Thursday, May 29, 2008

ACTA takes aim at iPods

From the Ottawacitizen:

"The Canadian government is secretly negotiating an agreement to revamp international copyright laws which could make information on iPods, laptops and other personal electronic devices illegal and greatly increase the difficulty of travelling with such devices.

The agreement could also impose strict regulations on Internet service providers, forcing those companies to hand over customer information without a court order.

Called the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), the new plan would see Canada join other countries, including the United States and members of the European Union, to form an international coalition against copyright infringement.

Details of the agreement, which is expected to be tabled at July's meeting of G8 nations in Tokyo, were leaked on the Internet on Friday.

The agreement is being structured much like the North American Free Trade Agreement, except it would create rules and regulations regarding private copying and copyright laws. Federal trade agreements do not require parliamentary approval.

The agreement would create an international regulator that would turn border guards and other public security personnel into copyright police. The security officials would be charged with checking laptops, iPods and even cellular phones for content that "infringes" on copyright laws, such as ripped CDs and movies.

The guards would also be responsible for determining which content infringes on copyright laws."

The ACTA document is available here and here.

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