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Non à ACTA
February 3, 2012 2:18 AM   Subscribe

Anti-ACTA protests have begun around Europe after the secret treaty was signed in Tokyo last Friday. Activists have planned larger protests for Saturday 11 February. The European Parliament will formally consider ACTA in June. (previously)

In Poland, ACTA sparked large protests with 15,000 protestors gathering in Kraków, 5000 in Wroclaw, and thousands more across other Polish cities (wp). ACTA prompted a no confidence vote as well, which features Palikot’s Movement wearing Guy Fawkes masks.

In France, there was a large anti-ACTA protest near Bastille in Paris and smaller ones in Lyon and Bordeaux. French MEP Kader Arif, chief rapporteur on ACTA, resigned in protest of how the treaty's negotiations kept lawmakers in the dark, denouncing the process as a "charade" (interview).

"I signed ACTA out of civic carelessness, because I did not pay enough attention." - Slovenia's ambassador

In the U.S. there has been debate over the constitutionality of President Obama's plan to bypass Senate ratification by declaring the treaty an executive agreement.

There are interesting blog posts on ACTA by Michael Geist, as well as Thijs Markus, Rick Falkvinge, and Paul Venezia.
posted by jeffburdges (40 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
If one is interested in ACTA - go to Techdirt. They were covering the making of the sausage - the parts where the various elements of the present administration negotiated in secret and only after a public leak of the terms was removal of some elements.

Senator Wyden seems to be the most active Senator following the public interest in the matter.

There is a new agreement called TPP in case anyone wants to watch the new sausage get made.
posted by rough ashlar at 2:33 AM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


London protest happening next Saturday
posted by litleozy at 2:40 AM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


If the ACTA bothers you - over in this post many people were calling for boycotts/action VS the actors creating the decision being discussed.

How many of you who dislike ACTA are willing to finally cut the cord on the products of mass media? To effect the MPAA and their members - are you willing to stop buying and even stop consuming their products?
posted by rough ashlar at 2:49 AM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Glyn Moody has a good Twitter feed to follow on this, if you aren't already.
posted by rory at 2:51 AM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


the secret treaty

ACTA was negotiated behind closed doors (as most international treaties are, alas), but it isn't by any means secret anymore. The first public draft was officially made public almost two years ago, and the final text one year later. Being indignant isn't an excuse for inaccuracy.

Even after signing, it must still be ratified by the legislative bodies of the signatory states. If you want to campaign against ACTA, and I don't disagree with that, it's your lawmakers you have to address.
posted by Skeptic at 2:53 AM on February 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Glyn Moody has a good Twitter feed to follow on this, if you aren't already.

And is a regular Techdirt poster. If news of ACTA shocks you today, go over to Techdirt, search on ACTA and start reading from the oldest story to present to watch the use of Government power for the benefit of Corporations.
posted by rough ashlar at 2:55 AM on February 3, 2012


are you willing to stop buying and even stop consuming their products

You know, you may have a better moral standing if you didn't find it necessary to add that.
posted by Skeptic at 2:55 AM on February 3, 2012


ACTA was negotiated behind closed doors (as most international treaties are, alas), but it isn't by any means secret anymore.

And again - go over to Techdirt. Note how the text was kept "secret" up until after the leak.

Start reading on the TPP and ponder if history will repeat itself. How long with the TPP terms be kept from the public and will it take a leak of the full text to open up the process of something that effects the public?

(As a thought experiment - let the ACTA defenders and once the 'Obama suxs for letting this happen/No he's the hope' round of posts have died down go over to Techdirt and read their reporting from the start. See how much revisionist history is put forth like "its not secret".)
posted by rough ashlar at 3:02 AM on February 3, 2012


rough ashlar It is not secret. That is what is technically called a fact, not revisionism. If jeffdurdges had written the "secretly negotiated treaty", I wouldn't have objected.

