comments

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  1. Bladefist says:

    Nope. Nope. I refuse to believe it. Only Republicans are corporal shills that sell out.

  2. wgrune says:

    The fact that our politicians on both sides of the aisle are routinely bought and paid for is absolutely disgusting to me.

    Run the lobbyists out of Washington; quit allowing our elected sleaze to take paid “business trips” to golf courses and 4-star restaurants and get back to (honest)work.

  3. adven2rous says:

    How can you restrict sharing non-copywritten works? Will direct downloading be illegal too? How about trading baseball cards? Ok, Maybe I took it too far, but come on, seriously?

  4. stinerman says:

    @Bladefist:

    Nobody is good when it comes to tech/intellectual property issues.

    And with respect to Republicans, are we talking about Corporals who shill or people who shill for Corporals? Does this include Lance Corporals?

  5. Silversmok3 says:

    The only question is not whether the policians are bought ( Duh, ), but whether they will enforce this garbage.

  6. alstein says:

    Wouldn’t pass constitutional muster.

  7. Bladefist says:

    @stinerman: I’m not saying anything. I just hear every single day that my party is linked to these kinds of buy-offs. I just wanted to point it out, because consumerist decided the political party wasn’t important.

  8. impudence says:

    I just went to wikileaks. I saw nothing that outright states or even implies that P2P would be outlawed. Maybe I am missing something? I don’t doubt this act would be evil, but lets get some actual proof. Not to mention I can’t help but think that outright bans on P2P would be an unconstitutional restriction on speech.

  9. sega8800 says:

    errr, i think i just throw up in my mouth a little bit…

  10. legwork says:

    It won’t make it. Media conglomerate fantasies notwithstanding, people won’t accept it and protocols can always be written through (or around) the blocks.

    On the other hand, societies that would force this on their populace would find other justifications for whatever retribution.

  11. WBDFQ says:

    And they’ll do all of this work and make all sorts of bluster, then the public, via the internet, will hand their asses to them. After all of this time, I still can’t believe that they haven’t figured out that an angry internet can pretty much put an end to any bullshit of this sort.

  12. wgrune says:

    @arstal:

    Really? Our Congress allowed the “Warrantless Wiretapping” legislation.

  13. bohemian says:

    This is mindboggling. How are the proposing to police this and don’t we have bigger issues to be dealing with.

    People starving in Africa or some guy in Chicago who has a region free DVD player.

  14. rbb says:

    @Bladefist: Yup. If they fail to mention the politician’s party around here, you can be sure it’s “(D)”

  15. Bladefist says:

    @wgrune: Which expired in February 2008. And was re-newed by a _______ majority congress. Which may/may not account for the, what, 20% congress approval rating?

  16. legwork says:

    @Wgrune:

    New, new math:

    Lobbyist + guillotine = goodness

  17. adven2rous says:

    @impudence:
    I agree, there wasn’t really anything that said P@P was going to be illegal, just the aggregator sites that make it so easy to find that copy of big booties 4…or windows, whatever.

  18. Bladefist says:

    @rbb: Yea. But liberal biased media is a myth. So it was a mistake.

  19. JollyJumjuck says:

    I have this vision of a group of mustached men in tuxedos, top hats and monocles rolling around deliriously on a big pile of money, while big guard dogs with the faces of politicians hold hapless consumers firmly in their jaws. Instead of blood, the consumers bleed money.

  20. Bladefist says:

    @JollyJumjuck: You should turn that into a Pink Floyd concert.

  21. Orv says:

    @Bladefist: The news media don’t have a liberal bias, but the blogosphere probably does. Republicans tend to be older and not quite as up on the whole Internet thing; talk radio is more their medium.

  22. stinerman says:

    @adven2rous:

    So much of intellectual property law is fubared due to technological advances. Too many non-technical people think that somehow there is an intrinsic difference between “streaming media” and a straight download when the only difference is where the data is stored in your computer. One goes to a buffer in RAM while the other goes to your hard drive. In many cases, one counts as copyright infringement while the other does not.

    The increased asshattery of elected officials in areas such as this and other non-sexy issues will continue unabated so long as we’re too distracted by lapel pins or other trivial issues. Not to call abortion or 2nd Amendment rights trivial, but people vote on these issues and subsequently, their elected officials generally vote accordingly.

    Almost no one votes with intellectual property issues in mind (does the average person even know their congressman’s position?) so their reps just sell out to the highest bidder.

  23. stinerman says:

    @Orv:

    AM talk radio. :-)

  24. mesamunefire says:

    interesting. how do they propose to go about this?
    we have enofe problems in this contry other than P2P sharing. Funding? Maby AT@T will do it.
    oh wait, the costs would be enormous!

    think about it. Things are not getting any chaeper. As prices go up for simple transportation, people will do stupid stuff like this with our tax dollars and further weaken our economy.
    its stupid becasue there are other ways (and have already been developed and used in mass scale) of sharing information besides P2P

    but let them pass it. Wont matter to me. Pass laws that you cant back up. Government only works with the consent of the govern.

  25. Bladefist says:

    @stinerman: I agree. Love your little lapel stab you snuck in there. But Americas biggest commodity is ignorance and un-uninformedness. You put McCain and Obama up on the stage, with microphones, and make them sing classic rock songs, call in, vote for who was best, and you’ll create some attention.

  26. Trai_Dep says:

    CA legislators, especially SoCal ones, have one glaring ethical Achilles Heel: they’re totally owned by the media conglomerates. Sort like how ADM owns midwest pols.
    They’re not the only pols under Big Media’s sway, evidenced by The Industry’s ability to get their way on telecom, etc. So they’re not the only ones. It’s hardly as though Conservative pols are manning the barricades on our side for these fights. In fact, they roll over so consistently in every other area that it’s no surprise when they do. It’s who they are, after all.
    But yes, it’s still evil, and yes, they need to be beaten with calls, emails and protests until they stop this crazy nonsense.
    Follow the links, people: call your Congresscritter! :)

  27. battra92 says:

    @rbb: Kind of like how the Drive-Bys always forget about William Jefferson Democrat Louisiana.

