An open letter from Boards.ie to Minister Sean Sherlock - Page 107 - boards.ie
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11-07-2012, 18:03   #1591
Scofflaw
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Originally Posted by KyussBishop View Post
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While the court referral has attracted the lion share of attention, my weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) reports that there is an alternate secret strategy in which Canada plays a key role. According to recently leaked documents, the EU plans to use the Canada - EU Trade Agreement (CETA), which is nearing its final stages of negotiation, as a backdoor mechanism to implement the ACTA provisions.
http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/6580/135/
That's more than a little overblown - the inclusion of the same rules in CETA pre-dates ACTA's downward path by a few years, with negotiations on it having started in 2009. It's not, therefore, any kind of secret plan to get round ACTA's difficulties, it's bureaucratic consistency.

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Is there a list of treaties under negotiation by the EU anyplace, or are treaties such as this often kept completely secret? It's an awful abuse of the treaty process.
The answer, alas, seems to be 'neither'. Negotiation of treaties and agreements is well flagged in advance through press releases, and progress reports are generally also on the europa website and available to the press. So, if, for example, you go and look at the Canada page in the Trade section of europa (http://ec.europa.eu/trade/creating-o...ntries/canada/) you'll find the following:

Quote:
The EU is in negotiations for a comprehensive economic and trade agreement with Canada. The last round of negotiations took place in Ottawa in October 2011. The aim is to conclude the negotiations in 2012.

...

The first round of CETA negotiations took place from 19 to 23 October 2009 in Ottawa, and was considered by both sides to have been very productive. Good progress was made in most areas towards reaching a consolidated common text. Both negotiating partners continue to aim at a very advanced agreement, exceeding in its level of ambition any trade and economic agreement negotiated either by the EU or by Canada to date.

A second round of CETA negotiations took place in Brussels in January 2010, a third round in Ottawa from 19 to 23 April, a fourth round in Brussels from 12 to 16 July, a fifth round in Ottawa from 18 to 22 October 2010, a sixth round in Brussels from 17 to 21 January 2011, a seventh round in Ottawa from 11 to 15 April, an eighth round in Brussels from 11 to 15 July and a ninth round in Ottawa from 17 to 21 October 2011. Thereafter, negotiators have met in smaller working sessions focusing on a limited number of outstanding issues. The aim is to conclude the negotiations in 2012.

During the negotiation process, a sustainability impact assessment was carried out by the EU.
And virtually all the relevant documents are available, such as the original impact assessment. Impact assessments are one way of spotting agreements - for example, the various recently or currently negotiated trade agreements, which are most likely to have IP impacts, can be found here: http://ec.europa.eu/trade/analysis/s...s/assessments/

But that's for trade agreements - on the other hand, a single comprehensive list of all the various agreements the EU is involved in negotiating seems not to exist. Considering the nature of bureaucracy, that's unsurprising - to each bureau its own affairs, usually, and the different sorts of agreement will be the responsibility of different DGs.

In rather typical europa style, there is also a separate impacts assessment section which covers policy impact assessments - and while that's comprehensive across policy areas, it doesn't appear to cover external agreements.

Looking at ACTA specifically, the Commission has rather obviously felt stung by accusations of keeping people in the dark, and has put out a brief on the "Transparency of ACTA negotiations" here. As with most such issues, the information has been publicly available for some time - the text of ACTA has been available for over 18 months, for example - but it's virtually a full-time job following the course of any given set of negotiations, and our press is hardly going to devote sufficient column inches to the subject to make that worthwhile for them.

cordially,
Scofflaw

Last edited by Scofflaw; 11-07-2012 at 18:12.
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11-07-2012, 18:09   #1592
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Interesting, cheers.
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11-07-2012, 18:23   #1593
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They only have to get lucky once...
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11-07-2012, 20:31   #1594
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They only have to get lucky once...
The same could be said for the plan to build a motorway across Dublin Bay - it's the nature of the beast. Opposition to any official plan requires sustained attention.

cordially,
Scofflaw
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12-07-2012, 21:37   #1595
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ffs

Look at this and it's IN.

