back to article 'ACTA is dead,' says Europe's digital doyenne

The European Commission's VP for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes has signaled that the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is dead, and the world's copyright industry will have to change to suit people, rather than vice versa. "We have recently seen how many thousands of people are willing to protest …


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  1. Jeebus

    It will be rewrote, specific paragraphs will be marginally amended leaving in just enough ambiguity to achieve everything already outlined under the impression of a large scaling back and it will pass with flying colours.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A.K.A. Democracy in Action

    2. Anonymous Cowerd

      They can rewrite what they like

      but the fundamental problem is that they have created ACTA without the consent of their electorates. If politicians want to introduce this crap (like the UK's DEA), they need to put it in their election manifesto instead of trying to foist it on us by sidestepping such inconvenient things as our parliaments and legislatures.

      1. James Micallef Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Neelie Kroes

        I love this woman.

        She seems to be the only commissioner defending the rights of European Citizens against overreach by governments and corporations (she was also behind the slashing of roaming tariffs)

      2. nexsphil

        Re: They can rewrite what they like

        > they need to put it in their election manifesto

        Except they don't, and that's the entire problem. We have a system in place where *any* grotty little scam artist can enter office on a raft of lies and promises they have no intention of keeping - and unsurprisingly, that's exactly what happens. We then get things like bogus extradition orders, propaganda saturation, our freedom sold for their backhanders, "terrorist" attacks, political reforms intended to remove all challenge to the incumbent administration, lack of distinctiveness between parties, the list goes on.

        We cannot make maintaining our rights and freedoms someone else's problem - especially the scabby little politicians responsible for the above.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You know what?

    Let's assume no "IP" rights for a moment, even if just as a thought experiment. Then see how you would hammer out a world-wide business model, and only then start to think where such a thing really really needs strengthening to solidify the rights of the creators.

    And not so much ossified rights holder organisations. Their proliferation is reason enough to overhaul the whole system, including the ever-increasing span of the rights they're milking. Make those rights intransferable and last the creator's life or 20 years, whichever is longer (yay for increasing life expectancies), and see if that isn't enough to support him making more of his wonderful stuff and afterward release it in a timely fashion to the public domain, for sharing and using in more creative works.

    Personally I want those rights to serve the goal of supporting the creator, not become a plaything of speculation, trade, legal fights, and so on. It's a question of the right focus, really.

    Once you have that, there's no danger in negotiating in the open and it should be much easier to gain concensus and a workable international treaty.

    1. Graham Wilson
      Thumb Up

      Re: You know what? Correct!

      ...And that means Berne needs to be rewritten.

      And before that happens, expect to see a Verdun-sized battle with many casualties.

      (International treaties, like constitutions, aren't meant to be changed w/o warfare.)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: You know what?

      What he said times 10.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You know what?

      Absolutely; start from square one to give those who'd like to turn government into the enforcement arm of business a sense of perspective. As a photographer, I manage my own work, sales, licences etc, but because I don't have deep pockets and the time to spend my life in court, there may as well not be any IP law anyway. The people ripping me off for my work are invariably those who reach for the lawyers at the first sign of infringement of their "own" IP; namely large businesses, and these days often as not bits of government..

      Im Germany, I beleive, you cant actually transfer copyright from creator to a third party, although you can licence the work for use, reproduction etc. It's not a bad starting point if protecting "creators" of work really is the goal. There really needs to be strong protections for actual creators of work, and clear differentiation between their rights and the rights those who deal in the works of others in bulk and "create" little except profits for shareholders - frequently by extracting all rights to works from their originators for a pittance using dodgy contracts, unethical practices and, if all else fails, outright theft (think so-called 'orphan works').

      If nothing is done the IP will just head upward from small businesses and individuals for the giant greed factories at the top of the food chain, who'll throw their weight aroud to ensure those who consume it get royally screwed. Adding value? Get fucked.

      Shame it took so much protest for those supposed to protect our interests to grow some knackers (UK excepted; I don't think there's enough pressure in existence to make our shower of shite do the right thing), and a great deal of gratitude and respect to Kader Arif and his like.

