Kader Arif, the “rapporteur” for ACTA, has quit that role in disgust over the process behind getting the EU to sign onto ACTA. A rapporteur is a person “appointed by a deliberative body to investigate an issue.” However, it appears his investigation of ACTA didn’t make him very pleased:
I want to denounce in the strongest possible manner the entire process that led to the signature of this agreement: no inclusion of civil society organisations, a lack of transparency from the start of the negotiations, repeated postponing of the signature of the text without an explanation being ever given, exclusion of the EU Parliament’s demands that were expressed on several occasions in our assembly.
As rapporteur of this text, I have faced never-before-seen manoeuvres from the right wing of this Parliament to impose a rushed calendar before public opinion could be alerted, thus depriving the Parliament of its right to expression and of the tools at its disposal to convey citizens’ legitimate demands.”
Everyone knows the ACTA agreement is problematic, whether it is its impact on civil liberties, the way it makes Internet access providers liable, its consequences on generic drugs manufacturing, or how little protection it gives to our geographical indications.
This agreement might have major consequences on citizens’ lives, and still, everything is being done to prevent the European Parliament from having its say in this matter. That is why today, as I release this report for which I was in charge, I want to send a strong signal and alert the public opinion about this unacceptable situation. I will not take part in this masquerade.
Last week, several websites, including Google and Wikipedia, raised awareness of the prohibitive measures included in the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA). Here are some ofthe legislation’s controversial provisions
- Music review sites can only allude to a song’s title and content in vague terms
- All pirated material available only at the Commerce Department’s new site, Torrent.gov
- Government will actively encourage people to download only public-domain music, such as Pipey Lester’s “That Cat’s a-Mewing!” or Ukulele Ted’s “Nickel For Your Hat”
- Denies future generations the ability to watch hilarious scene from Dirty Work where Chris Farley yells at the Asian hooker anytime, free of charge, which is a fundamental right of being an American
- Does absolutely nothing to get rid of goddamn Lolcats
- Makes the MPAA and RIAA feel better, which, if you have any shred of a soul, causes pure rage to swell through your very being
- Any person suspected of Photoshopping bill sponsor Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) in an unflattering manner shall be subject to a minimum sentence of two months in prison; sentence will be increased by an additional two months if MS Paint is used
- No longer legal to steal Ryan Gosling’s credit card information
megaIn most reports following the MegaUpload shutdown, the site is exclusively portrayed as a piracy haven.
However, hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of people used the site to share research data, work documents, personal video collections.
As of today, these people are still unsure whether they will ever get their personal belongings back.
In a response, Pirate Parties worldwide have started to make a list of all the people affected by the raids, and they are planning to file an official complaint against the US authorities.
Saying there’s no way around it at this point, a coalition of scientists announced Thursday that one-third of the world population must die to prevent wide-scale depletion of the planet’s resources—and that humankind needs to figure out immediately how it wants to go about killing off more than 2 billion members of its species.
Representing multiple fields of study, including ecology, agriculture, biology, and economics, the researchers told reporters that facts are facts: Humanity has far exceeded its sustainable population size, so either one in three humans can choose how they want to die themselves, or there can be some sort of government-mandated liquidation program—but either way, people have to start dying.
And soon, the scientists confirmed.
Apple’s last quarter was the second most profitable quarter of any company ever in US history. Only ExxonMobile topped them slightly in 2008 when oil was at an all-time high. That’s an astounding and awe-inspiring accomplishment.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will inject $750 million into the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates announced Thursday at the World Economic Forum.