While here in North America everyone is still slapping each other on the back over the slap down that both SOPA and PIPA got in Congress the reality is that the over intent behind what those two bills stood for hasn’t stopped as evidenced by the more global ACTA treaty.
Unlike the two American bills however ACTA is still on the move to being accepted by governments around the world with the current signatories including: Canada, Australia, Japan, United States, Morocco, New Zealand and Singapore. That doesn’t mean that it is clear sailing for ACTA as protests against it have spread across Europe and several key countries pulling out of the treaty agreement.
This past weekend saw a huge multi-country protest with thousands of people coming out to march against the signing of the treaty. The current number of protests and protesters sits at:
- Germany – 25,000
- Sofia, Bulgaria – 4,000
- Bucharest, Romania – 300
- Warsaw, Poland – 500
- Paris, France – 1,000
- Prague, Czech Republic – 1,500
- Cluj, Transylvania – 2,000
- Budapest, Hungary – 1,000
- Vilnius, Lithuania – 600
- London, England – 200
As much as the proponents of ACTA would like us to believe that this is just about copyright and piracy just as they tried with SOPA and PIPA the fact is a lot more. As James Plafke from Geekosystem put it recently
A general concern with ACTA is that could make ISPs responsible for their users’ copyright infringements, which would lead to ISPs implement some kind of nefarious surveillance in order to protest themselves. Along with that, users could end up blacklisted from ISPs if they’re caught infringing on copyright a few times, and as we know, copyright infringement is a mucky territory to delve into, and you might be taking part in it without actually being aware you are.
Thankfully the number of countries in Europe that have either withdrawn support for ACTA or are reconsidering their position on it is growing as the Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovakia have delayed proceeding on the treaty.