According to leaks, a secret meeting held in Seoul and led by the ever so vigilant champion of all that’s free, the United States, may lead to the most Draconian restrictions yet on Internet freedom. Under the pretense of fighting counterfeiting, the participants (which include the United States, Canada, and the EU) are really discussing copyright provisions, and are planning to agree on a series of measures that would make a Cuba or North Korea proud. These include giving new powers to border guards, extending controversial protection of copy protection measures, removing privacy protection such as the “safe harbor” status of ISPs, and mandating “three strikes and you’re out” laws.
The fact that such talks are held in near complete secrecy by itself speaks volumes. This is how an East Germany negotiated border control measures with other communist states, not how free states negotiate about the rights of their citizens.
Once I stop fuming, I’ll write a nice, polite e-mail to our esteemed Prime Minister and ask if he and his government are really planning to go completely mad. I’d rather not see another penny in my life as revenue from the software I develop than live in a country which thinks that such totalitarian measures are needed to protect corporate profits from unruly citizens.
Meanwhile, I just had an idea. I think it is time to organize massive civil disobedience campaigns. I doubt it’d be too difficult to convince millions, if need be, to make one illegal copy a day of a song, a video, or software, not for profit, not even for public distribution (I am, after all, respectful of intellectual property), just to make a point and break badly crafted, stupid, hostile laws that should, really, must, be repealed (or, in the case of Canada, not enacted in the first place.)