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Censorship Government Piracy

The ACTA Fight Returns: What Is At Stake & What You Can Do 82

An anonymous reader writes "The reverberations from the SOPA fight continue to be felt in the U.S. and elsewhere, but it is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement that has captured increasing attention this week. Several months after the majority of ACTA participants signed the agreement, most European Union countries formally signed the agreement yesterday (notable exclusions include Germany, the Netherlands, Estonia, Cyprus and Slovakia). Michael Geist has a full rundown on what is at stake and what you can do, wherever you live."
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The ACTA Fight Returns: What Is At Stake & What You Can Do

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  • Obama! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    He'll change... oh wait... no fuck that.

    • Re:Obama! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by sycodon ( 149926 ) on Friday January 27, 2012 @05:02PM (#38844869)

      He signed the treaty, despite it not being ratified by the Senate. I don't think he can weasel out by whining the Senate was ignoring it. The Constitution is pretty clear on this.

      [The President] shall have Power, by and with Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur.

    • by hitmark ( 640295 )

      New guy, same as old guy. I find myself wondering if all of the worlds democracies (leave the debate about the definition of that alone, thanks) have ended up with some combo of regulatory and bureaucratic capture. With that i mean that the staff that is not replaced after a election can slow walk any policy change they do not agree with, and so the de facto policy never changes between elections.

  • by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Friday January 27, 2012 @04:58PM (#38844815) Homepage Journal

    shut is all down.

    How about a week long blackout?
    Or a week of backhoe accidents.

  • by Elektroschock ( 659467 ) on Friday January 27, 2012 @04:59PM (#38844841)

    Signing does not mean a thing because the European Parliament still has to decide whether to give its consent, and when a single nation asks the European court of Justice, or the Constitutional court then it's dead, because it is against EU Treaties/constitutions. it's not too late to get involved [].

    • by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Friday January 27, 2012 @05:15PM (#38845023)

      Actually, the START of the battle was two or three years ago. At the most lenient, the start of the battle was at least a YEAR ago, when the fact that ACTA was being worked on in secret (and partly by our president, who promised his would be the most open administration!) was exposed to the public.

      It's great that people are all freaking out about this in the last few days before ACTA is being signed, but WHERE THE FUCK WAS EVERYONE FOR THE LAST 12+ MONTHS?! I'd been bringing ACTA up to people over most of this time and they just returned with dumb blank stares.

      • by Wowsers ( 1151731 ) on Friday January 27, 2012 @06:50PM (#38846063) Journal

        You will get blank stares because if you're like the UK, not one word has been mentioned in the press about the ACTA treaty. Even today, you can watch foreign news on protests in a few countries (there's a week long protest going on in Poland who signed the treaty), but despite the UK signing the ACTA treaty - not one word in the British press about it or that there are even protests abroad about ACTA, no mention of how devastating it will be for internet freedom democracy and rule of law.

        No mentions in the press is censorship and just what proponents of ACTA like.

        • by Nemyst ( 1383049 )

          How bizarre that large news corporations heavily involved in copyright lobbying wouldn't report about the negative bits of ACTA, huh?

  • What you can do? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geminidomino ( 614729 ) on Friday January 27, 2012 @05:00PM (#38844849) Journal

    Bend over, grab your ankles, and hold your breath.

    This is why those scumbags let SOPA sputter so easily. They knew this was in the pipe. How's that "victory" taste now? Yeah, thought so.

    Until there's actually some tangible consequences to stop them doing so, you'd all (and that goes for everyone in any country) best come to grips with the fact that you exist to be boned in the bottom by your governments.

    • Re:What you can do? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Microlith ( 54737 ) on Friday January 27, 2012 @05:04PM (#38844889)

      This is why those scumbags let SOPA sputter so easily. They knew this was in the pipe.

      ACTA was signed by the US months ago. They were trying to pile SOPA on top of it.

    • by Jonner ( 189691 )

      Bend over, grab your ankles, and hold your breath.

      This is why those scumbags let SOPA sputter so easily. They knew this was in the pipe. How's that "victory" taste now? Yeah, thought so.

      Until there's actually some tangible consequences to stop them doing so, you'd all (and that goes for everyone in any country) best come to grips with the fact that you exist to be boned in the bottom by your governments.

      SOPA and PIPA have been stopped for now because many big corporations with a lot of money were against it in addition to ordinary Internet users. I haven't heard of many big corporations against ACTA.

    • Bend over, grab your ankles, and hold your breath.

      It's best not to hold your breath; you don't want to be tensed up when they get to work.

  • by oneiros27 ( 46144 ) on Friday January 27, 2012 @05:10PM (#38844951) Homepage

    Assuming that the White House actually takes the petitions seriously [], the current ACTA related petitions are:

    ... and, not ACTA related, but as I'm an ALA member, there's also one that needs another 6k signatures by next week for funding for school libraries []. (although, personally, I'd rather it go to regular public libraries, so they have access over the summer)

    • by MobyDisk ( 75490 )

      Why would anyone want him to submit it to the Senate? So long as he does not do this, the signature is meaningless. It seems to me that everyone signing that petition is asking for it to be ratified.

