Archive for October 5th, 2010

ACTA: Sorting Through The Spin

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement has always been the exception to the general rule for international negotiations – closed participation rather than open, secretive rather than transparent – so it should come as no surprise that the negotiations have come to an end in an unusual manner.  The only thing that is absolutely clear is that there will be no further rounds of negotiation as the latest round in Japan is being described as the final round of talks.  Other than that, the conclusion seems open to considerable speculation and spin.

From the U.S. perspective, the negotiations are done and ACTA is nearly a reality. USTR Ambassador Ron Kirk has been quoted as saying that there are solutions to even the toughest issues and that nearly all parties have agreed to them.  Another U.S. official admitted that there were still as many as six issues without agreement, including two on border measures and another from the Internet chapter. The EU has been even less supportive, with an official quoted as saying “we’ve come a long way but we must still close the remaining gaps without which there will be no agreement.”  Moreover, several European Parliament Members are already calling for a halt to the deal.  Meanwhile, Japanese officials have acknowledged that there are issues that require further discussion back home and that “in that sense we haven’t gotten agreement.”

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October 5, 2010 14 comments News

The Real Cost of Free

Cory Doctorow has an absolute must-read essay in the Guardian on the issue of “free.”

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October 5, 2010 5 comments Must Reads

SaveOurNet Renews Focus on Net Neutrality

SaveOurNet Coalition has written to Industry Minister Tony Clement to ask him to state his position on net neutrality.

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October 5, 2010 1 comment Must Reads

UK Government to Make Access to Info Data Machine Readable

The UK government has promised to make its access to information responses machine readable. All data released under that country’s Freedom of Information Act will be reusable and in machine readable format.

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October 5, 2010 Comments are Disabled Must Reads

Quebec Court Enforces Facebook’s Billion Dollar Spam Award

A Quebec court has enforced a billion dollar award that Facebook obtained against Adam Guerbuez, a Montreal-based spammer.  Facebook was awarded US$843 million by a court in California in 2008 and the social network proceeded to ask the Quebec court to enforce the judgment.  The court granted the request, ordering […]

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October 5, 2010 13 comments News