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The Netherlands Rejects ACTA, and Does One Better 112

Posted by timothy
from the don't-hold-your-breath-for-the-us-congress-to-join dept.
New submitter Peetke writes "The Dutch House of Representatives unanimously accepted a motion to urge the Cabinet to reject ACTA [Dutch original] (if they ever get the change to do so; it may already end in the European Parliament). Additionally, an even stronger motion was accepted to reject any future treaty that may harm a free and open Internet. This is a good day for the Internet."
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The Netherlands Rejects ACTA, and Does One Better

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  • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @11:18AM (#40143743)

    I hate to be a cynic, but I have a funny feeling that the EU (or some treaty agreement or trade deal) will just force you to implement it later. And the government will cave, of course, with politicians giving the excuse "Well, it was out of our hands." The RIAA/MPAA and their ilk are quite relentless. If you defeat them in one piece of legislation, they just quietly sneak the same provisions into some new law, treaty, or requirement. Eventually they find a way to get either de jure or de facto enforcement one way or another, usually the with public completely unaware of what's even happening until it's too late. And if your country supports extradition to the U.S., they don't even need your law--they can just use U.S. law.

    Do you think the U.S. public would have ever approved of the DMCA if they had actually known about it--if it hadn't been quietly slipped in as part of a treaty [wikipedia.org] that was negotiated behind closed doors, that no one outside of Washington even knew about until it was signed? Sleazing around behind the curtains is what these guys do best.

    • by Pieroxy (222434)

      Regardless, if we had movements like this in all EU member countries it could make a difference. But no... They'll take their free vacation courtesy of the RIAA and they'll screw you with the same smile.

    • by jakimfett (2629943) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @11:26AM (#40143867) Homepage Journal
      But hey, if they'll just get you eventually, why fight it at all?

      I figure...fight it today, fight it tomorrow, and hope that someone will fight it when I'm gone.

      That being said, I'm not going to stop my work on a self repairing mesh darknet. Fight now, plan for contingencies in the future.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @11:34AM (#40143999)

        That being said, I'm not going to stop my work on a self repairing mesh darknet. Fight now, plan for contingencies in the future.

        You, sir, are a hero.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jakimfett (2629943)

          You, sir, are a hero.

          Nah, I'm no hero, I just dislike the thought of the internet being restricted. Because as soon as they can restrict it, they will use restriction as a way of enforcing things.
          "Oh, you don't agree with [insert elected leader's name]'s policies? Well, say goodbye to your internet access..."

          Plus, it may not even work. (it does use a Raspberry Pi [raspberrypi.org] as the processing unit though, so chances of success are higher than they might have been.)

          • If you publish and make your work freely available, it may help others build a working system even if you fail or find you don't need it.

            • ...publish and make your work freely available...

              My philosopy with pretty much everything. Don't worry, as soon as I have a working prototype, I plan on telling everyone.

              (Incidentally, I have a tech blog [codemonkeyreport.com] and a twitter account [twitter.com], both of which contain my sporadic ramblings about random bits of tech, and will be where anything I discover/create will be announced. Don't hold your breath though, I have a life outside of technology...)

      • That being said, I'm not going to stop my work on a self repairing mesh darknet.

        Care to drop any links? I'm interested in this as well.

        • Well, most of the info is contained in a bunch of chat conversations with some of my security minded friends. When you posted this, I didn't really have anything put together, so I threw a bunch of my thoughts onto a page and grabbed a likely looking URL [darkpi.com].

          Please pardon my lack of solid material, hopefully I put up enough to give you a jumping off point.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      That's impossible, considering the second law** that also has been passed saying similar laws will not be ratified either. The EU itself cannot sign treaties without their member states ratifying the treaty in their individual parliaments. The only possible problems are EU legislation that is independently introduced (ie. not based on treaties external to the EU), the same but with national legislation (see e.g. the UK and France) and finally on the longer term it could be that the European Parliament is gi

    • by Elldallan (901501) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @11:58AM (#40144409)
      As long as ACTA(or any furture replacements) require changing the treaties establishing the European Union(which the current implementation would almost certainly require) every single Member State must ratify it for it to be recognized and thus any single parliament or public vote can strike it down.

