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EU May Vote Soon On ACTA (Mother of SOPA)

John Thielking | 25.01.2012 19:32 | Analysis | Repression | Technology | World

ACTA is the international version of the SOPA/PIPA laws in the US that would seriously restrict Internet freedoms. Under ACTA, information would be copyrightable for the first time, a bold step by the 1% towards the dark side.

According to the first video in the above article on Forbes, ACTA would usher in a brand new era where information is copyrighted. Under traditional copyright law and interpretations of that law by the US courts, information can not be copyrighted (only the exact words used to convey the information can be copyrighted, simillar to the difference between a design patent vs an original patent). Reference: Access-Right: The Future Of Digital Copyright Law by Zohar Efroni.

If an orginal patent level of copyright can be obtained on information under ACTA, this not only makes fair use impossible, but it could have an effect simillar to patenting seeds in that once certain information is patented it may not be allowed to be distributed by people other than the patent holder even if the other people had the information in their posession prior to the patent/copyright being claimed/granted. This is just nuts and even flies in the face of precident under patent law governing original patents! Though there is precident for granting design patent level of copyright to such works and then having their further distribution suppressed, such as in the case of the song "Happy Birthday" which has been copyrighted even after everyone on the planet already knew the song. You are now required to pay royalties every time this song is sung (at least if it is recorded and broadcast). Under ACTA, you wouldn't even be able to teach the song, nevermind record it, without paying. You might not even be able to sing a song when someone has a birthday (a different song) because the information that you should sing a song for someone on their birthday is also originally patented. Ludicrous!

To help stop ACTA from going into force, please petition the EU to vote it down when it comes up next. There is a petition to sign here:

John Thielking
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