  28. Bladefist says:

    @Orv: AM Talk radio? NPR? But I mostly agree. Limbaugh pretty much has it nailed down. However, network nightly news is vastly liberal. Was it CBS or ABC that didn’t even report on the Obama/Wright thing? What about Consumerist? Digg? Huffingtonpost? NYT? NBC? ABC? CBS? CNN? MSNBC? I can do this all day. You can disagree there is a bias, but when you are on the opposite side of their beliefs, it’s much more clear then if you are middle-to left.

  29. Bladefist says:

    @battra92: Liberalism is associated with Amnesia. They keep trying the same failed programs over and over. Jimmy Carter anybody? Oh Oh, it’ll work, we just need the right people.

  30. battra92 says:

    I can (and have) written to my senators and congressmen before (always politely despite the fact that I don’t vote for them) but they always just file it in the garbage.

  31. Chris Walters says:

    @Bladefist: I left out party affiliation because I think both sides are equally corrupt, but I agree that it’s important to make it clear this jackass is a Democrat since they tend to unfairly benefit from a reputation for sticking up for the average American. I’ve edited the post to reflect that.

  32. Bladefist says:

    Here is what “Hope” and “Change” is
    [en.wikipedia.org]

  33. battra92 says:

    @Bladefist: I thought it was a form of insanity.

    Carthago delenda est.

  34. Bladefist says:

    @Chris Walters: I fully agree. I think Politicians are corrupt. That is the assumption you make before entering any debate about parties. However, in the past when a political person has made strides to harm consumers, the party was always pointed out.

    Appreciate your honesty.

  35. Orv says:

    @Bladefist: It’s hard to talk about this without confirmation bias coming into play. When you watch network news, you mostly notice examples of them endorsing left-wing policy. When I watch network news, I see lots of examples of them endorsing right-wing policy. The only academic study I’ve seen on the matter found them to be slightly center-right:
    [www.fair.org]

    A bigger problem with the corporate media, I think, is that all the shouting about media bias has created a sort of false balance. Basically for every issue they get one person from each “side” to say their piece, with no attempt to do any fact checking or find out what the real truth is.

    There’s also no shortage of unapologetically right-wing-biased media sources. Fox News, the Washington Times, and the Wall Street Journal come to mind. (Although to be fair the WSJ is pretty middle of the road in their news coverage — it’s their editorial page that’s fiercely right wing.)

  36. FLConsumer says:

    This is nice….but how do they propose enforcing any such activity? Wouldn’t take too much programming to totally disguise P2P traffic to appear like any other type of traffic.

  37. Orv says:

    @Bladefist: Republicans aren’t immune from persuing the same failed policies over and over again. SDI (aka “Star Wars”) comes to mind. So does abstinence-only education. And of course Bush has yet to see a problem that he didn’t think could be solved by tax cuts for the rich and drilling in ANWR.

  38. Bladefist says:

    @Orv:
    “There’s also no shortage of unapologetically right-wing-biased media sources. Fox News, the Washington Times, and the Wall Street Journal come to mind. (Although to be fair the WSJ is pretty middle of the road in their news coverage — it’s their editorial page that’s fiercely right wing.)”

    I think that is because those of who are right-wing, feel that mass media (drive-bys) are liberal biased. Okay, true or not, there is an empty void. 50% of the country, looking for a news show they can enjoy. But they may take it too far. I guess the benefit is, the bias is known. You know those places are biased. They say it. Some of the others, don’t put it out there, and you can end up perceiving opinions as facts.

    I enjoy fox news (when I get to see it) because of shows like Hannity and Colmbs (repub and dem), O’Reilly (Independent)(who brings on republican and democrats for on-screen debates nightly) so you can walk away with some objectivity.

    At any rate – It’s a highly debatable subject, which probably means that if we ever get a nightly news channel, that is actually non-biased, ratings will go through the roof.

  39. @Orv:

    The news media don’t have a liberal bias, but the blogosphere probably does. Republicans tend to be older and not quite as up on the whole Internet thing; talk radio is more their medium.

    Fox has an obvious conservative bias, and CNN/MSNBC/major national networks have severe liberal biases. If you don’t see it, I’m not sure which network you’re watching.

  40. Bladefist says:

    @Orv: His tax cuts were all over the board. % wide it seems better for the rich, cuz you’re dealing with numbers with more 0’s. The fact is, he did cut taxes for low/middle income tax payers. All you hear is bitching that it wasn’t fair, but, the democrats will let his tax cuts expire. So lets pretend your right (you arent), you will end up paying more taxes anyway. About 600$ more a year, if you are middle class.

    [www.heritage.org]

    Excellent read. I suggest you take a looksie

  41. And I was about 6th in line for that response….

  42. @arstal: On a SCOTUS filled with Republican appointees? Sure it would. Unconstitutional is only what the SCOTUS says is unconstitutional, not what common sense would say.

  43. Keavy_Rain says:

    I fail to see how you can keep someone from distributing their own work how they see fit.

    This is probably doomed to failure or will end up in legal hell for many years.

  44. Orv says:

    @Bladefist: You know those places are biased. They say it. Some of the others, don’t put it out there, and you can end up perceiving opinions as facts.

    Well, actually, pretty much everyone admits Fox News has a right-wing bias except Fox News itself. They still have “fair and balanced” as their tagline.

    I enjoy fox news (when I get to see it) because of shows like Hannity and Colmbs (repub and dem)…

    Hannity and Colmes is a good example of false balance. They got a firebrand conservative, and then paired him with the most milquetoast liberal they could find. I understand the original working title was “Hannity and Liberal To Be Named Later.”