      Another thing is that valid decisions at EU level does not automatically translate into law in the Member States, they just require the Member States to enact laws in accordance with that decision(for example the Data Retention Directive), failure to do will result in fines but on the other hand if a major national Parliament is clear that it is completely unwilling to enact such a law the Commission/European Parliament is much less likely to enshrine such decisions.
    • This is a first world country we're talking about here, with a way lower level of corruption, and people who care a lot more about this sort of stuff. Generally, these sort of changes from on day to the next don't happen, there's a way greater level of stability.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Here in the Netherlands Internet has become a primary good (A good that is required to be living in the Netherlands). Maybe this is not encoded yet officially in law; but the government requires its citizens to file their taxes through the Internet.

      If you would be cut off the internet by a law like ACTA you would have a good case of not having to pay income tax anymore since you would not be able to file them. *This would only work for people who are self employed, since people who work for a boss already p

      • by cboslin (1532787)

        Here in the Netherlands Internet has become a primary good (A good that is required to be living in the Netherlands). Maybe this is not encoded yet officially in law; but the government requires its citizens to file their taxes through the Internet.

        If you would be cut off the internet by a law like ACTA you would have a good case of not having to pay income tax anymore since you would not be able to file them. *This would only work for people who are self employed, since people who work for a boss already pay all their income taxes.

        In case you are wondering; it is not possible to use a paper form to fill in your income taxes anymore.

        I love it, "cut off the internet by a law like ACTA you would have a good case of not having to pay income tax anymore", not that I believe it would work in practice.

        You have one thing very, very right, Internet should be a right, based on birth, for every citizen. Today its the only way to stay informed. As too many other media channels are payed, extremely well, to lie to people...and do it regularly.

        • There are so many excellent examples where the news media has tried and failed to suppress news,
        • ~
    • The RIAA/MPAA and their ilk are quite relentless

      The opponents of freedom and democracy usually are. I don't think it's that they're "relentless," I think it's more that we're comparatively lazy in defending our rights.

      "Censorship on the internet again?! MAN! I just e-mailed my senator about SOPA a month ago!"

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I hate to be a cynic, but I have a funny feeling that the EU (or some treaty agreement or trade deal) will just force you to implement it later.

      I think it's pretty clear that this whole-hearted rejection of ACTA was because Dutch citizens told their government to stuff the treaty (and similar legislation) back where it came from. So long as there is a political will from the population, no foreign law will be "forced" upon them, and there appears to be a strong political will, there. I'm guessing that the Dutch would be willing to go without the *AA's commercial products, before accepting their terms.

    • We are winning (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bzipitidoo (647217) <bzipitidoo@yahoo.com> on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @01:35PM (#40145947) Journal

      They won't get us tomorrow. Time is on our side. Nature is on our side. They've been fighting losing battles against technology since the 19th century. They fought against the player piano, AM radio, and cassette tapes and the VCR. They lost. They'd like to kill the public library and the used bookstore, but they aren't strong enough to pull that off. That they "sleaze around behind the curtains" is a sign of how truly weak they and their positions are.

      We shouldn't take this lying down of course. No laws can stop this digital revolution, but they can do a lot of collateral damage. Shooting down ACTA unanimously is exactly what needs to happen. They and others who'd like to pull similar stunts must be made to understand that we will not submit to such extreme control, and we aren't fooled by language designed to make it sound like a noble attempt at protecting property rights or children. Unworkable and unenforceable plans meant to attain impossible goals is a terrible reason to turn entire nations into police states constantly snooping on all private communication in order to detect copyright infringement, and worse, stopping and forbidding private communication as punishment for mere unproven allegations. I'd like to see things go further, and have these cartels sued for racketeering and corruption for even trying this ACTA nonsense and all the other things they've done. They should stand trial for DVD region encoding, for instance. For DMCA, ACTA and 3 strikes laws, they should face charges for attempting to suppress free speech, and something similar to interfering with the delivery of mail, as well as the racketeering charges.

      Big Media doesn't show proper respect for the people. They and their lawyers also ought to face barratry or SLAPP charges for suing, well, everyone. Hit them hard with fines, and jail time. When they fear to lobby for such extreme measures, fear it so much that they won't dare try it, then we'll have made good progress. Ultimately, freedom to communicate should be as firmly enshrined in law as freedom of speech and religion. The whole point of the US Postal Service being under direct government control was to head off the possibility of commercial interests being in a position to abuse the need to communicate for rent seeking and monopoly schemes. No greedy, control freak cartel leaders should have any reason whatsoever to hope they can dictate what, how, and whether we shall communicate.

