pbahra writes: "Europeans will take to the streets this weekend in protest at the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, an international agreement that has given birth to an ocean full of red herrings. That so many have spawned is, say critics, in no small part down to the way in which this most controversial of international agreements was drawn up. If the negotiating parties had set out to stoke the flames of Internet paranoia they could not have done a better job. Accepted there are two things that should never be seen being made in public—laws and sausages—the ACTA process could be a case study of how not to do it. Conducted in secret, with little information shared except a few leaked documents, the ACTA talks were even decried by those who were involved in them."
pbahra writes: "Earlier this week, France’s anti-internet piracy police, Hadopi, presented the fruits of nine months of scanning the Web for intellectual property thieves. That works out at 470,000 first warnings, no fines, and not one Internet connection cut off. Some copyright holders, whose industry associations pay to harvest the IP addresses of alleged miscreants, are wondering whether they are getting any bang for their buck.
When it was launched in 2010, Hadopi was viewed as the big stick the music industry would use to beat French Internet pirates into submission. Now Hadopi is putting pressure on the music industry to offer up a correspondingly juicy carrot: cheap and easy to use Web sites where songs can be downloaded legally."
pbahra writes: "A bill that would allow Spain’s authorities to close down illegal websites with limited judicial oversight has caused anger among the country’s Internet users. The law, known as Sinde’s bill (after the current culture minister Ángeles González-Sinde) is designed to close the loophole that sharing sites such as Roja Directa have exploited. If you go to the website today, you will find a pithy warning against Internet piracy, courtesy of the U.S. authorities. The U.S. has exerted considerable pressure on Spain over what it sees as Madrid’s failure to tackle Internet piracy. A banner with the seals of the U.S. Department of Justice, plus two other bureaucracies, informs Internet users that the Spanish domain name, formerly a hub of illegal sports content, has been seized in accordance with U.S. copyright law. But if you do a search, it takes very little to realize that Roja Directa is alive and kicking."