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The Petitions Committee from the European Parliament (EP) received a petition signed by close to 2.5 million Internet users from all across the globe which ask Europe to “stand for a free and open Internet and reject the ratification of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which would destroy it.” The petition that can be found on Avaaz 's site , an organization that promotes various issues online, was signed by 2,460,942 individuals, but the number is growing with each second, the ones that proposed it hoping to get 3 million signatures before the parliamentary debates. “Receiving a petition supported by more than 2 million people places an even bigger responsibility on us to listen to the European people and offer them a place to express their views to the European institutions,” said Petitions Committee Chair Eminia Mazzoni.
THE UK Pirate Party has issued a call to arms to the internet industry, asking it to come together to defeat the draconian Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) before that starts killing people. "Criticism of ACTA has often focused on the harm it will do to the Internet, but that doesn't address one of the most important issues that ACTA presents: the fact that it will kill sick people in developing countries by denying them access to affordable generic drugs - whilst doing nothing to address the issue of unsafe counterfeit medications," said Phil Hunt, the UK Pirate Party's foreign policy spokesman. "Medecins sans Frontieres have been expressing their concerns ever since the very first drafts of the treaty were leaked, and they have reiterated their concerns at the latest draft, saying that it will have 'fatal consequences on access to medecines'."
A few weeks ago, we noted that Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk had agreed to suspend attempts to ratify ACTA while he explored the details -- completely flip-flopping on his earlier adamant support for the agreement. However, late last week he went even further. Rather than just putting off the issue, he's now actively campaigning against ACTA throughout Europe. While some are accusing him of bowing to public pressure and the protests throughout Poland (which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing -- listening to the public and all), he insists that it had more to do with learning more details about the likely impact of ACTA. And here's the thing: unlike most other politicians out there, Tusk actually set up a real and open interaction with people online. This happened a few weeks ago, but Wired has the details :
Although Europe has signed up to the Treaty, many countries, such as Poland, have seen widespread protests against it, and the decision has not yet been ratified by the Parliament or all national governments. Reacting to the European Commission's decision, Peter Bradwell of Open Rights Group claimed “the European Commission has a vested interest in seeing ACTA pass. They get to choose the question asked of the Court.
Is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement treaty, otherwise known as ACTA, compatible with what is referred to as the EU’s “fundamental rights and freedoms?” Some EU officials are asking that very question, and to help determine the answer, EU trade chief Karel De Gucht indicated the highly-flammable — at least from a social sense — piece of legislation would be referred to the EU’s highest court, the European Court of Justice. What happens if, after careful deliberation, the EU court decides that ACTA is not compatible with the rights De Gucht discussed? Does that delay, if not entirely kill the ratification process?
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WARSAW, Poland— Poland's prime minister says his country will not ratify an international copyright agreement that has infuriated Internet users and acknowledged he was wrong to have ever supported it. The move marks a victory for grass-roots activists who have been waging protests for weeks against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA, a treaty aimed at fighting international property theft. The critics say it would violate freedom of expression and privacy on the Internet. Prime Minister Donald Tusk said Friday that although Poland signed the treaty last month it was abandoning earlier plans for ratification.
A handful of official U.S. government websites were hacked today in protest of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), a highly controversial international trade agreement largely cooked up by media companies to protect their copyrighted content from being pirated online. The hacktivist group Anonymous is believed to be responsible for the attack. According to the International Business Times , the group posted a strongly worded anti-ACTA statement as well as an anti-ACTA PSA video from YouTube (embedded below) to business.ftc.gov, consumer.gov, and the National Consumer Protection Week official site (ncpw.gov). For those who aren’t familiar with the trade agreement, ACTA is an international treaty aimed at giving countries the ability to stop copyright infringement and other forms of intellectual property theft — a standard framework so that all countries around the world can charge and prosecute digital piracy.
Crossposted from Computerworld UK where it was originally split into two separate articles. It's a sign of the European Commission's increasing desperation over ACTA that it has been forced to send out a document entitled "10 Myths About ACTA" [ pdf ] that purports to debunk misinformation that is being put around. Unsurprisingly, the EC's document is itself full of misinformation.
Bulgaria won't be ratifying the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement ( ACTA ) any time soon. On Tuesday, Bulgaria followed some of its European neighbors, including Germany and Poland, in halting approval of the controversial intellectual property treaty. Bulgaria will "practically stop its participation" until it sees a clear and unified European stance on the treaty, according to Traicho Traikov, the Bulgarian economy and energy minister.
<a href="http://ad.doubleclick.net/jump/mgh.bw.general/general;page=t0;t0=middle1;sz=120x40;ord=1234567890" target="_blank"><img src="http://ad.doubleclick.net/ad/mgh.bw.general/general;page=t0;t0=middle1;sz=120x40;ord=1234567890" alt="" border="0" /></a> SOFIA, Bulgaria Bulgaria could join Germany, the Czech Republic and Poland in delaying its decision on whether to sign an international copyright treaty that some Internet users say could lead to online censorship. Bulgarian Economy Minister Traicho Traikov said Tuesday he will ask his government to suspend ratification of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement on Wednesday until the EU has dealt with opposition to it. Last weekend, protests were held against the treaty in Bulgaria, Poland, Germany, Finland and other EU nations.
The Dutch Lower House has backed a motion from the Green Left party which says the Netherlands should, for the time being, refrain from signing an international treaty designed to combat piracy and counterfeit trade on the Internet. The motion says that there first needs to be clarity about whether the treaty threatens the rights and the privacy of Internet users. The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is a treaty between the 27 EU Member States and ten other countries including the US, Canada and Japan. Last weekend, tens of thousands of Europeans in cities across Europe demonstrated against ACTA. They fear it will limit the freedom of internet use.
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11 February 2012 Last updated at 18:57 GMT By Dave Lee Technology Reporter Marchers in London gathered outside British Music House, home to several major rights holders Thousands of people have taken part in co-ordinated protests across Europe in opposition to a controversial anti-piracy agreement. Significant marches were held in Germany, Poland and the Netherlands against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (Acta). Around 200 protesters gathered in central London outside the offices of rights holder representative groups.
The world is witnessing the largest offline protest against copyright legislation today. Massive demonstrations against the draconian anti-piracy treaty ACTA are spanning four continents, with protests in more than 200 European cities alone. Hundreds of thousands of people are taking to the streets to prevent their countries and the European Parliament from putting the free Internet at risk by ratifying ACTA,