    4. James Micallef Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: You know what?

      This: "Personally I want those rights to serve the goal of supporting the creator, not become a plaything of speculation, trade, legal fights, and so on"

      is one of the most sensible things ever written on the subject. I would even go beyond "creator's life or 20 years, whichever is longer" , and just say "20 years, irrespective of creator's lifespan". If the creator dies young, his/her children/family can still be supported for a time span, if the creator lives a long life, he/she can't live on their laurels for a couple of early hits. Taking lifespan out of the equation also removes complications regarding corporations... for example if Disney produce an animated movie that is the work of thousands of people, the people working on it are typically paid a flat rate +bonuses for their work and have no rights on the final work, which rests with the company. Since legally, corporations have some of the rights of persons, a "lifelong" right on anything created by a corporation (eg movie studio) would in effect be a perpetual copyright.

      I think legally it would also be a bugger to make copyrights inheritable but not sellable. So no problem, allow them to be bought and sold (maybe the creator wants to get a lump sum now instead of in bits over 20 years). As long as copyright expires in 20 years, no problem. I would also add a provision that every DRM system will have inbuilt a copyright expiration date. Tech companies can do all sorts of fancy things in DRM to suit copyright holders, so it's certainly technically possible.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You know what?

        @James Micallef

        I'd wholeheartedly agree with you, with the caveat that there is also the issue of moral rights, in particular how a work is used, in what context, by whom etc. Those rights should extend considerably further than the right to exclusively profit from a work. A 20 year old songwriter who produces a work entitiled "I don't like the colour black" shouldn't have to end up being best known for a right wing party's electoral theme by the time he's 41.

        1. Intractable Potsherd

          Re: You know what?

          I'm not entirely certain that I agree with James Micallef regarding selling copyright - there seems to be too much chance of people being pressured into doing so, one way or another. At best, a time-limited licence (half of the maximum period of the copyright, say) should be assignable. That protects the creator, at least in part, from being totally screwed over by e.g. a record company. Otherwise, all his comments make sense.

          I'm certainly not in agreement with AC 09.51 - once you have put something out into the world, you have no rights over how it is used. It may be painful for a creator to have their whatever it is used in a certain way, but that is the way things work.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just 20 years

        A fair point, though saying "natural person" should alleviate that already, but perhaps it's not unfair to fix it to 20 for corporations and/or for works-for-hire explicitly. Maybe 20 years overall is fine too --some insist it should be five, it originally was 14 extendable to 28-- but this is one way to be relatively harmlessly generous: As long as the creator is alive he can also let other people do with it as he pleases. It's when other people take over the rights that greed tends to rear its ugly head. But you need some sort of guarantee for publishers too, and that's where the 20 years provision comes in.

        Don't need to make copyrights inheritable, altough you'd need some sort of lingering right where the estate gets the proceeds and passes them on to the heirs. You'd need a similar sort of construct that you'd use to not transfer rights but assign proceeds thereof, which you might want to do in return for the publisher's advance. Fairly easy for a publisher to insist on his advance back should the creator yank the rights; that you simply stick in a contract and done.

        The no transfer idea is because of rampant abuse in, say, the music business where bands are pushed to sign away rights before they've signed a contract or even seriously started talking with this label. If no deal materialises they're out of luck: No money, no publicity, and no way to try again with a different label. They just got "shelved". Without signing away the rights, it should be easier to claim breach of contract should the label try such a trick. If you have a better idea to fix that sort of shenanigan, then do tell.

        DRM is pretty much dead, but yes, if you insist on trying again then it should have that plus ways to still Just Work when, not if, the required infrastructure (like validating servers) vanishes, and lots of other features that mean the paying customer can do whatever he wants with the protected content. But since the paying customer usually ends up with less freedom, less value even, than a freeloader, DRM simply isn't effective. There's something fundamentally wrong with the approach but I have no direct answer as to what to do about it, except "forget about DRM".

        And with that, we're back to the premise: Figure out how to survive in a IP rights free universe, then find the minimum set of legal supports to enable the creator to continue creating. It would include means to stop the most blatant abuse and leeching off of other people's work. It never was intended as and should not be turned into a right to get filthy rich (for big companies sitting on large piles of such rights). It's not even about control (cq compulsory licensing), but about fair compensation, fair use, sharing, enriching lives, that sort of thing. Note that "fair" bit: This is a bit of a quagmire since what, exactly, is fair? And to figure that out, you'd need to focus on the goal and not see the right as a property in its own right (and nevermind the pun). As such it really isn't an absolute right but more of a guarantee to help creators get by. Or at least, that's the shape I think it should have.

        And since we're getting sick of the system in its current form, it clearly could use a better model.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There will be new treaties

    Pirates are going to be punished and copyright laws are going to be enforced no matter how many people protest because they are the vocal minority not the majority. It will probably take madatory jail time before the entitled generation pulls their heads outta their arses and gets in touch with reality.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: There will be new treaties


      You lazy old trolls really should come up with a new insult.

