Amerikanska juridukprofessorer ifrågasätter ACTA-processen i USA

Law Professor Letter to Senate Finance Committee

Dear Members of the United States Senate Committee on Finance:

We write as legal academics with expertise in Constitutional, international, and intellectual property law to encourage you to exercise your Constitutional responsibility to ensure that the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is submitted to the Senate for approval as an Article II treaty, or to the Congress as an ex post Congressional-Executive Agreement. It is our studied opinion that the administration has failed to identify ex ante authorization of ACTA by Congress, and that these are thus the only Constitutional bases for U.S. entry into ACTA. It is clear that other ACTA negotiating parties – including the EU, Australia, Mexico, and others—are treating ACTA as a binding international agreement requiring legislative ratification under constitutional standards similar to our own. We encourage you to demand the same element of public process in our own country.

De som skriver under det öppna brevet har stora problem med hur processen för ACTA har skötts i USA och hävdar att det är kongressen som måste besluta om detta och att det inte är ett vanligt handelsavtal. Den exekutiva delen av staten (presidenten) har enligt dem inte mandat att förhandla fram och skriva under ett så omfattande avtal.

Remedying this state of affairs is uniquely within Congress’s province. Congress, and specifically the Senate, as the Constitutionally recognized chamber with responsibilities for the approval of treaties, should secure from the Administration a public pledge to send ACTA to the Senate as a treaty, or to the Congress as an ex post Congressional-Executive Agreement. Absent a pledge to this effect, we encourage the Committee to hold hearings and to pass legislation that would prevent the United States from binding itself to ACTA without express Congressional consent.

Brevet är underskrivet av 53 personer kopplade till allt från Yale till University of Oregon och alla däremellan.

Kan ett internet-meme varumärkesskyddas?

Zenimax Files For Trademark On A Skyrim Internet Meme | Techdirt

We are all aware of the aggressive nature of Bethesda parent company Zenimax when it comes to trademarks. We now learn that it is not only aggressive in defense of its trademarks but is also an aggressive filer of trademarks for things surrounding its properties. Fusible is reporting that Zenimax has recently filed 6 different trademark applications covering a variety of uses of the phrase “Fus Ro Dah”.

For those of you not in the know, “Fus Ro Dah” is a phrase spoken by characters in the Bethesda game Skyrim when casting a spell that sends a blast of energy knocking back anything in its path.

Artikeln fortsätter:

Unfortunately, this move to trademark a meme can actually result in its premature death. Memes are born in the wild and are best able to grow and spread if left to the whims and wiles of those on the internet. Memes cannot be controlled or tamed. If Zenimax’s trademark filing is approved, the moment it makes its first move toward control, such as sending a cease and desist or taking down a video, it will feel a backlash by fans of Skyrim.

Problemet är väl att man har svårt att kontrollera hur ens användare pratar om produkterna när de väl släpps ut i världen. Internet-memes är dessutom snabbrörliga mål och de föds, används och dör långt innan en juridisk process har hunnit behandla ärendet…