Telepresence Options | February 9, 2012
ACTA and TPP: The New Enemies of the World Wide Web
With the recent success in the fight for internet freedom, including the suspension of SOPA and PIPA, the European Union has decided that its their turn to try. The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) and Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) are essentially an alteration to SOPA and PIPA for the rest of the world. These two acts would have devastating effects on ecommerce, individual freedom, and the prosperity of entire industries.
ACTA would lock all of the signing countries into obsolete copyright and patent laws. This means that if a country were to decide on more liberal laws reflecting the internet, ACTA would override those laws. It would also criminalize making noncommercial, harmless remixes into crimes on "a commercial scale." This means that your favorite remix from average joe YouTube user is now pulled/banned in your country as well as average joe, receiving fines and potential jailtime.
ACTA would also act as an impromptu RIAA from the last decade, targeting and suing individuals for exaggerated claims of damages. On top of the illegitimate court proceedings that would take place, the "ACTA committee" (a group of unelected officials) would have the rights to "propose amendments to ACTA." This would give an unelected committee the right to make/change law above the head of a nation. SOPA-supporters and the MPAA would have a field day. All of this threatens the security and integrity of the internet and would allow organizations, not the government or the people, make the decisions over a sovereign people.
The TPP is similar to ACTA for the Pacific nations of Australia, Peru, Malaysia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Chile, Singapore, Brunei Darussalam and the United States. "A leaked version of the February 2011 draft U.S. TPP Intellectual Property Rights Chapter indicates that U.S. negotiators are pushing for the adoption of copyright measures far more restrictive than currently required by international treaties, including the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement."
The main problem with these acts is that they will stifle innovation, corrupt organizations, and chip away at the frail support that democracy is clinging to. If something isn’t done to oppose these international acts, the internet could be in serious jeopardy. China and North Korea already censor almost everything that happens on their networks, do we want to be the same?
To oppose this harmful international legislation, click here