      1. Jeebus

        Re: There will be new treaties

        You ever get the feeling all the Anon posts are just Andrew Orlowski?

        1. Steven Roper
          Thumb Up

          @ Jeebus Re: Orlowski

          Nah, that post doesn't quite read like Orlowski. It's too up itself. Andrew at least makes an effort to put some justification into his rants. That particular one reads more like something Turtle would write.

        2. hplasm

          Re: Andrew Orlowski?

          no- AO has a brain.

      2. Ole Juul

        Re: There will be new treaties

        You lazy old trolls really should come up with a new insult.

        Why? They're still collecting royalties on the old one.

    2. P. Lee

      Re: There will be new treaties

      Jail time?

      The issue with jail time is it that implies criminality and criminal law requires a much higher burden of proof than civil law. Identifying an IP address and an account holder won't be enough.

      When so much effort has been put into avoiding civil law by making ISP's responsible so they cut people off based on an accusation, I suspect the industry lobbyists know that criminal cases are even more likely to be lost.

      I suspect that a few case losses would perhaps push people away from centralised upload servers (where takedown notices are easily sent) and back to the torrents, where criminal-level proof is so much harder and costlier to find.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There will be new treaties

      The number of downvotes (not just for this comment on this specific article) suggest that the OP doesn't understand the words minority and majority.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Oh, that side of the pond then.

    5. Tony Paulazzo

      Re: There will be new treaties

      >It will probably take madatory jail time<

      ... so maybe not, unless you really want to turn that working serial copyright infringer into a dope smoking / heroin taking hardened criminal robbing houses / turning tricks because they lost their job. (Worst case scenario ala Hollywood).

      If the pirates are able to have 'The Big Bang Theory' available globally the day after it airs in America, why can't CBS? they are a multi million (billion?) dollar media company. Point of fact why don't they let people from anywhere on the globe subscribe and stream their shows? or have it ready on Netflix / iTunes? etc etc etc, they'd make a killing.

      Territories don't exist on the internet, it's a global mindset, artificial restrictions need to be lifted.

      Welcome to the 21st century.

  4. Graham Wilson

    ACTA/SOPA might be dying but sure they're not dead.

    From long experience, knowing what we know about the tenacity and resilience--not to mention stupidity and greed--of the Copyright Industry, and we likened our battle with it to a WWII time frame, then methinks we've not yet reached the D-Day point let alone the Battle of the Bulge.

    'Tis not time to be cocky yet, expect first a few grenades in our faces before noticeable progress.

  5. michaelkav

    What baffles the brain here is the copyright industries do not grasp people elect officials and if they anger the people they do not get elected no matter how many contributions are made to their campaigns. If people DO NOT WANT A LAW it will never pass (or be revoked) and not be enforceable. Lobbying has one fatal hole in it - people elect officials not the lobbyists. When people use social media to reach out they kill laws. This is becoming a common theme now the lobbyists have zero answer to as they can no longer control the flow of news via their old fashioned media companies.

    In order for copyright people to get what they want we would need to turn off the internet - I cannot see any other way save a police state. Which is rather OTT to save one single industry in the west.

    Simply put as sad as it is for these corporations they simply need to find new ways to make money if the old ways do not work anymore. It is not my problem and it is not the peoples problem they have these issues - it is THEIR problem and they have to evolve or die that is capitalism. You cannot opt into the good bits and out of the bad bits by lobbying for laws to protect your business model.

    In 100 years from now the concept of copyright will simply be dead. What remains to be seen is what comes along in it's wake.

  6. Long John Brass

    My 2 sense

    How about this ....

    You can copyright something or patent it, but not both

    Copyright for software can only be granted on the original source code, binaries are also copyrighted but as a translation of the source

    Software copyright is 20 years, everything else 50 years from application date

    Copyrights have to be renewed every 10 years

    To get/maintain a copyright, the source material but be published via a public forum (some sort of central library?)

    As for Patents

    Software & business process patents to be 10 years, everything else 20.

    Basically same deal as for Copyrights above but....

