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Prof. Kuhlen zur aktuellen Urheberrechtsdebatte provoziert vom Kopf-gehört-Mir Theater. Das Fazit gleich zu Anfang:

Interessen der UrheberInnen an ihrem geistiges Eigentum werden in den Vordergrund gespielt, um nicht zuletzt gegen diejenigen Kampagnen zu führen, die dagegen aufbegehren, dass der Umgang mit Kunst, Bildung und Wissenschaft, Wissenschaft, insgesamt mit Kultur, in erster Linie  unter kommerziellen Gesichtspunkten gesehen wird.

Die Frage der Vergütung von Kulturschaffenden bleibt ganz ausgeklammert. Das ist verständlich, denn für Wissenschaftler im Staatssold ist in der Tat das Urheberrecht eine Chimäre. Was ist aber mit denjenigen, die von ihrer Kunst nicht leben können? Eine Problematik, die seit dem 19. Jahrhundert noch nicht gelöst ist. Neu ist die mediale Bedingtheit von Rechten in der Diskussion:

Aber muss das alles mit dem „Kampfwort“ „geistiges Eigentum“ begründet werden? Geht es nicht einfach um Rechte, die nicht quasi naturrechtlich wie „geistiges Eigentum“ reklamiert werden können, sondern nicht zuletzt unter veränderten …Rahmenbedingungen (wie jetzt durch das Internet) immer wieder neu verhandelt und dann in positive Gesetz gegossen werden müssen?

Da frage ich doch gleich weiter: Wie soll man anders diskutieren, damit es sinnvoll geschehen kann? Ich habe das mal so verdeutlicht. dass man in einer bipolaren Sicht zwischen “Stärkung” und “Schwächung” einem Rennwagen einen hochgezüchteten Motor mit mehr Pferdestärken einbauen würde und gleichzeitig die Bremse ausbauen (weil es ja nur schneller gehen soll). An vereinfachenden Starrsinn zerbricht letzten Endes jede Regulierungsaufgabe. Auch der Mittelweg ist nicht immer der richtige, einen See können wir links oder rechts umfahren, der Kompromiss lässt uns im Wasser landen.

Die derzeitige Diskussion führt nicht zu vernünftiger Balance. Wie wäre es mal mit Vernunft zur Weiterentwicklung des Urheberrechts?

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“Kunst hat Recht” (nicht: Kunst hart Rechts) ist eine österreichische Kampagne um Künstlern mehr öffentliches Gehör in der Urheberrechtsdebatte zu verschaffen. Mit von der Partei ist auch die von mir sehr geschätzte Mercedes Echerer. Eine Recherche von Machl hat nun ergeben, dass die Positionen der Kampagne aus einem IFPI-Papier von 2010 plagiiert sind.

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Jeder hat eine Meinung zum Urheberrecht, auch die Verwerter, die sich nun massiv zu Wort melden und die Kostenloskultur anprangern. Folie der Debatte auf allen Seiten ist das ACTA-Abkommen, das von den schlecht recherchierten Fernsehberichten als Urheberrechtsabkommen dargestellt wurde. Sicher, auch das unsägliche Anonymous-Video hatte daran seinen Anteil.

Die Debatte hat aber nichts mit dem ACTA-Abkommen zu tun. Die Annahme aller Beobachter aus der Ferne ist, dass die Rechteverwerter und Lobbyisten der Content-Industrie hinter der Initiative der Handelsadministrationen stehen. Diese Annahme ist tendenziell unrichtig, oder – vorsichtiger formuliert – wenig fundiert.

Lassen wir dennoch eine Debatte zum Urheberrecht zu. Stefan Niggemeier macht es sich zu einfach, wenn er sie verwirft:

Verhoevens Text beginnt so:

…Das Netz ist wie ein Supermarkt. Hier entdeckt der Kunde ebenfalls tolle Musik und lädt sie herunter. Und auch er hat etwas vergessen. Er hat nicht bezahlt — doch niemand hält ihn auf.

Die Möglichkeit, dass der Kunde die tolle Musik im Netz entdeckt, heruntergeladen und bezahlt hat — sie kommt nicht vor.

