ACTA, a blueprint for laws such as SOPA and PIPA, would impose new criminal sanctions forcing Internet actors to monitor and censor online communications. It is thus a major threat to freedom of expression online and creates legal uncertainty for Internet companies. In the name of trademarks and patents, it would also hamper access to generic medicines in poor countries.
ACTA is an international trade agreement negotiated by the European Union, the United States, Japan, Canada, South Korea, Australia, Mexico, Morocco, Singapur as well as a few other countries, whose aim is to enforce copyright and tackle counterfeited goods (hence its acronym: Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement).
Download and read the final version of the text.
The main problem with this treaty is that all the negotiations were done secretly, keeping the public and civil organizations out of the table. All the information until 2010 relied on leaks that reveal intentional secrecy to misled the public. ACTA negotiations started on 2007 and finalized in 2010.
ACTA is one more offensive against the sharing of culture on the Internet. ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) is an agreement secretly negotiated by a small “club” of like-minded countries (39 countries, including the 27 of the European Union, the United States, Japan, etc). Negotiated instead of being democratically debated, ACTA bypasses parliaments and international organizations to dictate a repressive logic dictated by the entertainment industries.
Which countries already signed ACTA?
October 2010: Japan and United States, who crafted the treaty, together with Canada, Australia, New Zeland, Singapure and South Korea
January 2011: European Commission, in charge of negotiations, together with non elected representatives from 22 Member States: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech republic, Denmark,Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lituania, Luxemburgo, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Rumania, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom.
The signature of ACTA by European countries does not mean the deal is done, needs to be ratified by the European Parliament. They will vote on june 2012to either ratify or reject ACTA. Please read more how to act and call your MPs, tell them tovote against ratification. This would disarm ACTA in Europe.
Help stop ACTA in Europe:
The main two things to do are contacting Members of the European Parliament and helping spread the word about ACTA.
Current main action: call members of the INTA committee to ask that their report on ACTA recommend the Parliament reject it, and to tell them about the dangers of ACTA.
Which countries have not signed ACTA?
Mexico and Switzerland. In both countries situation is not clear. Mexican Senate voted a non-binding resolution rejecting the ratification of the treaty last year, after celebrating multi-stakeholder public hearings that prove ACTA was anti-constitutional in Mexico.