EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

04.22.10

ACTA Versus Software Freedom

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Intellectual Monopoly, Patents at 10:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Forged lion

Summary: Opinions on the emergence of the ACTA text and what it means to Free software, as well as other aspects of decreasingly-free life

YESTERDAY we wrote about the ACTA [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14] only as a reminder that it affects patent policy all around the world [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] in one fell swoop.

The Against Monopoly author compares the ACTA to the DMCA, which now pales in comparison.

ACTA is also similar to another arcane law, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which, under the guise of protecting “property rights,” snuck in provisions that criminalize even the mere possession of technology that can be used to circumvent digital protection systems (see, e.g., my post TI Uses Copyright Law to Attack TI Calculator Enthusiasts). Likewise, under the guise or protecting property rights in inventions and artistic works (patent and copyright), it “seeks to provide legal authority for the surveillance of Internet file transfers and searches of personal property”. As one group notes, “ACTA goes way, way beyond the TRIPS (the copyright/patent/trademark stuff in the World Trade Organization agreement), creating an entirely new realm of liability for people who provide services on the net”. More invasion of personal liberty and property rights in the name of false, artificial property rights.

Our reader Ziomatrix said that the ACTA is “a flood of intellectual property law and DRM forced down as many throats as possible” and Hugo from the FSFE explained the threats to Free Software as follows:

Second, ACTA is not a trade agreement. Whatever the EU negotiators claim, the fact is that ACTA goes beyond current legislations and aims at creating internationally harmonized legislations on how “intellectual property rights” should be enforced. This is one of the reason why ACTA is creating its own body (the Committee) with its own executives (the Secretariat), independently from the World Trade Organization within which international trade agreements should be negotiated, and independently from World Intellectual Property Organization within which international treaties dealing with copyright, trademark and patents are usually negotiated (and open to NGOs like FSFE). The threat to Free Software is that there is absolutely no safeguards as to how the principles of freedom and sharing software would be kept intact.

Glyn Moody has tried hard to find some positives:

This is certainly a victory for transparency, if only a partial one. It’s a victory because it would never have happened had not countless organisations and individuals protested loudly and repeatedly against this travesty of democracy whereby we would be presented with a fait accompli once the trade agreement had been signed. It’s a victory because certain of the worst clauses, present in the leaked version of a couple of months ago [.pdf], seem to have disappeared according to a thorough analysis on Ars Technica.

Simon Phipps from the OSI wrote: “They couldn’t keep it secret any longer because too many people – including those inside the process – thought it was a disgrace. I wonder if they had to surrender any principles to the US in order to gain that unanimous agreement? We’ll know on Wednesday, after which the “you’re wrong and I’ll not tell you why” defence for ACTA’s apologists is also off the table.”

The ACTA is very relevant to Free software and to more aspects of life. It is by all means a suppressor of freedom and it gets rammed though under the disguise of “fighting fake medicine” (which has nothing to do with multimedia and digital copyright that it’s being lumped together with).

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

A Single Comment

  1. uberVU - social comments said,

    April 27, 2010 at 12:32 am

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Identica by schestowitz: Opinions on the emergence of the #ACTA text and what it means to #Freesoftware http://ur1.ca/wgxf

What Else is New


  1. Links 24/4/2014: OpenPower Foundation, Core Infrastructure Initiative

    Links for the day



  2. Microsoft's and Bill Gates' Biggest Patent Troll (Intellectual Ventures) Suffers Setback and Nokia is Dead While Patents Scattered to Microsoft Patent Proxies

    Microsoft's patent collectors (trolls) are to have a feast with Nokia patents while Intellectual Ventures, Microsoft's largest patent proxy, continues to attack companies including Motorola



  3. Patent Racketeering Continues With Nadella: Motorola the Latest to Join the FUD Campaign

    Nadella continues Ballmer's campaign of intimidation and alienation, showing that nothing has changed at Microsoft, not even the FUD