    All inventions must actually exist & be proven to work IE No working prototype? No patent

    A patent must contain all the information required to replicate the invention

    Can't replicate it? No patent

    If companies don't like the above then they can keep their stuff as a trade secret,

    but if the secret gets out ... tough shit

    If the central authority is say UN based central repo; the registered the info is available worldwide & will receive world wide protection

    That way ownership of & payment for use of patent/copyright material can be made easier

    The fees gained from renewals etc should cover the cost of running the above

    The library should keep track of material that has entered public domain & once in the public domain material can not be re-appropriated (Like Sony does with various e-books)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: My 2 sense

      How about people pay for goods and services instead of stealing? My 2 cents. ;)

      1. nexsphil

        Re: My 2 sense

        How about not illegally subverting democratic process? Rather a more grave crime than downloading video, don't you think? Just my two sense

      2. hplasm

        Re: My 2 cents. ;)

        No it's not; you stole that idea.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: My 2 sense

        So when was the last time you paid for a web browser?

        But think of all the time and effort the developers put into them - don't they need to be able to feed their families?

        Well, no. The great unwashed (includng me) have decided that browsers are not worth paying for, and won't do it. If somebody gives up their job to develop a new browser but can't sell it, whose fault is that? Should we bring in laws to stop companies producing free browsers? Would you be prepared to pay for a browser just because this one guy has a bad business model? No. Neither would I. Nobody has a RIGHT to earn money doing anything - it is up to the consumers to dictate what the product is worth (if it is too expensive they will not pay, and piracy/imitation/etc follows - it always has, and always will).

        Does not wanting to pay for a browser make you a freetard? If you went back in time and asked a developer 15 years ago they would say yes, and that you are killing the creative industry "how can us developer's make a living because of you web browser freetards...things will stagnate...there will be no web browser development....etc".

        This (and the next) generation has the same idea about media - they expect it when and where they want, for free (just like we do with a browser). If somebody wants to make money from it then fine - but get a better business model, and stop expecting people to pay too much for too long - it won't happen. See examples below.

        For historical examples please read up on John Kay's flying shuttle, and Whitney's cotton Gin - both developed by people who tried to exploit the invention to it's max by charging extortionate rates to use the technology - both of whom made little (or no) profit as their ideas were massively pirated as a result of their own greed (and it was lucky for the progress of both the US and UK that piracy happened, as without it progress would have been stifled in both countries - copyright/patent stifling progress, who'd of thought it).

        1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

          Re: My 2 sense

          Well, no. The great unwashed (includng me) have decided that browsers are not worth paying for,

          No, your argument is highly flawed, there are other factors at work here (sometimes), assuming that all these developers are having their basic physiological needs (Food, shelter, etc) and their emotional needs (belonging, love etc) then motivational theory tells us that the nerdy ones will also want to also display their technical prowess.

          Image 30 years ago that you announce in the final year of your business PhD in Havard that you announce to your professor that are going to develop a product where people will work for free on it and you will then give it away free and that it will become an important part of world economy. You would have been laughed at.

          And yet that is how we have Linux, Apache and a host of other software products.

          Google and some other companies also operate ‘free days’, days when staff are free to pursue projects unrelated to their normal workload. Google claims that many Google products started out as projects in the free days program.

          Creative people, when given the opportunity to be creative, will innovative and create new and/or improved products. Getting paid for doing it, while a nice reward if you can get it, is not the primary motivator[1].

          [1] Some big companies think otherwise.

  7. johnwerneken

    One wonders why devil-take-the-hindmost would not work commercially - first mover ought to be the same as the originator...and if creatively distributed ought to be profitable - with freedom for individuals to share non-commercially. Then no particular legal regime would be needed.

  8. Arctic fox

    Business model anyone?

    "Some kind of international agreement is needed to sort out the current deadlock in the intellectual property industry."

    The deadlock is entirely driven by the IP/content industry's utter refusal to accept that their non-digital age business models have to change. Their wet dream is to turn the entire internet into a locked down "walled garden" where nothing happens without their permission or without them getting a cut. What they want above all is to turn the internet and what you are allowed to do with the devices you use to access it into a world-wide version of a Famous Mobile Phone Producer's business model. Until they are only one of the interest groups involved in the discussions with regard to any changes in the law we will get one bad anti-citizen/consumer load of shite after the other.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Business model anyone?

      Completely wrong.

      Copyright holder's Biz model is not the problem. The problem is a small segment of society that falsely believes they can steal digital goods and services without paying for them. The judicial system has shown them they are wrong and will continue to show them that if they steal copyright protected works, they will be punished. Copyright law will never allow piracy to go unpunished and it shouldn't.

      1. Anonymous Cowerd

        Re: Business model anyone?

        Problem is a small minority who can't grasp the difference between copyright infringement and theft and mistakenly believe that they are in the majority.

