IT IS NOT CLEAR how accurate it is yet but someone has posted a copy of what appears to be the crucial enforcement section of the secret copyright treaty that the publishing cartels want the world to accept.
It reads like the real thing and if it is, then it is the first time it has been available to the great unwashed.
As you would expect from a treaty dictated by the entertainment industries, it forces technology companies to take responsibility for copyright infringement whenever they are told about it.
So in other words, if Microsoft knows its software is used by most of the world's so-called 'pirates' it can be held accountable for the crime of selling them software. Xerox can also be sued if students use its hardware to photocopy textbooks.
Trademark infringement will also be covered under the treaty. Since what constitutes a legitimate use of a trademark is often only decided in the courts after years of arguing this will mean technology providers will have to take down content and worry later.
So if Intel gets the notion in its head to sue people for the use of the letter 'I' again, it will be easier for it just to threaten lawsuits against ISPs and get the businesses shut down without needing to go to court.
Also if you take a photograph and stick it on your website you might want to be careful which shop signs are in the background.
It will also be illegal under the treaty to break any digital restrictions management (DRM) that a content provider places on its products. This has been around for years but it has not stopped anyone.
There is also the 'three-strikes' requirement that anyone suspected of copyright infringement be disconnected from the Internet by their ISP, along with their families and anyone else who shares their connection.
According to citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net. the draft would constitute caving in to the entertainment corporations' demands and profoundly alter the structure of the Internet.
"This document shows that ACTA would impose regulations tailored by US entertainment industries to the Internet," said Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson of La Quadrature du Net.
"The civil and criminal sanctions could completely change the balance struck by current European law on Internet operators. European negotiators must oppose this circumvention of democratic processes aiming at putting [the] Internet under total surveillance by private actors."
So rather than come up with any interesting way of dealing with copyright infringement, the world's governments are simply bowing to the content industries' demands, so that the laws that have not worked so far are simply going to be made more draconian and spread across the entire globe. µ
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