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Senate Demands Transparency on Copyright Bill


When even politicians think a group is acting in an underhanded or sneaky manner, it is a safe bet to assume that they are. The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, acronym ACTA, is a piece of legislation being brewed over internationally that deals both with counterfeit goods and the piracy of copyright materials. Supported most outspokenly by the Motion Picture Association of America, the legislation also has important implications in regards to music.


If enacted, ACTA would force ISPs to patrol their networks for copyright material, hand over names of accused file-sharers, and disconnect the accused of their Internet for up to one year or face suit. It would prevent countries from circumventing DRM technologies or the creation of hardware with DRM technologies, and it would create an oversight body that could force the removal of materials without ISPs presenting evidence that they are allowed to distribute said materials.


United States Senators wrote a letter in regards to ACTA, arguing that the public should be allowed to see the legislation, as the Senators have concerns about the agreement’s impact on personal privacy and civil rights. In a telling quote, the Senators say they are “surprised and unpersuaded by assertions that disclosures of basic information about the negotiation would present a risk to the national security of the United States.”


It seems as though proponents of ACTA want to get the bill pushed through as quickly as possible, saying that the calls for transparency are a “distraction.” It seems disingenuous that transparency in a bill that could heavily effect the general population would be a distraction and, while copyright laws need changing, it seems as though this industry-written bill is not the answer. [The Daily Swarm]