Internet 4, ACTA 0

You know all those petitions you've been signing? They work.

Thank you!

Those emails you sent to the committees (provided by +Rick Falkvinge and EDRI) have been instrumental in derailing the grossly unfair and dangerous treaty, which deliberately conflates #IPR terms and laws, uses unfamiliar legal terms like "fair process," and threatens access to generic medicines by confusing them with counterfeits while putting unfair burdens on our ISPs by forcing them to spy on us.

It's not over yet

There's one more committee to go through, INTA, before it goes to a final vote where it will hopefully be put down like a rabid dog. It's not over yet, but if we keep the pressure on, we can ensure that the MEPs represent our interests by voting against it. INTA votes on June 20th, then the European Parliament will vote on the treaty during the week of 2nd - 5th July.

We'll be providing their contact details nearer to the time so they don't forget our plea to keep the internet open and to put our needs ahead of corporate profits.

Good news is trickling in

Meanwhile, moves are afoot in our various governments to rethink #IPR (intellectual property rights) laws with a view to reform. Keep an eye out for consultation papers that citizens can contribute to in order to bring about a change in attitudes, and hopefully, reform. Give us the links to post here so we can help to spread the good news.

Victory is in sight, but don't stop fighting until there are laws and treaties in place to keep the internet open and free. It will happen if we make it happen. And we can. Thank you, friends. We couldn't have done it without you.

Read + Share + Keep an eye out for more information on digital rights and IPR = Keep the internet open and free
Internet Freedom Movement's profile photoMiki Pedia's profile photoRick Falkvinge's profile photoWendy Cockcroft's profile photo
it is a good feeling to be one of the protesters now... 
There are protests planned for 19th of June. Bearing in mind that we activists have been characterised as being easily distracted with shiny things, be ready to join in if you can.

I'll get the mailing list ready if +Rick Falkvinge doesn't get there first, and deploy it a week or so before the vote. If everyone gets on board with this, they won't know what hit them.

Then, on July 1st, we need to email our MEPs. I'll get an email list together so we can whack that, too.

Meanwhile, the Dutch Parliament has passed a resolution calling for #IPRreform and hopefully that movement will spread. The UK and other governments are adopting OS and some politicians have condescended to talk to us about economic growth policies. This is a golden opportunity to call for #IPRreform and laws that guarantee a free and open internet. If you see anything like that floating about, let me or +Internet Freedom Movement know so we can post the links and share them. If it's not about internet freedom we can still share the links as individuals.

Once we get #IPRreform sorted out, the ridiculous ratcheting — and the draconian penalties that go with it — will stop and hopefully reverse.
+Wendy Cockcroft Actually, the mail alias has been ready for some time already. :) I just want to wait with writing a sample mail until I see the outcome of the June 9 rallies.

I'll have a mailing list ready for all MEPs too, though that isn't ready yet. No harm if you have one too - the less coordinated a campaign seems.

I noted the Dutch resolution - but was it really as strong as calling for monopoly reform?
That's not even the start of the problem, +Amanda Johnson. The problem is that they're using "rents" from IPR licences as an income stream and it's crushing the rest of us. It's morally reprehensible.
They did that because they rely on the "rents" from IPR licenses as an income stream. That's WHY it was hurting corporate interests.

Since that is the lynchpin it needs to be exposed and addressed directly. When patent trolling is abolished it'll be harder to do that.

Patents on medicine and software should be banned altogether.
#IPRreform would lower patent terms and ban evergreening. This would force the companies to make money from producing things themselves instead of licencing other companies to do this for them so they can export the results back to their own nations, which is one of the things that is wrecking our economies.

In other words, they would rely on producing goods and services instead of running what amounts to a protection racket.
You just described evergreening, +Amanda Johnson, and after a patent term runs out, it can't be charged for any more.

Banning evergreening and lowering patent terms would solve that problem. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with licensing patents to other companies, but when it's being done to screw your home nation, then it's a problem.

Patent laws could be reformed to make them only available to practitioners. NPEs, or patent trolls, would be banned.

Wording would have to be specific to a particular product in order to be valid.

Since the heart of the problem is the continual expansion and enforcement of IPR, the solution is to trim it back to the bare bones so it can't be a problem any more. Like fire, patents have a purpose, but like fire, they can be bloody dangerous if they're not carefully watched and controlled.
+Amanda Johnson how about you put a proposal together about how to resolve these issues? I'd have thought that banning some practices and rolling back patent law to earlier times would solve the problem but if it doesn't we require an approach that you seem to know more about than I do.

NPE means non practicing entity. That's easy to decide on. It's also easy to decide on a patent trolling case: if the patent in question is being used in an existing product and some rip-off merchant comes along and plagiarises it, that's not fair. Happened to a friend of mine. In Oracle V Google the case was about a patent that WASN'T being used in a particular product.

Current practice is to word the patents as broadly as possible to limit the ability of others to innovate on any aspect of an idea without paying a license fee.

Any individual can make the wording specific to a product, e.g. "A method for applying butter to toast using a single-bladed metal instrument."

As for your final point, that's how patent offices work. All patents are checked against an existing database of patents because if they don't, if it comes to court, someone can claim prior art. Since the system isn't perfect, this occasionally happens. I've discovered this by reading up on patent trolling cases. Eolas is a classic example. They claimed to have invented email.
You're preachin' to the choir on that one, +Amanda Johnson.

Monsanto are in breach of many anti-trust laws and that's the angle of attack on them, followed by health and safety and environmental laws. Get enough class action suits together and we could shut them down.

Separating the corporations from the government is our first port of call indeed. How can we accomplish that, apart from seeking more transparency? In the UK we've got pretty strict laws to guard against corruption. Scandals do occur but we the people have a very good say in what our government gets up to.

It helps that we've got a few good MPs in there. David Davis and Francis Maude are impressing me with their stance on OS and digital freedom. Both are Conservative, which is a bit of a shocker because we tend to think of them as being on the side of the privileged. The idea that we actually matter to some of them pleases me.
Please let me know when it's ready so I can share it.
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