back to article Australia goes cold on ACTA

Another bit of flesh dropped off the decaying zombie that is ACTA, with the Australian parliamentary Treaties Committee recommending that ratification be deferred - partly because of its near-collapse in Europe. The committee states that ACTA should not be ratified until a range of conditions, including a cost-benefit analysis …


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  1. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Up


    ... mates!

  2. KrisMac

    Great... but still not good enough...

    Deferral will be seen by some politicians as meaning "Lets get a new committee together to see if we can sneak it past some other way..."

    ACTA needs to be killed stone dead! Deferral does not mean dead and buried...

    1. Asiren

      Re: Great... but still not good enough...

      Makes no difference.

      If anything, deferral is better than killing it, as this way whenever it's mentioned, it will be recognised. Killing it allows them to slip bits and pieces into unrelated legislation, or come up with a new name and "new" angle to market it again.

      Keep it as ACTA, just make sure it never takes off.

  3. Combat Wombat
    Black Helicopters

    Yeah.. I wouldn't get your hopes up

    This s just deferring it till after the elections.

    Even then, there is no US treaty stupid enough, for the Australians to reject.

    We may put up a token fight, but when it comes to our US over lords we bend over and spread cheeks eventually

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Remember Harold Holt

    The Aussie Prime Minister who started to have doubts about the Vietnam war... Missing without trace while scuba diving... Largely missing from the history books, too...

    1. Tac Eht Xilef

      Re: Remember Harold Holt

      "Missing from the history books"?

      We named a bloody swimming pool after him! Can't beat that for a memorial to a drowned* PM...

      (* Or "kidnapped by the Chinese / CIA / Rothschilds / Reptiloids / whatever your favourite conspiracy theory is...")

  5. P. Lee


    "Nobody else likes it so we don't either," doesn't inspire confidence.

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  7. heyrick Silver badge

    The smart would kill ACTA now and learn...

    ...that the world may not have objected to all of the parts of ACTA, however take note of:

    * Attempts to criminalise copyright infringement is unlikely to go down well. Ripping off a movie is a world apart from rape, murder, arson, etc. A PM that criminalises a good portion of his populace will probably not have office for long regardless of the legality of those people's actions. It is called measured response.

    * Especially when other parties are pushing for an orphan works all-you-can-eat-for-free.

    * No matter how good or bad ACTA might have been (yes, past tense), its manner of being debated outside of public scrutiny and legal loopholes to prevent, say, referendum or such mean it is rank. Countries with pretences of democracy have learned in a hurry that we expect a certain amount of shit from politicians, but this is crossing the line in fifth gear and pedal to the floor (and to pile on the clichés, a "bridge out" sign).

    1. Zombie Womble

      Re: The smart would kill ACTA now and learn...

      Any legislation, no matter it's merits. that is agreed in secret without public scrutiny is undemocratic and therefore must be opposed at all costs because if we allow laws to be passed in secret then we are all damned.

    2. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: The smart would kill ACTA now and learn...

      "Attempts to criminalise copyright infringement "

      Can you point to the bit in ACTA that does ?

      I merely ask because these were dropped a long time ago.

      Even ArseTechnica had myth-buster

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Zombie Womble

        Re: The smart would kill ACTA now and learn...

        Andrew, can I ask whether you supported ACTA when it included the criminalisation of copyright infringer?

      3. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        The "dropped" part matters

        The fact it was dropped matters, as criminalisation was proposed behind closed doors. And considering Japan, one of the original proponents of ACTA, has gone and introduced this independently you can be sure it was not a joke:

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Paul Crawford Silver badge

          Re: The "dropped" part matters

          Irrespective of any merits in ACTA, the manner in which it was negotiated and the attempts to use it to bypass parliamentary process is a VERY SERIOUS matter. Same in the EU where it is/was being pushed by the commissioners as a done-deal to be passed by the EU parliament.

          This cannot be allowed to happen!

          For the sake of democracy everywhere it is important that ACTA is rejected and politicians made to sit up and take notice that new laws or trade agreements need to be done in the open, and with the goals and participants all visible so that it actually reflects what the people want.