I'm not an "ACTA defender". But you'll find yourself on a better position to debate them if you get your facts right (also, if you don't just rely on such an obviously biased source as Techdirt).
posted by Skeptic at 3:15 AM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


ACTA isn't exactly secret anymore, Skeptic, but ACTA lobbyists, ACTA's U.S. negotiators, etc. have continued their campaign of obfuscation, hence Kader Arif's resignation, the Slovenian ambassadors comments, etc. Btw, the Rick Falkvinge link put this very succinctly.

Also, TechDirt is an extremely well respected source of information on legal issues that impact technology. Your accusation of bias reads "You geeks shouldn't worry your little heads about legislative matters, leave that to us lawyers."

Btw, I've always been partial to Michael Geist ACTA tag over TechDirt myself, rough ashlar, too Canada centric, but more concise.
posted by jeffburdges at 3:25 AM on February 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


You know, you may have a better moral standing if you didn't find it necessary to add that.

Given a large enough sample of responders to a comment of:

Do not buy products from the MPAA/RIAA

One will eventually have the justifiable comments of:
I'll stop buying - I'll just pirate
All you want to do is steal their content

I'm suggesting the idea of walking away from the MPAA/RIAA* produced material, rather than consumption without compensation.

But nice of you to take a different tactic. Suggest for next time however: just call me a Nazi next time. Far quicker way to impute the moral character.

*(Alas I can't find the original Google spent more than your salary for a year article arguing for SOPA then later was anti SOPA article, but I did find this from a 'content industry' site. The use of the power of the State to create market demand means almost any large Corporation will be attempting to influence State power for their own benefit. Corporations like Time Warner and AT&T may be one of the only ways to use the Internet due to their local oligopoly on physical connectivity - so how does one avoid feeding such a multi-tentacled beast? Or are we all girls in short skirts standing around in a Henti production?)
posted by rough ashlar at 3:29 AM on February 3, 2012


There are facebook groups for many ACTA protests next saturday that you won't find on google yet. Another German list. Glasgow. Edinburgh. etc.

SMBC has an ACTA related comic up, presumably AbstruseGoose too.
posted by jeffburdges at 3:33 AM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Even after signing, it must still be ratified by the legislative bodies of the signatory states.

As long as "we" are talking "facts" here - and to satisfy the "Grrr Obama!" prediction:

Back in October, we noted that Senator Ron Wyden had sent the Obama administration a letter pointing out that it appeared unconstitutional for the President to sign ACTA without getting Congressional approval. The USTR had been insisting that because ACTA does not require any change to US law, it doesn't need any such approval.

If your position is correct - why has a request to get ratification been objected to/not acted upon? (And the "Grr" part - what's with the holdup to the Senators request/why the past non-responses or even blockage of requests for more info? More of the same Government/Corporate power marriage VS Change one could have Hope'd for.)

And as for:
(also, if you don't just rely on such an obviously biased source as Techdirt).
What makes you think journalism should be unbiased? Because some public relations person said it should be "Fair and Balanced"? People who have been dead far longer than you've been alive *AND* are far closer to the start of the idea of reporting as a job had this to say:
"There is no such thing, at this date of the world's history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it. Techdirt writes how they come up with their pieces with links to the original sources so one can go research.

Note that the Senator showed up on Techdirt and is interacting with the posters - so feel free to be a Democratic voice in the Republic. I believe he's even taking input from people outside his district - how Democratic-ly nice is that?
posted by rough ashlar at 3:52 AM on February 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Skeptic, when "the European Parliament's rapporteur for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement" resigns in outraged protest over "never-before-seen manoeuvres" by officials preparing the treaty", I think we can dispense with the quibbling.

Arif's exact words:

I condemn the whole process which led to the signature of this agreement: no consultation of the civil society, lack of transparency since the beginning of negotiations, repeated delays of the signature of the text without any explanation given, reject of Parliament's recommendations as given in several resolutions of our assembly....everything is made to prevent the European Parliament from having its say in this matter. I want to send a strong signal and alert the public opinion about this unacceptable situation. I will not take part in this masquerade.

"Secrecy" is hardly too strong a word.

