A Sampling of ACTA Reactions

There has been no shortage of reaction to the release of the latest ACTA text over the past 24 hours.  USTR Ambassador Ron Kirk called it a significant victory and urged other ACTA countries to quickly complete the text.  Australian officials also welcomed release of the latest text, while EU officials argued that the text was consistent with European law.

The typical ACTA supporters were not very enthusiastic.  The RIAA admitted that “the digital text is bare-bones because governments believe we are at time when you shouldn’t get locked into a static solution.”  The Chamber of Commerce acknowledged that it was “disappointed that a more specific agreement was not possible at this time.”

The NGO community was generally critical – La Quadrature du Net called it a “counterfeit of democracy,” Public Knowledge noted the positive changes in the Internet chapter but expressed concern about the process, and KEI argued that ACTA is essentially a re-write of Part III of TRIPS.  Moreover, there is legal analysis from PIJIP, Monica Horten, and TechDirt.

Many news reports focused on the Internet chapter, particularly the U.S. decision to cave on key issues such as secondary liability and anti-circumvention legislation.  These include articles from the Associated Press, Bloomberg, Washington Post, Ars Technica, and Wired.


  1. If the anti-circumvention legislation in ACTA has been dropped by Canada’s chief trading partner, what remaining purpose do conservatives say that such proposed legislation serves in bill C32?



  3. @Mark: “…what remaining purpose do conservatives say that such proposed legislation serves in bill C32?”

    Err… let’s see… it creates jobs! (for law school graduates that is)

    Nap. 🙂

  4. A public service announcement to Artists.
    It is quite revealing to see the reactions in pro/con ACTA camps. So many Artists & Creators are believing the line they are being fed by the industry. For some of those who may make their way here I offer again this advice …

    While I can understand artists thinking ‘pirates’ are stealing their livelihood, the truth is quite different. IN DEPTH studies have shown that, on the whole, file sharing actually has a net positive effect on music sales. People who participate in file sharing actually buy much more media than those who do not. When the RIAA was asked to show evidence to their (officially disproved) loss figures they essentially replied, “It’s what our gut tells us”.

    The actual reasons for lower profits in the music industry are: decline of the CD/Album format and rise of the digital singles; increased competition for the consumers entertainment dollar/time (video games/social networking/etc); and more recently, the economy. File sharing has little, if any, significant impact.

    The Internet actually offers a huge opportunity for artists who take the time and effort to pursue it. Music labels pass on an a max of 15% of sales to the artists, if they are lucky. Direct sales via the Internet/social networking/independent music sites would on the other hand put almost all of the profits in the artist’s pocket. The labels and the CRIA/RIAA know this and are running scared all the while predicting the end of the world.

    Artists would do well to see past the fud they are fed by the industry and embrace the future rather than go down with a sinking ship. The real thieves artists should watch out for are not the consumers but the industry itself.

    P.S. I buy the media I use and whenever possible try to support artists directly. Much of the music I have purchased recently has been as a result of hearing it first via open licence sharing. I avoid, as much as is possible, any purchases that are backed by the RIAA/MPAA/CRIA. In this way I support creators and not the industry that is bleeding them dry.

  5. @Crockett: With the notable exception of Mrs. Loreena McKennitt, I don’t remember any artist wanting to deprive their fans of “fair rights” (to which she liked to refer as “so-called user rights”).

    She’s a quite controversial character anyway:

    and I have an issue with her opinion that live tours can’t make money anymore. If this guy can make $300,000 per concert:

    what exactly stops her to do the same? Or maybe is the sum too small for her?


  6. HAHAHA If this is just his base salary, Justin Bieber will make also A LOT money on merchandise at these shows. Every little 13-year-old girl wants to see the show and wants a shirt to prove it. Teeny-bopper music, country music and heavy metal makes an enormous amount of money on merchandise sales with everything from posters to t-shirts to figurines to just about anything you can imagine. Heavy metal is arguably the most lucretive. You can buy a Kiss-themed coffin if you so desire.

    Loreena falls in to the adult contemporary category and, not surprisingly, attracts a different crowd than Iron Maiden. Her fans might not be so likely to want a poster, t-shirt or bobble-head…c’mon…who wouldn’t want a Loreena bobble-head for their car? That’s WAY cooler than Iron Maiden’s “Eddie”…right? Ya, RIGHT!! She isn’t going to have a line of people hundreds of feet long waiting to get t-shirts like when I recently saw Iron Maiden…and that was just ONE of the 4 outdoor booths. That doesn’t include the 7 or 8 booths inside. Yes, of course she will make less on her shows and music sales, but that has much more to do with her lack of activity and lack of self promotion than anything…people lose interest over time without new material, without touring. On the other hand, I’d argue that her fans would be much more likely to buy her music than illegaly download it. Not surprisingly, she uses TPMs on her CDs.