          As Andrew has pointed out in past articles, most people are not "freetards" and will support creative work by paying if it is made a easy and good choice, but this has been a long time coming with music finally becoming easy to download DRM-free. Prices are a bit high (compared to CD per-track cost when manufacturing costs are excluded) but not bad. However video is still DRM-encumbered and subject to stupid regional restrictions.

          Can the industry groups get round to fixing the carrot before demanding ever bigger sticks?

          1. Zombie Womble

            Re: The "dropped" part matters

            "Can the industry groups get round to fixing the carrot before demanding ever bigger sticks?"

            Their whole reason for existing is to demand ever bigger sticks, they will never admit any sanction is enough and voluntarily lose their hundred thousand pound salaries.

  8. Neoc

    Point of order

    I do not know of a single democratic government anywhere. All the ones I can think of are Republics (elected leaders), not democratic (everyone votes on the issues).

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward 15

      Re: Point of order

      1. Neoc

        Re: Point of order

        I stand partly corrected - this is the closes thing I have seen to a democracy, with the general public having a well-defined method of overriding the Parliament. *BUT*... they still have a Parliament (and cantons) which means that most of the time it *is* a Republic (or at least behaving like one).

  9. nematoad Silver badge

    But why...

    if they are all now having second thoughts about ACTA, did they sign up to it in the first place?

    Could it be that the widespread reaction against this proposed "treaty" has driven home the fact that although big media etc. can line your wallet; it is the voters who will be adversely affected by this and can boot you out for handing public freedoms away to the highest bidder?

  10. andro


    The pirate party AU has been submitting information to point out exactly the problems with ACTA to comittees involved. It is good to see that we are now giving it a proper evaluation (even though this should have been done years ago, when it was first introduced).

    Unfortunately, we also have the TPPA which is too similar for comfort, and most people dont even know about it.

  11. btrower

    Time to get proactive

    It is time to get proactive. Rather than wait for the tiny number of powerful individuals who benefit by stealing the wealth of the commons, we need to mount our own effort to have radical copyright and patent reform to roll it way, way back from where these weasels have brought it to.

    From the complete shredding of the U.S. Constitution in recent years, it would appear that language has to be absolutely crystal clear and that Citizens need to be fully educated as to their rights. They need to be entirely empowered to form Grand Juries, reverse law with Jury nullification, etc.

    Bad Supreme Court Justices should be removed.

    As far as I am concerned, the entire body of copyright and patent law has no moral authority whatsoever. An enlightened and empowered citizenry would never allow things to get so far out of hand.

    We need to seize back control of our governments. We need to create mechanisms that punish the perpetrators of these assaults on the body politic. Those punishments should hit them where it hurts most by reducing their financial assets and hobbling their rights so they cannot recover to fight again.

    Authority originates with us, not with them. It is unbelievable how bad all this monstrous stuff has become. For people who have been around for a long time, Nineteen Eighty-Four is looking less and less like a dystopic vision and more and more like a routine civics lesson.

    Believe it or not, many of the elected representatives are not really the culprits. They *also* do battle against this creeping takeover. It is very difficult for an elected representative with modest personal resources and a limited tenure in office to do battle with immortal corporations and very long-lived cabals who have created entrenched and entitled bureaucrats and waged lobbying campaigns to mangle our laws for decades and even centuries. They need *your* help.

    Here is something that would pull the rats out of the woodwork: have a campaign of rolling boycotts of the worst offenders in major sectors of the economy. One week, the word spreads and we target one of the banks for a certain day and have everyone shift their money elsewhere. Do it so it is set up far and wide through a series of grassroots agreements so that pulling the trigger delivers a fatal blow to the targeted entity. Can most of a country last a week or two without directing funds to major corporations? I think so. If very large numbers of people basically put it to major players in the telecoms industry, for instance, that they would all move to whoever offered the better deal for the next six months, one of them would blink. Sure, they have cartel agreements, but these people are backstabbing weasels and they all they are. They will cheat, as always, but this time it will be against each other instead of us.

    The people have the power. They have always had it. They don't use it very often, but maybe they should while they still can.

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