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ACTA is a Threat to Legislative Freedom in Europe

They say that ACTA will cause no change in EU and European countries’ copyright regulations. What they don’t say is that ACTA is designed to make sure there will be no change in European copyright regulations.

Advertised as some kind of a “coalition of the willing” — either you’re with us or you’re with pirates, counterfeiters, and possibly even Lord Voldemort himself — ACTA pretends to only deal with the enforcement of copyrights and related rights that are already present in EU directives and national laws of the Union’s member states. While the agreement’s publicly announced purpose is to harmonize the enforcement of such rights in signatory countries, it actually harmonizes the enforcement of the rights arising out of existing copyright-and-related-rights laws that are based on economic, social and technological realities of late 17th century.

Should the legislators of any signatory decide that it’s time to replace the obsolete copyright framework with something that actually fits the information society of 21st century, they will likely find that they cannot do that unless they withdraw from ACTA. And that’s going to be much harder than not signing and ratifying the unfortunate agreement in the first place.

Don’t take my words for granted. Read MEP Marietje Schaake’s article. Read ACTA itself, and read about ACTA. Ask yourself why ACTA was drafted and negotiated without involving WTO (who is in charge of TRIPS agreement) and WIPO (who is in charge of the Berne Convention). Think. Ask a lawyer you can trust (I know they’re rare, but they do exist). Make up your mind. And then act.

What you can do — what you should do — is to share this. With your friends, with your lawyer, with your legislators. Write to the MPs and MEPs you elected. Ask them not to sacrifice their — or their successors’ — freedom to modernize the copyright system.

Stop ACTA!