    Don’t have much of an opinion about O’Reilly. I can’t stand the way he interrupts people and cuts their mics whenever they start to make a point he doesn’t like. It annoys me to hear people interrupted. (I didn’t like Crossfire for basically the same reason.)

    …if we ever get a nightly news channel, that is actually non-biased, ratings will go through the roof.

    I kind of doubt it. The trend seems to be more towards opinion journalism, much like newspapers practiced in the early 20th century. That seems to be where the money is.

  45. tedyc03 says:

    @BaysideWrestling: The Constitution does apply here, but here’s how it would apply.

    Article VI: This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

    “and all Treaties made…shall be the supreme Law of the Land…” In other words, if this treaty is ratified, it circumvents the Constitution.

    Think this hasn’t been tried? The United States once negotiated a treaty with the British that included an environmental protection for a migratory bird because the Supreme Court had struck down the environmental legislation. Second time the case came before the Court, they upheld the treaty because of this part of the Constitution.

    In other words, the Washington crowd can write any law they want, and as long as it’s in a treaty with another nation, it *is* the supreme law of the land.

  46. Bladefist says:

    @Orv: Well the fair and balanced is kinda of a crock of shit. But show by show, they seem to be clear on their opinions. I’m satisfied with your opinions though, because at least you have watched fox news. A lot of opinions I hear are from people who have never even seen it.

  47. The Great Aussie Evil says:

    Prepare for an uprising.

  48. theodicey says:

    This political back and forth is stupid.

    Democrats representing the LA (Hollywood) area are uniquely bad when it comes to copyright issues. It sucks, but it’s inevitable because they are representing the interests of their constituents and major employers in their districts. Consumers come in a distant third.

    If there were any Republicans representing Hollywood (no, Orange County doesn’t count, their economy is driven by subprime loans and defense pork) I guarantee they’d be even worse, because they wouldn’t even think for a second about consumers’ rights.

  49. @Bladefist: You can disagree there is a bias, but when you are on the opposite side of their beliefs, it’s much more clear then if you are middle-to left.

    The truth has a well-known liberal bias. By definition, everything is to the left of conservatism.

    If we ever get a nightly news channel, that is actually non-biased, ratings will go through the roof.

    I disagree. Bias is a subjective thing, but I think we can agree that there are online sources that are quite fair. And oooh boy are they boring. Boring, boring, boring. I try to be unbiased, which is why my comments are usually so boring.

    Very few people fail to take an opinion on an issue. Why would anyone expect their news to do the same? In reality, they don’t. People choose: “Do I want confirmation of disconfirmation of my views tonight? Which channel will give that to me?”

  50. Orv says:

    @Bladefist: Oh, sure. I’ve listened to AM talk radio, too. Don’t listen to Rush Limbaugh much anymore because he’s gotten a bit too big for his britches — he used to be funnier before he took himself so seriously. Sean Hannity and Michael Medved give an interesting glimpse at how Republicans are thinking, though, and Michael Savage is just outright hilarious.

  51. IphtashuFitz says:

    If this is true then my guess is that you’ll hear a lot of screaming from legit companies. There are a growing number of companies (like Microsoft) who rely on various P2P technologies for all sorts of things. On-line gaming systems use P2P to transfer game information, updates, patches, etc. This treaty would shutdown companies like bittorent.com entirely.

  52. Bladefist says:

    @theodicey: Political back and forth is stupid, then you just did it!

  53. XianZomby says:

    Nobody seems to like the ideas lawmakers or corporations come up with to combat illegal trafficking in copyrighted works.

    Why don’t Netizens themselves propose an agreeable plan that can adequately stop, with the force of law, the illegal trading of copyrighted works?

    I think the reason why Netizens don’t propose such a solution is that, as a whole, they refuse to openly acknowledge that trading copyrighted works outside the licensing agreements is illegal and only a fraction of the traffic on P2P networks is actually made up of non-copyrighted works.

    If users could show that a greater portion of P2P traffic was actually non-copyrighted works, or works that have unlimited distribution, then lawmakers would focus less on the issue. But I don’t believe that’s the case.

  54. Bladefist says:

    @Orv: Rush is good at informing people. But I agree, pretty arrogant, and once he gets into his rants, I flip the station. My favorite is Mark Levin. I don’t listen to Savage

  55. Orv says:

    @XianZomby: The problem is legislation like this throws the baby out with the bathwater by stifling legal uses as well. Copying books is illegal, but we haven’t reacted by trying to outlaw photocopiers. Driving over the speed limit is illegal, but we haven’t banned all cars with more than 30 horsepower.

    While you may not have used it that way, BitTorrent is quite widely used as a legal distribution method for things like Linux distribution CDs.

  56. Orv says:

    @Bladefist: Oh, you’re missing out. Savage is so over the top it’s like self-parody. Seriously, if he were doing what he does as satire, it would be Andy Kaufman-level brilliant.

  57. @stinerman: I think he means corporal shills vs. ethereal shills (those otherworldly spirits who are really trouncing fair use rights on other planes). Or perhaps it’s an obscure reference to corporal punishment?

    Gawker should start a pure political blog where everyone can vent their own political philosophies, especially when an election is going on. Then I could get insta-furious any time I wanted by reading the MoveOn types compare McCain to Hitler, Barack Obama to Jesus Christ, and oil companies to The Empire. It would remind us of the sea of idiots in which we swim, and perhaps motivate us to vote against their painfully unserious agenda.

  58. Chris Walters says:

    @XianZomby: This is where I think the concept of ownership vs licensing-with-DRM comes in. On the whole, I have hated DRM because it prevents me from “owning” IP. But since digital content is ridiculously easy to reproduce and distribute, giving someone unrestricted ownership to, say, a movie, song, book or videogame is equivalent to giving away the cow with the milk.

    I’ve been looking at systems like Amazon’s Kindle Store (where you buy books for less but they’re locked to your Kindle via DRM) and Nokia’s NGage store (where you buy mobile games but they’re locked to your specific phone). Both companies say they’ll transfer your license over to another device upon request, but the truth is you no longer own the books you buy on the Kindle the way you own a physical copy–and you can’t re-install your mobile game on a phone via an installer program that you keep on a CD-Rom.

