Defend your Castle: ACTA and why it’s bad.

“The intended benefits of this international agreement are far outweighed by the potential threats to civil liberties.”

-British MEP David Martin

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is a multinational treaty that will establish an international standard for intellectual property rights enforcement. The agreement aims to establish an international legal framework for targeting counterfeit goods, generic medicines and copyright infringement on the Internet, and would create a new governing body outside of existing forums, such as the World Trade Organization, the World Intellectual Property Organization, or the United Nations.

Why it’s bad –

This is a policy that has global implications [fine, everything has global implications these days].  It will set precedents and establish protocols that other countries will use to change their current standards of property rights enforcement [Ok, so it has the weight to effect how I use the internet.  I’m listening].  It’s being crafted behind closed doors with private monopolizing interests and its drafters consistently deny public access for commentary or critique [DANGER!].  If approved by INTA, the International Trade committee appointed to research the treaty and respond to Parliament, it will be a huge factor influencing Parliament’s final decision on July 5th.   INTA is scheduled to report it’s decision this thursday, June 21st 2012.

Who has INTA’s ear now during this important process? All negotiations thus far have been in private.  It’s got a lot of Europeans worried about the future of the internet and freedom of expression as law enforcement becomes the responsibility of private companies with little capacity to maintain a consistent sense of “public good.”

Now let’s put this all together, keeping in mind the U.S. is for this treaty (remember when it was called SOPA over here?)  SOPA was defeated primarily through a motivated and well organized citizen protest of letters, phone-calls to law-makers and Facebook updates to ignorant family and friends.  The corporate interest groups that created SOPA then hopped on a boat and went overseas to work its magic on Parliament.

“ACTA is a strategically insane proposal [to] create a binding legal obligation on the USA to require the US authorities to encourage the domain name registries, search engines, payment providers and other companies based there to undertake privatised enforcement measures.”

-Joe McNamee of the European Digital Rights initiative (EDRi)

ACTA can be passed without any form of public debate and will affect every internet user at some point.  Doesn’t that make you angry?    Will a corporation guarantee you due process if accused of file-sharing?

Maybe.

What if one of their corporate arms is steadily losing revenue from file-sharing and would greatly benefit from making an example out of you and your friends and family?

Where’s your due process now?  These are just hypothetical glimpses of what futures ACTA will be a part of if approved.

Read this article over on torrentfreak by Rick Falkvinge to get involved.  It’s a global issue.  Your opinion counts just as much as any Europeans’.

Stop the nonsense.

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