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Germany Delays ACTA Signature, Wants More Discussion

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  • Very reasonable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by i kan reed (749298) on Friday February 10, 2012 @02:34PM (#38997475) Homepage Journal

    I never grasped how copyright changes could be considered legally urgent. This doesn't mean the treaty will be blocked(it won't be), but at least Germany is taking their time.

    • Re:Very reasonable (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mseeger (40923) on Friday February 10, 2012 @02:49PM (#38997655)

      Don't put your hopes to high. They are just waiting till the public's attention is elsewhere, e.g. occupied by a soccer cup.

      • Re:Very reasonable (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MightyMartian (840721) on Friday February 10, 2012 @02:51PM (#38997669) Journal

        Pretty much. Further meetings just means "How can we sneak this past the public."

        • Re:Very reasonable (Score:5, Insightful)

          by rtfa-troll (1340807) on Friday February 10, 2012 @03:22PM (#38998003)
          And if you identify everyone who attends these meetings and concentrate on getting rid of them you will have struck a very big blow for clearing up politics generally. There are very few issues which as clearly come out as big corporation vs. people. Even better is that in this case it isn't because there are no big corporations on our side, just because they are new corporations which haven't yet worked out how to do corruption (that's why Microsoft is on the other side). This is a really really worthwhile cause and making a list of everyone who ever collaborated with the RIAA, MPAA and big media over this and following up on it to the end could set back the corporate control of government by decades.
          • by msobkow (48369)

            Microsoft is on "their" side because Microsoft has long had an official stance against software piracy, not because they're somehow being suckered into it by the *AA.

            Much as I hate the *AA, Microsoft is in this one for their OWN benefit, not someone else's.

            • You aren't getting this entirely. Have a look at GoDaddy; they have a long involvement in DNS, which is one of the areas where corruption and politics meets technology. They aren't particularly big and powerful, but they knew enough to find out about the legislation and to know who to talk to to get their own name in there early. They were explicitly listed by name in the legislation so that only they could benefit from exclusions.

              The list of people who support ACTA is invitation only. From their ow

        • Re:Very reasonable (Score:5, Interesting)

          by geogob (569250) on Friday February 10, 2012 @03:51PM (#38998353)

          Don't expect the public attention to drop so soon in Germany. People there are very careful about protection of private data and information. They have a somewhat bad historical background about state lurking into private lives and filtering/accumulating information... and they are not about to forget it. Anything that goes into that direction gets strong opposition - and the stage generally weights in favor of the private life protection.

          Now, in Germany, is happening exactly what the copyright lobby feared : people are looking into it. They is a reason why they tried to push it under the table and they failed. Now there is a good chance ACTA never goes through in Germany. And if it doesn't pass in Germany, it loses a lot of interest within the EU.

          • Re:Very reasonable (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 10, 2012 @05:52PM (#39000131)

            ACTA is treated as a "mixed treaty" in the EU, which means that according to the rules of procedure it has to be ratified by the European parliament _and_ all of the national parliaments in order to be valid anywhere. If it doesn't pass in Germany (or some other member state) it doesn't pass anywhere in the EU. At all.

      • Re:Very reasonable (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 10, 2012 @03:05PM (#38997841)

        Not so sceptical please.

        Your democratic checks and balances might be absolutely fucked beyond all hope, to the extent that you live under a corporatocracy, but that isn't the case here.
        Besides, the element of surprise is gone. All further attempts are going to be highly scrutinised, and there are countries that will never sign.

        • Re:Very reasonable (Score:5, Informative)

          by Joce640k (829181) on Friday February 10, 2012 @03:51PM (#38998363) Homepage

          The European Parliament (at the top of the food chain) is already deeply suspicious of what the Commision is doing with ACTA and asked them to clean their act up in March of last year.