Es ist eine schlechte Ausrede, die wir oft hören, dass es keine legalen Dienste zum Musikkauf im Netz gäbe. Das stimmt nämlich nicht. Richtig mag sein, dass die existierenden Dienste sich nicht auf die Nutzergewohnheiten einstellen. Ferner muss eine Polemik auch nicht den Fall des authorisierten Musikkaufs berücksichtigen, denn darum geht es Terhoeven ja nicht. Stefan Niggemeier lässt hier etwas flapsig eine Doppeldeutigkeit stehen. Denn wir wissen alle, dass der Musikkauf oft “nicht vorkommt” und die Rechteinhaber leer ausgehen.

Sprechen wir über Urheberrecht, Vergütung für Künstler, Nutzerfreundlichkeit, zeitgemäße Lizenzierung, nachhaltige Finanzierung von Kulturschaffenden, deren Werke online getauscht werden, Urheberrecht im digitalen Zeitalter, veränderte Gewohnheiten. Gerne auch moralisierend und polemisch.

Aber nehmen wir ACTA da heraus. ACTA ist ein gefährliches internationales Abkommen. Keiner von denen, die sich nah am Prozess gegen das Abkommen positioniert haben, zielt auf eine Schwächung der Rechtsinhaber. Das ist eine Projektion. Die angesprochenen Szenarien IPod-Durchsuchung an den Grenzen und 3-strike Rule werden keine Anwendung auf EU-Ebene finden. Grund für die teils überzogenen Befürchtungen gegen die 3-strikes Regel liegt auf einer ganz anderen Ebene, nämlich dass Dritte, die ISPs, zur Kommunikationsüberwachung verpflichtet werden. Eine solche Überwachung von Telekommunikation ist – vorbehaltlich einer gesetzlichen Grundlage – sogar strafbar in Deutschland.

Wenn wir neues EU-Recht zur Rechtsdurchsetzung haben wollen, dann ist der Weg dazu eine Richtline, nicht ein Vertrag mit Drittstaaten. Nehmen wir die Strafrechtssanktionen als Beispiel. Hier fehlt eine Richtlinie. Die Mitgliedstaaten haben eine EU Harmonisierung bislang blockiert, das Europäische Parlament hatte dazu eine positivere Haltung, die Kommission schließlich ihren Vorschlag zurückgezogen. Es gibt aber eine Rechtsgrundlage dafür in den EU-Verträgen mit gewissen vertraglichen Schranken.

Das Wundersame an ACTA ist, dass es Strafrechtssanktionen enthält, obwohl es die (noch) nicht auf EU Ebene gibt. Die EU-Kommission hatte keine Kompetenz zur Verhandlung von Strafrecht, weil es nicht Teil des “Acquis Communautaire” sind. Diese Bestimmungen wurden “von der Ratspräsidentschaft” für die Mitgliedstaaten verhandelt. Wie sich zeigen liess, nahm die EU-Kommission mit eigenen Vorschlägen dennoch Teil. Das EU-Parlament hatte nichts zu sagen. ACTA hebelt hier also die Rechte des Europäischen Parlamentes aus, beschränkt seine Prärogative. Man schaue sich einfach mal an, was die Vorschläge des Parlamentes waren, und vergleiche das mit ACTA. Die europavertragliche Beauftragung der Ratspräsidentschaft zur Verhandlung ist reichlich obskur. Leider haben die Abgeordenten des Europäischen Parlamentes sich immer wieder nur an die Kommission statt an den Rat gewandt mit Fragen dazu, und die Kommission hat Nebelkerzen geworfen. Überhaupt hat die Ratspräsidentschaft nichts erklärt zu den strafrechtlichen Sachverhalten, für die sie sich verantwortlich zeigte.

Die Grundlage für die Verhandlungen der Kommission, ihr Verhandlungsmandat, ist bis heute vertraulich. Für Abgeordnete und Öffentlichkeit lässt sich nicht nachvollziehen, ob der ausgehandelte ACTA-Text überhaupt damit konform geht. Was man erhalten kann ist Einblick in das Explanatory Memorandum, die Erwägungsgründe. Die hören sich nach einem ganz anderen Verhandlungsauftrag an.

etc.

