le_bebna_kamni: (Gangster)
For those of you who haven't heard about it yet, ACTA is a multi-national treaty that has been negotiated for several months behind closed doors regarding copy protection, and it makes the DMCA look pretty tame. Here are a few of its stipulations should it go through:
  • Copyright infringement becomes a jailable offence, and not simply a civil matter

  • Breaking copy protection becomes illegal, even when doing it for legal reasons like accessibility for the blind

  • ISPs are legally obligated to monitor traffic and to shut down Internet access to the entire household of the accused offender -- before they have gone to trial and received a legal verdict on the allegation

  • The legally mandated "innocent until proven guilty" is turned on its head: alleged infringers are required to prove their innocence after they have been punished, and copyright holders have genuine legal ground to demand records of users from ISPs without specific evidence of misconduct

Of course, the corporate interests who are writing ACTA aren't considering the ramifications, such as an entire town that loses Internet access because of a single copyright infringement. Or what about the guy accused of copyright infringement for posting a clip of his own video from VH1 that Viacom used without his permission, but now has to fight criminal charges instead of a pesky take-down notice?

It makes me upset enough that simply signing a petition doesn't seem sufficient. One friend recommended that I assuage my anger by breaking from my normal Lawful Good(TM) mode and do copious amounts of pirating. While the offer is tempting, I think there are far smarter ways to fight back. Don't try to fight them with their rules -- play a different game entirely!

How about this? A big demonstration or festival (downtown Ann Arbor near campus?) where we hand out tons of Ubuntu CDs (don't forget Kubuntu, Edubuntu, and UbuntuStudio for all the art students), Knoppix, Fedora Core, Open Office and so on. We hand out free CD and DVD ripping software (to be used on legally-owned media, of course ;P ), and ogg converter software, and we promote music and movie downloading sites that don't use DRM. We invite bands who have openly opposed DRM (giving them a chance to sell their CDs and tee shirts, of course ;P), and we ask the EFF to help us with navigating the legal forms needed to get such a festival set up. We ask Cory Doctorow to speak -- of course ;P -- and Michael Geist.

And obviously informational booths on ACTA, copyright, and of *petitions* to sign that must accompany any Ann Arbor festival. :D

Any takers who know how to start the process for such a thing?

On a side note...why is it that a disproportionate number of people I know who are big champions of literary/music/digital freedom weren't born in the US?


le_bebna_kamni: (Default)

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