Monthly Archives: February 2010

The dutch ACTA leak – rough translation

Original dutch source is here. I hunted it through google translate and cleaned up some of the translation mistakes. As I am a native dutch, I do know what I am correcting. However – this is NOT an official translation of any kind. My comments are marked in [ ].

Report of Management Innovation week 49 from November 30 to December 4, 2009

ACTA (Official 1 – name known to editors)
At the EU level currently two sections of ACTA are being discussed, namely civil enforcement of IP rights and enforcement of IP [Intellectual Property] on the Internet.

The last chapter [on Internet] is compiled by the U.S. and has only recently been provided.

Because the documents and ACTA negotiations are confidential, this chapter has caused various groups on the internet to speculate about the possible content (esp. wrt ‘three strikes out).

We have received two letters by dutch citizens on this subject: one of the Brein Foundation, in which Stas [State Secretary] has been asked to include all forms of piracy in the chapter and a letter from a citizen who, based on the Brein letter, asked to not include piracy in ACTA.

EU-questionnaires wrt study of information-sharing by public sector bodies in combating piracy and counterfeiting (1 Officer – name known to editors) asked public institutions IM DG (ministries and implementing agencies) of MS to provide insight wrt information exchange wrt to combat piracy and counterfeiting.

EUCie strives for an electronic information network, which authorities can use to exchange information on the above combatting.

Given the amount of players and EZ [Ministry of Economics] is the responsible ministry for enforcement of IP rights [Intellectual Property], the answering of this questionnaire is coordinated by EZ.

INTER DEPARTMENTAL COUNCIL FOR TRADE POLICY IRHP 2010-02 (c)

REPORT OF THE DUTCH DELEGATION TO
THE MEETING OF THE COMMERCIAL POLICY COMMITTEE HELD IN BRUSSELS DD 15 JANUARY 2010

3. 3. ACTA: preparations of the 7th round of negotiations ACTA:

Presidency requested to mark the participation of LS ASAP. Cie reported on latest developments regarding the issue of transparency.

Cie willing to go towards full disclosure of the documents, but it was dependent on the thoughts of the new Commissioner and of course
had to take into account the wishes of some third countries (U.S. seemed unconvinced).

Cie feared setting a precedent for the free trade agreements now being negotiated, it was not intended that the EU position would become completely public. This could have major consequences for EU interests.

POL [Poland], VK [United Kingdom], OOS [Austria], NL [Netherlands], FIN [Finland], IER [Ireland], HON [Hungary], EST [Estonia], ZWE [Sweden] were in favcour of more transparency.

FRA [France] did not object against full disclosure if that would be the consensus, but did have concerns about the U.S. position.

ITA [Italy] sided along with France, was also concerned about impacts on free trade agreements, noted that even if plurilateral setting the precedent of ACTA would in principle be adequate closure. DK agreed with ITA and put reserve study status on the documents.

HON [Hungary] however opposed this with the position that the treatment of ACTA documents would be much more logical to compare with the documents of multilateral negotiations.

Cie announced the next stakeholder should take place after the Mexico round.

Also it is to be avoided to set a precedent towards bilateral negotiations.

INTER DEPARTMENTAL COUNCIL FOR TRADE POLICY IRHP 2010-06 (c)
REPORT OF THE DUTCH DELEGATION TO THE MEETING OF THE COMMERCIAL POLICY COMMITTEE HELD IN BRUSSELS DD 5 FEBRUARY 2010

ACTA: 7th round done with good progress.

LS [Member States] wants Cie to pro-actively advocate transparency * (wrt publishing documents), but Cie does not agree. LS [Member States] put more pressure on this.

6. ACTA (7th round, Mexico)
Cie reports. Long meeting done, the parties still seemed unwilling to offer major concessions. Good progress on customs procedures (exception for personal lugage agreed, is important, due to sensitivities in public opinion). Civil enforcement remains difficult chapter, because all parties have different legal systems. Transit and exports are still not decided. In this meeting the internet chapter could not be fully addressed due to lack of time, pushed to next round (including digital rights management). In general, the coverage was still an issue (EU offensive interests).

Transparency was also discussed, but this was rather to address criticisms in public opinion that were inappropriate (such as personal baggage checks and 3-strike rule for illegal downloading, both not part of ACTA). Release of documents remains undecided (Korea and Singapore oppose, Japan now suddenly wants to, USA remains silent). A written report will follow. Cie also was willing to share its line [of arguments] to take with the LS [Member states] when talking to the press. There will also be a stakeholder meeting next month (preferably a football stadium so that all supporters of the criticism of ACTA could be invited, as Cie joked). Next round in New Zealand 12-16 April and the ninth round probably in Geneva just before the TRIPS Council (Around the 7th of June).

UK once again declared its supportfor full disclosure of the documents, noted the current position [of secrecy] in EU is hard to keep national parliaments (European Parliament), citizens and civil society should be informed, there was nothing to hide.

