January 26, 2012

ACTA: What They Don’t Tell You

Not worried about foreign legislature? Get worried. If you thought SOPA and PIPA were bad check out the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which was first proposed back in June of 2008, but hasn’t actually become an large standing issue until December 3, 2011 when the final drafts of the bill were created. ACTA is a proposed plurilateral agreement for the purpose of establishing international standards on intellectual property rights enforcement. What is ACTA in laymen’s terms?

It’s an international trade agreement currently being negotiated by the European Union, the United States, Japan, Canada, South Korea, Australia as well as a few other countries, whose aim is to enforce copyright and tackle counterfeited goods. (stopacta.info) The main issue with this and most other acts is the basic disregard to our rights as American citizens. One of the main purposes of this act is to force participating countries into implementing anti file-sharing policies under the form of a three-strike scheme and to filter the internet.

This would basically turn internet operators into private copyright police. People don’t understand the severity of these bills. Imagine not having access to free knowledge on the internet. Sure, this is just anti piracy legislation right? Wrong. The things that fall under the jurisdiction of SOPA, PIPA, ACTA and even the OPEN Act are things that at least ninety percent of Americans use in their everyday lives.

YouTube, Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook. Maybe these things aren’t important to you, maybe you’ve never been to any of these social networking websites and you say it’s all just a bunch of nonsense anyway. But have you taken the time to think about what most people use these websites for? It’s the age of ‘Geek’ or so many people are saying these days. Computers are being used in schools across the country, school assignment from second grade and up are being posted on the internet to get children familiar with computers and the Web at a younger age.

We live in world where technology is all around us. The government, the FBI, local senators, they’re all saying they want to preserve the businesses and get rid of piracy to save the entertainment industry of losing billions, blah, blah, blah. I call bullshit. So many businesses today and nonprofit organizations alike promote their companies and charity work across these social media sites. Nine out of ten companies have websites, Facebook and Twitter accounts. Won’t taking down all these social networking sites halt the progress the American people have made with technology and the internet?

ACTA has been around longer than people realize, but because this act is being negotiated by the European Union, many American’s are just hearing about it now. What they don’t know is, while is based internationally the United States has already signed this bill and if it’s passed they will be able to enforce the laws here as well.

With the recent shut downs of websites such as Megaupload and Filesonic people and file-sharing websites alike are beginning to scatter across the Web. I’m sorry, but it’s a sad day in America when Kim Schmitz, owner of Megaupload is sentenced to 50 years in prison for helping people across the globe share digital files while Miguel Carano, a 20-year-old man who raped, murdered and disposed of a woman was only sentenced to 20 years in prison.

That’s a great message the lawmakers of the United States are sending to the American people. Oh, it’s okay to rape, pillage, and murder but don’t share music and movies on the internet, that’s a big no, no. The truth of the matter is regardless of the time and money the government puts into anti-piracy acts, let’s be realistic. People who want to pirate things are going to find a way to do it.

They can shut down all the websites they want, but the only thing being accomplished is taking away the freedoms that make America the great country it is. It’s as simple as that. By saying yes to ACTA, you’re basically asking the government to come in and take away yours rights.

Be smart; educate yourself on what’s going on before you blindly follow the people who run this country. The last time a group of people decided to give their rights away little by little, the Holocaust was born. It’s okay to question the leaders of the country; we are after all a democratic nation for a reason.

For more detailed information on what ACTA is mosey on over here.

To sign the petition to stop ACTA click this.

For the latest progress on ACTA go here AND here.

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