ACTA, a controversial executive agreement (not a treaty), is set for a European Union Parliament vote tomorrow and a coalition of over 50 groups are calling for the EU to reject the agreement.
For the uninitiated, ACTA was crafted to staunch the flow of pirated and counterfeit goods and intellectual property (movies, music, etc). To accomplish this, a serious overhaul of current internet standards and protocols is required, which worries technology businesses, certain politicians, civil society and civil liberties groups.
Rights holders (known in ACTA’s legal language as “a Party”) will be able to force ISPs (Internet Service Providers) into cooperation by requesting user data without court proceedings, thereby forcing compliance via threat of civil proceedings or criminal sanctions for “aiding and abetting” infringement. Through ACTA, rights holders become pre-eminent in international law, usurping due process for ISPs and websites, blogs, etc. ACTA would also allow countries party to the agreement to enforce criminal sanctions without a democratic process.
There is a cause for some encouragement, however, as five EU parliamentary committees recently issued opinions urging rejection of ACTA. A victory on the world stage might also aid nations battling similar domestic policy.
The Twitter group @StopACTANow is calling on EU citizens to call their MEP and urge them to reject ACTA.
— StopACTANow (@StopActaNow) July 3, 2012
Are you a EU citizen who would like to call your MEP? Check out the video below put together by La Quadrature du Net.
[Image via Flickr: kalamun]