“Value your freedom or you will lose it, teaches history. “Don’t bother us with politics,” respond those who don’t want to learn.”
One small step at the time, our Freedom appears to be taken away. This time your attention is required due to the introduction of a roadmap leading to contamination of patent systems (i.e. inheritance of the pressing issues at the USPTO [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9], including BM and software patents).
TEC is a funny process. The EU Commission basically bows unilaterally in to aggressive US demands in order to demonstrate its ability to act without getting anything substantial in return from the Americans. The agenda is largely set by the TABD, i.e. large industry stakeholders based in the US. At the press conference Verheugen admitted the lack of competence. Apparently Council members were not fully made aware of the deliberations. Also the consumer group token formally attached to the TEC process, the TACD, were Nelly Kroes open standardsnot in possession of the road map document. Its counter part TABD, the transatlantic business dialogue, comprising mostly American multinationals and no SMEs, seems to define the agenda for the transatlantic trade talks and openly tells so.
If such ‘harmonisation’ is imminent (Charlie McCreevy being one of its motors [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]), then it’s worth comparing it to and thus learning from the dreaded expansion of DMCA law — Hollywood’s fantasy and a big peril to Free software. Canada may be under DMCA siege at the moment (Microsoft plays an active role) and Israel gets pressured too.
Israel wants the US government to know that it won’t implement laws banning the circumvention of DRM and it won’t rewrite its ISP safe harbor rules; furthermore, neither of these issues should have any effect on trade relations between the two countries.
Canadian law professor Michael Geist wishes that his own government would respond this forcefully to the Special 301 process.
There are some more troublesome developments in Europe at the moment. We’ll get to them in a moment. █