☂ ACTA Roundup

§ I’ve had a few listeners to FLOSS Weekly write and ask for more information on the ACTA negotiations. There is plenty of information on the web, but a getting-started guide might help.

Here’s a list of references to get you up to speed.

What action can you take?  Here are some suggestions:

ACTA is legislation laundering on an international level of what would be very difficult to get through most Parliaments

Stavros Lambrinidis, Member of European Parliament, S and D group from Greece.

If you have more references, add them in the comments below please.

☞ Bureaucracy

  • If you’ve any love of Wikipedia at all, read this and weep. I know from personal experience that this account is not an isolated incident. There are people who magically appear out of the woodwork to delete anything that is not perfectly formed and fully cited as soon as it appears. They often come with a skewed social agenda too, and explain why you are politically incorrect as well as a disgusting, manipulative rule-breaker. The result? The only way to start a new article is to write it offline and post it, perfect, in one go.

    The idea of contributing what you can and letting it grow is long lost, and today Wikipedia is a bureaucratic place with a Kafkaesque tinge. It desperately needs fixing; I am beginning to doubt there is anyone at WMF who cares, though.

  • People are gradually beginning to ask questions about the role of Intellectual Ventures and their immense holding of software patents. Kodak is not a company I like (they trolled Sun for a fortune) but this accusation is very serious. Getting to the bottom of it would take some serious and well-funded investigation. Or, plan B, we can ask our legislators to remove the mechanisms used for trolling…
  • They keep pretty quiet about layoffs and offshoring, but the truth seems to be that IBM has been cutting loads of jobs as well as changing policies to ensure older staff leave (I have heard from several former IBM UK colleagues who have been forced out by pension rule changes in the last year). Seems IBM is embarrassed about anyone finding out and getting more opaque with the data so we can’t tell. Not the ethics of the company I joined in 1990, I must say.
  • This looks like a wonderfully quirky transparent democracy project and a great resource for journalists and activists. I’ll certainly be sending in the leaflets that arrive here.
  • Use the e-mail address in this press release to send your concerns about ACTA. Those concerns might include the transparency of the process and the fact the EC is blocking it, the mandate on ISPs to regulate the content of traffic on their networks or be liable for the consequences, impact on individuals since “large scale counterfeiting” is not adequately defined for online activity, and creation of uncertainty that allows corporations to chill open source and open data activity. Send your e-mail now, they want it by Monday.
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