This post is based on my ACTA YouTube video, posted November 04, 2009
In the fall of 2009, some information on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA, leaked out to the internet. Eventually, the entire document was leaked, but this post isn’t so much about the content of the leak; this post addresses my reaction to the very purpose and existence of the treaty itself, and my anger over the secrecy and deception that was so common during it’s creation. But, when this was originally posted, all I had was the information in that first leaked document.
And to summarize things: it’s bad.
The recent Canadian copyright consultations had the public speak out, and express their opinions on copyright law, and from the responses I came across, the public was strongly opposed to strengthening these laws. People even expressed a strong desire to loosen up these laws, abolish crown copyright, limit penalties, and expand fair dealing laws, (or, “fair use”, for those more familiar with the American terminology.) Their were calls for clear exemptions for education, research, parody, and format shifting. These things should be legal. Follow this link if you would like to see a list of the consultation results as of September 2009.
The people have spoken, and they don’t want stronger copyright in Canada. With the current political climate in Canada, the minority Conservative government’s hands are tied, (update: Bill C-32 suggests that I was wrong about this, even as a minority government, they are trying to pass laws the majority do not want.)
Then these sneaky little things called “International Trade Agreements” that come along and bypass the democratic process of my country. They can be used to push laws onto people who have recently made it very clear that they do not want these laws.
These companies have failed to adapt to a changing market place. Rather than having their business adapt to meet the desires of their customers, they are having the laws changed to enforce their business models on to their customers.
To the corporations who are stuck in the 20th century way of doing things, and to the politicians who are too damn old and out of touch to understand the direction that technology, and more importantly, the direction that society is moving, I want to explain how things work these days, and have a message for you:
Over those who