Stop ACTA: secretive treaty will bring in the worst of SOPA through trade obligations

ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, is the notorious, unprecedented secret copyright treaty that was negotiated by industry representatives and government trade reps, without any access by elected representatives, independent business, the press, public interest groups, legal scholars, independent economists and so on. Time and again, the world's richest governmental administrations (only rich countries were in the negotiation) told their own parliaments and congresses that they could not see what was in the treaty, nor know the details of the discussion.

The European Parliament was one of the bodies that asked its administration to share the treaty discussions with the elected members, only to be turned down. Cables in the Wikileaks dumps showed US officials orchestrating this secrecy because they knew how unpopular this one-sided, heavy-handed copyright treaty would be. Freedom of Information requests to the Obama administration confirmed that the reason for the secrecy was the experience in transparent negotiation at the UN, which resulted in an uprising by developing nations, who saw stricter, more expansive copyrights as a means of extracting rents from the world's poorest people.

Now the European Parliament is being arm-twisted into ratifying ACTA, which contains many of the worst provisions that Americans rejected in SOPA and PIPA. We need your help and input to resist this terrible, dirty, punishing treaty from coming to Europe.

Stop ACTA!

Previous BB coverage of ACTA (Thanks, noc314!)


    1. Yes, it has been signed, today.
      And now we have till June to fight it back, before it is finally accepted by the EU Parliament.

      La Quadrature du Net is doing a great work on this, clarifying every step of the process, and what each of us can do to fight this unjust, unlawful and oppressive thing. We all have to do something, no one else can do this for us.

      ACTA signed by the EU, le’ts defeat it together

      How to act against ACTA

      The Web site “Stop ACTA!” too is a work of La Quadrature.

      ACTA procedure in EU Parliament

      * The International Trade (INTA) Committee of the European Parliament is the main committee working on ACTA.
      * The Legal Affairs (JURI), Development (DEVE), Civil Liberties (LIBE) and the Industry (ITRE) committees will first vote on their opinions after holding “exchange of views” on draft reports in the coming weeks.
      * Opinions will then be sent to INTA to influence its final report, which will recommend the EU Parliament as a whole to reject or accept ACTA.
      * The final, plenary vote by the EU Parliament on ACTA should be held no sooner than June.

      PS: Earlier, I saw the first comment, about ACTA being adopted by EU countries, at first emptied, then deleted. I replied to that, then my comment got deleted too. I hope it was deleted by the author, and not by someone else.

      1. Sure, Loris, I know all these sites (it’s not possible not to know them if you are into anti-ACTA  ;)  but it’s all right to repeat, probably there are some people who still wonder what’s it all about)  and I’ve  been there, done all I could, as an individual.  Can’t do more than that. Btw, have you seen how many (how few, better say!) signatures are on website STOP ACTA? Handful of a few thousand.  It’s nothing, I am afraid. 

    1. It’s *global*. It is being pushed for agreement on every country as a requirement for international trading.

      1. Signed the white house petition and the congresscritters ’round here are… less than encouraging. Not sure what else I can do.

  1. From techdirt, “What Is ACTA And Why Is It A Problem?”:

    Basically, a lot of the criticism towards ACTA is dated. The preparations WERE surrounded by a ridiculous amount of secrecy but the text has now been out in the open for quite a while. The treaty DID try to introduce a high level of liability to ISPs, but that part was later struck out. We have Knowledge Ecology International to thank for turning the awful original ACTA into this current, more tolerable version.

    Right now, it looks like ACTA won’t require changes to laws in EU member states or on the union level. However, it does seem to cement copyright legislation to its current state, making it very difficult to undo mistakes that have already been written into law.

    1. Ok, I’m coming back to amend my earlier comment. FFII thinks that ACTA is not compatible with existing EU legislation, TRIPS or UN treaties:

      “ACTA will negatively impact innovation, competition, development, fair trade, start up companies, mass digitization projects, access to medicines and Internet governance.”

      Anyways, folks, before you raise panic about ACTA, do try learn about the recent changes. I’ve seen a lot of Americans posting about the treaty today, and a lot of their information is copied and pasted from sources that date back to 2010. Back then there was a solid reason to complain about the secrecy surrounding the negotiations. Those complaints are a bit outdated now. It’s time to focus on the content.

      1. Yeah, I was worried about ACTA two years ago, and only now do many other people seem to even know the damn thing exists. And it’s weird that even some news sources seem to be reporting outdated information about the treaty including the ISP liability thing.

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