The reverberations from the SOPA fight continue to be felt in the U.S.
(excellent analysis from Benkler
and elsewhere (mounting Canadian
concern that Bill C-11 could be amended to adopt SOPA-like rules),
but it is the Anti-Counterfeiting
Trade Agreement that has captured increasing attention this week.
Several months after the majority of ACTA participants signed
the agreement, most European Union countries formally
signed the agreement yesterday (notable exclusions include Germany,
the Netherlands, Estonia, Cyprus and Slovakia).
This has generated a flurry of furious protest: thousands
have taken to the streets in protest in Poland, nearly 250,000
people have signed a petition
against the agreement, and a Member of the European Parliament has resigned
his position as rapporteur to scrutinize the agreement, concluding that
the entire review process is a "charade."
Some are characterizing ACTA as worse than SOPA, but the reality is
somewhat more complicated. From a substantive perspective, ACTA's
Internet provisions are plainly not as bad as those contemplated by
SOPA. Over the course of several years of public protest and pressure,
the Internet provisions were gradually watered down with the removal of
three strikes and you're out language. Other controversial provisions
on statutory damages and anti-camcording rules were made optional
rather than mandatory.
While the Internet provisions may not be as bad as SOPA, the remainder
of the agreement raises many significant concerns.
TagsShareFriday January 27, 2012