    Her music really is beutiful…to bad her heart and soul is filled with coal and disdain.

  7. @IanME: “Not surprisingly, she uses TPMs on her CDs.”

    Several years ago I was browsing in a HMV store and found several of her CDs but the “copy protected” logo on them made for an easy decision – I don’t buy such. Most of them rely on purposely engraving errors on the disk – which would be “masked” by the CD player error correction algorithms but would create havoc on a PC. This is obviously not audiophile quality so I have no use for them.

    And if I remember correctly her asking price was quite high – $29 or something.

    No wonder there’s no line at HMV for her stuff. As you previously mentioned, her “public” would be mostly older guys from the “audiophile” category, that have spent something in excess of $20,000 for their stereo system. I can assure her that they don’t buy crappy recordings. Her best bet would be to go for SACD – good TPM and you don’t need to damage the audio signal for it to work.


  8. Dwight Williams says:

    Sorry to read this about McKennit and her stance.

  9. Post ACTA musings …
    Well after reading much of the articles in the aftermath of the final ACTA release I can only breath a slight sigh of relief. I am encouraged that more people in the mainstream are recognizing what a awful process this was. Now that it is out in the open, and so many people and governments have become aware and opposed, I find it hard to see a consensus among the potential signees. ACTA, as I hoped, may just end up in the dustbin after all. But, we must remain vigilant, for avarice never goes away .. it just crawls back into it’s hole for a while.

    I have had a small amount of amusement from the attempted spin from the likes of the RIAA, these day you have to take it where you can. I also take a measure of solace that Graham Henderson and his American cohorts will sleep a little less soundly tonight, perhaps they will dream of a brighter and fairer future .. and perhaps I’ll win the lottery 😉

  10. “her “public” would be mostly older guys from the “audiophile” category, that have spent something in excess of $20,000 for their stereo system”

    She also doesn’t woo her public. When I saw Iron Maiden in the spring they said something that stuck with me.

    “There are music fans, then there heavy metal fans, THEN THERE ARE F@$KIN’ MAIDEN FANS!!!!!”

    And they’re right!! Why, because they work on their image, stay active and really woo their fans!!!

    Ouch, $20G. Well I’m no audiophile either…some day perhaps. My stereo, well surround system more accurately, while not low end by any means, is built for movies and doesn’t even have a dedicated CD player much less a good one. My CDs primarily ride in the car and I have been listening to the same 9 since the spring. LOL

  11. Talking out of other orifices.
    @USTR ACTA debriefing – “As to provisions on damages and their arguable contradiction with the current US patent reform legislation or with proposals for orphan copyright legislation, Stan again emphasized that the USTR position (and the position of the DOJ, the State Dept, and the Copyright Office) is that the ACTA text is inconsistent neither with US law, nor with these proposals for new legislation; Stan did not, however, offer clarity as to how this was so, other than to point to Article 1.2.1 (“Each Party shall be free to determine the appropriate method of implementing the provisions of this Agreement within its own legal system and practice”), as if this was an all purpose loophole for any exceptions to the substantive obligations in ACTA.”

    Stan then went on to prove that black is white and promptly got run over at the next zebra crossing.

  12. “The RIAA admitted that “the digital text is bare-bones because governments believe we are at time when you shouldn’t get locked into a static solution.””

    Hey, nice about-face RIAA. Considering that you were to the one calling for locked-in and quickly outdated copyright laws with your friends from the MPAA, this most DEFINITELY gives your organization credibility and integrity. Like Stephen Harper has when he contradicts himself every five seconds.

  13. Mexico actually gets it
    While this is not new, the first paragraph makes an interesting statement.

    “ACTA is a desperate step taken by the heavily-industrialised, planet-killing nations to clamp down on copyright, trademark and patent issues, in recognition of the fact they don’t really make much any more, yet still expect to live in the lap of luxury by shuffling bits of e-paper about.”

  14. …also interesting…
    “Critics charged negotiators with arranging a stitch-up designed to protect the interests of big business.

    These fears were fuelled by a Freedom of Information request brought by Internet freedom group the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which revealed that organisations including Google, Time Warner, Sony Pictures, the Business Software Alliance and the Motion Picture Association of America had signed non-disclosure agreements in order to participate in the talks.”

    Which amongst these groups is NOT American? Further and further down the Sh1t…I mean, rabbit hole ACTA goes. Wonder why the RIAA wasn’t there.

  15. @IanME: From your last link, what’s most disturbing is this: “Other measures could allow searches to be performed on individuals without any evidence of wrongdoing.”

    How about waterboarding everyone until they confess and pay $5,000 to RIAA? US has all the necessary facilities….


  16. Singapore, it seems, is eager to sign onto the ACTA agreement. A country that canes teenagers for minor offences [] may not be the best poster child for balanced legislation.