    My kneejerk reaction has been to reject these models as unfair to the consumer, but lately I’ve been coming around to the view that in a world where IP can be distributed instantly, licensing is the compromise.

    In my mind, however, for licensing to work the prices must be fair. If I no longer own a music CD but am simply renting a set of songs for a temporary period, I should be paying less. I think this is where every major IP industry drops the ball and tries to screw over the consumer by keeping prices the same while taking away ownership as it used to exist.

  59. Notsewfast says:

    @Bladefist:
    Political blog is here: http://www.wonkette.com

    You’ll find plenty of people to argue with over there (I appreciate your civility, but this is pretty much a party-neutral article…everyone is a scum bag when it comes to caving to lobbyists).

  60. TechnoDestructo says:

    @Orv:

    O’Reilly hasn’t (to my knowledge) done the “cut his mic” thing in years. I think he’s aware of how he’s perceived, and actively avoids becoming self-parody, at least in style, if not in substance. When his current “If you don’t remember ancient-pop culture, you’re stupid” thing starts being widely mocked, he’ll drop that, too.

    But still, to call him “independent” is either mind-blowingly naive or disingenuous.

  61. chrisjames says:

    Please. You can come up with all the “thou shalt nots” you want, but that will never stop it. The system won’t support this ideology, so either move with the current, or get washed away in the flood.

  62. TechnoDestructo says:

    “Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property”

    The fact that there is such a committee, and that it puts these three things together, pretty much tells you exactly what their aim, and entire reason for being, is.

  63. @XianZomby: Nobody seems to like the ideas lawmakers or corporations come up with to combat illegal trafficking in copyrighted works.

    That’s because their ideas suck. Lawrence Lessig has some good ones, but he’s just some kooky professor.

    They refuse to openly acknowledge that trading copyrighted works outside the licensing agreements is illegal.

    Nah. With some reservations about the scope of many licensing agreements (some attempt to impinge on first-sale doctrine, for example), most people acknowledge understanding of the law, but choose to commit a crime.

    Only a fraction of the traffic on P2P networks is actually made up of non-copyrighted works.

    Only a fraction of handguns are not designed for killing or seriously injuring people, which is usually illegal. Should we outlaw them too?

  64. Bladefist says:

    @Secret Agent Man: I don’t come here to start stuff. And as Chris Walters said up above:

    “I agree that it’s important to make it clear this jackass is a Democrat since they tend to unfairly benefit from a reputation for sticking up for the average American.”

    I come here because I am a consumer, who wants to spread awareness, and be involved with the capitalist America. Government, just like corporations, like you see in this article, get in the way of consumer fairness. So it does get political here. And politics does matter here. Of course, the debate can get off topic, as it has already. But what is wrong with that? I try to debate politics here only when its appropriate.

    I’ll continue to give my full, hopeful civil, opinion, until the moderators here make me unable to. I am a strong consumer advocate. I believe in protecting consumers through awareness, boycotts, and other effective ways. I am not for more regulation. I am for the same reason as you sir.

  65. @Bladefist: I don’t come here to start stuff.

    Your first post suggests otherwise.

  66. Bladefist says:

    @TechnoDestructo: He is a registered independent.

    @Michael Belisle: I had a valid point. Consumerist fixed it.

  67. ameyer says:

    @tedyc03:
    Of course, pay attention to the

    This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby,

    and ignore the

    any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

    that says that treatues don’t override the constitution.
    It may be a horrible treaty, but I’m not entirely sure this treaty’s unconstitutional.

  68. Orv says:

    @Chris Walters: Part of the problem with DRM systems so far is they violate people’s assumptions about how they can use the content they buy. For example, if I buy a CD, I can play it on my car stereo, on my home stereo, or in my Discman. If I buy a DRM’d song, I have to buy three copies to do the same thing. People rightly see this as a worse deal than they’re used to. I think these systems will have to get a lot more flexible before consumers will widely accept them without complaint.

  69. Bladefist says:

    @Orv: The problem, which makes me crazy, is people keep buying this DRM stuff. If they would boycott the DRM, and make the companies selling non-DRM rich, then DRM would be dead by tomorrow.

  70. Bladefist says:

    I have not bought 1 DRM thing in my entire live, and personally vow I never will.

  71. Orv says:

    @Bladefist: Well, I think non-DRM is starting to win in the music marketplace. Amazon’s downloadable music store is all non-DRM-encumbered, for example. Even if you discard the moral implications, I wouldn’t bother with getting an illegal copy of an album via P2P now — it’s so cheap and easy to get a legal one, and I’m assured of getting a good-quality rip.

  72. Bladefist says:

    @Orv: Right. Competing with Piracy isn’t difficult. Make reasonable rules, and reasonable pricing, and people won’t spend 3 hours mucking through P2P, wrangling viruses and porn, and all the crap that goes along with that pain. They’ll just go buy it.

    More studios need to come on board though. Amazon still has a small selection relatively. Is apples iCrap have DRM? I’ve never messed with it. If it does, then really we’re waiting on Apple. Best way to solve that, stop buying songs from iTues.

  73. cac67 says:

    @tedyc03:This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby,

    It helps if you read the whole thing rather than cutting out the parts that invalidate your position.

    Click here for ameyers post on precedence.

  74. rellog says:

    Crap… a Rep on the committee is fatman James Sennsennbrenner. I wish that tub of lard would have a stroke already. He’s as crooked as they come, but the morons out in Washington County aren’t smart enough to figure it out.

