In another triumph of openness for the Hopenchange™ administration, the secret negotations of the proposed Anti-Counterfeiting and Trade Agreement (ACTA) continue. And according to Wired, they’re not going well for the President. A note from the EU to the US was leaked and published to a European website, and it exposes two facts. First, Hollywood isn’t content to have gotten two expansions of copyright in the 1976 Copyright Act, which extended copyright about thirty years, and the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which extended it about another twenty years on top of that. It wants to gain, through treaty, even more tilting of the scales of copyright, and according to the EU, the Obama adminstration is negotiating purely with Hollywood’s interests in mind.
Most shocking, according to this document, is that the US wants to expand the enforcement of copyright beyond infringers themselves, but to those people who merely receive infringing broadcasts; that is, Obama wants to punish the downloaders of files. In fact, he wishes to mandate that ISPs worldwide, without any recourse or appeal by the users, be disconnected from the Internet service they’ve paid for according to the whims of the Motion Picture Association of America and other trade groups. Other trade groups including the Recording Industry Association of America, which Wired says has sent five lawyers to join the Obama administration.
The President is clearly embarassed by this gross shilling for a particular industry which treated him so well in the election, because he has declared the negotations of this treaty to be a secret on the grounds that divulging the information would harm the security of the nation.
Yeah, Obama thinks his polling numbers are a matter of national security. And he’ll use the entire power of the Presidency to protect them. That’s the Chicago way.
Regardless of whether “information wants to be free,” Obama wants to lock it up as tightly as possible for the benefit of his donors, for as long as possible. Elections have consequences. How’s that working out for you, Libertarians?