          Some quotes from the report [europa.eu]:

          2. Expresses its concern over the lack of a transparent process in the conduct of the ACTA negotiations, a state of affairs at odds with the letter and spirit of the TFEU; is deeply concerned that no legal base was established before the start of the ACTA negotiations and that parliamentary approval for the negotiating mandate was not sought;

          3. Calls on the Commission and the Council to grant public and parliamentary access to ACTA negotiation texts and summaries, in accordance with the Treaty and with Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of 30 May 2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents;

          4. Calls on the Commission and the Council to engage proactively with ACTA negotiation partners to rule out any further negotiations which are confidential as a matter of course and to inform Parliament fully and in a timely manner about its initiatives in this regard; expects the Commission to make proposals prior to the next negotiation round in New Zealand in April 2010, to demand that the issue of transparency is put on the agenda of that meeting and to refer the outcome of the negotiation round to Parliament immediately following its conclusion;

          5. Stresses that, unless Parliament is immediately and fully informed at all stages of the negotiations, it reserves its right to take suitable action, including bringing a case before the Court of Justice in order to safeguard its prerogatives;

          6. Deplores the calculated choice of the parties not to negotiate through well-established international bodies, such as WIPO and WTO, which have established frameworks for public information and consultation;

          7. Calls on the Commission to conduct an impact assessment of the implementation of ACTA with regard to fundamental rights and data protection, ongoing EU efforts to harmonise IPR enforcement measures, and e-commerce, prior to any EU agreement on a consolidated ACTA treaty text, and to consult with Parliament in a timely manner about the results of the assessment;

          I'm pretty sure the Commission hasn't done any of that, so if the Parliament gets involved again it's doomed. Hopefully this weekend's protests will help get that done.

      • by nzac (1822298)

        Don't put your hopes to high. They are just waiting till the public's attention is elsewhere, e.g. occupied by a soccer cup.

        Your open pessimism helps to make it acceptable for politicians to do this.

        • by mseeger (40923)

          Your open pessimism helps to make it acceptable for politicians to do this.

          I am afraid, they would do the same, should they catch me jubilating ;-).

          • by slyrat (1143997)

            I am afraid, they would do the same, should they catch me jubilating ;-).

            Gah, the comma splicing. Be more careful when you use those pointy things!

            • by mseeger (40923)

              My comma density is right for the German i grew up with. This means it is too high when i get in contact with the English language. Locations of my commas are pretty erratic even in my native tongue ;-).

          • by nzac (1822298)

            I am afraid, they would do the same, should they catch me jubilating ;-).

            Yes but you are implying that you will accept the legislation as the way politics are.
            You are saying that even though you don't like it if they do pass it you will do nothing meaningful about it. Knowing that (some) people have stated they will not protest against the legislation gives politicians more confidence to pass the bill.

            • by mseeger (40923)

              No, my original sentence just intended to say: If we don't replace the current crop of politicians, they will pass ACTA sooner or later. We got a stay for ACTA and not a "nay" ;-).

      • Re:Very reasonable (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Kjella (173770) on Friday February 10, 2012 @03:26PM (#38998039) Homepage

        It may be a long time until the attention is elsewhere. Right now the German Pirate Party is the one with most popular support, far more than in Sweden. They scored a huge number of seats in Berlin and if it was national election today [wahlrecht.de] they would get anywhere from 4-8% of the votes, there's a 5% threshold but they'd pas it today. Unfortunately it's not election for another year and a half but a long drawn out fight over ACTA is just the thing they need...

      • Re:Very reasonable (Score:5, Informative)

        by Asic Eng (193332) on Friday February 10, 2012 @03:42PM (#38998237)
        If you are in Germany, don't forget to join the demonstrations [stoppacta-protest.info] tomorrow.
      • by digitig (1056110)
        Perhaps they feel it needs to be made stricter...
    • by dkleinsc (563838) on Friday February 10, 2012 @02:58PM (#38997751) Homepage

      If they don't act quickly, it's conceivable that Steamboat Willie might be legally distributed to people within the United States. The horror!

    • by Zoxed (676559)

      The "C" in ACTA is for "Counterfeiting". If new laws can help reduce the inflow of conterfeit, and often substandard, say car brake parts, or medicines, arriving in Europe then I am for it.
      On the other hand if other, more contraversial, measures are piggybacked in on it then that is a different matter.

  • USA (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 10, 2012 @02:36PM (#38997505)

    So with the USA's propensity to blackmail other countries into passing legislation they want, what are they going to do when an entire continent rejects this treaty?

    • Re:USA (Score:5, Funny)

      by lennier1 (264730) on Friday February 10, 2012 @02:38PM (#38997531)

      I heard they have some oil in the North Sea ... ;)

      • I heard they have some oil in the North Sea ... ;)

        Not to mention that France and Britain are confirmed to have weapons of mass destruction... :P

        • by Issarlk (1429361)
          Sadly they really have them and so the US would never attack. See: North Korea.
          • by Anonymous Coward

            Sadly they really have them and so the US would never attack. See: North Korea.

