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Topic censored - Nothing to see here
|20-01-2012, 05:38 PM||#1|
Ma Nhân Trường Tồn
Topic censored - Nothing to see here
The site's founders have been charged with violating piracy laws.
Federal prosecutors have accused it of costing copyright holders more than $500m (£320m) in lost revenue. The firm says it was diligent in responding to complaints about pirated material.
In response, the hackers group Anonymous has targeted the FBI and US Department of Justice websites.
The news came a day after anti-piracy law protests, but investigators said they were ordered two weeks ago.
The US Justice Department said that Megaupload's two co-founders Kim Dotcom, formerly known as Kim Schmitz, and Mathias Ortmann were arrested in Auckland, New Zealand along with two other employees of the business at the request of US officials. It added that three other defendants were still at large.
"This action is among the largest criminal copyright cases ever brought by the United States and directly targets the misuse of a public content storage and distribution site to commit and facilitate intellectual property crime," said a statement posted on its website.
The FBI website was intermittently unavailable on Thursday evening due to what officials said was being "treated as a malicious act".
The hackers' group Anonymous said it was carrying out the attacks.
The Motion Picture Association of America's website also suffered disruption.
The charges included, conspiracies to commit racketeering, copyright infringement and money laundering.
A federal court in Virginia ordered that 18 domain names associated with the Hong Kong-based firm be seized.
The Justice Department said that more than 20 search warrants had been executed in nine countries, and that approximately $50m (£32m) in assets had been seized.
It claimed that the accused had pursued a business model designed to promote the uploading of copyrighted works.
"The conspirators allegedly paid users whom they specifically knew uploaded infringing content, and publicised their links to users throughout the world," a statement said.
"By actively supporting the use of third-party linking sites to publicise infringing content, the conspirators did not need to publicise such content on the Megaupload site.
"Instead, the indictment alleges that the conspirators manipulated the perception of content available on their servers by not providing a public search function on the Megaupload site and by not including popular infringing content on the publicly available lists of top content downloaded by its users."
Before it was shut down the site posted a statement saying the allegations against it were "grotesquely overblown".
"The fact is that the vast majority of Mega's internet traffic is legitimate, and we are here to stay," it added.
"If the content industry would like to take advantage of our popularity, we are happy to enter into a dialogue. We have some good ideas. Please get in touch."
The US government has shut down top file hosting service Megaupload and had its founder arrested on suspicion of causing $500 million in lost revenue to content sellers.
The Megaupload sites were managed through an international network of companies, head-quartered in Hong Kong.
Although not a US company and not managed from the US, the fact that it maintained US servers and supplied millions of US visitors with illegal downloads was considered ample legal grounds for the federal government to move against it.
The indictments centre on German millionaire hacker Kim Schmitz, or “Kimble,” who has led a colourful and exceptionally crooked career centred on computer crime and fraud, having been convicted at various times and in various countries of credit card fraud, insider trading and embezzlement, making him a less than savoury poster child for Internet liberties.
The US government claims that in 2010 alone he made some $42 million from piracy-related activities.
He was reportedly arrested at his “$30 million” mansion in New Zealand, pending extradition to the US to face trial.
5 other less interesting Megaupload executives have been indicted, of whom 3 have already been arrested. All of those indicted were citizens of various European countries and resided either in Europe, Hong Kong or New Zealand.
Strangely, Megaupload’s American CEO and noted rapper Swizz Beatz is apparently not named in the indictments.
Megaupload was still protesting its total innocence and holding out for a “dialogue” with copyright holders up until the moment its site was taken offline:
“The fact is that the vast majority of Mega’s Internet traffic is legitimate, and we are here to stay. If the content industry would like to take advantage of our popularity, we are happy to enter into a dialogue. We have some good ideas. Please get in touch.”
Megaupload had in recent years begun trying to legitimise itself by soliciting various mysterious endorsements from famous US celebrities, efforts which evidently proved futile.
