Monday, November 9, 2009

Obama Plan Portends "Net Neuter-alization"

My buddy, Uncle Smokes, on FB today pointed to this BoingBoing item, in which one will discern the outlines of a system which would completely silence the most effectively democratizing parts of the Web and render the Netz a safe, corpoRat preserve.

Both of my readers will attest that Y'r Ob'd't S'v't has been predicting for close onto 10 years that the Owners--who had spent the previous 150 years, countless lives, and billions upon billions of dollars diligently consolidating their monopolistic command over ALL "means of production" and distribution of information--would eventually devise a way to commodify and take over the Web.

This effort to geld the Web is a long-term, multi-pronged effort, abetted by an 'officialdom' made extremely uneasy by citizens who have means and opportunity to reply to and interrogate their 'betters'--their congressional representatives, as well as to the Owners of the whole enterprise--in a quasi-public forum where the Owners-qua-'subjects' do NOT control either the conditions of participation or the vocabulary. "Pornography" was the first stalking horse for internet content regulation, and the allied concern for "The Children," were the first wave. The attack on net neutrality was one front of the battle to silence dissent and democracy in communications. "Copyright" is yet another. And still in the wings is the prospect of requiring "libel" bonds, or other restrictive regulations on netizens, to interfere in the free exchange of ideas.

The Oligarchs will never cease to quiet and/or coopt the Nets. They will no more quit trying to impose discipline on the Web than the Israelis will quit trying to expel the Palestinians. Guaranteed!

From the official position on the treaty, the Obamanauts apparently are fully supportive of it, and willing to concede EVERYTHING to the WIPO..

This is bad. Very, Very Bad.
Secret copyright treaty leaks. It's bad. Very bad.

The internet chapter of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, a secret copyright treaty whose text Obama's administration refused to disclose due to "national security" concerns, has leaked. It's bad. It says:
* That ISPs have to proactively police copyright on user-contributed material. This means that it will be impossible to run a service like Flickr or YouTube or Blogger, since hiring enough lawyers to ensure that the mountain of material uploaded every second isn't infringing will exceed any hope of profitability.

* That ISPs have to cut off the Internet access of accused copyright infringers or face liability. This means that your entire family could be denied to the internet -- and hence to civic participation, health information, education, communications, and their means of earning a living -- if one member is accused of copyright infringement, without access to a trial or counsel.

* That the whole world must adopt US-style "notice-and-takedown" rules that require ISPs to remove any material that is accused -- again, without evidence or trial -- of infringing copyright. This has proved a disaster in the US and other countries, where it provides an easy means of censoring material, just by accusing it of infringing copyright.

* Mandatory prohibitions on breaking DRM, even if doing so for a lawful purpose (e.g., to make a work available to disabled people; for archival preservation; because you own the copyrighted work that is locked up with DRM)
The ACTA Internet Chapter: Putting the Pieces Together

Next: More on secret copyright treaty: your kids could go to jail for noncommercial music sharing
BoingBoing has been in the lead reporting this story. Here's a partial record of their previous entries:
New ACTA copyright treaty dodges the UN, poor countries and ...
Obama's transparency commitment makes secret copyright treaty ...turns out to be codswallop. Gee. Nobody would ever have guessed
EFF sues Obama administration for promised access to secret ...
Petition to Obama government to disclose secret copyright treaty ...
Anti-counterfeiting treaty turns into maximum copyright free-for ...
Meet the former Time Warner exec the US govt has put in charge of ...
It's fascinating to watch, through the heds on the pieces, the decay of the Obama regime's attitude from "Yay, democracy" to "Fuck democracy" in just a few months, innit?

And what is more, nobody could ever have predicted it...Oh, wait...

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