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Remember the Cliff Richard directive proposal for a copyright extention of sound recordings also known as 2008/0157(COD)? The extention was fiercely debated in the European Parliament and by consumer groups. Our MEPs adopted a plenary report and then… Then our EU-Council with all the member states at the table went into wait-and-see mode. They noticed that the Commission proposition was quite a bit over the top. Meanwhile we have a new parliament, the Lisbon Treaty regime, a new Council. Now it’s back on the agenda, just before the children born when the Commission started to draft its proposal enter school, rumours say Hungary suddenly changed its mind in the Council, we learn from an alarmist Boingboing call to action, that we, the people are asked by science fiction writer Cory Doctorow to

1. Phone our MEP

2. MEP does for us ???

3. Win!

What can be done by your MEP?

In some member states it is common that pending laws get scrapped after the an electoral vote of new representatives, not so in the EU. Engström, an MEP from Sweden (who was elected as a challenger of the current copyright rules) is going to invoke Rule 59 of the European Parliament to get a “renewed referral”, so Parliament can again have its say on the proposal. From a power balance perspective it is a smart thing to do for the European Parliament, because it gains them more weight in the process and does not prejudice a decision.

40 supporting MEPs across the aisle are required to request a Rule 59 plenary motion.

Request for
RENEWED REFERRAL
to Parliament

pursuant to Rule 59 of the Rules of Procedure

of the proposal for a EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND COUNCIL DIRECTIVE amending Directive 2006/116/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the term of protection of copyright and related rights (COM(2008)0464 – C6-0281/2008 – 2008/0157(COD)).

MEPs are well advised to support the motion. Some arguments

  • The “renewed referral” motion would make Cliff Richard, Mick Jagger visit the European Parliament (=you) once again.
  • Citizens from your electorate believe they still like their music and their visit to the Europarl will excite them about the spirit of European integration and ultimately…
  • your support contributes to the completion of the single market and to reaping the full benefit of the Lisbon strategy objectives.

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The July versions of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement draft included political corruption measures in Article 3.3. to promote adhesion of prospecting nations to the agreement. The latest version of the draft Article 3.3 looks different:

ARTICLE 3.3: TRANSPARENCY/PUBLICATION OF ENFORCEMENT PROCEDURES AND PRACTICES
For the purposes of promoting transparency in the administration of its intellectual property rights enforcement system, each Party shall take appropriate measures, pursuant to its domestic laws and policies, to publish or make available to the public information on:
(a) procedures available regarding the enforcement of intellectual property rights including competent authorities for enforcement of intellectual property rights and contact points for assistance;
(b) relevant laws, regulations, final judicial decisions and administrative rulings of general application pertaining to enforcement of intellectual property rights; and
(c) efforts to ensure effective enforcement and protection system of intellectual property rights.

ARTICLE 4.3 is the new Article 3.3

At first sight the provisions seem gone in the 25 Aug draft. But now consider Article 4.3 where we find the political corruption measures in their diplomatic beauty:

ARTICLE 4.3: CAPACITY BUILDING AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE
1. Each Party shall endeavor to provide on request and on mutually agreed terms and conditions, assistance in capacity building and technical assistance in improving enforcement of intellectual property rights for Parties to this Agreement and, where appropriate, for prospective Parties to this Agreement. Such capacity building and technical assistance may cover such areas as:

(a) enhancement of public awareness on intellectual property rights;
(b) development and implementation of national legislation related to enforcement of intellectual property rights;
(c) training of officials on enforcement of intellectual property rights; and
(d) coordinated operations conducted at the regional and multilateral levels.

2. For the purposes of paragraph 1, each Party shall endeavor to work closely with other Parties and, where appropriate, countries or separate customs territories not a Party to this Agreement.
3. Each Party may undertake the activities described in this Article in conjunction with relevant private sector or international organizations. Each Party shall strive to avoid unnecessary duplication of the activities described in this Article with respect to other international efforts

Article 4.3 a) apparently overlaps with 3.4, which demonstrates us the remaining immaturity of the 25 August draft: In Article 3.4 we find provisions for moderate participation in public opinion building, of course a deviation from the principle of normative individualism:

ARTICLE 3.4: PUBLIC AWARENESS
Each Party shall, as appropriate, promote the adoption of measures to enhance public awareness of the importance of respecting intellectual property rights and the detrimental effects of intellectual property rights infringement.

