Canada is about to prove itself good friends with movie studios and record companies, trying to pass the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) we’ve been hearing about for the past few months. The idea behind this proposed international agreement is to search iPods, mp3 players and electronic devices for pirated videos and music at Canada’s borders, and get other countries in on the crazy ransacking of people’s rights, too. The agreement also aims to stop peer-to-peer applications such as BitTorrent.
What gets us steamed is one of the main proponents of such Constitution-flaunting (and secretly negotiated) laws here in the U.S. is Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA), whose top four campaign contributions in 2006 were from Time Warner ($21,000), News Corp ($15,000), Sony ($14,000) and Disney ($13,550). Other Washington politicians are also listed as having their palms greased by the Hollywood greedmeisters.
So digital content will be the new contraband? Seems like just as the moronic "War on Drugs" winds down, here’s a brand new way to violate citizens’ rights, shaking them down for a few tunes. How will this be verified? What if we ripped the songs from CDs we legally own? What if we bought a Blu-ray disc and made a digital backup to watch on the iPhone while traveling? This is getting out of hand.