Whilst no objective statistics exist as to just how much of the content hosted on Megaupload’s servers was legitimate (Megaupload asserts the “vast majority” was legitimate whilst its attackers maintain the exact opposite), any honest evaluation would probably have to conclude that the main reason for its popularity was that torrents are a hassle, and that the vast majority of the material it hosted was less than legitimate.
The arrests come only a day after high profile protests by various other top websites over newly proposed US laws designed to grant copyright holders greater powers to police the Internet.
Both of the proposed laws now appear to be in some difficulty, but there is much speculation that the timing of the arrests is intended to be symbolic.
However, as the Megaupload arrests all took place using current laws, they have not only further inflamed Internet opinion against SOPA, PIPA and the major copyright lobbies behind them, but have also apparently demonstrated that US copyright holders are quite able to launch crippling legal attacks on internationally managed sites using only existing laws.
Megaupload’s eventual fate remains unclear – the fate of piracy-related sites in similar positions has varied greatly, from those that apparently sustained all legal assaults unscathed (such as The Pirate Bay) and others which successfully sold out to copyright holders, to those whose business models simply collapsed under a hail of litigation and criminal charges. (source: BBC)
So I will be banned from cosplaying, scanlating, drawing fanart, etc...
thay đổi nội dung bởi: Non-chan, 20-01-2012 lúc 06:52 PM.
|27-01-2012, 05:15 PM||#4|
Ma Nhân Trường Tồn
Aaron Shaw The Problem with ACTA
Cite as: Shaw, Aaron, “The Problem with the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (and
what to do about it),” KEStudies, Vol. 2 (2008).
The Problem with the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement
(and what to do about it)
In mid-February 2008, the Office of the United States Trade Representative
(USTR) issued a request for public comments on the proposed “AntiCounterfeiting Trade Agreement” (ACTA). However, with the exception of a
handful of press releases, information about the proposal itself remains
scarce. Mainstream media outlets have printed USTR officials' talking points
about the importance of winning “the fight against fakes,” but have failed to
analyze either the origins or the nature of the ACTA in any detail. What is
ACTA? Where did it come from? How would it affect the trade and
governance of the knowledge-based economy? In what follows, I provide
preliminary answers to these questions and argue that ACTA would impose a
narrow trade agenda at the expense of global cooperation and evidencebased policies.
ACTA is a proposed “plurilateral” agreement that would apply new, stricter
legal and enforcement standards to the trade in informational goods. These
new standards would extend far beyond those required by the WTO TRIPS
Agreement. In addition, some of the proposals for the ACTA include
sweeping provisions to criminalize information use practices currently
allowed under U.S., European, and international law. In these proposals, the
agreement would be obligate states, law enforcement officials, and private
firms to intrude on the privacy of “alleged” infringers without sufficient
legal due process.
A small coalition of powerful states support ACTA, led
by the trade representatives of the United States, Japan, Switzerland and the
27 member states of the European Union, represented by the European
Commission. These states have also invited representatives from Canada,
New Zealand, Mexico, Australia and South Korea to participate in the
negotiations. Although ACTA remains in pre-negotiation stages, the
Page 1 of 9 KEStudies Vol. 2 (2008)Aaron Shaw The Problem with ACTA
signatories would likely seek to impose the terms of the agreement onto
developing countries in subsequent bilateral negotiations.
While the USTR has emerged as the loudest voice supporting ACTA in the
global arena, the roots of the proposal appear to lie elsewhere. A Discussion
Paper published by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
indicates that the idea first emerged in the 2004 Global Congress on
Hosted by the World Customs Organization and
Interpol in Geneva, the Congress was sponsored by the Global Business
Leader's Alliance Against Counterfeiting (GBLAAC), an interest group
representing some of the world's largest multinational copyright and
The following July, during the 2005 G8 summit in
Gleneagles, Japanese representatives suggested that member states create
stricter regulations and enforcement provisions to combat “piracy and
counterfeiting.” The publication of a post-G8 statement entitled “Reducing
IPR Piracy and Counterfeiting Through More Effective Enforcement”
marked the first official step towards what would become ACTA.