Political Corruption decoded

In a public discourse it is common that angry crowds describe their governments as corrupt, swear on their government policies. That is not what I am talking about here. That would be emotional ranting but not actual political corruption. The case here is different, and  it is a clear case. The language was largely borrowed from the so-called development agenda process at WIPO.

Article 4.3 is a blueprint for political corruption.

  • ‘Technical assistance’ for ‘development and implementation of national legislation related to enforcement of intellectual property rights’ is a diplomatic cover-up term for imposition of laws.
  • ‘Capacity building’ means bribes and
  • enhancement of public awareness on intellectual property rights’ undue interference in the inner affairs of other states by means of propaganda.

Political corruption is subject to international and regional regulations which mostly stem from the United Nations Charter Article 2 fundamental principle, political independence of a state. The Council of Europe Criminal Law Convention on Corruption Article 6 mandates contracting states to establish political corruption as a criminal offence under domestic law when involving any person who is a member of any public assembly exercising legislative or administrative powers in any other State. Precisely, when committed intentionally:

the promising, offering or giving by any person, directly or indirectly, of any undue advantage to any of its public officials, for himself or herself or for anyone else, for him or her to act or refrain from acting in the exercise of his or her functions.

and

the request or receipt by any of its public officials, directly or indirectly, of any undue advantage, for himself or herself or for anyone else, or the acceptance of an offer or a promise of such an advantage, to act or refrain from acting in the exercise of his or her functions.

Exactly that is what “technical assistance” and “capacity building” is about. These legal principles against corruption make sense. It is not upon us to participate in “development and implementation” of national laws by non-domestic legislatures or interfere otherwise in the inner affairs and political deliberations of those nations. I would like to see that fundamental principle preserved.

Commissioner de Gucht raises “public awareness”

Commissioner Karel de Gucht who bears the political responsibility for the ACTA process on behalf of the European Commission currently makes headlines in European mainstream news media with his antisemite remarks. It is likely that his current scandal would overshadow the ACTA deliberations in the European Parliament.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010 Final draft agenda 39k
09:00 – 11:50 Debates
Conclusions of the special ECOFIN Council meeting of 7 September
Protection of animals used for scientific purposes
Elisabeth Jeggle A7-0230/2010
Ongoing negotiations on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)

I sincerely hope de Guchts media scandal won’t distract from the need to pay close attention to the radical and revolutionary policy proposals of the ACTA process driven against the ordinary democratic process in the participating nations. Contrary to popular opinion “ISP liability” is just one small item on the maximalist negotiations table.

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Mayday! (doom mongering)

It is may. Mayday for democracy and internet freedoms. I just stumbled upon a weird document. I have no idea where the released document originates from, if its an authentic governmental negotiations document release, no reason to dispute that, have a look, simply outrageous. According to the URI it was put online only this month by Techrights.  Recently I often mentioned the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), a plurilateral IPR agreement negotiated by some industrialized nations.  The ACTA drafts are a harmless Nagasaki-style menace compared to the H-Bomb-style proposal, a EU-India ipr agreement draft document. Appears to be part of a “dooms day machina” for democracy.

EU-India and the ACTA wolf

To me the document lets you view an evil wolf behind the ACTA, less window dressing, less constraints, focus on substantive law, not just on enforcement, what EU trade administration really had in mind before ACTA was publicly exposed. ACTA is dramatized by NGOs into an attack on the internet. Others criticise a lack of transparency. ACTA deserves better public scrutiny. It is not at all an internet agreement, it affects e.g. access to pharmaceuticals for developing nations.  With so much public awareness cast on ACTA an institutional aspect is hardly understood: The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)  is parallelized by bilateral trade talks with so called “problem countries”, among them India with its strong generic pharma industries, but also Korea and others. The bilateral agreements are negotiated by virtually the same few persons responsible for ACTA. EU-India is bilateral, two negotiating parties: EU (trade department) and India (trade department). It is far easier to negotiate bilateral agreements than plurilateral agreements, and certain dangers stem from that.