  75. Trai_Dep says:

    @AtomicPlayboy: “Gawker should start a pure political blog where everyone can vent their own political philosophies, especially when an election is going on…”
    Maybe they can name it some snarky thing like, say, Wonkette. That would be AWEsome! :)

    http://www.wonkette.com

    (Although, yes, it’s been set aside as its own snarky duchy in the latest revision of the Mighty Gawker Empire)

  76. rmz says:

    @Orv: As soon as they start widely offering DRM-free music in lossless formats, I’ll be all over it.

  77. TechnoDestructo says:

    @Bladefist:

    And a Republican lapdog. There’s nothing stopping me from registering as a Republican or Democrat, but that wouldn’t really make me one of them.

  78. dragonfire81 says:

    I bet any amount of money this treaty is signed regardless of how people feel. Remember, politicians don’t work for you, they work for big business that funds their campaigns.

  79. Bladefist says:

    @TechnoDestructo: Listen to him more. He isn’t that way. I disagree with him all the time.

  80. battra92 says:

    The part that really annoys me is the whole Region coding thing. I don’t pirate but I do like importing.

  81. battra92 says:

    @rmz: As soon as they start widely offering DRM-free music in lossless formats, I’ll be all over it.

    Yeah, I tell people I’ll digital download when I can get an entire album for half the price of a CD and it’s encoded in FLAC.

  82. donkeyjote says:

    @Trai_Dep: The sarcasm is strong with this one.

  83. donkeyjote says:

    @Bladefist: Wow. the ignorance is strong with you. You have no clue about iTunes or the iPod, yet you decide to call it crap. And 3 hours of virus “porn” (Like people arn’t looking for the porn in the first place, and crap? You have no idea on how to pirate stuff…

    @Orv: Most mainstream DRM music systems allow using on more then one computer without having to buy more copies. Hell, most let you burn directly to cd, so you can just re-rip them (granted at encoding loss).

  84. @Trai_Dep: I stand corrected. I had no idea Wonkette was part of the Gawker network, as it’s not listed among the “Gawker Media Network” sites found on Consumerist and other Gawker properties. For what it’s worth, I did try and check if such a thing already existed within Gawker before I made my post…

  85. Bladefist says:

    @donkeyjote: Sorry man, never got into the iLife. I just dont care. It’s too much money for the end result: listening to music.

    And I know more about the pirate stuff then you’ll ever know. I may or may not have been, at one time, owner of one of the largest groups for about 4 years. Maybe. But the average pirater, doesn’t have the resources of a veteran pirater.

  86. mikelotus says:

    @Bladefist: its not a sell out for republicans, just business as usual. for example, the cockroach exterminator and Abramoff.

  87. neuman1812 says:

    Problem: P2P to be banned.

    Solution(s):I2p, Freenet, Undernet, TOR, JAP…etc

  88. EricaJoy says:

    Thanks for finally covering this. :)

    For those who didn’t go researching after reading this, there is more to ACTA than “outlawing P2P.”

    How about ISP filtering? But wait, how will they know which of your packets to filter? Why, by sniffing them all silly. This will end up giving goverments and ISPs the right to sniff ALL of your traffic legally under the claim of “searching for illegal content.”

    This is a big deal folks. Make noise about it since the mainstream press probably won’t touch with a 10 foot pole. After all, their parent companies are the ones paying for the thing.

    Read more about ACTA sliminess here:

    An Offer Countries Can’t Refuse (discusses the few major players in ACTA and how they are defining trade agreements for countries who may not have IP law or agree to said “agreement”): [williampatry.blogspot.com]

    An ACTA Call to Arms: No More Secret Government (discussion of the filtering language in ACTA): [williampatry.blogspot.com]

    For those of you who may question Patry’s sources, I urge you to check out his background: [en.wikipedia.org]

  89. Mr. Gunn says:

    Bladefist: DNRTFT, but if you’re citing O’Reilly as an example of a “fair and balanced” program, then linking to the Heritage foundation…

    Do you really not realize how far out those people are?

  90. ExecutorElassus says:

    @Secret Agent Man: Holy shit, their writing is even more schizoid/funny than Jezzie.

    Thanks. I found my new favorite blog.

  91. Life_Sandwich says:

    Even if this passed, there would be no way they could enforce it on every single person who used P2P software.

  92. dualityshift says:

    P2P software…

    This should include WoW, and most other MMORPGs out there. Didn’t EA bring out an app to deliver their updates via numerous hosts, i.e., the players? That would mean EA is in direct violation, no?

    Next, they’ll take down irc.

  93. Bladefist says:

    @Mr. Gunn: No, I honestly dont know how far out those people are. It was a google search. I dont read that site or anything normally. I scanned the link I sent, verified it was true info, and posted for all to learn.

  94. alstein says:

    @tedyc03: I’m not sure if a treaty would supersede a Constitutional Amendment though. A federal law of Congress yes, but then it’s treaty vs amendment. I think amendement has priority over treaties.

    If this happened it would be prohibition, people would just refuse to follow it.

  95. Techno Viking says:

    @bohemian:

    Shhh, I am in WI and I have a region free DVD player. It’s called my computer. Don’t tell anyone plz.

    Thanks.

    /Sarcasm

  96. Techno Viking says:

    @dualityshift:

    They are using torrents to distribute patches. It really helps them out in the long run. Less strain on their servers and they can keep cost down of their electric bill. All they need to do is make a patch release it, and the gaming community will seed it. Those are legal. So if this crap passes we can’t even get patches. America will blow when that happens. Also, about metered internet from Time Warmer in Texas. They are trying to suck as much money as they can from people. Unacceptable because if that happens we what have to pay to get patches from other companies to the ISP. Will not be good at all. Also, many new musicians, distribute their music legally for free as a way to get discovered like through sites Jamendo. That will make it obsolete then. We need to stop that from happening.

  97. drjayphd says:

    @AtomicPlayboy: Point of order: it’s technically not. :) They sold off Wonkette, Idolator and one other blog (which escapes me, but fear not, it wasn’t Fleshbot) a few months ago.