    • by bazorg (911295)

      This kind of threat does deserve permanent vigilance, probably even a permanent lobby to counter the media influence in governments. Just the other day Slashdot had an article on this subject: http://internetdefenseleague.org/ [internetde...league.org]

      simply put, people need to get organised to defend their interests.

  • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @11:29AM (#40143921)

    Why doesn't our president let the Senate vote on ACTA? He's holding the people hostage to a treaty that he signed, and is enforcing upon us, but has never been ratified.

    As for the EU: I agree with the other poster they'll just pass ACTA later as some other form (probably through the unelected politburo or apparatchiks). Look how the EU overruled the French Assembly's banning of GM foods within its juris diction..... the 25 nations are not even states anymore. They are EU provinces. They have less power than a US state. Sad, sad times for our European cousins.

    • by buchner.johannes (1139593) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @12:18PM (#40144693) Homepage Journal

      As for the EU: I agree with the other poster they'll just pass ACTA later as some other form (probably through the unelected politburo or apparatchiks).

      What a bunch of bullshit. If the Netherlands put criteria into their constitutions that prohibit ACTA-like legislations, it will be impossible to introduce it, unless you have a large majority to retract the amendment to the constitution. http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-13886440 [bbc.com]

      Look how the EU overruled the French Assembly's banning of GM foods within its juris diction.

      That's not what happened. France asked the EU to also apply their ban EU-wide, which was declined, as most other states allow it and there is no evidence was provided that that particular food being harmful. GM is prohibited or restricted in plenty of European countries. In fact, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulation_of_the_release_of_genetic_modified_organisms#Europe [wikipedia.org] starts with "The European Union (EU) has possibly the most stringent GMO regulations in the world.", a thorn in the eyes of the US.
      If there had been evidence of harm, it would have stood a chance of being prohibited EU-wide.

      The EU countries agreed that ACTA was a good idea, now they (or some) realise it isn't, so they have to find a way to retract from their agreement. But if you come together, agree and shake hands, and later change your mind, you better have a process to re-negotiate.

      That is true on the one side inside the EU, but also if the EU now finds that they want to decline ACTA, they have to retract their signature they gave to the other countries in the world (again, process needed).

      EU countries are doing better than those countries around the world that agreed to ACTA, as they managed to get a discussion going and get momentum of their citizens. It very much looks like ACTA is going to be declined, because our politicians (state and EU level) see and react to what the citizens want.

      The 25 nations are not even states anymore. They are EU provinces. They have less power than a US state. Sad, sad times for our European cousins.

      Do US states have their own army? Do they have diplomatic relations with foreign countries? Do they sign trade agreements with foreign countries? What happens if one US state doesn't implement or follow the legislation given by the federation?

      US states are more like the counties in Germany than countries. EU legislation (actually directives) rarely does more than summarize common laws between countries, and then it is voted for by those countries, not some foreign entity.

      • by tnk1 (899206)

        Actually, US States do have their own army. The National Guard units, when not Federalized, are under the direct command of the state Governor, who can call them out on his own authority for various tasks. I grant you, this does not mean they get to run their own foreign policy, but they are the same units that go to Iraq and Afghanistan, so they are definitely real soldiers. They even get tanks and F-22s.

        Of course, I don't agree with the idea that EU countries are states. That's silly. However, they c

        • by cboslin (1532787)

          Actually, US States do have their own army. The National Guard units, when not Federalized, are under the direct command of the state Governor, who can call them out on his own authority for various tasks. I grant you, this does not mean they get to run their own foreign policy, but they are the same units that go to Iraq and Afghanistan, so they are definitely real soldiers. They even get tanks and F-22s.

          Of course, I don't agree with the idea that EU countries are states. That's silly. However, they could end up that way pretty easily, given enough time.