  4. Links 23/4/2014: GNOME Maps Application, LG in Headlines

    Links for the day



  5. Links 22/4/2014: More GNU/Linux Gains, Syria Updates

    Links for the day



  6. Links 21/4/2014: New Games for GNU/Linux, Some NatSec Politics

    Links for the day



  7. Site Focus for The Remainder of the Year

    What we plan for the rest of 2014 and why



  8. Links 20/4/2014: EFF FOSS, Easter Drone Strikes, Copyright Industry Fear of Google

    Links for the day



  9. Links 19/4/2014: Slow Easter News Day

    Links for the day



  10. Links 18/4/2014: New KDE, Kubuntu, and More

    Links for the day



  11. Some Perspective on Heartbleed®

    Our views on the whole Heartbleed® bonanza, which seems like partly a PR stunt (for multiple stakeholders)



  12. Microsoft is Leaving Windows -- Including Vista 8.1 -- Vulnerable to Non-Government Crackers, Not Only to NSA

    Microsoft makes it ever more evident that securing users of Windows is not at all a priority, and perhaps not even a desire



  13. Links 17/4/2014: Android RDP, New Ubuntu, RHEL 7 Milestone

    Links for the day



  14. Racing to 1984: Mass Surveillance, Cracking, 'Targeted' Assassinations, and Illegal Torture

    Links for the day



  15. More Microsoft Subsidies to Patent Troll Intellectual Ventures

    Microsoft hands money to Bill Gates' close friend who is the world's largest patent troll



  16. Aiding Microsoft Under the Disguise of 'Pro-FOSS'

    Not everything which is FOSS necessary becomes, by virtue of existence, a positive contribution, as we are constantly reminded by projects that help proprietary software and/or restrictions get a strong grip on FOSS



  17. Links 16/4/2014: Red Hat PR, Ubuntu LTS Imminent

    Links for the day



  18. Links 15/4/2014: Lots of PCLinuxOS Releases, Ukraine Updates

    Links for the day



  19. Apple and Microsoft Actively Lobbying Against Patent Reform in the US

    Apple and Microsoft are reportedly intervening/interfering with US law in order to ensure that the law is Free/libre software-hostile



  20. Lawsuit by Microsoft Shareholder Targets Fine for Crimes Rather Than the Crimes Themselves

    A new lawsuit by a Microsoft shareholder shows everything that's wrong with today's model of accountability, where those who are responsible for crimes are accused of not avoiding fines rather than committing the crimes



  21. Public Institutions Must Dump PRISM-Associated Software

    Another reminder that taxpayers-subsidised services should refuse, as a matter of principle, to pay anything for -- let alone deploy -- proprietary software with back doors



  22. GNU/Linux News: The Opportunities Amid XP EOL

    Links for the day



  23. Microsoft Gets Its Money's Worth From Xamarin: PlayStation 4 Now Polluted by Microsoft

    The Trojan horse of Microsoft, Xamarin, is pushing .NET into Microsoft's console competitor



  24. After Brendan Eich Comes Chris Beard

    Having removed Brendan Eich using bullying and blackmail tactics, his foes inside Mozilla achieved too little as we have yet another man (coming from inside Mozilla) acting as CEO



  25. Healthcare News: Free Software in Health, Humanitarian Causes

    Links for the day



  26. Links 14/4/2014: MakuluLinux, Many Games, More Privacy News and Pulitzer Prize for NSA Revelations

    Links for the day



  27. TechBytes Episode 87: Catching up With Surveillance (NSA, GCHQ et al.)

    The first audio episode in a very long time covers some of the latest happenings when it comes to privacy and, contrariwise, mass surveillance



  28. Server News: KVM, ElasticHosts, Other GNU/Linux Items, and Open Network Linux

    Links for the day



  29. Hardware News: Freedom, Modding, Hackability on the Rise

    Links for the day



  30. Distributions News: GNU/Linux Distros

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts