Items tagged "Forum Shopping"

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No One’s “Signed Away” the Right to Unlock Cell Phones

March 14, 2013 DMCA , DRM , Forum Shopping , USTR

Several people have raised the specter of trade agreements standing in the way of cell phone unlocking. The basic idea is that, in a broad trade negotiation between the US and South Korea (and in a number of others), the two countries agreed to make sure their copyright laws had certain similar features. Among those were requirements that they have laws against breaking digital locks to access copyrighted works, and that they only have certain kinds of exemptions to them. Cell phone unlocking is not one of the specific exemptions.

Mike Masnick at Techdirt characterizes this (at least in the article’s title) as the US “signing away” its ability to enact a more permanent exemption for phone unlocking.

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TPP and a Very Basic Point About Transparency

May 14, 2012 ACTA , Enforcement , Forum Shopping , International , Transparency

If you’ve been following this space, you’ve likely seen that Public Knowledge was on the ground in Dallas this past weekend, covering the latest round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, or TPP. Among the various problems with the agreement itself (possible increases to already-draconian copyright penalties internationally, increased emphasis on protecting DRM, a lack of inclusion of well-established limitations and exceptions like library uses and fair use), there’s the fact that the agreement itself remains a closely guarded secret. The public is apparently not allowed to see even the opening positions their governments are making in negotiations.

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Is ACTA Binding? Depends on Where You Ask

March 8, 2012 ACTA , Enforcement , Forum Shopping , International , Transparency

There’s been a fair bit of coverage about this letter sent from the State Department in response to Senator Ron Wyden’s questions about how much the Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (“ACTA”) binds the U.S. It’s a current question because among the many questions swirling around ACTA, one is whether it “binds” the United States to its terms. The answer from the State Department is “yes”—but that may not actually mean what it appears to at first, and the reason for that has to do with why I’ve placed the word “binds” in scare quotes above.

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ACTA: the Big Deal

January 27, 2012 ACTA , Enforcement , Forum Shopping , International , Special 301

ACTA (the Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) is making a lot of news these days, with lots of people comparing it unfavorably to PIPA and SOPA. A lot of that coverage has been focused on Europe and particularly Poland, where the Polish government’s signing of the agreement has sparked considerable protest.

So is this a big deal, and if so, why is domestic coverage of it so muted in comparison to SOPA and PIPA?

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More Domain Seizures from DOJ/ICE: Spanish Website Seized Despite Legal Status in Spain

February 1, 2011 DMCA , Enforcement , Forum Shopping , International , Piracy

According to Techdirt and Torrentfreak, the Department of Justice and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement have seized more domains on the grounds of copyright infringement (coverage of earlier seizures here, here, and here). Notably among them is the Spanish site Rojadirecta.org now redirects to a DOJ/ICE splash page identical to those used in earlier seizures.

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Do the Visually Impaired Need Their Own ACTA?

June 29, 2010 Fair Use , Forum Shopping , International , Limitations & Exceptions

Last week, the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR)—part of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a United Nations body, failed to make any progress toward increasing access to copyrighted works by the reading disabled. Though this is bad news, the issue is not over. There’s no reason why laws should prevent people who aren’t being served by the market from helping themselves by creating and sharing accessible works. But getting this message understood by a UN entity that operates by consensus is very hard. To understand why progress on helping the reading disabled has been so elusive, it helps to put WIPO into context—it’s an institution not renowned for speed.

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Who Wants ACTA Transparency (and who doesn’t)?

April 14, 2010 ACTA , Forum Shopping , International , Transparency

Even as more and more voices are calling for the Anti Counterfeiting Trade agreement to be made public, the United States Trade Representative is insisting in maintaining a veneer of secrecy over the proceedings. While numerous advocates and other governments (including the European Parliament, and officials in the UK, Canada, and the Netherlands (pdf, in Dutch)) are actively calling for full openness and transparency, the U.S.

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ACTA Makes ISPs An Offer They Can’t Refuse

February 22, 2010 DMCA , Filtering , Forum Shopping , International , Non-Discrimination

The leaked ACTA Internet chapter has a footnote that says an ISP can only hang on to its "safe harbor" by implementing certain policies designed to discourage the use of their networks for copyright infringement, and that "An example of such a policy is providing for the termination in appropriate circumstances of subscriptions and accounts in the service provider's system or network of repeat infringers." Three strikes and you're out.

USTR's claim that ACTA wouldn't "change" US law is plausible (if not comforting). Similar language is already part of US law (17 U.S.C. 512 §(i)(1)(A))–as is the Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution, of course, which assures that no person can be "deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." One would hope that, like the existing statute, the ACTA language will be read in the context of the Constitution, which assures that mere accusations of copyright infringement are not enough to kick someone off the Internet. One would also hope that other countries, if they end up agreeing to a version of ACTA with this language, also understand that a "repeat infringer" must have been afforded due process.

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Hollywood: Never Mind the Transparency, Here’s the ACTA

November 20, 2009 ACTA , Forum Shopping , MPAA , Trademark , USTR

It's not a surprise that the Motion Picture Association of America is a supporter of the so-called Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, a proposed international copyright and trademark agreement that the public isn't allowed to see. What is surprising is how willing the MPAA is to dismiss calls for an open and democratic process as a "distraction."

In a letter addressed yesterday to Senator Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the MPAA endorsed ACTA and then went on to say this:

Outcries on the lack of transparency in the ACTA negotiations are a distraction. They distract from the substance and the ambition of the ACTA

This is a pathetic excuse for logic.

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Copyright, Climate, the Chamber of Commerce, and ACTA: a few more connections

November 9, 2009 ACTA , Forum Shopping , Trademark , Transparency , USTR

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has made a good deal of intellectual property news recently, given their copyright and trademark lawsuit against the Yes Men for the latter's fake press conference and website, in which they impersonated the Chamber and claimed that it was reversing its position on climate change legislation.

Of course, the Chamber is more than just a plaintiff when it comes to IP issues—they're one of the reasons that more lawsuits like theirs may soon be replicated overseas. That's because the U.S.

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