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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

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. :(