Backroom deals for billions of people

For European citizens the domestic effects of a “bilateral agreement” are exactly the same as of a plurilateral or multilateral one.[*]. Trade negotiators negotiate, legislators are asked to rubber stamp [+]. Provided the measures don’t get rubberstamped via ACTA (because parliament spotted it) administration can try again with bilaterals as EU-Korea, EU-India, EU-China, EU-Switzerland, EU-Bahamas, EU-Fiji, EU-Tschingbimbistan. While ACTA receives a lot of attention now (“light” which puts an end to the vampires, as J. Zimmermann of Quadrature coined their advocacy method), EU-India does not attract much debate and attention. An agreement which affects the legislative environment for billions of people, with no turning back.

With teeth

For EU anti-internet backdoor laws you don’t need ACTA, EU-India is sufficient to get criminal sanctions (Art 34), ISP liability (Art 35) and border measures (Art. 36), DRM protection and lots more. Of course all this is not in the existing EU legislation (“acquis”) . As an oddity the Techright document also refers to the idiosyncratic EU database copyright, an EU legislative failure as the Commission admitted in its policy review. The proposal exports these rights to India, too.

When Parliament insisted on internet freedoms for ACTA and rejected the three strikes proposals, the Commission pretended no one’s ever proposed that, the Commission publicly attacked those who mislead made the representatives aware of it. What we find in the EU-India document is an impression of ACTA as it was meant to be.

No one depends on ACTA

When the interested public and Parliament fails to spot undesirable measures in ACTA (cast light on it) we’ll get it anyway, sneaked through a bilateral route, because Commission trade specialists want it so. Domestic effects of institutional activism and forum shopping. The process demonstrates us how trade policy severely undermines parliamentarian democracy when trade administration steps into merely regulatory matters, legislation not trade. I hate to admit that but maybe the globalisation critics were right with their fierce criticism of the EU- “Global Europe” strategy spirit.

More EU-India

As I wrote above, I cannot confirm if the document was authentic but I found some background documents:

“On 28th June 2007, the EU and India began negotiations on a broad-based bilateral trade and investment agreement in Brussels, Belgium.”

  • Commissioner De Gucht speech 4 Jan 2010: “We must complement the multilateral system by strengthening key bilateral and regional relationships. This is because bilateral agreements can go further and faster in promoting openness and integration, by tackling issues which are not ready for multilateral discussion and by preparing the ground for the next round of multilateral negotiations. Many key issues, including investment, public procurement, competition, intellectual property, …, can be addressed in such agreements. This would mean concluding Free Trade Agreements or similar types of agreements with amongst others India, ASEAN countries, Ukraine, Canada, Euromed, but also Mercosur.”
  • Commissioner De Gucht about the agreement, Indian television, mentions the need to address “non-trade issues”. In his mind the term comprises issues like “Climate Chance” and “Human Rights” [x] but IPR aspects in the TechRights document are also not trade-related but legislative.
  • Aid agencies on EU-India: Aids, not internet, EU-India may hinder access to essential medicines: “In recent years, India has become “the pharmacy of the developing world”. Ninety-two percent of people living with HIV on treatment in low- and middle-income countries currently use generic antiretrovirals (ART), mostly manufactured in India.”

[+] Commissioner De Gucht in Frankfurter Allgemeine stresses that Parliament’s role is just approval and assumes institutional legitimacy for the Commission like in a nation state: “In einer Demokratie muss das Parlament bei der Handelspolitik mitreden. Auf der anderen Seite muss klar sein, dass nicht das Parlament die Verhandlungen mit unseren Handelspartnern führt, sondern die Kommission. 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.”

[x] A classic Red Herring power technique, in order to avoid procedural criticism, that a trade process relates to non-trade issues, they shift the debate to other non-trade policy issues which are expected to be backed by potential opponents of the agreement.

[*] Bilaterals are a dangerous “policy laundry” road for our nascent EU parliamentarian democracy.