      2. Arctic fox
        Thumb Down

        @AC 04.47 GMT Re: "The problem is a small segment of society"

        Then the industry is just going to have to come up with measures that do not punish the substantial majority as well - aren't they? Furthermore, if you really think that all that shite is only driven by their desire to tackle that "small segment" and has nothing to do with any desire for the walled garden model then I have to say you are being pretty naive.

      3. James Micallef Silver badge

        Re: Stealing digital goods

        A whole huge industry exists to publish and distribute content, and this industry soaks up the vast majority of the money made in music, film, books etc, with only a small amount going to the original artists/authors. With the arrival of the internet, 80% of this industry is now obsolete, but still wants to act as a gatekeeper and take it's cut. They claim to be acting in the interests of artists/authors, but mostly are acting in their own interests. Consumers can see and recognise this, hence many people have no problem with downloading content instead of buying it.

        Unfortunately the artists/authors are caught in the crossfire here, because even though their cut of an official sale is quite small, that's still a cut, and they still get zero from a download, so artists/authors still lose out and downloaders are still ripping artists/authors off.

        What's needed is a realistaion on the part of both artists and consumers that they are both being screwed by the middlemen and that they need to work together against the incumbent middlemen. I think there still needs to be some sort of middlemen to organise and promote content, but using the internet, they can do this job a lot more efficiently and cheaply, thus making it possible for consumers to have cheaper content AND for artists to make more money. iTunes is a prime example that this is possible. My vision of the future is a dozen services technically like iTunes but without the walled garden and competing with each other to get the best deals for consumers.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    view of copyright practicalities

    One thing i have always thought regarding the downloading of tv shows via bit torrent is this;-

    As well as an internet connection, i also pay for a cable tv subscription. The show i download from the internet the day after it is shown in the US will be shown on my cable tv, but not for a while.

    So one could argue i am still paying for the content i am watching.

    The problem comes because by downloading i miss all those great adverts that talk to me like i am stupid and ask me to buy their radioactive orange drink or want me to believe that the latest version of a washing powder has been getting my whites ever whiter since 1950.

    The TV advertising model is already broken with advertisers finally realising people mute adverts or go and make a cuppa tea, but the income from it is still needed to fund the creation of quality shows.

    I dont have a perfect solution but if both sides were a little bit more reasonable and realistic about how to get the cash to pay for expensively made shows (eg. Game of Thrones) then wouldn't we all be able to get along better.

    Anon for obvious reasons, but I totally accept i should be using a hippy/free love icon for this post.

    1. Andraž 'ruskie' Levstik

      Re: view of copyright practicalities

      Agreed. I Have the same. I pay for a cable TV subscription but get most stuff via torrent.

      If they want me to pay provide me a link where Ican enter my CC info and a list of shows I've watched and I'll be more than happy to offer them some of my hard earned cash. Of course it would probably be much less than what they believe they could charge for it.

      I'm willing(and do) to pay for a book 10-20eur but frankly most episodes wouldn't be worth more than 2eur each(normal 40 minute ep).

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I copy stuff from the TV (before that, the radio)

    Apart from having to zip thru the TV show adverts, what's the difference with copying stuff from the Intertubes?

    If they put adverts in movies, would that solve the problem?

  11. The BigYin


    ...wasn't too bad, although the way it was arranged without democratic oversight certainly was. But who needs ACTA when the USA will bring CISPA into World Law. Is it really safe to let the World Police set the laws? Is that not a conflict of interest?

    1. Mike Smith

      The USA? Who they?

      " Is it really safe to let the World Police set the laws? Is that not a conflict of interest?"

      No it isn't and yes it is.

      What's really interesting about this is that a fairly powerful politician is now at loggerheads with the vested interests of the American cartels. And it's not inconceivable that in this case, Uncle Sam could be the loser.

      If, as I hope, the European Parliament reduces ACTA to small squares of paper and banishes it to the smallest room, the MPAA and its cohorts will be faced with a big raspberry from the biggest economic bloc on the planet. The EU is bigger demographically (500 million people as opposed to 313 million Americans) and economically ($17.5 trillion as opposed to $15 trillion), and it's also a major trading partner with the US. Granted, we don't have the huge military machine that soaks up so much American money, but we have learned that high explosives aren't the automatic answer to life's little problems.

      What I'm getting at is that America's time as the world bully-boy is drawing to a close. The end won't necessarily be dramatic, unless Washington decides to start a war with someone who does have the capacity to hit back. Rather, it'll be a small drip-feed of little issues that may look like battles won but which will still lead to their losing the war.