Gleneagles, the ACTA supporters tried to promote their agenda in a number
of multilateral governance institutions, engaging in a tactic known as “forum
shifting.” Not surprisingly, the idea of expensive new enforcement measures
and rigid legal restraints did not interest middle and low-income countries.
In recent years, wealthy states and multinationals that support restrictive
knowledge regimes have found themselves on the defensive in the WTO and
other global governance institutions. The G22 (together with numerous nongovernmental organizations and activists) has drawn attention to the issues
of access to protected inventions and works; the “flexibilities” in the
agreements to provide limitations and exceptions to intellectual property
rights; as well as the ability to implement obligations under domestic legal
traditions. Similarly, in the World Intellectual Property Organization
(WIPO), support for a new Development Agenda has reduced the influence
of G8 representatives over their less affluent peers.
At the World Customs Organization (WCO), the G8 managed to open
negotiations over a set of provisional Standards Employed by Customs for
Uniform Rights Enforcement (SECURE). A draft of SECURE released on
the WCO website suggests that the standards could create a precedent for
expanded enforcement against trademark and copyright infringement.
However, the WCO lacks the authority to set or enforce policies that
Page 2 of 9 KEStudies Vol. 2 (2008)Aaron Shaw The Problem with ACTA
contradict the WTO. Thus, even if the current version of SECURE survives
negotiations, it may hold little more than symbolic value.
Having failed to achieve their aims through multilateralism, the ACTA
supporters returned to Japan's original plan. Less than two weeks after the
WIPO General Assembly voted to create a permanent Committee on
Development and Intellectual Property, the USTR and the European
Commission announced their intent to open ACTA negotiations before the
end of the year. They promptly extended invitations to a short list of trading
partners and corporate lobby groups to participate in consultations and
negotiations. Instead of merely shifting the debate from one forum to
another, the ACTA supporters now seek to create an entirely new layer of
So why is ACTA such a big deal? If signed, the agreement would constitute
a diplomatic putsch by a handful of wealthy states and corporations against
the rest of the world. Already, it signals an overt and troubling rejection of
multilateralism. The so-called “plurilateral” approach represents an outdated
model of international treaty-making whereby the unelected representatives
of Northern states and a few corporate lobbyists dictate the rules of global
markets. Such arrangements were commonplace during the 1990s under the
neo-liberal “Washington Consensus” and prior to the Doha Round of
negotiations in the WTO. Today, however, this kind of blatant disregard for
global consensus and the needs of developing regions poses a threat to the
world's prosperity, security and health.
ACTA would create unduly harsh legal standards that do not reflect
contemporary principles of democratic government, free market exchange,
or civil liberties. Even though the precise terms of ACTA remain undecided,
the negotiants' preliminary documents reveal many troubling aspects of the
For example, ACTA advocates intend to further
criminalize non-commercial copyright and trademark infringements. They
also aim to reinforce so-called “Digital Rights Management” (DRM)
technologies that currently prevent the personal, legal reproduction of
optical discs like DVDs and trample on “fair use” rights. In addition, rights
owner lobby groups want the agreement to undermine legal safeguards that
protect Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from liability for the actions of
their subscribers. It would also facilitate privacy violations by trademark and
copyright holders against private citizens suspected of infringement
Page 3 of 9 KEStudies Vol. 2 (2008)Aaron Shaw The Problem with ACTA
activities without any guarantee of legal due process.
All of these provisions threaten to reach far beyond existing U.S. and E.U.
legal norms without any mandate from the appropriate, elected legislative
bodies that govern them.
7 As such, the trade officials involved in ACTA
negotiations demonstrate a surprising disregard for their own countries'
democratic political processes and public welfare. They also threaten to
overturn the existing balance of rights and regulations established through
global governance institutions.
