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With all the recent news, several European countries announcing they were going to hold off on ratifying or signing of the ACTA agreement, major newspapers announcing that ACTA is dead, the EU Court of Justice ruling that social networks can’t be forced to monitor their users for copyright violations, it would be easy to make the mistake of believing that the fight against ACTA is over and that the opponents of the agreement have won. However, this is far from true. (more…)

This was just announced by Dutch news network NOS: apparently the Dutch national Parliament has accepted a motion not to sign ACTA, due to concerns about human rights. A majority in Parliament consisting of D66, Groenlinks, PvdA,  SP and PVV stated that the ACTA agreement might conflict with the European declaration on the Rights of Man. According to these parties, the ACTA agreement can not be signed until it is abundantly clear that there is no conflict.

Bulgaria has also joined the ranks of nations that don’t support ACTA. At least, not any more. After signing ACTA last month, today Minister Traicho Traikov told reporters that “I’m a pessimist when it comes to regulating an industry, which hasn’t adapted to the digital age, through sanctions rather than market means”. He announced that Bulgaria would not take any further steps toward ratifying ACTA until the position of all EU states would be unanimous.

This adds The Netherlands to the list of EU countries where ACTA support is waning. These countries are Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia, Czech republic, Latvia, Germany, Bulgaria and now The Netherlands!

In a response to the day of international protests against ACTA, Dutch NOS news asked the Dutch negotiator on ACTA, Minister Maxime Verhagen, for a response. In his response Minister Verhagen mentions that he doesn’t understand the commotion and that ACTA is actually good, since it enables us to take a child pornography sites offline, for instance. ACTA is mainly of importance for “other countries”, not The Netherlands according to the Minister. For The Netherlands nothing would change, he added.

Child pornography is of course the current buzzword being used to hurry undemocratic proposals through parliaments. How could anyone not support a treaty that helps combat child pornography?


Post edited 2012-02-12: more videos added and the reaction of Minister Verhagen has been given a post of its own, so it has been removed here. Bonus points if you can spot yours truly in any of the videos below.

I was at the protest in Amsterdam today and boy, was it ever cold! Still, it was good to be there, to hear the arguments, to speak with onlookers and wave at the many cameras pointed at us. Most of them were from tourists, but still. It was quite shocking to find out how little people knew about ACTA, if anything at all! Most had never heard about it until today. (more…)