      Look, for example, at the end of the British empire. Back in 1912, Britain still looked mighty and impregnable, but behind the jingoism and adulation for the Royal Navy lay some serious problems that only surfaced a bit further down the line. Most people might see the end of empire as occurring in 1947 when India became independent, when in fact the first nail was hammered into the Imperial coffin on 12th January 1906, with the election of the last Liberal government. Forty years between the first event and its major public manifestation.

      When you look at the bigger picture, things don't look that rosy for Washington. American manufacturing is rapidly disappearing over the pond to China. Innovation - genuine innovation - seems to have all but dried up. The legal spats over patents that feature frequently in El Reg are a case in point - when companies concentrate on fighting each other rather than outdoing each other, you know something's seriously wrong,. Unless you're a patent troll or American lawyer, that is. The gulf between rich and poor is widening. Companies are run not by innovators but by beancounters, who are generally unable to see beyond the next quarter's results and have a strange sense of entitlement which leads them to believe that giving their customers a hard time is a Good Thing. The fact that senior people in the EU are making noises about putting them back in their boxes should be a warning note; but I doubt if they'll be capable of taking heed.

      I don't know what the world will look like in 2052, but I'll be very surprised indeed - assuming I'm still around to see it - if America is still a big noise on the world stage.

  12. Mitoo Bobsworth

    Everyone must change

    The fact is that content online is so completely accessible & customizable today, the entire concept of content availability, value & copyright needs to change if it is to have significant value to both the vendor & the consumer. I have no idea how this would be achieved but, IMHO, the attempts of current powers-that-be to assert themselves on the masses are tragically rooted in a far outmoded physical business model.

    For better or worse, the online paradigm will rely more & more on the browsing habits & interests of the individual, which wil involve the monitoring & analyses of those online explorations & trends - think (if you can) the likes of Google & Facebook, but without the mercenary aspect. The trick will be translating this into meaningful value for both the consumer and the artist - a more direct relationship if you will, without the middleman complications.

    Tricky stuff, but with some work, innovative thinking and genuine co-operation & collaberation, still achievable.

    Just My 2 Bobs worth

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    <Quote> Which is a pity. Some kind of international agreement is needed to sort out the current deadlock in the intellectual property industry </quote>

    Says who? the RIAA? Why can't the reg please stop being biased in favor of these outdated businesses and learn to deal with the 21st century.

  14. Alan Brown Silver badge


    "What baffles the brain here is the copyright industries do not grasp people elect officials and if they anger the people they do not get elected no matter how many contributions are made to their campaigns. If people DO NOT WANT A LAW it will never pass (or be revoked) and not be enforceable. Lobbying has one fatal hole in it - people elect officials not the lobbyists"

    Which is why lobbyists buy ALL sides. That way they get what they want no matter who's in power.

    There's a lot of merit in the idea that those who run the country should be dragged into office kicking and screaming, then given time off for good behaviour (aka, "If someone wants that kind of power why the hell would you ever consider giving it to them?")

  15. Semaj

    Stop Ripping Me Off And You Can Have Some Money

    Maybe they should realise that people are just sick of being ripped off.

    I was looking at box sets earlier today. The majority of them were £55+ (not special editions) which is simply not worth it for me when I can download it for free. Look at the X-Files for example - you are talking £150.

    But take a look at the Alien quadrilogy - that's £25. That's fair and I'll probably buy it.

    I also recently bought the 2 in 1 box edition of Life of Brian and Search for the Holy Grail for a fiver.

    It would really help if they'd get out of people's faces with unskippable previews and warnings too.

    It's really not rocket science - lower the prices or offer economy versions for the non-enthusiasts and stop putting unskippable rubbish before the show and we will buy stuff.

  16. Tom 13

    More smoke and mirrors from the apparachik in Frisco

    On the day the Lieberman-Collins Internet Kill Switch Bill will be voted on in the US Senate do we get an article about the very real danger associated with it passing?

    No, we get another yawner about ACTA. Understandable perhaps if written by someone in London, but Frisco? Really?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Do NOT let your guard down. ACTA is not dead yet. Nor is SOPA or PIPA, and CISPA is very much spreading. In addition, the U.S. Governement in the last couple of days have cranked up their propaganda machine saying they have uncovered some recent threats of "Cyber Terrorism". This was mentioned on NPR this morning.

    The Obama propaganda machine is attempting to get you to drop your guard.

    Those ACTs are not dead yet.

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