          Very well said. The Governor of each state in the USA could use PUBLIC LAW 105 85, bio warfare or population reduction funded by the Dept of Defense [dod.gov] to stop chemtrailing, GMOs and more today. The Gulf States could go after the oil companies as well. No need to pass a law, just start knocking them down, if you want to warn them first, fine but make it clear that no further violation of the state's airspace by unsanctioned and non-air-controlled flyovers will be allowed, should said plane, unmarked aircraft

      • by cpu6502 (1960974)

        So France is allowed to ban GM foods?
        Last I heard they are not.
        And yes U.S. states have armies (militias), diplomatic relations with foreign countries (or nearby states), as well as trade agreements. And they've even nullified U.S. law.

        The most famous example was the U.S. Fugitive Slave Act when northern states refused to return escaped slaves, thus giving Harriet Tubman and others sanctuary. But there have been more-recent examples like legalization of medical marijuana in direct defiance of U.S. Prohibi

      • by rve (4436)

        What a bunch of bullshit. If the Netherlands put criteria into their constitutions that prohibit ACTA-like legislations, it will be impossible to introduce it, unless you have a large majority to retract the amendment to the constitution.

        The Netherlands, like many oldish countries, does not have a constitution the way Americans understand it. There is a document they call 'constitution', which is difficult to change, but it is merely a long legalese document outlining government institutions and such - not a founding principle of the legal system. Once a law has been passed and ratified, its constitutionality can no longer be challenged. In other words, ordinary laws are more important than this document that they call a constitution.

        No mat

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          (I studied Politics in The Hague, and did pass the Constitutional Law exam)

          The Dutch Constitution (Grondwet) is without doubt a constitution that Americans would recognize. In fact, whereas the US constitution Article One does define institutions, Article One of the Dutch Constitution states unambiguously that all citizens shall be treated equally before the law (which is the 14th Amendment to the US constitution).

          Furthermore, the Dutch constitution has special political protection: It can only be changed b

          • by cboslin (1532787)

            I understand why this was rated informative, thank you for posting. I do not understand how it became a negative however....perhaps because you posted as AC. This post is obviously under-rated.

    • by sjames (1099)

      Legally, it should have no effect at all unless and until it is approved in the senate.

    • by polar red (215081)

      Sad, sad times for our European cousins.

      since 1945 no war has been waged in western and northern Europe. That's 67 years and counting. That's a record for the last 1000 years, I call that a +bold +fontsize+20 WIN /fontsize /bold

      • by cpu6502 (1960974)

        Mainly because of the Cold War between the U.S, and U.S.S.R. They forced the peace upon Europe. Let's see how long it last under the European Union's Lisbon Treaty (constitution). We've got only 6 years so far.

        Now that Greek and Italian newspapers are drawing German Chancellor in Nazi uniform, with fascist parties gaining seats in the Greek government, war may not be far off. (Or the dissolution of the EU.) BTW I think the peace of the 1800s was longer..... almost a century.

    • Are we sure that the senate would reject ACTA? What are the chances that senators and big media spam the message "Well, this is important for american jobs, AND we've already signed it anyway, so we have no choice." They've gotten bigger lies past us.
      • by cboslin (1532787)

        Are we sure that the senate would reject ACTA?

        No, my guess is they would try to sign it. If enough resistance, they would shelve it for later....like they have done with other laws, Like REALID and NAFTA.

  • Envy (Score:4, Informative)

    by bhagwad (1426855) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @11:29AM (#40143929) Homepage
    I writhe with jealousy at the enlightened governments in the EU. Compare that to our clueless Indian government that wants to control the Internet despite not knowing how, and you can sympathize with me.
    • by Jedi Alec (258881)

      I'd hardly call this enlightenment. We got a very strong nationalist vibe going on at the moment and after the recent premature fall of the government the US cock has temporarily been removed to free the mouth for pleasing the voters instead.

      We'll come up with a good excuse of our own to control the Internets soon enough though, freedom is scary.

  • by noh8rz3 (2593935) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @11:29AM (#40143931)
    ftfs:

    if they ever get the change to do so

    I hope that the dutch parliament can find the change to pass this resolution! It sounds like the parliament is coin-operated. Have they looked between the couch cushions?

    • by datajack (17285)

      I think that the 'if they get a chance' condition was actually implying that ACTA may not get passed by the EU at all, therefore the Dutch won't get a chance to block something that isn't happening.