Russia's New Censorship Law Diminishes the Entire Internet

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On Wednesday, the Russian parliament's lower house approved legislation that would block Web pages selectively. The proposed law reportedly lets officials filter out specific domain names and IP addresses. Law enforcement agencies could add URLs to the blacklist without a court order. Hosting services would need to remove banned materials within 72 hours or risk being shut down.
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Another bill currently in the Russian parliament would increase penalties for defamation, while yet another would compel nongovernmental organizations that accept foreign financing to register as foreign agents.
No climbing back up that slide




Internet content blocking travels downstream, affects unwary users

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26-07-2012, 01:37   #1596
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Digital Agenda: Commission opens public consultation on preservation of the open internet (net neutrality)

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14-08-2012, 01:17   #1597
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foi'd by user FreudianSlippers and scanned by matrim, most of the submissions to the original SI for the CRRA

https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B6...1XX2dobTg/edit

blame the department for the rigmarol of having to foi, print and rescan em.

why this couldn't be released at the time to add to the discussion, i don't know, it could only have helped them.

Last edited by expectationlost; 14-08-2012 at 12:54.
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14-08-2012, 09:18   #1598
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foi'd by user RangeR and/or matrim scanned by matrim, most of the submissions to the original SI for the CRRA

https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B6...1XX2dobTg/edit

blame the department for the rigmarol of having to foi, print and rescan em.

why this couldn't be released at the time to add to the discussion, i don't know, it could only have helped them.
Just a quick note. I requested them and it was FreudianSlippers who scanned them.

I haven't actually had a chance to read them yet. Hopefully I'll get around to it later this week.
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14-08-2012, 11:49   #1599
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Nice, will skim through them; odd that they needed to be FOI'd, it's exactly the kind of stuff that should be publicly available on a website to start with.

It is different I guess, to the submissions that were previously published, on the CRC website?
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14-08-2012, 12:57   #1600
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Originally Posted by KyussBishop View Post
Nice, will skim through them; odd that they needed to be FOI'd, it's exactly the kind of stuff that should be publicly available on a website to start with.

It is different I guess, to the submissions that were previously published, on the CRC website?
these are not related to the CRC these are the submissions sent during the summer consultation, so sherlock lauded his consulative abilties but none of us knew what they said as he planned to implement the SI

Last edited by expectationlost; 14-08-2012 at 13:04.
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14-08-2012, 14:17   #1601
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I've skimmed through it all, and here's a brief summary of it: (most of the arguments for/against are fairly much the same)

Companies/groups/people expressing concern about the SI:
Google
Telecommunications and Internet Federation: Worth reading the full submission; page 36 onwards of Scan 001.
Eircom (expressed concerns at length about the SI, and specifically about why it is not a part of CRC review)
Ronan Sheehan (John Philpot Curran Foundation)
IDA Ireland
Telefonica/O2
Alternative Operators in the Communications Market
Digital Rights Ireland
3G Ireland
Computer and Communications Industry Association (makes the very good point, that where infringers can be pursued in court directly, injunctions should not be allowed against their websites)
International Service Providers Association of Ireland
UPC

Companies/groups/people in support of SI: (it's notable, that just about none of these go into detail or express concerns on needed limitations of the SI, but all endorse it wholesale)
Mechanical Copyright Protection Society Ireland
Irish Association of Songwriters, Composers and Authors
William Ryan (lawyer representing some record labels in Ireland)
Interactive Software Federation of Europe
Viacom/MTV
Warner Bros: Also proposes removal of the following from the SI (about the only limitation it places on the injunctions):
"(b) In considering an application for an injunction under this subsection, the court shall have due regard to the rights of any person likely to be affected by virtue of the grant of any such injunction and the court shall give such directions (including, where appropriate, a direction requiring a person be notified of the application) as the court considers appropriate in all of the circumstances."
Motion Picture Association (also supports removal of above)
Irish National Federation Against Copyright Theft
Recorded Artists Actors Performers
Music Managers Forum (also recommends 'graduated response' i.e. three strikes, and argues against legislating 'fair use' laws)


So, there was not just widespread public opposition to this, but widespread industry opposition as well; all the more incomprehensible, as to why this was forced through with a SI.

