Last push to kill ACTA: act now or the Internet gets it

This Wednesday is the make-or-break moment for ACTA, the corrupt, secretly negotiated Internet copyright treaty. Wednesday is when the European Parliament will vote on ACTA, and it's a close thing. We need Europeans to write and call their MEPs and tell them that ACTA is not fit for purpose, nor will any Internet treaty negotiated in secrecy ever be. The Open Rights Group has information on contacting your MEP if you live in the UK; and Pirate Party founder Rick Falkingve has a way of contacting all MEPs at once.

We believe that ACTA is such an imbalanced treaty that it disproportionately and unnecessarily puts innovation and freedom of expression at risk. By attempting to deal with two hugely different issues – the counterfeiting of physical goods and digital copyright infringement – the treaty lacks the kind of surgical precision necessary to ensure that fundamental rights are not sacrificed in pursuit of its goals.

Furthermore, ACTA promotes and incentivises the private 'policing' of online content through, for example, its broad thresholds for its criminal measures. It exacerbates such problems by failing to provide adequate and robust safeguards for fundamental freedoms. We set out some key points in our briefing paper.

From the moment it was sprung upon Europe, following a drafting process held in secret, the passage of ACTA has been lubricated by a total disregard for democratic principles. The European Commission has effectively sought to move decisions about ACTA further away from the people and their elected representatives.

There has been a positive consequence of all this: we have seen a renewal of interest in the workings of European democratic institutions, as large numbers of people engage with difficult debates and complex institutional processes in an attempt to understand and influence the passage of ACTA through Europe. People like you have helped to make sure that the democratic process is respected and obeyed.

ACTA: We’re almost there!


  1. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past year reading and thinking about copyright, creativity and what the term public domain really means. I’m not at the end of the research or thinking but I’ve come far enough to realise that individual creators are at risk from the corporate stranglehold on copyright laws and that the public is is at risk from corporate copyright extortion. Whatever we can do to stop ACTA should be done.

  2. In all your many editorials and links criticizing ACTA,  I’ve yet to see a single concrete suggestion of a better, more balanced way to protect copyright when such protection is deserved. Could make some of us who are less wrapped up in this see you all as simple contrarians, or anti-authoritarians…not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    1. The current system is better than ACTA. In fact, I have yet to see any serious and not trumped up studies demonstrating that the current system of copyright is grossly unfair to rights holders. Indeed, no one is forcing IP creators to create. If they do not think that they are getting their effort’s worth in compensation, they are free to go on a Galt-ian strike and do something else.

      The levels of piracy and the economic harm from piracy are far from correlated – few people are pirating what they would otherwise have bought, and many people are buying things they have originally discovered through pirating.

      1. Basically – the corporations are a bigger threat to actual content creation than piracy. Of course,  to the corporations themselves – the only threat they seem capable of seeing is piracy.

  3.  The sad thing is, that the European Commission already said that, should the EP  vote down ACTA, they would just wait, modify the text a bit and “explain it better to the public”.
    That’s why can never have anything nice…

    But I will send that email, nonetheless.

  4. allows you to write to the MEPs (plural) that represent a given European citizen (although I think it might only work for British citizens). It would be sensible to link to this in the post, perhaps? This service has the added benefit that you’re not writing to MEPs that don’t care because you’re not a constituent.

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