The ACTA supporters justify these harsh encroachments on the rights of
their citizens, private companies, and fellow states in the interests of
international cooperation, law enforcement, and modernization.
claim to be acting in the interests of public health and safety. However, their
radical attempt to curtail vital liberties, access to information, and incentives
to innovate belies this rhetoric. Instead, ACTA would require signatories to
undertake an unprecedented expansion of customs and law enforcement
officials' abilities to police goods and information.
It would also create a
dispute settlement system outside of existing multilateral institutions such as
the WTO Tribunal or TRIPS Council to enforce these new powers. Rather
than promote cooperation, ACTA signatories would seek to impose a onesided vision of the knowledge-based economy on the rest of the world. They
do so with no regard for the costs of their actions.
In the absence of widespread support for their position, the states behind the
ACTA proposals have restricted participation to those organizations that
already share their views. In the case of the USTR, this has included closeddoor meetings with industry lobby groups that have a vested interest in
expanded IP-law enforcement. Meanwhile, the USTR has shut out civil
society groups, corporations, academic experts, and citizens that disagree
with their approach. The result has been a set of narrow-minded policies that
do not reflect the breadth of opinion and research on the trade in knowledgebased goods.
Much recent research in economics, law, sociology, business, and political
science examine the claim that strict IP-rights regimes promote growth,
innovation, and well-being.
Several of these empirical studies suggest that
alternative regulatory and enforcement practices allocate public goods more
Page 4 of 9 KEStudies Vol. 2 (2008)Aaron Shaw The Problem with ACTA
Of course, other studies contradict the claims of these authors.
The point, however, is precisely that such disagreement exists; the
prospective ACTA signatories have ignored those findings that do not reflect
their ideological agenda. A recent OECD-sponsored study frequently cited in
public statements on ACTA typifies their approach.
The study frames the
problem of IP-related crime exclusively through the lens of “piracy” and lost
corporate revenue. In doing so, it overlooks the social costs of overly strictIP regimes. Such regimes restrict access to knowledge, present barriers to
follow-on innovation, incentivize anti-competitive behavior and stifle
markets, harming those same corporate interests in some cases. Without a
calculation of the economic and social costs of a dubious assertion of rights,
or an inappropriate or abusive exercise of those rights, such data does not
provide an effective basis for policy-making; yet, that is exactly what would
happen under ACTA.
In a series of recent decisions, the Supreme Court of the U.S. has recognized
the harm of overly strict enforcement of intellectual property rights. The
court has sought to make it more difficult to enforce patents with a low
or even legitimate patents, when the invention is part of a
larger product and the public interest is better served by limits on the ability
to enforce injunctions.
These decisions signal an important shift towards
creating a more balanced IP system and reflect the Court's concern that
intellectual property rights can harm innovation when they are poorly
implemented and mindlessly enforced. Critics of ACTA share these
Who wins under ACTA? Some multinational firms believe that their
business models depend on ever stricter enforcement of copyrights and
trademarks, and they seek to reap a double windfall. Under many legal
systems, IPRs are considered “private rights,” meaning that the rights holder
- and not the state - bears the burden and cost of enforcement. The countries
that sign ACTA would thus provide a very valuable and expensive service to
these firms at no charge. In addition, many copyright and trademark owners
believe that some provisions in ACTA will alter the level of protection itself,
by effectively changing the balance of rights between right-owners and
consumers. In seeking to advance their own interests, these companies have
overlooked the potential for adverse outcomes that would also affect them
negatively. While Microsoft wants to enforce its copyrights on software
Page 5 of 9 KEStudies Vol. 2 (2008)Aaron Shaw The Problem with ACTA
products, it is also a defendant in a growing number of patent lawsuits.
News Corporation may want strict copyright protection for some products,
but it also wants to support new user-generated content services, like
Myspace. Time-Warner is both a content owner, and a provider of network
services, placing part of its business at risk in the interests of another.
