ACTA Attack

ACTA

ACTA is perhaps one of the most sinister developments in the history of the Internet, and beyond, not only because of the Draconian legislations it proposes, but also because of the manner in which they were proposed.

You see ACTA has never been democratically scrutinised or debated. It was created and negotiated entirely in secret by private corporations, not transparently by democratically elected representatives, and then ratified without any democratic mandate (by "executive order"). Indeed, the US government actually went so far as to describe these boiler-room "negotiations" as "a matter of national security".

"A matter of national security"?


Seriously?

Since when are petty civil legislation issues like copyrights "a matter of national security"? Since when should fundamental changes to the democratic process and criminal legislation be "negotiated" in dark basements by private corporations, then the details protected as "a matter of national security"?

It's incredible, but true. It's also profoundly disturbing.

Regardless of whatever else might be wrong with ACTA, when private corporations start making criminal laws (in secret, no less), clearly we have a serious problem. It's textbook fascism.

Unambiguously on the Side of Good

A withering comment in the Grauniad recently gave me pause for thought:
For reasons that are not all bad, we have turned 1939-45 into a kind of creation myth, the noble story of modern Britain's birth. We vote for Churchill as our Greatest Briton and revere the Queen in part because she is a direct link to that chapter in our history, the moment when we were unambiguously on the side of good.

That, of course, is a key difference between us and our fellow Europeans, for whom that period is anything but simple or unambiguous.

How Timbaland Got Away With "Copyright Theft"

Read this background summary of the Timbaland plagiarism controversy.

Basically, Mosley got off on a technicality.

Kernel Records Oy v Timothy Mosley Appellate Brief

AJE does not qualify as a United States work under § 101(1)(B) because at the time of first publication in 2002, Australia's term of copyright protection (the life of the author plus 50 years) was not the same or longer than the term of protection provided in the United States (the life of the author plus 70 years).