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    European Opposition to ACTA Continues to Mount

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    Wednesday February 01, 2012
    European opposition to ACTA continues to mount with Poland's culture minister admitting that it may not be approved by the Polish parliament and the Slovenian ambassador to Japan apologizing for signing ACTA last week.
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    Ten Key Questions and Answers About Bill C-11, SOPA, ACTA, and the TPP

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    Tuesday January 31, 2012
    In recent days there has been massive new interest in Canadian copyright reform as thousands of people write to their MPs to express concern about the prospect of adding SOPA-style rules to Bill C-11 (there are even plans for public protests beginning to emerge). The interest has resulted in some completely unacceptable threats and confusion - some claiming that the Canadian bill will be passed within 14 days (not true) and others stating that proposed SOPA-style changes are nothing more than technical changes to the bill (also not true).  Even the mainstream media is getting into the mix, with the Financial Post's Terrance Corcoran offering his "expert" legal opinion that CRIA's lawyers are likely to lose their lawsuit against isoHunt. 

    Given the importance of Canadians speaking out accurately on Bill C-11, ACTA, and the TPP, I've posted ten key questions and answers to sort through the claims. The first eight questions address the links between Bill C-11 and SOPA as well as proposed changes to the current copyright law. The final two question focus on ACTA and the TPP.


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    Thousands Take to the Streets to Protest ACTA

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    Sunday January 29, 2012
    The protests against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement continue to spread in cities across Europe. The protests began in Poland, where thousands have taken to the streets and opposition politicians have worn Guy Fawkes masks in protest against the country signing the agreement last week. The scenes from Poland are remarkable, demonstrating the widespread anger over the decision to join ACTA.

    This weekend the protests have spread beyond Poland, with hundreds protesting in the Czech Republic, Belgium, and in cities across France including Paris, Lyon, and Bordeaux (further Paris video here). There have also been reports of smaller protests in London and Dublin. The ACTA protests appear to be spreading as there are plans for protests next week in the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Ireland, and Sweden. A full rundown of protest plans can be found here.  The European Parliament is scheduled to vote on the agreement later this year.



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    The ACTA Fight Returns: What Is at Stake and What You Can Do

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    Friday January 27, 2012
    The reverberations from the SOPA fight continue to be felt in the U.S. (excellent analysis from Benkler and Downes) 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.


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