      • by noh8rz3 (2593935)
        dude, i was just riffing on a typo. the intended meaning, which you repeat, is clear.
        • by datajack (17285)

          Gah! I didn't even notice the typo.

          I think I'll take this as my cue to leave the keyboard as I clearly need more tea.

  • by Tanuki64 (989726) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @11:29AM (#40143933)

    ...to support the USA in their fight against weapons of mass destructions in the Netherlands.

    • by azalin (67640) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @11:44AM (#40144151)
      You should have picked the UK, because Germany didn't believe that WMD crap the last time and has Pirate Party members sitting in state parliaments. The Germans get along quite well with the dutch as long as no football is involved.
      • by tunapez (1161697)

        Germany didn't believe that WMD crap the last time

        Apparently they didn't get the memo from Rummy, he had the receipts and the profit sharing to prove it. Not saying the attack on a sovereign nation would have been justified, just saying just because we say we didn't find them, doesn't mean they weren't there(or that we really didn't find them).

        • by Aighearach (97333)

          The receipts from the 80s that Rummy had are the ones we got after the first war... when those weapons were being destroyed! The receipts are for what they admitted to and we knew about the last time. And if not destroyed they would have already degraded, as they have a short shelf life.

      • by steelfood (895457)

        Don't forget the Polish. They'll help find those WMDs too.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @11:30AM (#40143949)

    Send in Don Quixote!
    Only he can challenge their army of windmills.

    (hey, if nothing else, "Don Quixote vs. the Dutch" is a better plot than most of what the MPAA has been making in the last 30 years)

  • by HangingChad (677530) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @11:32AM (#40143973) Homepage

    I've invested a lot in the Netherlands over the years; those investments have paid off really well. So did money I put into Canadian stock fund.

    Funny how those darn socialist countries continue kicking the crap out the USA, where we're always number one in our own minds.

  • by TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @11:35AM (#40144009)

    ...if you are Dutch.

    • by kamukwam (652361) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @11:43AM (#40144131) Journal

      ...if you are Dutch.

      ... if you live in the Netherlands.

    • by Asic Eng (193332)

      No, every country voting against this makes it easier to have public discussions about this topic in other countries. If they'd all operate in lockstep, if they'd all implement 3-strike laws and other nonsense, then it would appear normal to the population. The Netherlands are not the first country to reject ACTA, but they help all of us by doing so. Good for them and good for us. As far as internet freedom goes, we are all in this together.

      Every country promoting that freedom helps internet users in othe

    • by Dan541 (1032000)

      Isn't this the same country that banned a political party from speaking about censorship?

  • by gstoddart (321705) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @11:45AM (#40144167) Homepage

    Well, this will mean the Americans will put the Netherlands on the "Priority Watch List".

    Which is fine, since it's mostly a government talking piece put together by industry lobbying groups.

    According to Michael Geist [michaelgeist.ca], we ignore it too because it's drivel:

    In regard to the watch list, Canada does not recognize the 301 watch list process. It basically lacks reliable and objective analysis. It's driven entirely by U.S. industry. We have repeatedly raised this issue of the lack of objective analysis in the 301 watch list process with our U.S. counterparts.

    Me, I think it's time more countries stood up and said they don't want to be controlled by the US content industry and lobby groups.

    Saying you don't want to risk a free and open internet is a good thing. Saying you're not willing to be bound by what American corporations want (which is the whole purpose of this stupid Name and Shame watch list) is also a good thing.

    This whole stupid treaty is hypocrisy -- censorship is bad, unless you're doing it because we said so, mostly to protect corporate profits.

  • Did the press release contain hard-coded Dutch subtitles?

  • The media industry is apparently suffering massive losses from piracy, yet somehow still has the funds to prop up new artists while simultaneously wielding a large enough financial hammer to influence world politics...what exactly is wrong with this picture?

    • by tnk1 (899206)

      You missed the part where their budget for hookers and blow has been decreased. Now they can't just dump piles of cocaine on endtables for guests to snort, they have to ration it out in smaller soup bowls.

  • Don't forget, IPRED [laquadrature.net] is already in force, so the announced revision [europa.eu] is not a 'new law' nor a 'treaty'.

Let's organize this thing and take all the fun out of it.

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