            Sadly is not the adjective I would use.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Think vectors NOT scalars. With the power to stand up to American imperialism, the land of the free will be China this century.

      It's a really cool place to live, and nothing I do in my day-to-day life is going to get me into legal trouble. I define this as freedom.

      • Re:China (Score:4, Insightful)

        by willodotcom (608854) on Friday February 10, 2012 @03:19PM (#38997967)

        It's a really cool place to live, and nothing I do in my day-to-day life is going to get me into legal trouble. I define this as freedom.

        I prefer this definition by John Dalberg-Acton: "The most certain test by which we judge whether a country is really free is the amount of security enjoyed by minorities."

      • You're an ignorant selfish asshole to suggest China is a land of freedom. Just because you happen to be OK making 10 times the average salary there and bribing policemen easily doesn't mean it's the land of freedom.
        It's one of the most repressive government on earth, it's in the top 10 of the most corrupt countries, and it is not far from the worst in terms of personnal freedom, tolerance and racism. And the freedom of speech is so great too...
        You can get 20 years in jail for 10g of pot in China. So eit
      • by MrL0G1C (867445)
        Wow, what drugs are you taking, they must be good.
    • by msobkow (48369)

      Continent? So far it's looking like the entire WORLD.

      Even the Canadian Senate is still discussing whether to approve the clauses that violate our 40 year + precedent cases, and with any luck, those odious clauses will be struck or the entire batch of legislation rejected.

      The US was very quick to brag about how everyone was "signing on." But now that it's up to the countries involved, those nations are realizing that appeasing the US means pissing off their OWN people and losing the next election.

      Fo

  • Delaying (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ThatsNotPudding (1045640) on Friday February 10, 2012 @02:47PM (#38997627)
    Meaning either they're too busy counting how many pitchforks and torches are headed their way..

    or...

    they are merely waiting for the mafiaa to sweeten their payoffs.

    I am not aware of any country involved in the inital back-room negotiations that has announced their unequivocal refusal to sign ACTA, full stop.
    • Meaning either they're too busy counting how many pitchforks and torches are headed their way.. or... they are merely waiting for the mafiaa to sweeten their payoffs.

      I see that not only is the US exporting bad copyright policy, we're exporting cynicism as well.

  • OK, so... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jamstar7 (694492) on Friday February 10, 2012 @02:54PM (#38997701)
    They talk about this 'treaty' for months behind closed doors, cross all the i's, dot all the t's, get ready to roll it out, pick up on the groundswell protest against it, and NOW they say they need more discussion on it? Talk about spindoctoring at its finest...
  • That confirms (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jcreus (2547928)
    Germany as one of the most sensible states in the world.
    • by Grishnakh (216268)

      Except that Poland beat them to the punch. The timing makes it look like a "me too!" response.

      • Re:That confirms (Score:4, Informative)

        by jcreus (2547928) on Friday February 10, 2012 @03:29PM (#38998081)
        Poland is definitely another great country. It once blocked software patents in Europe; now ACTA... Great!
      • by Asic Eng (193332)
        It's more of a "oops people seem to care about that and the Pirate Party got 8,6% in Berlin" response.
      • Slight clarification: Poland already signed the treaty. What normally happens after that is the treaty gets sent to the parliament for ratification - but the government is now trying to back away from it. So it probably won't get ratified, but it's still possible.

        Germany, on the other hand, didn't sign the treaty in the first place. It's a subtle difference, but it means that Poland is a little further on the road to ACTA than Germany.

  • by MoldySpore (1280634) on Friday February 10, 2012 @03:33PM (#38998123)
    I know I shouldn't be surprised, but it really makes me sick how quickly and easily ACTA was pushed and accepted in other countries. MAFIAA must have a silver tongue, equally as silver as the object they use to fuck over everyone else.
  • by Aggrajag (716041) on Friday February 10, 2012 @03:40PM (#38998203)
    EU countries should follow Finland's example and sign every treaty without any delay. Public discussion about government's decisions is done afterwards.
  • by Hognoxious (631665) on Friday February 10, 2012 @04:11PM (#38998621) Homepage Journal

    Germany has joined Latvia, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia

    This has happened before, and it didn't turn out well.

  • German country-wide protests are tomorrow. They are backing up too soon!

  • by Pecisk (688001)

    Again have to repeat this - Estonia haven't even signed yet, and they are quite serious have good discussion about ACTA.

    I know it's boring to mention countries where government actually work for people, but come on :)

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