Jeff NcloseAuthor: Jeff N
Name: Jeff Nau
About: Jeff Nau is a main contributor to the Jace Hall Show covering pop culture and music trends in the nerd community. He has contributed to San Diego City Beat, 944, and Ill Literature, amongst others, and spends his spare time working as an artist and photographer.See Authors Posts (460)
Fresh on the heels of PIPA and SOPA comes ACTA, yet another in a line of four letter acronyms that basically means artists and writers of all kinds will again be getting screwed by enforcing Amendment-violating regulations.
The acronym in question stands for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, which has already drawn opposition in Poland by attracting hundreds of demonstrators (it doesn’t help that Prime Minister Donald Tusk signed the agreement in Tokyo this week) and a no-confidence vote in Parliament.
Like SOPA and PIPA, ACTA means to solidify intellectual property rights — and like the other two, the big concern is that it infringes on the rights of consumers. ACTA would enforce property rights on an international spectrum — and perhaps most alarmingly, Ireland, France, Finland, Romania Italy, Greece, and Portugal are among the dozens of countries to sign the act thus far.
Another one of the complaints surrounding the new piece of legislation: all negotiations and dealings are done ‘secretly’ — in other words, citizens like you and I will not be allowed the slightest of insight as to the progression and/or changes in the law. Additionally, signatory countries would, under the act, be forced to “implement anti file-sharing policies under the form of three-strikes schemes and net filtering practices.”
In other words, diplomatic discussion over copyright and anti-filtering policies would not be subject to debate in the courts. Never mind the fact that the World Trade Organization members insisting that this treaty “could distort trade and goes beyond the existing Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.”
Other opponents add that the Act would put the bulk of the blame on the Internet sites responsible for the file sharing instead of the actual users.
Additionally, Several law professors and legal experts concluded “that the terms of the publicly released draft of ACTA threaten numerous public interests, including every concern specifically disclaimed by negotiators.”
Arguably we’re witnessing an unprecedented amount of testing of the Fourth Amendment, and one can’t help but feel that the people behind ACTA won’t be satisfied until their law is signed by every nation in the land. (And in case you’re wondering, the U.S. signed the treaty as well — and with Japan, we actually helped create it.)
It gets worse: ACTA would operate outside the legal limitations of the WTO, WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization), and organizations like the G8 — simply for the blatant reason that such legal bindings limit the ‘flexibility’ of ACTA. If such logic or lack thereof doesn’t arouse suspicion, you can always head here for more proof.
One of the most alarming items is the number of countries that have signed on in support of ACTA, while others still have until 2013 to decide. The U.S. has been accused by experts of pushing for the ‘broadest provisions’ that would empower security agents and give the TSA more leeway in search and seizure.
ACTA will not only affect the Internet and communications, but also tourism, medicine and other day-to-day aspects of our lives. Guess the fight’s on again, and given the lack of information on the Internet on this new law, it’s up to us to arm ourselves with it…
Post By Jeff N (460 Posts)
Jeff Nau is a main contributor to the Jace Hall Show covering pop culture and music trends in the nerd community. He has contributed to San Diego City Beat, 944, and Ill Literature, amongst others, and spends his spare time working as an artist and photographer.
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