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The European Council seeks a backroom deal with the European Parliament on the controversial copyright extension plans. A meeting is scheduled at the April 29.

Attachés will examine the possibility of a first reading agreement with the European Parliament on the Term Directive (8898/09). The meeting will take place in Presidency Room No 1, floor 50. N.B. Participation is limited to Attachés only

The short phrase “Term Directive (8898/09)” stands for the very controversial

Term of protection of copyright and related rights (amending Directive 2006/116/EC) (Directive) 2008/0157 COD 24/07/2008, 12217/08 COM(2008) 464.

Of course no one ever used the phrase “term directive” before. In the European Parliament:

Parl. Ctee: JURI – LEHNE, Klaus-Heiner
Rapp.: Brian CROWLEY (UEN-IE)

A document adopted in Parliament one year ago and then put to coma was registered at the Council under the document number 8898/09. For more obfuscation the document is available only in French from the Council register:

Proposition de directive du Parlement européen et du Conseil modifiant la directive 2006/116/CE du Parlement européen et du Conseil relative à la durée de protection du droit d’auteur et de certains droits voisins – Résultats de la première lecture du Parlement européen (Strasbourg, du 21 au 24 avril 2009) PDF 30-04-2009

Why the clandestine approach on the Council side? Why don’t they reference the correct dossier name and procedure? I assume you may find the answer in the delicate substance of the proposal. I remember I met an economist in Parliament who tried to get the results of his research to the attention of MEPs, and basically saw the dossier as a great scam.

The dossier became widely known informally as the “Cliff Richard pension fund” because it was promoted by aging UK rock musicians, a kind of special gift to the music industry by the outgoing Commissioner. I haven’t monitored the dossier any further. In any case, outrageous policy making.

Here the OEIL file on COD/2008/0157, Prelex interinstitutional overview,

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The ACTA stakeholder meeting last week revealed that ACTA is going nowhere. The best indication for that was the lack of interest expressed by rightsholder groups. No one is interested in the technical mess and the broadened agenda. The poisoned apple was the unpassionate call of a few rightsholders who said they fully support the Commission and negotiator Luc Devigne said “thank you”. That is awful as it may get.

The EU negotiator is forced to deny and bend the truth on multiple fronts. That is a weakness, any supporter can withdraw and say they were deceived (like US-democrats “found out later” they were “deceived” by the Iraqi WMD tales). The Commission was very open about her agenda, now it is forced to hide and deny. Devigne irritates supporters who notice that the Commission lacks the power and guards a technically broken process with contradictory public statements to public and parliament alike.

Mr. McNamee commented for EDRI:

At a meeting in Brussels on 22 March 2010, the European Commission presented a counterfeit version of ACTA to participants. As with any good counterfeit, it bore quite a strong relationship with the genuine article. However, the differences were quite obvious for those in the know.

Mike Masnik puts it in excellent terms:

The talking points from ACTA negotiators seem clear. When accused of being secretive, deny it and insist that you’re being open. If really pushed on the matter, blame mysterious, nameless “others” for keeping the documents secret. Then, when specific items in the text are brought up, insist that these are being misrepresented, and if only you could see the real text (which you can’t, because it’s a secret) you’d know that it was all blown out of proportion. Then, finally, insist that ACTA won’t change any laws. Of course, if that were the case, there would be no need for ACTA at all.

Now, despite Masnik’s view the overall setup was not so inconsistent when you consider the 2008 story from the Commission on ACTA, it was consistent and easy:

  • ACTA won’t change domestic laws. We are a coalition of the willing ready to confirm the status quo beyond TRIPS. We have to shop forums because WIPO and WTO are blocked.
  • ACTA would be used as a trade chip in negotiations with ‘problem states’, and once adopted, traded on them with appropriate trade incentives.

Of course the second was against the UN Charta principles to which the Commission is bound by the EU treaties, a bit like “We have to invade Tschingingistan to save the oil”. But the 2008 narrative is not true anymore.

