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“There has grown in the minds of certain groups in this country the idea that just because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with guaranteeing such a profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to public interest.“This strange doctrine is supported by neither statute or common law. Neither corporations or individuals have the right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back.” ~ Robert Heinlein, Life Line, 1939I’ve rejoined Fa$ebook. I swore to myself I wasn’t going to. But I have.Fa$ebook has a multitude of serious privacy problems, but it’s also one of the net’s primary communications vehicles — an unmatched one-stop-shop for galvanising people online.I’ve been writing about the ACTA/Three Strikes conspiracy — because that’s what I believe it is — since it first came up. But now I want to really dig into it and produce a series of articles on what’s happening and who’s behind it, and I plan to start a Fa$ebook group to help me gather material.But this will take time so for the next few weeks there’ll be very few posts, although I’ll try and keep the daily roundups going.FrostWire and Teksavvy have generously agreed to continue their support, and p2pnet regular Devil’s Advocate has also promised to help.Hard-core copyright “criminals”By now, there should have been at least one or two major mainstream media stories on how a group of purely commercial, vested interest corporations who answer only to their investors and shareholders have been able to undermine the democratic process, dismiss due process, and turn the concept of innocent until proven guilty into a mockery.But there’s been nothing.The traditional print and electronic are still treating the ‘three strikes and you’re off the net’ element as separate ‘initiatives’ in different countries.In fact, the Three Strikes ‘law’ is an integral part of the overall ACTA plan.In 2003 the RIAA, the Recording Industry Association of America, owned and operated by Vivendi Universal (France), Sony (Japan), EMI (Britain), and Warner Music (US, but controlled by a Canadian), introduced a sue ‘em all campaign designed to use the US civil court system to terrify (word used advisedly) online music lovers into becoming compliant corporate consumers.Under it, people, including very young children, who shared music with each other online were labelled hard-core copyright “criminals” who were “devastating” the corporate music industry.However, the claims were nothing less than an early attempt on the part of both Hollywood and Big Music to gain control of the internet as their exclusive corporate marketing, sales and distribution vehicle.Unspinning the spinBig Music was in a fix. For the first time in history, thanks to the net, people were able to talk to each other, no matter who or where they were, completely by-passing the corporate-controlled media which’d hitherto been their only source of news and information.Citizen journalism took over, unspinning the spin and telling it like it was.Predictably, the sue ‘em all campaign fell flat on its face, instead introducing the concept of file sharing to the web at large, simultaneously alienating millions of US consumers.Worse, online consumers went from being corporate cash cows to customers — 21st digital century citizens with free choice and the will to use it.What if this trend spread to people offline who were still living in the physical 20th century where the cartels still rule?Something had to be done.The sue’ em all project was a hugely expensive failure: a PR disaster. Then someone within the ranks of the music cartels came up with an innocuous-seeming buzz phrase.Graduated ResponseAmidst much fanfare, and using Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal as its initial PR mouthpiece, the RIAA announced the Graduated Response.In short order it became known as the Three Strikes scheme, an “initiative, adopted in several countries, aimed at addressing the problem of online Copyright infringement”, says the Wikipedia, going on >>>In response to copyright infringement using peer to peer software, the creative industries reliant on copyright advocate what is known as a “graduated response” which sees consumers disconnected after a number of notification letters warning that they are violating copyright. The content industry has thought to gain the co-operation of internet service providers (ISPs), asking them to provide subscriber information for ISP addresses identified by the content industry as engaged in copyright violations. Consumer rights groups have argued that this approach denies consumers the right to due process and the right to privacy.The RIAA told the world it had all-but tied up deals with the major US internet service providers who’d act as corporate copyright cops, providing information on customers alleged by the Big 4 to have been illegally sharing.But it was carefully calculated lie.In January, p2pnet posted, 2009, “We are not working with them on this,” said Verizon spokeswoman Ellen Yu in Wired.Comcast, “declined to comment, and referred inquiries to the National Cable & Telecommunications Association” whereupon, “The group’s vice president, Brian Dietz, said he could not confirm any deals ”. The NCTA, “represents dozens of cable internet providers,” said the story.AT&T, “declined comment through a spokesman,” and Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications and Charter Communications, “did not return repeated phone calls for comment”.The scheme wasn’t working in the US.Solution?Move it to other continents.ACTA for EverThe Three Strikes law is currently being touted around the world, most notably in Britain and France, as independent, local legislation crafted to help the faltering entertainment industries.However, it’s an integral part of ACTA, the US-backed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.Is ACTA a conspiracy to subvert governments, effectively turning them into corporate divisions?Is there a council of lawyers and executives funded by, and reporting to, the top people at the major movie and music studios?If such a council exists, is this hidden network manipulating mainstream print and electronic media outlets, many (most?) of whom are owned outright by cartel companies, or directly or indirectly controlled by them?If it exists, what roles do the RIAA and MPAA have within it?Politicians around the world are falling over themselves to implement policies which help entertainment cartel businesses to the detriment of citizens. Are these politicians simply dupes? Or are they something worse?And who are they?Innocent people are in danger of being railroaded by governments without due process on behalf of Hollywood and the Big 4 labels. How can this be?These are the kinds of questions I’d like to answer.Jon Newton - p2pnet