unjapanologist: (Default)
A testimony at a European Parliament workshop on ACTA on March 1. I think this one is a must-see, especially because Geist doesn't just touch upon the problems inherent in ACTA, but also clearly and concisely lists a lot of issues that keep on coming back in similar treaties: the use of unclear language, the exclusion of developing countries from negotiations, the lack of transparency that comes with negotiating treaties out of the public eye and behind the back of established international venues that are designed to host these kinds of negotiations, and so on. A full transcript of the talk is available here.

Read more... )
unjapanologist: (hey ozai)
Things may be going in a hopeful direction regarding the EU ratification of ACTA. Bulgaria is the latest individual country to halt ratification procedures, and after the Greens and the Socialists, the Liberal political block in the European Parliament finally seems to be getting worried as well (though it remains to be seen what they will actually do when it comes to a vote - they are associated with this individual). By contrast, the extremely large and therefore important Christian Democratic block is clearly not listening.* Stop ACTA now has a very handy letter-sending form right at the top of its homepage.

In other good news, the self-styled Flemish 'quality' newspapers, which I've largely been boycotting since their disgraceful reporting about the 3-11 disasters in Tohoku last year, have finally begun informing the populace about ACTA after weeks months years of saying basically nothing at all about it. They put out some very interesting articles that are masterpieces of contradictions, misinformation, and hilariously incoherent nonsense. The articles are also nearly identical and clearly copy-pasted from a press agency text, but I suppose that's the least of their imperfections.

My absolute favorite bit: anti-ACTA demonstrators "wear masks out of fear of reprisals".

That is seriously in there (Google translate). Every time I hear somebody bemoan the evils of unreliable citizen journalism and blow trumpets about how "professional" reporting needs to be protected and respected, I laugh and laugh.

*In a lovely example of them not listening: one of their members, Ivo Belet, just replied to a mail I sent him containing a link to a debunking of much of the contents of a document called "Ten myths about ACTA" that the European Commission has been sending around. Mr. Belet tried to assuage my fears by sending me a link to the "Ten myths about ACTA" document. I realize that it's absolutely impossible for EP members to follow links in and give personalized responses to all the mails they get, but this sort of thing doesn't make them look concerned with citizen's opinions. Or very bright.
unjapanologist: (fetchez la vache)
There seems to be some confusion around here and elsewhere on the interwebs that ACTA is something local, like the EU equivalent of SOPA/PIPA. Unfortunately, ACTA is a treaty that was secretly negotiated and quietly pushed through by many governments from around the globe. It's already been signed by the US, Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea. Many EU countries also signed, although some of the national representatives who did so immediately regretted it and confessed that they had no idea what they'd put their signature under.

But ACTA can't become law in any EU country unless all individual countries also ratify the treaty and the overarching EU parliament also approves it. That's what the big push right now is all about: the EU countries, even those whose representatives already signed, will all dodge ACTA if the parliament decides to shoot it down, which it actually might. There is also still a chance that individual countries might still backtrack, and Poland already halted the ratification process. This is a nice example of the EU's "nothing happens unless every country agrees" ethic actually working for good instead of just stalling things: if one national government wakes up and gets ornery about something quiet and nasty like ACTA, they can actually save the citizens of all other EU countries, because some kinds of big treaties and proposed laws cannot be turned into actual law in any EU country unless everyone agrees they're a good idea.

I'm not certain what people from the US, Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea can still do to prevent ACTA from becoming law in their countries, or even if it already is law in some of them. That all depends on the political process in those countries; like with the EU, a signature may not mean automatic ratification. There must be activist websites about ACTA for all of those places that inform citizens if there's still something they can actually do. For instance, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has a US perspective on ACTA here.

unjapanologist: (fetchez la vache)
We know the story by now, I suppose? ACTA is bad, but the European Parliament still needs to approve it, and there is a real chance they can be convinced not to do so if the people they represent make enough noise. Stop ACTA has summaries of and links to everything that's relevant. Here are some of the actions they recommend, in order of how much time they take to complete:
  • Signing these petitions:
  • Sending a message to all your country's representatives in one go using this form.
  • Checking the stance of your country's individual representatives on ACTA on this handy site and then using the contact info provided to call or mail the ones who still need to be convinced to vote against.

Please consider doing one or more of these, I've been following this ACTA nonsense for a couple of years and it's only barely less noxious now than it was in the beginning. Those who claim that all the bad things in the treaty have been ironed out by now are either uninformed or lying. The European Parliament is hardly perfect, but they actually have managed to vote against similar anti-internet and anti-consumer nonsense in the past, and there's good hope that they can do so again.

I sent a personal mail to all the Belgian MPs (including the far right ones *grimace*) and a thank-you note to the two who had already come out against ACTA. Fingers crossed.

ETA: Three! Got a reply from an MP listed as 'stance unknown' that he won't support the treaty as it is. Come on, come on...

ETA 2: Four!
unjapanologist: (Default)
Quick public service announcement: the license for all content on this journal has changed to from CC-BY-NC to CC-BY. This is the same Creative Commons license as before, except that anything I post here can now be used for commercial purposes, so long as it's properly attributed to me. This license only affects things I say here, not any comments posted by people who are not me.

I decided to ditch the old no-commercial-use license because I've come to believe that throwing up roadblocks to any sort of re-use of my content, including commercial use, only prevents that content from being as free (in all meanings of the word) as scholarly content should be. Bethany Nowviskie has explained the reasoning behind this idea in more detail. Please have a look at her post, because I'm too tired and too busy to write my own long and thoughtful entry :)
unjapanologist: (Default)
This video gives a quick overview of why we shouldn't assume that the business model of the entertainment industry is worth protecting against the things it hates, like piracy or unlicensed creation of derivative works (such as all kinds of fanstuff).

Video and rambling under the cut )
unjapanologist: (Default)
Quick recap: Kristina Busse's keynote "Affect and the individual fan" was given at the Textual Echoes conference and can be viewed in its entirety online. Read more... )

Really stopping now. Part three will be on affect (still Kristina's keynote) and cute little kittens! (Edited for major html fail)
unjapanologist: (Default)
The copyright crazy has been particularly strong on the internets these last few weeks, and I seem unable to concentrate on other topics and finish that blasted Textual Echoes post until I've burned off a bit of steam. So, please have a few random links on the general topic of "die, copyright legislation, die":

Links links links... )
unjapanologist: (Default)

Originally published at Academic FFF. You can comment here or there.

Some final notes and observations following "Comics Worlds and the World of Comics" in Kyoto. I had a great time, learned a lot, and was quite impressed in general. The amount of fail was surprisingly small for an academic gathering (a few people excepted), and several presentations gave me some very helpful pointers and new ideas.

Read more... )
unjapanologist: (Default)

Originally published at Academic FFF. You can comment here or there.

Cross-posted from the Let's Manga blog. Online store J-List is offering English and French translations of dojinshi by Linda Project (link definitely not safe for work), a circle famous for erotic works featuring, among others, characters from Bleach and Street Fighter.

Read more... )


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