      • I can see your argument, but that assumes we have someone in power who's willing to ignore it because it was improperly done.

        I would assume the rationale would be to force it to be discussed in open, as opposed to these behind the scenes ways in which it might've been approved without ever having seen the light of day if it hadn't been for leaks. We'd be up with the lobbying efforts dumping money into it, but we'd also have a chance to for the citizens to petition congress as was done with SOPA.

        • by MobyDisk ( 75490 )

          Have the US courts ever enforced a treaty that was not signed by the Senate? That would be like enforcing a law that was not signed or voted upon. I think that would be real armed uprising material there.

  • Since Obama signed the treaty, is there anything we can do in the US besides bend over?
    • It doesn't official until two thirds of the Senate approves it.

      Encourage your Senators to vote against it.

    • Signing it means nothing if not ratified by congress.
    • You could just ignore the law and use the Internet to route around this sort of thing. Why follow an unjust law?

      Of course, when a few people are imprisoned for doing so, and the news media tells everyone else about it, people will be frightened back into conformance. That is, of course, how things are supposed to work in the free world, right?
  • by chihowa ( 366380 ) on Friday January 27, 2012 @05:31PM (#38845221)

    I understand how the US benefits from everyone else signing this treaty, but how is this in the interests of the other countries? Why is everyone else so motivated to sign this?

    • by tbird81 ( 946205 )

      To gain the permission to beg for a free trade deal with the US.

    • by iMadeGhostzilla ( 1851560 ) on Friday January 27, 2012 @05:52PM (#38845503)

      They are pressured by the US (mostly). In Serbia (where I'm from) for example, Biden attempted to force Serbia to allow importing of GMO food, currently forbidden by the Serbian law. Here's a statement made by the American ambassador in Serbia during a speech to the Serbian Chamber of Commerce: ( (emphasis mine)

      "Our Foreign Agricultural Service, for example, facilitates a U.S. Department of Agriculture Technical Assistance Program to assist Serbia in its WTO accession process. This support aims to help Serbia establish a trade regime consistent with the WTO and other international standards-setting. Our Foreign Agricultural Service office is currently assisting the Serbian Ministry of Agriculture to amend the new Law on Genetically Modified Organisms – or GMO’s -- to bring Serbia's GMO regime into WTO compliance and advance Serbia's WTO negotiations."

      They are doing their job -- pushing interests of big corporations, we have to do ours -- defend against it.

  • online petitions (Score:4, Informative)

    by blackest_k ( 761565 ) on Friday January 27, 2012 @05:32PM (#38845229) Homepage Journal []
    Acta petition to the EU with over 600,000 people signing up and growing fast. [] Trying to stop Irelands version of sopa being written in to law next week with not even a debate in the house just a junior ministers signature. Recent news suggests there may be a debate since pressure has been building all this week.

    Both petitions need a lot more signatures if they are going to influence the respective politicians.

  • Full rundown...not (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kiwimate ( 458274 ) on Friday January 27, 2012 @05:36PM (#38845285) Journal

    Michael Geist has a full rundown on what is at stake

    No, he doesn't. He rambles on about how it's controversial and terrible and stinky, but doesn't say why. He says India has raised concerns about how it interacts with TRIPS, but doesn't bother to say what TRIPS is, or even what the acronym stands for. (Neither does the linked article on

    If you don't already know exactly what ACTA is, then it's a waste of time reading it. Nowhere does he say what's at stake. He just says "here's how to contact someone about it, and you should because it's a bad thing (insert jedi hand wave))"

  • Kill Hollywood. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by unity100 ( 970058 ) on Friday January 27, 2012 @06:26PM (#38845795) Homepage Journal

    They are the carriage industry refusing to die, and blocking progress. Kill hollywood. fix your problems. and no - 'dont buy their stuff' will not work. they already have enough money to buy lawmakers until the end of century. find another way. best would be to buy lawmakers ourselves. internet/tech companies need to spearhead this shopping spree.

    • by Thing 1 ( 178996 )
      I applaud your capitalization progress. Seriously. It is refreshing to communicate using protocols.
      • there is no such progress. i am capitalizing first words so that some of you, who cant see past the form to look at the content, will not get confused. such mindset is what got us into these messes in the first place. but there is no time to wake you up to that.

        • by Thing 1 ( 178996 )
          Hang on, "wake me up to abused protocols?" I think you have difficulty in communicating, again. I'm already awakened to abuse of protocols. I thought you were learning; again, I'm chagrined. There's hope for the future, though. Download "Thrive".
  • (notable exclusions include Germany, the Netherlands, Estonia, Cyprus and Slovakia) Sweden is not on the list of countries that don't support? Seems strange .. but what do I know, I'm not from Europe
  • Pretty much nothing. We don't have the funding or strings required to even be heard, let alone action taken on our requests.

  • The contention is that since ACTA does not change any laws so it can just be considered an executive agreement and not a treaty. However, the President may have second thoughts on this in light of the poulist anti-SOPA/PIPA movement, the potential for a bribery scandal, and his declarations in favor of Internet freedom.

    If Obama does want to dump ACTA, the best way to do it is to sent it to the Senate for ratification. He can do this by paying attention to a petition to do so: []


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