And thanks, jeffburdges; I almost made a post when Arif resigned but stopped myself, hoping you'd do a much, much better one.
posted by mediareport at 6:20 AM on February 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Not just buying but also not consuming means not watching any of the content they put on free TV and radio, too. Of course, since most of us get our 'free' TV from cable or satellite services we pay monthly fees to (and who pay fees to the content providers), it then means 'unplugging' unless you get 'ala carte' channel selection, which may or may not exist somewhere.
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:20 AM on February 3, 2012


In other news, opposing SOPA/PIPA/ACTA/etcetra is becoming a very useful wedge issue for the Republican Party, so vote GOP for Freedom, right?
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:28 AM on February 3, 2012


stop consuming their products

See, that's the fundamental disagreement I have with these people. I look at my disc full of music that I have aquired in various ways, it is 90% stuff from the 80s and earlier. My dad bought most of these records and played them in my childhood home and they are a part of my cultural life. I think he also re-bought a lot of it on CD.

When I want to listen to Jimi Hendrix play his guitar I am not consuming the products of the entertainment industry. My reality does not include such a frame, sorry. He is dead, and I don't think he'd much care whether or not a bunch of suits were getting a cut from his work 40 years on. I bet he'd even be against it.

But fuck it, he's dead so I don't even care much what he thinks, it's what I think and if these laws are designed for an industry to own a bit of my brain and get a cut whenever I experience "Foxy Lady", well, fuck that. No. I am going to continue to live life and enjoy culture, and I don't shed a single tear over lawyers and businessmen in Hollywood not getting money out of me. They've got enough.

/end rant
posted by Meatbomb at 7:34 AM on February 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


There are more videos on occupythebanks.com's ACTA tag which I haven't checked out yet.

There isn't any wedge issue here, oneswellfoop, no matter how much the Republican blogs wish to imagine it being one. SOPA's point man was Lamar Smith (R-TX). PIPA's point man was Patrick Leahy (D-VT). Both established members of the party controlling their chamber.

Amusingly, an MPAA exec O'Leary admitted 'We're Not Comfortable With The Internet'

posted by jeffburdges at 7:49 AM on February 3, 2012


I signed a petition against ACTA a few days ago. What's the next action I should take? If it is going to a vote in the European Parliament, should I ask my MEPs to vote against it? Is there any guidance on the MEPs who have said they will vote against it already, and who still needs to be contacted and convinced?
posted by Jehan at 8:03 AM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


As someone who is both anti-ACTA and pro-Techdirt, calling anything about this secret (other than the negotiations) is ridiculous. Parts of it were leaked 3 years ago, and full-text has been available for a year.

Underhanded? Yes. Not thought-out? Yes. Created behind closed doors, without input from experts knowledgeable enough to craft a decent treaty? Yes.

Secret? No.
posted by coolguymichael at 8:10 AM on February 3, 2012


Skeptic, when "the European Parliament's rapporteur for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement" resigns in outraged protest over "never-before-seen manoeuvres" by officials preparing the treaty"

Please note that he has not resigned as MEP, but just as "rapporteur for ACTA" at the European Parliament. Since the ratification of ACTA is not going to go through the European Parliament, that is as empty a gesture as an MEP can do, and MEPs doing noisy empty gestures isn't particularly novel, or shocking. Thanks to this, he has achieved his 15 minutes of fame, which is difficult and worthwhile enough for an MEP.

I'm not pro-ACTA. I have two big, basic objections to it:

a) It was negotiated in the dark (which, as I said above, is unfortunately the usual MO with international treaties); and
b) In the process it has transmogrified from an Anti-Counterfeiting Treaty into something far wider.

What makes you think journalism should be unbiased?

Never said that. I said you should not rely on a biased source.

Also, TechDirt is an extremely well respected source of information on legal issues that impact technology. Your accusation of bias reads "You geeks shouldn't worry your little heads about legislative matters, leave that to us lawyers."

a) I work in IP, but I am not a lawyer. They'd get angry if I claimed that. I think I should nevertheless be allowed to protest when hacks catering for geeks misrepresent legislation I know well (which does not include ACTA).
b) TechDirt is not "extremely well respected" by me, simply because, well, I can hardly read it without a faceslap. I can understand the opinions there, even when I disagree with them (which is not always), but when it comes to the facts, or at least to facts I know well, I've already caught enough howlers by Moody, Masnick et al not to take them at all seriously. But they're preaching to the choir anyway and building up the outrage for pageviews and ad money.

