unjapanologist: (fetchez la vache)
[personal profile] unjapanologist
On July 4, the European Parliament is having its final vote on ACTA, a secretly negotiated international treaty that threatens to expand the powers of multinational companies to police the internet in the name of fighting copyright infringement.

If you have a moment, please mail all MPs via the address europarl-all@falkvinge.net to express your opposition against the treaty. Mail address provided by Rick Falkvinge, the founder of the first Pirate Party*, who also gives some sample letters tailored to EU citizens and non-EU people who want to help defeat ACTA. (There's a picture of a shirtless guy at the top of the page. Just mentioning.)

ACTA is a world-wide treaty with many powerful backers, including countries like the US who are simply denying their elected political institutions a say entirely. ACTA won't necessarily be dead if the EU rejects it, but it would be a massive, massive blow. The EU parliament's vote matters for all of us, so even if you're not in the EU, please do mail! Contacting the MPs really makes a difference. When I first mailed my Belgian MPs in February, four who were previously listed as on the fence or pro-ACTA mailed back to say that the numerous mails they'd gotten from citizens had prompted them to reconsider their position and oppose the treaty.

Speaking of blows against ACTA, kudos to Australia.

As if the treaty itself isn't bad enough, the contempt for citizen protests that pro-ACTA politicians and businesses have displayed is simply breathtaking. In response to the increasing opposition by MPs, commissioner Karel de Gucht has threatened to simply ignore the EU parliament entirely if it rejects ACTA. He also wants to ignore the European Court of Justice if it rules that ACTA is incompatible with EU law. In case a non-elected guy in a suit bragging about how he can just wave away what an elected parliament representing 500 million people decides sounds too cartoonishly evil to be believed, here's pro-ACTA MP Marielle Gallo on the citizen protests:

It's not only a disinformation campaign. It's a soft form of terrorism that frightens people. People are being scared. It's a fantasy. ACTA has become a fantasy. And that, that's propagated by the whole Internet network.


I need a "terrorist on the internet network" icon.





*In case you don't know Falkvinge or his motivations for founding the Pirate Party, he has an interesting talk about it here.
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