It seems the SI had been in the pipe for more than a year as well, before finally being implemented (with the government first flip-flopping in Feb 2011, deciding not to implement it based on concerns of balance).
So again, plenty of room for discussion and management of a more balanced piece of legislation (an entire year it seems), even the 2011 copyright reform committee passed as an opportunity to work it out, yet it got implemented as-is with no modifications this year?

One very notable part of the concerns expressed in the submissions, is various groups (Eircom in particular) don't understand why consultation about the SI is separate to the general Copyright Review Committee consultation; there is no satisfactory (or offered) explanation for this, which makes me all the more cynical as to the reasons for that.


It's noted throughout the submissions, that it's not a requirement to transpose the EU law directly into our own law, but that it's supposed to be considered in the context of wider considerations first (to see it does not impact on other areas and rights); this is usually done through a Regulatory Impact Assessment, and the government completely failed to do that here.

Moreso, the government previously explicitly spoke out against implementing laws through secondary legislation, like they have done here.
So, this SI was unnecessary, not urgent in any way, did not have sufficient regulatory assessment, was not properly negotiated, was not democratically debated and put forward as primary legislation, and consultations submitted by industry were 100% ignored, and government has failed to provide any satisfactory explanation regarding concerns put forward; this makes me extremely cynical, and makes me think there were copyright/entertainment industry interests behind the scenes, who undemocratically influenced the government into pushing this through.


I would imagine we will find out the next step with all of this (if any), when the 2012 copyright review committee process finishes up; submissions are long closed now, any word on government reactions (and potential reforms) in light of that consultation? (discussion of the SI was not excluded from this consultation as well I take it)

That said, the fact that the concerns put forward in this previous (SI-specific) consultation process in 2011 were entirely ignored, seem to indicate that any concerns put forward during this years consultation will be ignored too. We'll see anyway, but I don't have my hopes up; I reckon the consultation this year was (judging by last years) just to fob people off.
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15-08-2012, 07:23   #1602
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Just a quick note. I requested them and it was FreudianSlippers who scanned them.

I haven't actually had a chance to read them yet. Hopefully I'll get around to it later this week.
Sorry it took so long. Work has been crazy and I have been in and out of the country like mad.
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15-08-2012, 14:43   #1603
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Not sure if people have been following the news, the Data Protection Commissioner has lodged a Supreme Court appeal following Justice Peter Charleton's quashing of its order against three-strikes.

They've also asked the Supreme Court to refer some issues to the European Court of Justice, which could get interesting.
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/...321373384.html
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17-08-2012, 06:39   #1604
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the submissions to the CRC were published a few weeks ago http://www.djei.ie/press/2012/20120730.htm

again if these were automatically published why were the SI submissions not
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24-11-2012, 23:41   #1605
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European Parliament: Stop the ITU taking over the Internet

http://www.pcworld.com/article/20160...-internet.html


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Control of the Internet must be stopped from falling into the hands of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the European Parliament has warned.

The European Union’s elected representatives loudly called for negotiators to block attempts by the ITU to gain ultimate control over the Internet at a conference in Dubai next month.

The World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) will attempt to revise international telecommunication regulations, which have not been updated since 1988. A resolution approved by an overwhelming majority of Members of the European Parliament on Thursday warned that some of the proposals presented ahead of WCIT could result in the ITU itself becoming “the ruling power of the Internet,” something the parliament is determined to prevent.

“The ITU, or any other single international institution, is not the appropriate body to assert regulatory authority over the Internet,” said the resolution, drawn up by Dutch parliamentarian Marietje Schaake.

The Parliament also said that it is concerned that some of the ITU reform proposals would set up charging mechanisms, which could seriously threaten the open and competitive nature of the Internet by driving up prices and hurting innovation.

Meanwhile search giant Google has invited users to “pledge your support for the free and open Internet,” warning that governments working behind closed doors in Dubai should not direct its future.
A free and open world depends on a free and open web.


http://techpp.com/2012/11/21/google-take-action/

Quote:
Underneath the surface, it seems that some governments from the 42 attending want to take advantage of this situation and discuss, why not enforce, some censorship rules in their countries and to all those that comply. While censorship illegal downloads for the hottest movie is an adequate move, Google advises that terrible things may be questioned here, ones that may affect innovation itself.
WCIT-12: Conference Overview
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