Johnson and Johnson, Abbott Laboratories, Toyota, Verizon, and many other
firms are likewise finding they have complicated and nuanced interests, as
they assert intellectual property rights in some areas, but also are concerned
about their growing liability for infringement claims.
The majority of the governments of the Global South have wisely declined
to participate in this form of corporate welfare and norm re-balancing.
However, if ACTA goes forward, they may find themselves with few
alternatives in future negotiations with the E.C. or the USTR.
Already, a number of civil society NGOs and developing country trade
representatives have begun to push back against ACTA, but without a clear
strategy to block or slow down the agreement.
15 What is needed is a broad
alliance that incorporates the innovative private sector companies that are
more aware of the complexities and consequences of changes in
Many corporations and states would suffer if this agreement moves forward,
although few have analyzed the treaty proposals in a serious way. The liberal
use of the emotionally charged and misleading word “counterfeit” in the
proposals reflects negotiants' aversion to critical analysis. Such blithe
categorization of complex enforcement issues, including unauthorized noncommercial private uses or infringement disputes involving patents of
dubious merit, is designed to undermine effective policy debate. It also
portrays treaty opponents as defenders of criminal acts.
Among those most likely to exert diplomatic pressure against ACTA
potential dissenters within the G8 and E.U.; powerful Southern states such as
China, Brazil, and India; as well as coalitions of smaller states within
existing regional trade blocs (Mercosur, Caricom, ASEAN, etc.) could prove
most effective. In addition, multinationals that recognize the benefits of
more flexible approaches to intellectual property – such as IBM, Google,
Intel, Sun Microsystems, and other members of the Open Source Initiative –
should mobilize their own lobbyists to resist an agreement that presents new
Page 6 of 9 KEStudies Vol. 2 (2008)Aaron Shaw The Problem with ACTA
risks and liabilities. They should be joined by Internet Service Providers, and
even corporations like News Corporation or Microsoft that are unlikely to
benefit from one-sided approaches to changes in the enforcement of some
intellectual property right claims. In addition, these businesses should ally
with consumer protection and civil liberties groups whose hard-earned legal
rights would be harmed under ACTA.
Numerous elected officials might also take a stand against ACTA once they
learn more about such an underhanded attempt to circumvent their legitimate
legislative and fiscal authority. These political leaders could explain to
voters why enforcement policies that lack procedural safeguards and
accountability undermine consumer rights and threaten civil liberties. At the
same time, their task is made more difficult by the treaty proponents'
deliberate use of the term “counterfeit” to describe activities that have
nothing to do with counterfeiting.
Such an alliance could potentially hold the USTR, E.C., and their trading
partners accountable for their actions. It could also build consensus for
balanced knowledge-based trade policies in the future. However, in the
absence of a rapid, widespread mobilization of resistance, the ACTA
proponents will not be stopped. They have already shown their willingness
to ignore legal, intellectual, political, and moral obstacles to their agenda.
Something more must now be done.
Page 7 of 9 KEStudies Vol. 2 (2008)Aaron Shaw The Problem with ACTA
1 These provisions are mentioned in a “Discussion Paper” circulated among
the states involved in the negotiations. As of this writing, the discussion
paper has not been disclosed to the public.
2 Available at: http://www.dfat.gov.au/trade/acta/discussion-paper.html
(Accessed 27 March, 2008).
3 These include: Coca Cola, Daimler Chrysler, Pfizer, Proctor and Gamble,
American Tobacco, Phillip Morris, Swiss Watch, Nike and Canon (among
others). See the site of the 2004 Congress: http://www.anticounterfeitcongress.o...04/website.asp (Accessed 27 March, 2008).
4 Available at: http://www.g7.utoronto.ca/summit/200...les/index.html
(Accessed 27 March, 2008).
5 Available at:
orcement/SECURE_E.pdf (Accessed 27 March, 2008).