First of all the Commission negotiators went beyond confirmation of the status quo. All players expected so but following their maximalist negotiations approach they didn’t cheat a bit (cmp. EU-Korea FTA) but went too far. ACTA includes a wide range of new and controversial matters, many of them introduced by the Commission negotiators. Thus ACTA is drawn into a political conflict over parliament scrutiny powers and legislative competences (same on the other side of the Atlantic, cmp. the constitutional criticism on the presidential adoption plan by Lessig). The Commission does not do that in the open. They say they won’t go beyond the acquis but the inclusion of criminal matters which are not in the acquis raises eyebrows. These criminal matters are negotiated by the presidency, under an uncertain procedure. What does “not beyond the acquis” mean?

Secondly, Devigne denied the second item in the answer to Hammerstein, who asked about the Commission’s name and shame list. It seems riddiculous to deny such an approach and plan given the “Global Europe” strategy contents, also given earlier statements from the directorate. They would no do that, indicated Devigne. How pathetic!

Oh, and let’s not mention the desasterous performance of Devigne regarding admitting that they won’t respect the parliament’s resolution on limit to counterfeiting. There he stressed being in line with the acquis again.

What does “not beyond the acquis” mean? It probably does not mean what we ought to think and that provides room for great controversy in Parliament, will attract all parties to dig into the technical vulnerabilities of the process under the Treaties. What DG Trade apparently fails to realise is that they lack competence to go beyond the acquis. When Parliament calls you to respect the acquis, that is like when I am warned to obey the law. So you don’t get any flowers for that. When parliament asks to limit an anti-counterfeit treaty to counterfeit, just do that.

How many hearings of that kind could the Commission still afford, until a superiour would have to pull the plug? Observers noticed how Luc Devigne became the minedog while his colleagues hide away.

On Tuesday a consolidated version of the January state of discussions was leaked on the internet. The text shows that ACTA is nowhere near consensus. Trade negotiators are no specialists for international legal harmonisation. Legal harmonisation takes decades, slow and thoughtful debate.  Now a community of international legal specialists would jump in and inspect the leaked mess. More tricky questions to the negotiating parties ahead. More interest groups interested to put their stakes out the fire. How long would it take unless everyone notices that ACTA has nothing to do with a trade agreement (TRIPs was based on a fiction of barriers to trade) but is legislative? Mind the total costs of ownership (TCO) of untruths. Mind the incapability of the Commission to establish trust in parliament. Mind the technical difficulties of the process and on how many sides it can be challenged. Mind the still unresolved secrecy which attracts attention.

It is ACTA’s beginning of the end.

Open technical questions?

Just approach your ALDE MEP, they will have the next political hearing with the Commission on ACTA. Or contact the Commission, they offered to answer your questions.

Video recordings

part1:

part2:

part3:

part4:

part5:

part6:

part7:

part8:

part9:

part10:

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Google Blog post, they organise a lobby workshop Jan 11 in DC and ask for your questions on ACTA.

The panel will tackle important questions like: Will ACTA preserve the existing balance in intellectual property laws, providing not just enforcement for copyright holders but also appropriate exceptions for technology creators and users? Will it undermine the legal safe harbors that have allowed virtually every Internet service to come into existence? And will it encourage governments to endorse “three strikes” penalties that would take away a user’s access to the Internet?

In short, lobbying at Google seems badly informed about ACTA. It is a bit late for that.

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Copyright is in reform needs. The objective feels a bit like the movie plot kitsch of Metropolis, how to reconcile the heart and the hand of the digital environment. One approach by trade politicians is currently undertaken by e.g. a planned Trade Treaty, ACTA, which aims to tighten copyright enforcement and use so called digital rights management measures. Also the Commission investigates copyright licensing legal ambushes. Another approach is of intellectual, discoursive nature. No one really knows how to adapt copyright to the digital environment and make it sustainable. So the idea was to get the minds and interested parties together to discuss the future of copyright in an open, sea side remote location as Wilhelmshaven, the famous Prussian North Sea war port. Get the trias author-intermediary-user, as Dr. Joachim Losehand points out, to talk with each other, not about each other. Times are changing, so is copyright.

A preliminary website is up and running here:

http://www.urheberrechtstage.de/

A call for paper is preannounced, the event would take place 4-6 June 2010 in Wilhelmshaven.

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