Christian Engström, Pirat

16 april 2010

Release of ACTA text is good, but many battles remain

Filed under: ACTA,English,informationspolitik — Christian Engström @ 12:21

Press release from the ACTA negotiations in New Zealand

The ACTA negotiatiors, who have just concluded their meeting in New Zealand, have issued a press release where they say that they will make the consolidated text coming out of the discussions available on Wednesday 21 April.

This is a step in the right direction, and should be welcomed. It shows that the negotiators have at least taken note of some parts of the resolution that the European Parliament adopted in March.

But many battles still remain. Once we have access to the text, we can start discussing the content in earnest.

And on the content of the ACTA agreement, we have no reason to think that it will be anything near acceptable.

For example, it is obvious from the press release that the negotiators still think that they will be able to get away with things by wording them cleverly.

The second to last paragraph in the press release reads:

While the participants recognise the importance of responding effectively to the challenge of Internet piracy, they confirmed that no participant is proposing to require governments to mandate a ‘graduated response’ or ‘three strikes’ approach to copyright infringement on the Internet.

To an untrained ear, this might sound very good indeed, and might lead someone to believe that they are no longer considering a ”three strikes” approach in ACTA.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

While it may be true that they will not be introducing ”three strikes” by requiring governments to mandate it, nobody really thought that they would do it in such an obvious way.

They way they are planning to introduce it is by saying that the ”safe harbour” protection from secondary liability for internet service providers will be dependent on the ISPs introducing ”appropriate measures” in their terms of service.

In other words: an ISP is free to do as he wants, but if he does not have ”three strikes” (or something similar) in the contracts, the ISP will risk facing unlimited damages if any of his clients does anything illegal.

So even if it is technically true that the government does not mandate it, the net effect will be the same. Three strikes will have been introduced in practice, because no ISP can run his business without introducing a three stikes clause in his terms of service.

So, to summarize, it is a good thing if they indeed do make public the current text on Wednesday. But we are still a very long way away from opening any champagne bottles to celebrate victory on ACTA.


Previous articles on ACTA

Andra som skriver om ACTA: Hax, ACTA-bloggen, Karl Sigfrid, SvD, DN,

Andra bloggar om: , , ,

15 kommentarer

  1. Ingen ISP kan sköta sina (its) affärer, heter det nog. Engelskan är så petnoga med genus nuförtiden.

    Kommentar av Johan Tjäder — 16 april 2010 @ 12:31

  2. I hope they are not stupid enough to try to circumvent this overwhelming majority in the EU-parliament with ”clever” wording.

    The commission is no democratic institution to begin with, but they could at least make an effort.

    Kommentar av Johan Tjäder — 16 april 2010 @ 12:38

  3. Christian, is it possible to put questions back to the ACTA ”negotiator” group?

    It would we worthwhile asking why they are specifically stating the absence of ”graduated response” or ”three strikes”.

    If the answer is that they state this because such implementations are in their opinion bad by definition, then they would be held accountable if they try to bring in through the back door.

    If the answer is that they state this because it is a much debated issue, then they have acknowledged the issue and they would be held accountable if they, despite this statement, bring this in through clever wording.

    Kommentar av Jakob Hussfelt — 16 april 2010 @ 12:49

  4. @Jakob Hussfelt:

    Excellent proposal!

    My humble guess is that it will not be possible to put such questions back to the ”group” per se. However, it should at least be possible to put these question to the negotiators on a national level. This is a bigger task but would foster a more persistent pressure on the issue. It has anyhow to be guarded afterwards.

    Kommentar av Hans J — 16 april 2010 @ 13:23

  5. They say something like: ”Be calm; we’re not going to make disappear your body”.
    Ok, thanks, I’m quieter now…

    Do they really know about cryptography? Do they really want to work so much just to make people encrypt their p2p? Or is it just a mask?

    Kommentar av Doraemon- — 16 april 2010 @ 13:50

  6. […] Se även Michael Geist , Christian Engström […]

    Pingback av ACTA-bloggen » Blog Archive » ACTA-avtalet blir offentligt! — 16 april 2010 @ 16:00

  7. EU-Commissioner De Gucht in FAZ:

    ”Das Parlament wird über den Fortgang der Verhandlungen informiert und kann dann am Ende ”ja” oder ”nein” sagen, mehr nicht. Das ist bei internationalen Verhandlungen in allen Staaten so.”

    ”Parliament is informed about the progress of negotiation and may say yes or no in the end, nothing more. That is common practice for all internation negotiation in all states”.

    Where is our democracy in this? I mean, regardless what they do. The Commission is no government, no one ever elected them, and rejection is really a rare option for parliament. The whole process is broken and compromised, Parliament powers get circumvented.

    Kommentar av Andy — 16 april 2010 @ 17:02

  8. In my opinion, this is nothing more than an ass covering exercise.
    This sudden decision to go public is just so they can say ”But it was open” when people start pointing out that laws are not dictated in secret and then forced down the throat of the people in a Democracy.
    Nothing more than some whitewashing near the end of the whole process, mark my words, public input will be entirely ignored.

    Kommentar av Jay — 16 april 2010 @ 21:17

  9. […] verkar det ju gå i rätt riktning, men Christian Engström är försiktig med att ropa hej innan vi kommit över ån. Det tänker jag också […]

    Pingback av Ett år efter domen | Sanningen som jag ser den — 17 april 2010 @ 21:00

  10. Läser texten nu. Det här ser inte bra ut.

    Kommentar av Rick — 21 april 2010 @ 11:53

  11. No, this certainly doesn’t look good.

    The devil is in the details. Correct me if I’m wrong, but given the area this covers, isn’t this like going from saying something like ”The store owner is responsible for not selling tobacco and alcohol to a minor” to saying ”The store owner is responsible for minors not consuming tobacco or alcohol sold in his store”?

    That’s an expansion which could be used as a legal bat to implement just about anything, including regarding linking to copyrighted material through n degrees of separation.

    Kommentar av Scary Devil Monastery — 21 april 2010 @ 14:00

  12. […] Ring Boman och Johan Linander som alla varit mycket engagerade i frågan liksom Hax, Falkvinge, Christian Engström och från PP. Kommentar från MP finns även på […]

    Pingback av ACTA – nu offentligt! | Oscar Fredriksson (C) — 21 april 2010 @ 14:19

  13. […] Release of ACTA text is good, but many battles remain In other words: an ISP is free to do as he wants, but if he does not have ”three strikes” (or something similar) in the contracts, the ISP will risk facing unlimited damages if any of his clients does anything illegal. […]

    Pingback av Links 18/4/2010: Questions About MySQL Under Oracle | Techrights — 22 april 2010 @ 22:26

  14. […] Engström, a Pirate Party MEP from Sweden, calls the release of the ACTA text “a step in the right direction, and should be welcomed… But many battles still remain. […]

    Pingback av ACTA arrives (still bad, but a tiny bit better) : Porn Newz - Adult Industry News, Events & Articles — 26 april 2010 @ 18:21

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