The thing is, ACTA has also been strongly criticised (without the outrage) by lawyers and IP specialists. I'd like to see a serious point-by-point discussion of it, not this GRAR.
posted by Skeptic at 8:17 AM on February 3, 2012


Since the ratification of ACTA is not going to go through the European Parliament

Ooops, there I did a howler myself: apparently it will have to be ratified by the EP (apart from the national parliaments for the criminal law parts).
posted by Skeptic at 8:40 AM on February 3, 2012


Jehan, I didn't include any "what you can do" in the post itself because that isn't quite proper outside metatalk and comments, but the second link was Michael Geist's informative article "The ACTA Fight Returns: What Is at Stake and What You Can Do"

As he isn't European, his only advice is to consult La Quadrature du net, EDRI, Open Rights Group, and/or FFII, but basically ACTA is inconsistent with the European Convention on Human Rights. You should therefore communicate this fact, along with ACTA's harmful consequences for internet commerce, to both your MEP and your national representatives. I'd imagine you should mention if ACTA looks like it might negatively impact your employer, like by making them liable for unintentional damages in the U.S.

I recommend contacting ACTA protest organizers and/or a Pirate Party in your own country too because they might have more specific local information.
posted by jeffburdges at 12:09 PM on February 3, 2012


(FWIW, if anyone in the US feels like making a probably-pointless gesture, there is a whitehouse.gov petition on ACTA).
posted by hattifattener at 1:32 PM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


ACTA's EU future in doubt after Polish pause
I read this as widespread protests could kill ACTA in Europe.
I.e. go make some new friends next saturday.
posted by jeffburdges at 6:44 PM on February 3, 2012


when hacks catering for geeks misrepresent legislation I know well

Mr. Dodd, welcome to Metafilter.
posted by rough ashlar at 9:57 PM on February 3, 2012


Bulgarian MPs Wear Guy Fawkes Mask to Protest ACTA
posted by homunculus at 9:34 AM on February 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Anti-ACTA demonstrations held in several Czech towns today

Czech Euro MPs oppose ‘completely wide of the mark’ ACTA

Czech government suspends process of ratification of ACTA
posted by jeffburdges at 3:52 PM on February 6, 2012


There are many protests listed on stoppacta-protest.info. I'm planning on going to the Edinburgh protest, although wishing I could make it to Prague. :)
posted by jeffburdges at 7:14 PM on February 7, 2012


Germany Says It Won't Sign ACTA [Update: ... Yet]

ACTA-Demo Berlin, 11.2.2012
posted by homunculus at 12:40 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Australia holds second secret anti-piracy meeting
posted by jeffburdges at 3:45 AM on February 13, 2012


EU Official Who Resigned Over ACTA Details Why ACTA Is Dangerous; While His Replacement Seems Unlikely To Care
posted by homunculus at 11:56 AM on February 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


IFPI & Other Lobbyists Tell Parliament That ACTA Protests Silence The Democratic Process
posted by homunculus at 2:35 PM on February 16, 2012


I suppose that, if you're a lobbyist, then "democratic process" means "buying laws", well that's what usually happens anyways.
posted by jeffburdges at 2:44 PM on February 16, 2012


Europe against ACTA protest video montage for 23 Jan through 11 Feb 2012
posted by jeffburdges at 10:49 AM on February 19, 2012


EU refers ACTA to court
posted by jeffburdges at 6:20 AM on February 22, 2012


There are some efforts to organize protests for March 10th too.
posted by jeffburdges at 6:57 AM on February 26, 2012


Sat 25 Feb : Paris, Strasbourg
posted by jeffburdges at 2:35 PM on February 26, 2012


2,4 millions de signatures contre ACTA remises au Parlement européen
posted by jeffburdges at 4:02 PM on February 29, 2012


RIAA CEO Hopes SOPA Protests Were a 'One-Time Thing'   lol
posted by jeffburdges at 2:52 AM on March 2, 2012


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