  98. @Bladefist: It was a valid point and it doesn’t hurt to mention “Democrat Howard Bermann”. That’s fine. But you said “I’m not saying anything” when clearly you were. I think there was a better way to call attention to the omission then bringing up some place other than here where you heard Republicans blamed for pro-IP policies and then knocking the _______ party and going on to solely blame the ______ party for the 20% congressional approval rating, and then accused the Consumerist of a liberal bias, and then compared Obama to Jimmy Carter….

    So you still say you’re not starting stuff?

    Note: Starting stuff is fine. Just admit that you’re doing it instead of playing innocent when flames erupt all around you.

  99. TorrentFreak says:

    I guess they can come knocking down my door with Federal agents because I will not stop thats for damn sure.

  100. Uriel says:

    do yourselves a favor, all hackers usually agree, your safest bet is to goto katz.cd, the largest software library i’ve ever been to anyways, type it into your search bar, goto the site, and search for the content you want, and download it through rapidshare. rapidshare content downloads are encrypted, meaning no one can monitor what it is your downloading. That’s your safest bet. Take it from the pirates. YARRRR!!!!!

  101. kbarrett says:

    Dorks.

    Anonymous will hand them their own heads. None of us are as mean, nasty, and batshit insane as all of us.

    These twits have no clue how useless their little laws are.

  102. This will fail to stop illegal downloading and as such, is a WASTE OF OUR F@#*!NG TIME! How about the government do something useful with all the billions taken from our paychecks! Like, bring the F@#*!NG troops home!

  103. Bladefist says:

    @Michael Belisle: Admit this: Am I right, or am I right?

  104. @drjayphd: I now stand _doubly_ corrected. *sigh*

  105. @Bladefist: Nah, I respectfully disagree. But you do add some color to the discourse.

  106. donkeyjote says:

    @drjayphd: It was grid*something*

  107. donkeyjote says:

    @kbarrett: *cues exploding party vans*

  108. ht9000 says:

    @arstal: A treaty may not do or exceed what the Congress is charged to do or what it is forbidden to do according to the constitution. Then again, when was the last time congress actually look at the constitution.

  109. shades_of_blue says:

    @JollyJumjuck:

    You mean like this?


    + Watch video

  110. vastrightwing says:

    Let them make laws making it illegal to be entertained. Let the entertainment industry kill itself. I encourage the industry to add tough DRM to everything it makes. Make it illegal to watch or listen to anything without paying for it. Let Sony run everything. I just don’t care.

  111. Bladefist says:

    @Michael Belisle: Every nominee running for president, gets compared with a previous president.

    Question: Is comparing Obama with Carter an insult? Carter fully supports Obama. Obama fully accepts Carters acceptance. Carter was very left. Obama is the left most person running for president in history. Interested to hear your opinion.

  112. Bladefist says:

    @vastrightwing: Regardless of their piddily laws, we’ll do what we want. It would just be nice if our laws were more progressive.

  113. Trai_Dep says:

    Obama and the DNC is banning lobbyist contributions. Period.
    McCain and the RNC is not only sucking as many lobbyist contributions as they can, but McCain has several lobbyists running his organization. And the White House and Republican-controlled Congress pretty much is and has been run by lobbyists. Pretty much the entire Executive branch is led by former industry people and lobbyists.
    Yup. The two: totally equivalent.

  114. NoStyle says:

    I am sure there are a lot of low level surveillance entities out there (not all law enforcement, I mean conexus and other snoop companies) who would love to get rid of P2P simply because of the security it provides in data transmission…

  115. hatrack says:

    It always amuses me to see Sony Corp. mentioned in articles about fighting piracy. They seem to be one of the leaders in the campaign against illegal copying. If it was that big a concern to them you’d think they’d “take one for the team” and stop selling dvd burners,recordable dvds, and cds.

    Of course not everything pirated is burned to disc. I bet though that the vast majority of what is burned to dvdr or cdr would be considered illegal by Sony and it’s ilk.

  116. Captaffy says:

    Why is it that politicians will sell their souls for so little money?

  117. Bladefist says:

    @Trai_Dep: I find it hard to defend McCain against comments like that. He history is known. You’re right. He caters to lobbyist. Lobbyist run his campaign. He is a douche. What makes it worse, is GOP is standing behind him. Even though he is a big man in the GOP, he, and others like him, are individuals. Republican is just a group of people with similar ideas on policy. If GOP doesn’t come back to conservatism soon, I’ll be changing my icon. So I don’t like your generalized comments about my party, but your attacks on the individuals are correct (Atleast in that comment). Obama on the other hand, is a radical leftist. So maybe he isn’t a sellout to lobbyist, but his policies are dangerous. He’ll bankrupt this country, and turn this place into western Europe. His only experience in Government is the Senate, which he has spent his whole time campaigning for president. He is an idiot. I listen to him talk, and he knows absolutely nothing about the history of this country. You’ll see more of this in the general election. You make me pick – I’ll take the lobbyist caterin McCain.

  118. @Bladefist: It doesn’t have to be, but you did imply “hope and change” means “a return to Carter’s failed economic policies that brought on a stagnant economy and price inflation”. It’s an insult in your mind.

    In addition, it has nothing to do with ACTA. It’s totally irrelevant and wasn’t even a response to anything.

  119. @Bladefist: his policies are dangerous. He’ll bankrupt this country, and turn this place into western Europe.

    I’ll take that any day to continuing the transformation to Red China Bush that started, where we torture people and trample on citizen’s rights and freedoms in the interest of the government and the party.

  120. Trai_Dep says:

    @Michael Belisle: Thank you.

    And, what “failed” Carter economic policies? He brought in Volker, who jacked interest rates, which killed inflation. It’s just that the US economy is a big ship, so by the time that the positive impact was visible, Reagan was in office. Who promptly ran the largest deficits known ever (in between appointments to ship restricted weapons to Islamic terrorists), until Clinton balanced the budget. Then the next Republican to hold office takes the historic surpluses that Dems created (rationally, to pay for the Boomer’s retirement and health needs) and turns these surpluses to the largest deficits ever seen. Even more than Reagan’s.

