For those of you who still have doubt about why or even if ACTA is bad, European Digital Rights has published an ACTA fact sheet, that demonstrates very clearly why ACTA is not in the best interest of European citizens or even the whole of Europe, including its industries. It makes for a chilling read!
Some of the most impressive consequences are listed here as a summary, for the full list, refer to the link above.
- Privatised enforcement outside the rule of law
You could lose your Internet connection for sharing something perceived as illegal, without a judge or court order being involved.
- Mass surveillance of online activities, without suspicion
ISPs will have to hand over information about alleged infringers, without a court order. ISPs will also be required to cooperate in the case of complaints. In practice, this will turn ISP’s into a private “Internet Police”.
- Undermining democracy, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law
By putting private, corporate interests above that of ordinary people, ACTA opens the door to Internet censorship. Because no judge is required, existing law will not apply.
- Chilling effect on innovation
ACTA is open to interpretation, which will potentially have a stifling effect on publishing and sharing information, for fear of accidental infringement.
- Anti-competitive consequences
ACTA favours large players in the market, while discriminating against start-ups.
- Competitive advantage for the USA
The USA are a single, internal market with unified copyright law, whereas Europe isn’t. Furthermore, the USA has said that it will not consider itself bound by ACTA whereas Europe will be bound by ACTA.
- Concerns expressed by developing countries
They have expressed concern since they are not a party with ACTA and therefore may have trouble obtaining such items as generic medication.
- Imbalance of rights
The status of ISPs as simply carriers (like the phone company or a highway system) of information is done away with in ACTA. The interests of rightsholders need to be taken into account first, which sounds somewhat cryptic and also ominous. This spells the end of a free and open Internet.
It’s not too late to stop ACTA though. Come to Amsterdam and protest with us!