Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Hannah Classen, "Copyright: The next generation," May 27, 2008.

Recommended by Guy Lapointe at the Crow Healing Network

Copyright: the issue that just won’t go away. Not only must we live under the impending doom of the DMCA, but it turns out there’s also a new acronym on the block for us to worry about. ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, is an international coalition on copyright infringement, and a discussion paper leaked last Thursday revealed the Canadian government just might join the United States and several EU countries and become a member.

Okay, so what does this really mean? Well, membership in ACTA gives border guards and other security the ability to police copyright borders as well. So laptops, mp3-players, cell phones and any other electronic devices are fair game for search and, provided they contain copyright-infringing material, fines or seizure. It also probably hints towards a future trend of standardized copyright laws. Alarmingly, it could also make ISPs hand over the personal information of suspected copyright violators. Currently, all requests for personal information from ISPs must first appear before a judge.

The government in Ottawa can pass federal trade agreements without parliamentary approval.

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