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Why you should protest ACTA if you’re a European, and how. The first quote is from UK perspective, and the petition for UK citizens, but it explains well why ACTA is bad for all Europeans so I’m posting it although I’m Finnish and not UK citizen.
If you’re from the UK and you believe in freedom of speech and an uncensored internet, you really need to sign this petition. There are others floating about, but that particular one is the best way to ensure that your voice gets heard. It’s hosted on the directgov website and addresses parliament directly. If it gets more than 100,000 signatures, it becomes eligible for discussion in the House of Commons.
Everyone’s been getting so worked up over SOPA — and rightly so — that ACTA seems to have slipped under the radar. This is hugely problematic, because ACTA is a similar bill, but it has the potential to be far more damaging than SOPA ever could be.
Some people seem to have this misconception that ACTA is the ‘European SOPA’, but that simply isn’t true. It’s a global treaty, and it’s already been signed by eight countries, including the US, Japan, New Zealand and Singapore. Europe votes on Thursday. If they vote ‘no’, the bill will have to be taken back to the drawing board and reformulated, which should buy us some time at the very least.
If you think this doesn’t affect you, you’re wrong. If ACTA passes, it could well signal the end of the internet as we know it, and that isn’t an exaggeration. It’s not just about watching movies and television online. If ACTA passes, sites like YouTube, Livejournal, Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook and even Google and Wikipedia could become impossible to maintain. ACTA would allow ISPs to monitor your net activity and cut off internet access for your entire household if one person is suspected of breaching copyright. Think Big Brother is Watching. I don’t think I need to emphasise just how damaging it can be to be without internet access in this day and age, when we rely so heavily on technology.
It’s not only bloggers and fandom that would be affected, either. Small businesses, independent film-makers and unsigned musicians who have previously found their niche online would also suffer hugely, and would be at risk of being bullied into submission by Hollywood and multinational corporations under accusations of copyright infringement. All those artists who found fame by uploading covers of songs to YouTube would never have had the opportunity to do so under ACTA, as those cover versions would be prohibited.
I know the internet has its problems, but to my mind it’s the single greatest invention to come out of modern times, and it would be an absolute travesty if we were to lose that now. From a personal point of view, I can’t even put into words how important this is to me. I’ve met some of my closest friends through the internet and online fandom, people whom I would likely never have met without it, and it’s given me this amazing social support system. I don’t want that to end here, and I want to preserve it for future generations so that they can have the same experience and opportunities I’ve been given through my online interactions.
I know that opinions on the seriousness of copyright infringement and online piracy vary wildly, but that isn’t really the point. Internet giants such as Google are opposed to this bill, and it’s pretty safe to say that they’re not in favour of copyright infringment, as anyone who’s ever had a fanvid taken down from YouTube will be painfully aware. Whatever your stance on copyright, this isn’t the way to go about dealing with it. This is dangerous legislation that impeaches on some of our most basic human rights, such as the right to privacy and freedom of speech.
So if you’re from the UK, please, please sign the petition. If you hail from elsewhere in the world, there may well be similar movements in your own country, but I think the most effective thing anybody can do right now is to keep talking about this. Talk about it on Livejournal, on Twitter, on Tumblr, on Facebook, and anywhere else you can think of. Make sure this issue is never far from people’s minds. The internet is an amazingly powerful tool: let’s utilise it while we still have the chance.
I hope this is ok to post here as the passing of this bill will be a devestating blow to vidding.
Please repost and spread the word 🙂
1. ACTA isn’t the “European” SOPA. It’s nearly GLOBAL, and will apply to every country that signs the treaty.
2. ACTA is far more aggressive. ACTA will not simply affect websites and have them blocked out of the internet – its measures go as far as surveillance of anything you share through private channels.
3. ACTA doesn’t have a campaign against it that is as wide-spread and organized as the SOPA one. This is DANGEROUS, as there’s less time between now and the final signing of ACTA.
4. ACTA has effects on healthcare, trade, and even tourism.
5. ACTA has to be stopped.
Let’s start spreading the word and organizing a good, solid response to it.
The petition online website seems to not be working but here is a link to the direct gov petition it only has 2,193 signatures so far: https://submissions.epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/20685
Guys, don’t forget the most direct option to contact the EU Parliament (tho it’s only good for EU citizens):
EVERYONE PAY ATTENTION.
THIS IS THE OFFICIAL CHANNEL FOR ADDRESSING THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT ABOUT ACTA.
If you’re an European citizen, this is what you CAN do:
Send a petition to the European Parliament where you explain, briefly but thoroughly, why it needs to push back ACTA and demand a more transparent debate of its contents, as well as demand that the agreement be more precise on its contents, specially those involving criminal action or any activity that would affect net neutrality, freedom of speech, or privacy.
How to write the petition:
2. Make it a three-paragraph request, easy to read (be thorough, but BRIEF, and don’t be superfluous). Keep a clear flow:
a. Introduce yourself, and briefly tell them what the content of your request is (AKA “I would like to request the European Parliament to vote against ACTA.”)
b. Explain your major concerns about ACTA. Make sure to have your facts well-founded. Quote the law if you can, or at least the sources from where your concerns arise.
c. Wrap your petition letter up reasserting your concern.
3. Remember to BE POLITE. You are addressing an official body of government.
THINGS TO REMEMBER:
– Be polite. Be official. Be serious.
– If, as a petitioner, you do not wish your name to be disclosed, the European Parliament will respect your privacy, but such requests must be clear and explicitly mentioned in your petition.
– Remember, petitions must deal with:
- your rights as a European citizen as set out in the Treaties,
- environmental matters,
- consumer protection,
- free movement of persons, goods and services, internal market,
- employment issues and social policy,
- recognition of professional qualifications,other problems related to the implementation of EU law.
SO, focus your petition in such a way that it highlights how ACTA might affect any of those aspects.
Finally, you can also send GROUP PETITIONS by POST mail. Collect signatures and send it to:
- European Parliament
- The President of the European Parliament
- Rue Wiertz
B-1047 BRUSSELSThe European Parliament is also on Facebook. If you have a facebook account you may want to take petitions there as well: