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Help Kill ACTA and TPP, Secretive International Trade Agreements that Threaten Privacy and Freedom

02/11/2012

CLICK TO FIGHT ACTA AND TPP

Today is the global day of action against ACTA and TPP, secretive trade agreements that, if widely ratified, promise to infringe on the freedom, privacy and agency of internet users worldwide.

Above is a link to a powerful tool designed by Fight for the Future (the group that catalyzed the SOPA day of protest) to combat ACTA and TPP. It will automatically send the following email, which you can modify, to the appropriate officials in your country:

I am very concerned about the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement currently being negotiated by the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

In an internet age, changes to copyright enforcement or online commerce can have devastating effects on individual freedom and the prosperity of entire industries. The resounding defeat of SOPA & PIPA in Congress show that the public demands a say in any new policy that impacts the future of the internet.

When Congress listens to the people and rejects one-sided tech policy, it’s wrong and anti-democratic for unelected officials to move forward with similar policy in trade agreements, especially when these trade agreements are negotiated in secret, giving special access to politically-connected industries while public interest groups are locked out.

Any changes in these areas should only be made by Congress, with vigorous public debate. You should drop any changes to copyright, online commerce, or information policy from TPP immediately.

Please reply with any questions.

Here are some reasons you might like to join in this fight, (from La Quadrature du Net):

  1. ACTA locks countries into obsolete copyright and patent laws. If a democracy decides on less restrictive laws that reflect the reality of the internet, ACTA will prevent that.
  2. ACTA criminalizes users by making noncommercial, harmless remixes into crimes if “on a commercial scale” (art 2.14.1). Many amateur works achieve a commercial scale on sites like Youtube. ACTA, like SOPA, could mean jail time for the Justin Biebers of the world.
  3. ACTA Criminalizes legitimate websites, making them responsible for user behavior by “aiding and abetting”. (art 2.14.4). Like SOPA, the founders of your favorite sites could be sued or (worse) thrown in jail for copyright infringement by their users.
  4. ACTA will let rightsholders use laughably inflated claims of damages (based on the disproven idea that every download or stream is a lost sale) to sue people. As if suing amazing artists, video makers and websites for millions wasn’t hard enough!
  5. ACTA Permanently bypasses democracy by giving the “ACTA Committee” the power to “propose amendments to [ACTA]” (art 6.4). In other words, voting for ACTA writes a blank check to an unelected committee. These closed-door proceedings will be a playground for SOPA-supporters like the MPAA.
  6. Trade agreements are a gaping loophole, a backdoor track that, even though it creates new law, is miles removed from democracy. It’s a secretive process that’s tailor-made to serve politically connected companies. And the movie studios behind SOPA? They’re experts at it. If we can’t make secretive trade agreements harder to pass than US law, our internet’s future belongs to the lobbyists behind SOPA.
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