To whom it may concern,
As a user of the Internet, I am very concerned about the very secretive proposed trade agreement, ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement). This is an international treaty, the draft of which has been recently leaked, that proposes some radical and potentially disastrous changes to international copyright law, and the way Internet service providers do business.
- Currently, Internet service providers are not held liable for the actions of their customers. ACTA will make ISPs responsible for enforcement of the new legal framework put forth. They will have to police copyright on user-contributed material. This could potentially put an end to sites that depend on such content (Youtube, Flickr, Blogger) due to the impossibility of monitoring the amount of data involved for infringing materials. The only practical option for the ISP would be to block access entirely.
- ISPs will be asked to take a ‘three strikes’ approach, and will have to disconnect users that have been accused of copyright infringements three times, as will be required by law. The user will be disconnected without trial, an opportunity to defend themselves, or even any hard evidence.
- The whole world must adopt US-style "notice-and-takedown" rules that require ISPs to remove any material that is claimed to be infringing, without evidence or trial. This has proved a disaster in the US and other countries, where it provides an easy method of censoring certain people and their websites – just by claiming a copyright violation.
- Stronger laws about breaking DRM measures will be brought into effect, even if you have a legitimate reason to be doing so.
This treaty isn’t just about ‘preventing piracy and stopping hackers’. The large content distributors have become greedy, and wish to nullify the prominent role the Internet has on entertainment as a whole in the modern world. They can smell their precious money slipping through of their fingers and aren’t afraid to manipulate the democratic process to avoid that. Hopefully you can see how their greed will affect you, me, and anyone else that uses the internet. They know that if this treaty becomes common knowledge before being passed, there will be an outcry – that’s why it has been kept secret so long. The passing of this treaty will be disastrous to the Internet as it exists today. It would end the free reign we have had to speak our minds without fear of censorship. Do we really want to follow China’s example with Internet policies?
This entire debacle is just another demonstration of how little democracy exists in today’s corporate controlled world, so let’s try take a little bit of it back. Fight ACTA.
-A concerned citizen of the Internet.
I have just read and signed the online petition:
"Stop ACTA Now!"
hosted on the web by PetitionOnline.com, the free online petition service, at:
I personally agree with what this petition says, and I think you might agree, too. If you can spare a moment, please take a look, and consider signing yourself.
Your name here
- U.S. Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab
- Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA)
- Rep. Mary Bono (R-CA)
- Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)
- Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA)
- Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA)
- Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
- Time Warner
- News Corp
- Sony Corp of America
- Walt Disney Co