Secret Treaties and the Supercession of Domestic Law

The platform of the US Pirate Party is becoming more attractive almost by the day. The Electronic Frontier Foundation reports that leaks of the multi-lateral Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement have surfaced ahead of the next round of negotiations on the proposal. At EFF, Gwen Hinze writes:
The leaks confirm everything that we feared about the secret ACTA negotiations. The Internet provisions have nothing to do with addressing counterfeit products, but are all about imposing a set of copyright industry demands on the global Internet, including obligations on ISPs to adopt Three Strikes Internet disconnection policies, and a global expansion of DMCA-style TPM laws.
At PC World, Paul Miller reports:
ISPs around the world may be forced to snoop on their subscribers and cut them off if they are found to have shared copyright-protected music on the Internet, under an international agreement being promoted by the U.S.
Never heard of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement? I was only vaguely aware of it myself. Much of it has literally been kept secret for reasons of "national security," though its passage would affect virtually everyone with internet access. Kathy Gill writes at The Moderate Voice:
Back in March, Declan McCullagh reported that the Obama Administration cloaked its draft section of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) under “national security” wrappers — for the general public. At the same time, the document had supposedly already made the rounds of “corporate lobbyists in Europe, Japan, and the U.S.”
At Boing Boing, Cory Doctorow sums up a few of the agreement's provisions:
ISPs have to proactively police copyright on user-contributed material . . . ISPs have to cut off the Internet access of accused copyright infringers or face liability . . . the whole world must adopt US-style "notice-and-takedown" rules that require ISPs to remove any material that is accused -- again, without evidence or trial -- of infringing copyright . . . Mandatory prohibitions on breaking DRM, even if doing so for a lawful purpose.
Effectively, this would be the equivalent of holding Blackberry and telecommunications corporations responsible for the criminal conspiracies of politicians and lobbyists coordinated by phone, email and instant message. Unlike the Unites States government under the leadership of the Democratic and Republican Parties, the US Pirate Party stands for the freedom of information, communication and speech. On their platform we find calls for:
• the abolition of the DMCA and related subsequent provisions within copyright law;
• the rejection of the notion of online piracy;
• the right to a free press;
• the reform of copyright;
• the right to a transparent government;
• the right to privacy;
• the abolition of digital rights management (DRM).

1 comment:

Paul Kroenke said...

Fantastic pickup here. My brother follows Cory religiously and shared that post at Boing-Boing yesterday. This thing is infuriating!