Allright, I sort of promised myself I wouldn’t do a thing like this again, but the fear that is running through me at the thought of ACTA growing roots in our day and age is not cool.
And I say that with extreme understimation, because this is so so terrifying.
What is ACTA?
ACTA stands for Anti Counterfeit Trade Agreement. It was made to stop counterfeiting of copyrighted/protected products (pirated stuff). It was also made to protect those artists that make a living on their music/art/photographs and keeping people from copying their work to make own winnings. So this would be like an - International Copyright law.
“Fraudulent imitation of something else." - Oxford English Dictionary
ACTA will give your internet provider the right to perform surveillance on you and whatever it is you do on the internet - wether it be looking at nice guys on imdb.com, researching for a school project, sharing a file with your friend through InstantMessenger or PROTESTING AGAINST SHITTY LAWS LIKE ACTA.
Everything you do on the internet will be screened. If you copy a copyrighted ‘Merlin’ article onto your tumblr/site, upload a video of you and your friends CosPlaying with the ‘Merlin’ theme in the background, or upload an image of the Merlin cast on the NTA’s - you might find yourself in big trouble. Your internet service provider will be bound to give out this information to the copyright holder (owner of article, audio and image), and then they will decide what course of action to take. This could mean suing you for copyright infringement.
————— “Fraudulent imitation of something else." - Oxford English Dictionary
^^^ That will not make any sense, since you are not ‘fraudulently imitating' something if you copy an article or photograph and paste it onto your site.
So what does this mean for me?
Tumblr, FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube, Myspace, and so so so many more sites RUN on MEMBERS USING THEIR WEBSITES to upload, share and create things. Can you imagine what will happen if ACTA comes to pass? What will happen to those sites? What will happen to your own creativity if you can’t even share anything for people to comment on, give you feedback, give you the nourishment to grow as an artist?
This isn’t just about having the right to share an image of boybands to fangirl/fanboy with your friends, this is about allowing the internet to stay a free and uncensored place for everyone to take part in.
Most of the world had embraced a democracy - the right that everyone can make themselves heard, and the right that you as a citizen have to vote in elections and have a voice in how you want to live in your country.
You are wondering why there hasn’t been more news about this? Maybe you should think about why that is. You can’t write news, if there’s nothing to report. This is what the country representatives want.
Does this seem fair to you?
No. It really doesn’t.
Imagine what it would do, if you’re in a country where thousands of people are dying because they opposed a dictator, you’re trying to get a video or article onto the internet to spread the word - asking for help and awareness — if the country signed ACTA, they could use that law in the wrong ways and censor/shut down whatever you’re trying to tell the world.
21 countries have already signed the treaty - but this doesn’t mean that they will follow the law - it could have been an act to show they would think about implementing it. This is not the end. We still need to keep everyone aware of this, because it seems people are forgetting way too soon.
SOPA and PIPA may be incapacitated for now, but ACTA is growing wildly and needs to be stopped in whatever way possible.
Watch a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8Xg_C2YmG0
Read about it: https://www.accessnow.org/page/s/just-say-no-to-acta
This too: http://www.stopacta.info/
And more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Counterfeiting_Trade_Agreement
Read more: https://www.eff.org/issues/acta
Petition: http://www.avaaz.org/en/eu_save_the_internet_spread/?hMKNFcb (thanks to hine-hine.tumblr for this one)