Michael Geist writes in with the latest news on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), the secret, closed-door copyright treaty that will bring US-style copyright rules (and worse) to the whole world. Particularly disturbing is the growing support for “three-strikes” copyright rules that would disconnect whole families from the Internet if one member of the household was accused (without proof) of copyright infringement. The other big US agenda item is cramming pro-Digital Rights Management (DRM) rules down the world’s throats that go way beyond the current obligations under the UN’s WIPO Copyright Treaty. In the US version, breaking DRM is always illegal, even if you’re not committing any copyright violation — so breaking the DRM on your iPad to install software you bought from someone who hasn’t gone through the Apple approval process is illegal, even though the transaction involves no illicit copying.
So, if I wanted to copy my DVDs over to my own hard drive so I can stream them to my TV and save a lot of floor space, this treaty would make that a crime, since the DRM on the DVDs has to be broken to accomplish this. Even making a backup copy of the DVD would now be illegal, even though no criminal activity worth government intrusion has take place.
And this is the US pushing this. Or rather US corporations controlling what our government proposes.
So they can shut down anyone’s access to the internet without due process? How much longer before SWAT teams use no knock warrants to prevent these ‘crimes’ from being committed?
What a ridiculous waste of effort to support the failing business models of companies that can not adapt to changing times. As I wrote about earlier with player piano copyrights, these sorts of copyright rules actually work against the ‘art’ that they are supposed to protect.
A lot of people are going to be hurt by this attempt to glean the last little bit of money from their customers.