    So anyone suggesting Obama will bankrupt the economy after supporting the Bushies is woefully ignorant.

    Republicans are horrible for the economy. It’s a simple fact. The only reason why Wall Street likes them (in spite of their crappy management) is that they know that they’ll personally benefit, since the GOP will let the industry foxes run the henhouse.

    But never mind that, since they talk pretty. Oh,so pretty. It’s enough to fool the rubes, so they must be onto something, right?

    And, what’s wrong with Western Europe? They live longer, have 4x the vacation time, higher per-capitas, huge, productive economies, aren’t hated across the world for killing Arabs on a whim or torturing people and their health care actually works. They’re better schooled and their teenaged children much less pregnant. A LOT less pregnant, like a 10% or 20% of ours. Less murder victims. Healthier babies born… I could go on for ages…

    I guess Republicans simply like knocked up schoolchildren, torture, unhealthy societies and economies. Because they’ve had control long enough to do something about it, yet instead spent their time making things worse.

  121. Angryrider says:

    We can all be angry, but how many of us are actually going to do something about it? We should write a letter to our respective congresspersons, but our laziness will probably let this bill go through if it gains enough momentum. Shame a Consumerist isn’t a Congressman so it can be tacked on with so many other porky bills.
    Our citizens didn’t fight for our airport rights bill, why should this be an exception.
    I’m going to go into my corner and weep now.

  122. Trai_Dep says:

    @Angryrider: Seriously. It’s REALLY easy to send an email, or call. Or write a letter (postage (I KNOW!) and everything: the fogeys count them as 5x a phone call or 20x an email).
    Really. Seconds. A minute. And you’ll feel g-o-o-d! :)

  123. @Trai_Dep: Ooooh that Western Europe. I errantly thought of Eastern Europe (not that I’m knocking Eastern Europe, but it seemed like the logical comparison for a Republican to make because it’s the ex-soviet side of the continent).

    I just learned yesterday that the EU has the largest GDP in the world. As you point out, they seem to be doing alright and the system has a promising future. Everyone I talk from Europe (admittedly a small, primarily academic sampling) thinks their health care system is great and wonders why ours is so messed up.

    Now I’m confused about what the supposed problem with western Europe is.

  124. Pathetic…

  125. Trai_Dep says:

    @Michael Belisle: It’s telling that the global capital markets – hardly unschooled, irrational or sentimental – have rejected GOP economics over the EU’s. And their quality of life is exponentially better than here.
    It’s mind-boggling that we don’t adapt from the best the world has to offer. Disgraceful.

  126. so will this effect Torrent use at all?

  127. @Trai_Dep: @Michael Belisle: I’ve been following your commentary and am astounded by your thumbless grasp of history, economics, and current political reality. I could effortlessly eviscerate every Air America talking point you’ve parroted here, but I am sure that it would neither inform you not persuade you to adopt a rational thought process over the childish prattle you seem to favor (e.g. “I guess Republicans simply like knocked up schoolchildren, torture, unhealthy societies and economies”, “Everyone I talk from Europe (admittedly a small, primarily academic sampling) thinks their health care system is great and wonders why ours is so messed up”). It saddens me that people with such a childish view of the world will be helping decide its future in November, but it certainly explains why a fellow with next to zero qualification for the nation’s highest office has enthralled so many.

  128. @AtomicPlayboy: I’ve never listened to Air America. Some of my stuff was just flamebait (e.g., “the transformation to Red China that Bush started” in response to Bladefist’s equally bombastic comments about Obama bankrupting the country). Apparently it worked.

    However, I stand by my Europe healthcare statement with the necessary parenthetical qualification (“admittedly a small, primarily academic sampling”). It’s not a representative sample of Europeans. It’s a small sample of European academics who are likely to be liberal and support social programs. In other words, it’s a sample of people that agree with me.

    Now, as for Obama’s inexperience, you might have a point. But did you vote for Bush? 5 years as governor of Texas was good enough for President, you say?

    Let’s compare to some government positions held by some other notable presidents of the 20th century (in no particular order):

    • Harry Truman: 2 years in the Senate, a few months as Vice-President
    • Woodrow Wilson: 2 years as governor
    • Teddy Roosevelt: a year as governor and 6 months as VP
    • Ronald Reagan: 8 years as governor
    • Abraham Lincoln: 2 years in the House

    You get the idea. A so-called “lack of experience” has never stopped an American president from doing good things for the country.

  129. Bladefist says:

    @AtomicPlayboy: When you have trai_dep trying to defend Jimmy Carter, and when you have both of them, defending western europe, the debate is over. Jimmy Carter is an absolute failure. How he gets up in the morning and lives with himself, is beyond me. Western Europe, while it has its benefits, ie: no personal responsibility, is another example of what America would never want to become. But apparently, we have some Americans who idolize that part of the world. No amount of information you give them is going to change their mine. The Marxism runs high.

    I want to debate so many things that has been said,but it’s pointless. If you idolize Jimmy Carter and Western Europe:

    1) You live in the wrong Country. Our constituion will never allow us to go that far.

    2) You need a reality check; Better, you need more aspirations in your own life. Get out of your cubicle and look for innovation.

    3) You obviously don’t realize which policies just don’t work here.

    Western Europe is Western Europe. Not America. And we aren’t the same. It’s like giving dog medicine to a human. It wont work, even if your symptoms are the same.

  130. Bladefist says:

    @Michael Belisle: No I didn’t vote for Bush.

  131. Trai_Dep says:

    @AtomicPlayboy: 13 lines of hot air saying nothing.
    You’re saying you’re smarter than the collective wisdom of the capital markets? That is hubris.

