[Linux-aus] Never mind the MyDoom crap, make some noise about this!

Ian Callahan icalla at bigpond.net.au
Mon Feb 9 20:41:02 UTC 2004

On Mon, 2004-02-09 at 21:01, Anthony Towns wrote:
> On Mon, Feb 09, 2004 at 07:30:58PM +1100, Jeff Waugh wrote:
> > But a terrible thing has happened, that may prove to be an awesome
> > opportunity for LA (and possibly ACS, depending on their politics) to make
> > some angry yet positive noise about Australia selling out our potential to
> > the US.
> >   http://www.dfat.gov.au/trade/negotiations/us_fta/outcomes/08_intellectual_property.html
> > Seriously scary stuff, that we *need* to address.
> There's no details there to address, though. What there is is:
>    a) Agreement to implement the WIPO Internet Treaties by entry
>       into force of the Free Trade Agreement
>    b) An expeditious process that allows for copyright owners to
>       engage with Internet Service Providers and subscribers to
>       deal with allegedly infringing copyright material on the
>       Internet.
>    c) Tighter controls on circumventing technological protection of
>       copyright material together with a mechanism for examining
>       and as necessary introducing public interest exceptions in
>       relation to technological protection measures,
>    d) An increased term of protection for copyright material
>    e) increased criminal and civil protection against the unlawful
>       decoding of encrypted program carrying satellite TV signals
> I don't know what (a)'s about. Could be important, could be trivial.
from http://www.it-analysis.com/article.php?articleid=11400 (re WIPO):

Given its background and mandate it is surprising that it scrapped its
first meeting on "open and collaborative" projects such as "open source
software." After all open source software does, indeed rely on
intellectual property rights. It cannot exist without them. It is,
therefore, bemusing that the US Director of International Relations for
the US Patent and Trademark Office apparently opposed such a meeting,
claiming that such a meeting would run against the mission of WIPO to
promote intellectual property rights. At least one of the major US
software companies, probably beginning with the letter "M", is reported
to have lobbied against the holding of such a meeting. It is curious
that WIPO should have acceded to such "requests". It is even more
surprising that a USA Government Agency should so manifestly promote
such views, at least in such a clumsy and unsophisticated way. It is
even more surprising that WIPO acceded to such demands, if, indeed,
these were the reasons for "scrapping" such a meeting.

Leaving aside the demand by commercial organisations for so called "open
source" software products, governments, government organisations and
agencies are increasingly seeking open source software products as
cheaper alternatives to commercial software products, ultimately to the
benefit of nations' taxpayers. So WIPO why did you scrap this meeting?

> (b)'s disappointing, but I don't think it affects Linux or Open Source
> at all.

Consider: "Hi Mr. ISP! My name's Darl. I believe you are mirroring a
pirate OS called Linux which infringes our IP. Please desist!"
> (c)'s disappointing at first glance, although the "public interest
> exception" could be interesting. It's definitely disappointing that the
> Digital Agenda review seems to have been made completely irrelevant.
> But mostly that's disappointing in that we lose the chance to make
> improvements, not because it makes anythign worse.

My strongly held opinion is that the act of unauthorised copying of
copyright material should be illegal. But possessing the capability to
do so should not. It could soon be technically illegal to own a
photocopier. Or a CD burner. Or ..., well you get the idea.
> (d)'s disappointing, but is negligibly different to just retaining the
> current term, which is effectively infinite anyway.
True. But the status quo conflicts with the original intent and purpose
of copyright. (To encourage new works.)
> (e) seems a bit gratuitous, but doesn't seem particularly important
> either.
I'll reserve my opinion on that one for now.
> Lots of that's disappointing, but none of it seems particularly scary --
> we should be able to go on just as we are now afaics. The "public
> interest exceptions" to TPMs might even have some potential. It'd be nice
> for LA to have some involvement in the drafting of those...
> Cheers,
> aj
> -- 
> Anthony Towns <aj at humbug.org.au> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/>
> I don't speak for anyone save myself. GPG signed mail preferred.
>              Linux.conf.au 2004 -- Because we could.
>            http://conf.linux.org.au/ -- Jan 12-17, 2004

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