10 June 2008

A Crazy Copyright Protection Treaty

Don't do the victory dance just yet.

Graeme Philipson has written quite a disturbing article about new copyright laws that might crop up if a new creepy treaty is adopted.

The ACTA draft is a scary document. If a treaty based on its provisions were adopted, it would enable any border guard, in any treaty country, to check any electronic device for any content that they suspect infringes copyright laws. They need no proof, only suspicion.

They would be able to seize any device - laptop, iPod, DVD recorder, mobile phone, etc - and confiscate it or destroy anything on it, merely on suspicion. On the spot, no lawyers, no right of appeal, no nothing.

Oooh it gets better.

A wonderful governing body is proposed, a big brotherish group whose work and jurisdiction is outside the UN and WTO.

Oh for crying out aloud.

It would serve them right if open source groups come up with more and more digital material that becomes the preferred viewing choice.

As it is, Elephant Dreams was an absolute delight.