    And both of you guys: are you so hostile to facts? Western Europe has higher measurements that I cited. Fact. Ours are in the toilet. Fact.
    The US’ biggest problem in the ’70s was inflation. Fact. The Republican approach was to mint Whip Inflation Now buttons. Fact. The Dem one was to get a Fed Chief in there to squeeze the rates down. Fact.

    Carter at least tried to get the hostages back. Poorly executed. By the military. Fact. Reagan traded restricted arms for hostages with the very people who kidnapped and held hostages in Iran. Fact.
    Today, someone doing that would be in Guantanamo. Fact. Reagan did it, so… Reagan loves terrorists and should have been Renditioned? Fac… Well, no that’s just my wishful thinking. But reasonable: rules are rules.

    It’s telling that you don’t think that giving piles of restricted arms to the Iranian kidnappers is a crime. Hate America much?

  132. @Bladefist: No I didn’t vote for Bush.
    You just gained a few points. I wait to hear from AtomicPlayboy, who made the inexperienced argument against Obama. History shows that “experience” is not the defining characteristic of a good president. Plenty of experienced presidents have totally sucked and plenty of “inexperienced” ones have been great. Presidents come in all forms, not just from the Old Boys Club. That one reason why our system works.

    If you idolize Jimmy Carter and Western Europe…
    There’s a difference between idolization and simple recognition of some things that they’re doing right. Now, I know the Republican party has idols, so it may be hard for you to understand how we can discuss the pros and cons of something without labeling them as universally good or evil.

    The truth is complicated. And the US isn’t always right.

    @Trai_Dep: He hasn’t brought up Reagan. It’s likely that he likes the man, but you’re assuming something here. I have no opinion on Carter (due to a lack of research), but Reagan vs. Carter is an argument you can’t win.

  133. Trai_Dep says:

    True, but if one says Carter = Worst Prez EVAH, then it begs the question of, “Compared to who?” Any person capable of independent thought would ask.
    Carter’s signal efforts are arguably beating inflation (Volker) and the failed hostage rescue. Which begs, what economic policies before (Ford) and what Iranian hostage efforts after (Reagan)?
    One can argue lapel-pins trump effective Fed policies, or negotiating back-channel arms deals with Iranian mullahs is better for America. Or I could have compared earning a Nobel Peace Prize to playing golf or visiting Bitburg. All fair choices.
    But rationally, you can’t say Worst Prez EVAH w/o context. Which is what they did. Ball’s in their fact-challenged court.

    Parenthetically, if you don’t think they both believe Reagan should be on Rushmore, I’ve got a bridge to sell you. :)

    Anyway, they brought up history, and injected politics, from the initial comment. I’m simply asking they back up their unsupported opinion.

    Back on topic: ACTA = BAD idea. Write your Congresscritter. Kill this thing. :)

  134. @Trai_Dep: My understanding of Carter is that he wasn’t necessarily a bad president, he was just ineffective. (Contrast that with Bush: bad, but effective.) We ended up with him because Nixon screwed up so badly personality-wise (from what I can tell, Nixon’s policies were good enough). The survey of rankings at Wikipedia suggests that nobody agrees where Carter belongs.

    Is there some risk that we’re doing that with Obama here? Sure. But, in reality, Obama’s no Carter and McCain is no Bush*.

    Obama was on the fast track long before everyone hated Bush. I passed through Chicago when Obama was running for Senate in 2004. His popular support with the people was clear. Later, that clearly extended to national support when he gave the keynote at the Democratic Convention in 2006.

    * I really don’t know who McCain is now. I used to think he was a strong leader with independent streak that I would have taken in a heartbeat over Bush (but not over Gore). Sometime between 2000 and 2008, he seems to have sold out in the interest of getting the party support he didn’t have in 2000.

  135. @Trai_Dep: @Michael Belisle: I repeat: “I could effortlessly eviscerate every Air America talking point you’ve parroted here, but I am sure that it would neither inform you not persuade you to adopt a rational thought process over the childish prattle you seem to favor.” The ridiculous statements to which I was referring belie any seriousness about the subject. I suppose, as you said, they were flamebait to some extent, which makes them doubly not worth my time. I’ll leave it to Bladefist to keep up the fight, as he seems to enjoy it.

  136. @AtomicPlayboy: I, too, can win every discussion that I denounce as extreme and so ridiculous that it’s not worth my time. When in doubt, always attack the discussion instead of the issues.

    I would like to hear your “effortless” evisceration, but I imagine it’d just counter our “Air America” talking points with “National Review” or “Fair and Balanced” ones. If it it’s effortless, why not throw it out there?

    And please stop lumping me with Trai_Dep. The few words I voiced in tentative agreement with him does not indicate solidarity with everything he claims.

  137. Trai_Dep says:

    Michael – the thing with these people is that if you don’t have an earbud streaming Limbaugh 24/7 into both ears, you’re an “other”. And all “others” are alike.
    It goes to explain why they can’t tell the difference between Shi’a & Sunni. Or agnostic & atheist. Or. Or. Or..

    Atomic: I haven’t seen prose that bloated and purple since Freshman Comp, tenth grade. C’mon, admit. We were all there once. It’s okay. Really.

  138. Bladefist says:

    @AtomicPlayboy: Dang it. It was 2v2 for a while there.

    Michael/Trai, If there is another medium for us to debate this, I would love to. I think we have officially hi-jacked these comments, and should continue elsewhere. I think thats why myself, and perhaps atomic sometimes ‘give up’ on the argument, because it’s not really appropriate to write a book here in these comments. If you know of a place – let me know.

  139. wallapuctus says:

    Outlaw P2P. Haha that’ll happen.

  140. @Bladefist: I usually figure anything goes after 24 hours or 100 comments, whichever comes first.

  141. SinisterMatt says:

    Just as a clarification, if you want to contact someone in Congress (besides the negotiators), you’re going to want to contact one or both of your Senators. The Senate is the body that is constitutionally mandated to ratify all treaties that the U.S. is party to, unless this is not a treaty, but it appears to be.

    Cheers!!