Henrik Moltke talks about ACTA on Danish TV
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Who will decide what we're allowed to do and see on the internet? A number of countries are negotiating this question globally. But the negotiations take place behind closed doors, prompting international net grassroots to see red. Since the birth of the internet gigantic amounts of information have flown relatively freely. But with that freedom a number of problems arise most importantly illegal downloading and internet piracy. Now 39 countries, led by the EU, the US and Japan try to reach an agreement on global rules to counter piracy. The negotations will conclude in an international treaty by the name ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) The participating countries recently met behind closed doors in Mexico. Nonetheless, a lot of information has slipped out. Several participants have leaked documents on sites like Wikileaks. The leakages protest the closed nature of the negotiations. The documents contain proposals to exclude internet users who on several occasions are caught downloading illegally. Additionally, the documents outline measures to force internet providers to hand over personal data about users suspected of internet piracy. Numerous organisations, including Journalists Without Frontiers, have warned that such rules could lead to freedom of speech suppression online. According to the organisation, this will make it much easier for states like China and Iran to control what's being said online, by referring to international treaties. Journalists Without Frontiers has criticized the closednes surrounding the negotiations. The European Commision has adressed parts of the criticism in a press release, stating that the closed doors were necessary to "ensure efficient negotiations". Welcome, Henrik Moltke Journalist and adviser at Socialsquare, that helps companies with web strategies. You're also a strong proponent of the free and open internet. I know you're of one of these international web grassroots who are very sceptical of these negotiations. Why is that? I see this as a threat to the free and open internet, which I and many others care deeply about. But also because all the secrecy results in a democratic loss. The institutions that see things differently than the ones wanting more regulation do not have a voice in this process. This is obviously deeply problematic. Who cares if the outcome of the negotiations makes sense? What do you fear will be the consequence? I've been in this business and dealt with these issues for a number of years. I suspect nothing that makes sense to come out of negotiations, that only includes one party. Here's a couple of scenarios: I have a US iTunes account at home, which allows me to watch movies when I want to, and to pay for them. In order to do that, I had to hack around a bit to make it work here. If this goes into effect, this might result in one "strike" on my "driver's license". I unlocked this phone so I could use it abroad with other SIM-cards That's another strike, and I' m in trouble. So, you want to breat the law? You want to be a pirate, and hack your way into things? It seems logical that those making a profit from these things want to tell you, that you cannot do that? Well, there are two small words where I disagree First of all, pirates - that's something with ships - and theft normally requires something - You know what I mean, Henrik - Yes, well, this is all about balance. There was a business where a few players had the whole cake. New players emerge, but they don't want to share the cake. That's not fair. They obviously need to be able to protect their content. But there has to be limits. But shouldn't they be allowed to profit? They invented it, and want to decide under which conditions you buy it. That's fair enough, no? Those conditions should not control everything, or regulate my behavior. I want a healthy market as much as everyone else. But I do not want a strictly regulated market with only one player, or monopolies. And something like this (ACTA) would help that But laws and rules are there to be kept, not to be broken. What is it, in more general terms, you fear will happen to the internet? I love this slightly anarchist element of the internet Many players know how to behave and make money within that internet. The best example is of course Google. One could fear, as we saw recently in Italy, that their playing field will be limited so that the old players can keep the field to themselves. In Italy someone found out that a video of a handicapped child had been uploaded and Google was then made responsible for that content. This is a key part of ACTA: placing responsibility for traffic and content. The playing field changes dramatically, when suddenly you have full responsibility for everything happening in comment fields, everything that is uploaded to the internet and so forth. This is a radical change of the internet. It will force everyone to weed out constantly. And it will change the way we think about the internet as a free place. A place where you can communicate freely. This is what you fear will be destroyed? Yes. You could easily imagine how this could lead to other forms of abuse We've seen China use similar tools to supress free press and freedom of speech. Which seems very similar to what ACTA is about. Next round of negotiations take place in New Zealand in April. What do you think is needed to pull these in a different direction? I'm here because I want focus on these negotiations. Popular participation in this process is vital It's important that those of us who care about the internet can take part in shaping the internet of the future. Recently notes from a dutch delegation suggested that four countries lead the effort to keep ACTA secret. Denmark was one of these countries, apart from the US, Korea and one more I hope the responsible politicians will step forward and defend what they're doing. OK, you got that one in. Thanks for coming and for explaining this.
Duration: 6 minutes and 5 seconds
License: All rights reserved
Genre: Public Service Announcement
Posted by: moltke on Mar 1, 2010
All rights reversed DR / DR2 Udland - please credit Danish Broadcasting corp if you share this :)
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