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This may a bit late to make this entry here, but I think it's still a good idea to spread the word. I think that this treaty negotiations needs more of our attention.

ACTA is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement currently negotiated in secrecy by the governments of the world without public involvement, and which is very likely to bring on Chinese net-restrictions down on the Internet all over the world, if it gets through.

Reporter Without Borders have recently published an open letter to the European Parliament to demand transparency about these negotiations. The open letter has been signed by civil rights Non Governmental Organizations all over the (western part of) the world (here at the Site of La Quadrature du Net). Here is the article about it at the site of Reporters Without Borders.

The article as well as the open letter explain what the part of the drafts of this agreement that have been leaked to the public so far include for the Internet, and what this would mean:

⇒ Banning mechanisms for circumventing content filtering or blocking, which would prevent citizens in countries such as Iran or China from evading censorship;

⇒ Punishing people who download content illegally by cutting their Internet connections, thereby limiting their access to information, although it does nothing to prevent the actual piracy;

⇒ Automatic content filtering, which limits freedom of expression and is illegal if not approved by a judge.

The problem is, these requirements would be introduced by a multilateral agreement which then had to be introduced by all states who signed it. Even though in some of these states, it would be against their constitutional rights. And if you wonder what the hell I am talking about, here are three articles by Michael Geist that explain it well and in more depth:

ACTA, Guide part one
ACTA, Guide part two
ACTA, Guide part three

You all do realize what this treaty in its current form would mean for fanfiction, if nothing else? Not to speak about freedom of information or freedom of expression. Guys, this is serious, and it's time to complain about it to whatever government is currently in office wherever you live!

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
esteliel
Feb. 6th, 2010 02:48 pm (UTC)
I've read about it a week or two ago, when Spiegel Online linked to the Reporters Without Borders letter. What made me really angry is that until today, that Spiegel Online article is the only mention of ACTA at all that I've seen in the media - and I read Spiegel Online every day as well as watch the Tagesschau, and also stuff like Auslandsjournal or Aspekte. Not one single mention of it; how is that even possible?

I don't think it will change the legal situation of fanfiction though, as I do believe in the legality of transformative works (that's why I'm a member of the OTW), but quite apart from the fanfic/vidding aspect, there is just so much wrong about a treaty so secret that not even the parliament members know what is in it.
crowdaughter
Feb. 6th, 2010 03:08 pm (UTC)
Yes, I printed that SpOn article out and send it to some friends because they did not seem to get what it was all about, but it was the first time I've read or seen or heard anything about it in the official German media (not the net blogs). I am not even sure if Spiegel has anything about it in the printed magazine. You really wonder why the official media are so silent about this.

I think there were some articles about it recently in the official US media, like Washington Post, but most of them seem oddly silent, too. This is pretty bad, IMHO.

As for the legality of transformative works... well, among others, this might be one of the things that will be affected by this. And not in a good way. :(
fayechristy
Feb. 7th, 2010 12:05 pm (UTC)
I'm so worry that no more freedom-of-speech in www. My friend lives in mainland China told they cannot access so many websites like twitter, facebook, youtube...Imagevenue etc. Terrible.
mithriel
Feb. 7th, 2010 12:24 pm (UTC)
yeah, we usually use proxy software, and I used proxy to visit LJ until last year.fortunately they only block very famous site.Sometimes technical skills can move all the barriers. but why are the barriers there? Who have the rights to set up them?
crowdaughter
Feb. 7th, 2010 01:44 pm (UTC)
Hi, there!

Yes, it is terrible what they do there, especially from our western perspective down here. All I can say is that I hope we will be able to fend off the worst of the multilateral tendencies to filter the web and block access to sites that are deemed illegal from countries that have a lot off censure. I don't want to imagine what will happen if these tendencies get through, and we won't have a world wide web as we know it today anymore. The filtering your friends have to face in mainland China is bad enough, already! I do not wish to imagine filtering like that (or even closely to that) happening down here, too. :(
mithriel
Feb. 7th, 2010 12:15 pm (UTC)
Come on, this must be a joke!
I have had enough in China,I don't know what's going on, I can watch and post everything in China just a few years ago,but now,our Chinese slash writers don't even dare to post a fiction. There's no actual punishment on individual, they just delete all the things they think have problems. We can choose to post somewhere else,overseas sites,like LJ. But I don't wanna this...kind of situation, happen in other places,no more,please... this is terrible...
crowdaughter
Feb. 7th, 2010 01:31 pm (UTC)
Hi, there!

Unfortunately, it is not a joke at all. Thank god we have no censure or filtering like you have, yet, but we had attempts to control the Internet and block sites down here in Germany recently, too, and also some legislation is underway to introduce more subtle blocking and filtering techniques (officially directed at protecting our youth and children; but at the same time, there have been many politicians and "experts", as well as interest groups, who asked for filtering of "illegal" content, or political problematic content, content they claim is violating intellectual property, and so on. It is not as bad as the filtering you face, yet - but if this thing gets true, it may become that way.

I really, really hope that we can fend these attempts at introducing Internet censure and filtering off, down here! And I hope that the filtering will become less and harder to do, in China, too!
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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