Thursday, February 2, 2012

It's the end of the world as we know it

Recently I cooked a part of a computer to get it working again. It appears rather odd that this method could aid a GPU, but in the end it did help me out.

Anyways, what I wanted to rant... umm... talk about... was ACTA. While granted, SOPA and PIPA are threats to human rights as well, these are less talked about at the present time. ACTA, however is talked about nearly every day at school, in the news, in social media, on the radio, etc.
Firstly, I need to stress that I condemn piracy. I don't loathe it, because I do not understand it. In this very sweet little country piracy is defined as sharing copyrighted material or making copies of programs and/or databases. Hence music, ebooks and movies are allowed to be copied for personal use. Good music and movies are practically impossible to come by here. If you don't believe me, try finding a place in some small country that would sell albums by Globus. Or even worse, try obtaining music by Mark Petrie legally. That is not an instrumentable goal as he doesn't actually sell his music. Programs however, have many free alternatives. For instance, instead of pirating Photoshop, you can easily use Paint.NET or GIMP instead. Instead of Windows you have Linux.
Now that it is clear that I am not a supporter of piracy, I can continue to ACTA. While this agreement certainly sounds nice, if read. Contrary to popular belief, a large part of it (the part signed by many members of the EU) is openly available for everyone to read. It, however, is only a minute piece in a puzzle. It barely has any specific points, practically everything can be interpreted differently by different people. Politicians (who, as you know, use lies to cover the truth up) say that this enables separate states choose their own interpretation of the agreement, making sure they make new national laws in accordance with the agreement. Unfortunately this is not completely true, otherwise this agreement would hold no power and there'd be no point in signing it. Every country could deal with piracy independently without outside bias. But ACTA HAS to be understood the same way everywhere. And this is where the danger lies. Which reminds me, soon new episodes of Danger 5 (an Italian show) should be uploaded. Coming back to the subject of ACTA, it must be stated that the only way all countries that have signed the treaty to understand it the same way is to have official rules that dictate how it should be understood. Since politicians are not up to date with these rules, they cannot really know what they are signing. And yet they do sign it. Perhaps because of ignorance, perhaps because they profit from it. It really doesn't matter why they do it, it matters that they do. It would be common sense that politicians look out for the people. However, as YPM proved a long time ago, "government policy has nothing to do with common sense".

[Partly a repost, sorry about that. Never gets old, so I hope you will forgive me for I have sinned.]

The preset rules that dictate the interpretation of the international agreement, as stated before, are not known to the officials and politicians who sign it. These rules probably state that piracy has to be counted a criminal offense for which the punishment allegedly is 5 to 10 years of prison. To put things into perspective, a planned murder is most likely to be sentenced 4 years or less. This is illustrated by the following artwork.
I believe that pretty much everyone agrees that this kind of punishment is folly. However this policy has not been confirmed, as pretty much nothing has been confirmed about ACTA besides its existence. It is only the probable future.
You might argue that this is so ridiculous it could not possibly be probable. Tertullian might start arguing with you on that point if he could, unfortunately he has been dead for a little while. But just think of the alternative. Large secret meetings to discuss ACTA just to be able to slap all pirates in the world on their collective wrists? Such secrecy and ambiguity just to impose small punishments? We know politicians tend not to be the sharpest tools in the shed but even they have some brains. And I use the phrase 'tend to be' because I know fully well that there are some logical politicians out there, no matter how overshadowed they 'tend to be' by their disillusioned colleagues.
You now might think that there is a controversy in what I've written in that politicians hide ACTA because it has a detrimental effect on piracy and freedom of speech, however they do not know the contents of ACTA. I can assure you there is no controversy of the like in my point. Firstly, keeping ACTA secret was most probably not their decision. Secondly, they had to keep ACTA secret because they were told to do so. This does not need them to know what they are hiding.
The point to which I was strenuously trying to reach was that if ACTA didn't consist of harsh punishments for small crimes, it would have nearly no effect on government policies. Anti-piracy laws are in place in countries all over the world. If ACTA was safe and made little change to the world as we know it, it would be powerless and put quite frankly, pointless. Everyone can see logic behind that.
In conclusion, it is clear that in order for ACTA to have a reason for existence, it has to have a large-scale effect on the global piracy culture. This can only be if it was in conflict with human rights, most importantly the freedom of speech. If this too shall pass, the world as we know it will be no more.
Big Brother will be watching everything you do using ISPs as their slaves. People will be forced to submit to the power of giant world powers, such as the United States of America. All opposition will be eliminated. Resistance will be useless.
That is not the future I want. That is not the future any of us really want, save for a few. That is not something that can be allowed to happen.
But as always, it will get much worse before it gets any better.

And no, I will not embed REM here, as suitable as it'd be.

It should also be noted that ACTA would disallow me from embedding these lovely illustrative works of art here and technically I could be considered criminally responsible for sharing copyrighted works.

"Words offer the means to meaning and to those, who will listen, the enunciation of truth."

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