6 My analysis refers to the aforementioned “Discussion Paper” circulated
among participating governments. An overview of this “Discussion Paper”
can be found in the USTR's “Fact Sheet” on ACTA (available at:
set_upload_file122_13414.pdf) and the Australian DFAT's “Discussion
Paper” (see note 2, above). For a comparable account to my own, see the “IP
Justice White Paper on the Proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement,”
by Robin Gross, available at: http://www.ipjustice.org/campaigns/acta
(Accessed 26 March, 2008).
7 They would also expand the provisions of existing Free Trade Agreements
(FTAs) and European Partnership Agreements (EPAs). See: Abbot, Frederick
M. “Intellectual Property Provisions of Bilateral and Regional Trade
Agreements on Light of U.S. Federal Law,” UNCTAD-ICTSD Project on
IPRs and Sustainable Development, Issue Paper No. 12; and Santa Cruz S.,
Maximiliano, “Intellectual Property Provisions in European Union Trade
Agreements: Implications for Developing Countries,” ICTSD Programme on
IPRs and Sustainable Development, Issue Paper No. 20. Both available at:
http://www.iprsonline.org (Accessed 3 April 2008).
8 For examples, see the USTR's “Fact Sheet” (note 6, above) and the E.C.'s
own “Fact Sheet” on ACTA, available at:
(Accessed 3 April 2008).
9 These changes are consistent with US and EU-led initiatives at INTERPOL
and the WCO. See the draft of SECURE available from the WCO (note 5
above) and the speech by INTEPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble
delivered at the 4
Global Congress on Combating Counterfeiting and
Piracy, Dubai, U.A.E., 3 February, 2008, available at:
Page 8 of 9 KEStudies Vol. 2 (2008)Aaron Shaw The Problem with ACTA
(Accessed 24 March 2008).
10 See, for example, Weber, Steven, 2004, The Success of Open Source,
Harvard University Press; Tirole, Jean and Josh Lerner, 2005, “The
Economics of Technology Sharing: Open Source and Beyond”, Journal of
Economic Perspectives, vol. 19, n. 2, Spring, p. 99-120; Benkler, Yochai,
2006, The Wealth of Networks, Yale UP; Lakhani, Karim and Eric von
Hippel, 2003, “How Open Source Software Works: 'Free' User-to-User
Assistance,” Research Policy, Vol 32 No. 6 , (June) Pages 923-943; and
Stark, David and Gina Neff, 2003, “Permanently Beta: Responsive
Organization in the Internet Era,” in Society Online: The Internet in Context,
Philip E.N. Howard and Steve Jones, eds., Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 173-
11 See: Drahos, Peter, 2007, “Patent Reform for Risk Management: A
Separation of Powers Approach,” Knowledge Ecology Studies, Vol 1; and
Jaffe, Adam B.; Josh Lerner; and Scott Stern (eds.), 2005, Innovation Policy
and the Economy, National Bureau of Economic Research.
12 The Economic Impact of Counterfeiting and Piracy (draft). Available at:
1_1,00.html (Accessed 27 March, 2008)
13 KSR v. Teleflex, 550 U.S. ___, 127 S. Ct. 1727 (2007).
14 eBay Inc v. MercExchange, L.L.C., 547 U.S. 388 (2006).
15 See the following: Comments of Knowledge Ecology International on the
Proposal for Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), March 20, 2008;
Electronic Frontier Foundation Submission to Office of the United States
Trade Representative on Proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement
(March 21, 2008); IP Justice Comments to the U.S.T.R. on the proposed
Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) 21 March 2008; AntiCounterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) Comments of Public Knowledge
(March 21, 2008); Comments of Essential Action on the Proposal for an
Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.
16 Comments of Knowledge Ecology International on the Proposal for AntiCounterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), Submitted to United States Trade
Representative, Request for Public Comments, March 20, 2008.
Page 9 of 9 KEStudies Vol. 2 (2008)
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