The European Commission hosted a fascinating consultation on ACTA today. Luc Devigne, the lead European negotiator, opened with a brief presentation and proceeded to field questions for over an hour. The full consultation video is available online. The discussion touched on many issues including Devigne arguing that the WTO consistently blocked any attempt to address IP enforcement issues and stating that the treaty is limited to enforcement and not new substantive provisions (this assumes that anti-circumvention rules are a matter of enforcement, not substance).
The two big issues of the day, however, were three strikes and the European Parliament ACTA resolution. On three strikes, Devigne repeatedly stated that the EU was bound by EU law and that it was not supporting any inclusion of three strikes in ACTA. In fact, Devigne went further in claiming that no one had even proposed the possibility of three strikes. This despite the fact that a memo produced by his own department stated:
EU understands that footnote 6 provides for an example of a reasonable policy to address the unauthorized storage or transmission of protected materials. However, the issue of termination of subscriptions and accounts has been subject to much debate in several Member States. Furthermore, the issue of whether a subscription or an account may be terminated without prior court decision is still subject to negotiations between the European Parliament and the Council of Telecoms Ministers regarding the Telecoms Package.
How’s this for fear-mongering?
screen dump in case they change it:
From the same website that has a warning that “Health care bill will make drive-through menus impossible to read.”
McCain and another Republican senator decried the effect health reform legislation has had on the Senate, a day after the House passed the upper chamber’s bill.
GOP senators emerged Monday to caution that the health debate had taken a toll on the institution, warning of little work between parties the rest of this year.
“There will be no cooperation for the rest of the year,” McCain said during an interview Monday on an Arizona radio affiliate. “They have poisoned the well in what they’ve done and how they’ve done it.”
You mean the cooperation the Republicans have been giving on health care will not be given any more?
How’s that a threat, exactly?
On his radio show today Rush Limbaugh backed out of his promise to leave the country and move to Costa Rica if health care reform passed. Limbaugh said that he never said that he was going to move there but that, “Once all this gets implemented, I am going there for my health care.” Apparently, Limbaugh’s trip to Costa Rica will happen at the same time Sean Hannity gets waterboarded.
What most people seem to miss is that the new law is a huge win for Rush. Thanks to this law he has a few years where he can make angry radio shows about it – if the law had been defeated, what would he have ranted against? The acceptance of the law means more listeners, and thus more advertising dollars, for him. He probably never really wanted the law to fail in the first place..
With more links than you can shake a stick at.
During the visit to the last village on our agenda, a place called Ming Bulak, or “A Thousand Springs,” we found ourselves in an IT classroom. Besides the 17 women eager to tell us about the felt making machines they wanted to produce more, higher quality shyrdaks, were lots of computers and hand-painted, plywood signs, in Kyrgyz, detailing how to write code.
In late 2009, lululemon released a line of clothing named the “Cool Sporting Event That Takes Place in British Columbia Between 2009 & 2011 Edition”, an apparent reference to the 2010 Winter Olympics. The name does not infringe Canada’s Olympic and Paralympic Marks Act in that it does not use the terms “Olympic(s)”, “Vancouver”, “2010″, or any other term protected under that law. Representatives from the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee, while acknowledging that no explicit infringement had taken place, nevertheless expressed disappointment at lululemon’s tactic.
There’s old saying: power corrupts. A new Columbia Business School study titled “People with Power are Better Liars” finds there may be truth behind the cliché.
“People in power are able to lie better,” said Dana Carney, a management professor at Columbia Business School and one of the co-authors of the study. “It just doesn’t hurt them as much to do it.”
FedThe Federal Reserve lost an appeal March 19 in a bid to keep hidden the details of its estimated $2 trillion in bailouts to bankers around the world, prompting celebration among anti-Fed campaigners and promises of a continued fight from the banking cartel.
A lower court ruled in August last year that the central bank must release the information under a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the Bloomberg media empire. But the Fed refused. Bloomberg had argued that the public had a right to know what was going on since U.S. taxpayers were “involuntary investors.”
“When an unprecedented amount of taxpayer dollars were lent to financial institutions in unprecedented ways and the Federal Reserve refused to make public any of the details of its extraordinary lending, Bloomberg News asked the court why U.S. citizens don’t have the right to know,” said Bloomberg editor-in-chief Mathew Winkler after the lower court’s ruling. “We’re gratified the court is defending the public’s right to know what is being done in the public interest.”
On January 12, we announced on this blog that Google and more than twenty other U.S. companies had been the victims of a sophisticated cyber attack originating from China, and that during our investigation into these attacks we had uncovered evidence to suggest that the Gmail accounts of dozens of human rights activists connected with China were being routinely accessed by third parties, most likely via phishing scams or malware placed on their computers. We also made clear that these attacks and the surveillance they uncovered—combined with attempts over the last year to further limit free speech on the web in China including the persistent blocking of websites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google Docs and Blogger—had led us to conclude that we could no longer continue censoring our results on Google.cn.
So earlier today we stopped censoring our search services—Google Search, Google News, and Google Images—on Google.cn. Users visiting Google.cn are now being redirected to Google.com.hk, where we are offering uncensored search in simplified Chinese, specifically designed for users in mainland China and delivered via our servers in Hong Kong. Users in Hong Kong will continue to receive their existing uncensored, traditional Chinese service, also from Google.com.hk. Due to the increased load on our Hong Kong servers and the complicated nature of these changes, users may see some slowdown in service or find some products temporarily inaccessible as we switch everything over.