UK insisted Cie should take a pro-active stance and should try to convince other parties of the need to be transparent. Backed by FIN, FRA, NL, SWE, OOS, HON, DK, ITA, IER, POL, BEL, POR. NL Cie and Legal Service of the Council are asked for possible legal basis of ACTA under the Lisbon Treaty and the possible involvement of national parliaments to ratify. ITA and POR noted that GI ‘s as of yet came off worst in the negotiations.

JDvdR reported that legal basis depends on the final text, but with criminal sanctions in it the text would create a mixed agreement.

DUI [Germany] declared at the end of the meeting to have no position on the issue of transparency. UK found that there was a consensus and thus the EU position could be changed.

Presidency said that the party line was not to become isolated on this issue, and that still remains. There were still some differing opinions of MS [Member States]. BE, POR, DK en DUI [Germany] are not sure that full transparency should be given.

Seems that DUI, BE and POR can be convinced, but DK is not willing to change. The internal opinion finding process was not completed, but has to be for the next round in NZ, according to presidency.

WRT FOSDEM Beer Event

Lots of comments on my last blog entry. Let me make some points clear before you all turn the flamewar to full force.

FIRST I am NOT proposing you turn the beer event into a political demonstration. I do strongly encourage you to go there to have FUN. That’s what I will do. I will be there. Wearing my Fedora. So if you want to flame me for what I say, let’s do it face to face.

SECOND The fact that the developers working on the Android kernel parts seemingly (as pointed out by Greg Kroah-Hartman) have problems with upstreaming their patches is an alarming signal for the Linux community. I hope that Google shows us that I am wrong and they are willing to upstream their changes.

THIRD My call for saying “No, Thanks” to the beer is a pun directing to RMS famous quotes on comparing free beer and free speech.

So in closing: Geez, peeps! FOSDEM is about having fun *and* exchanging opinions. We should have both.

The unique opportunity that a lot of Open Source and Free Software minded people meet at FOSDEM could be a strong signal towards Google that we are there to *help* making things better.

So grab your beer, have fun and flame me if needed. If you want to throw your frustration and anger on me – fine. But I would prefer if you use that energy to get more Android patches upstream.

Deal?

UPDATE

This mail shows you that Google wants to get stuff upstream but ATM (that was in october last year) is limited in doing so..

We (Google) definitely want to get back in sync with mainline (as I’ve mentioned earlier in this or a related thread), and we’re planning on snapping up our kernel trees to 2.6.32+ once we get past various deadlines in the near future.

Is Google forking the Linux kernel?

DISCLAIMER: This post reflects my personal opinion and is in no way related to the company I work for.

LWN tells us what is happening with the android kernel patches in upstream.

The short version: They are gone

As Greg Kroah-Hartman explains:

So, what happened with the Android kernel code that caused it to be deleted? In short, no one cared about the code, so it was removed.

This is a normal process, Microsoft was there before.

So far nothing special. However, as Greg correctly points out:

The Android kernel code is more than just the few weird drivers that were in the drivers/staging/android subdirectory in the kernel. In order to get a working Android system, you need the new lock type they have created, as well as hooks in the core system for their security model.

Now adding new features to the kernel is quite OK. If the changes are sound, stable and help Linux in general, the kernel community will gladly accept such changes upstream. I was sure Google was well aware of this process and according to their promises, I was also sure that they clearly understood that Upstream Is King.

This seems to be wrong. It is up to Google to fix this problem. Google hackers should make sure this situation is solved for the best of upstream ASAP.

If this doesn’t get solved, the kernel running Android is a fork. An incompatible fork, as Greg concludes:

Because of this, Google has now prevented a large chunk of hardware drivers and platform code from ever getting merged into the main kernel tree. Effectively creating a kernel branch that a number of different vendors are now relying on.

Forking the linux kernel is the worst possible outcome. Tell Google what you think of this. Use your contacts inside Google to make sure they understand the magnitude of this problem (however, I am quite sure that the smart Google peeps know this already, which makes this even more strange).

[UPDATE] In october last year we already heard a bit about Google trying to work better with upstream, as described here (thanks to @haypo in the comments):

Linus asked: why aren’t these patches upstream? Is it because Google is embarrassed by them, or is it secret stuff that they don’t want to disclose, or is it a matter of internal process problems? The answer was simply “yes.” Some of this code is ugly stuff which has been carried forward from the 2.4.18 kernel. There are also doubts internally about how much of this stuff will be actually useful to the rest of the world. But, perhaps, maybe about half of this code could be upstreamed eventually.

One can only wonder. They know there is a problem, they promise to change this as supporting forks is expensive and not really sustainable (quelle surprise!) but still, it seems they are not walking the walk.[/UPDATE]

FLASH-MOB Call

In case you are going to the FOSDEM Beer Event this friday, join the flashmob. Google will sponsor free beer – refuse it. Don’t take the free beer. Insist on the integrity of the kernel community.