Secret Copyright Treaty Will Ruin the Internet

Tech bloggers go nuts over the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

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Leaked details of a proposed international Internet treaty have tech bloggers throwing fits. Negotiators from the U.S. many other nations are meeting behind closed doors in Seoul this week to hammer out the details of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). The pact is designed to clamp down on the Internet's multifarious illegal file-swapping community by holding service providers accountable for their users' activities.

Bloggers are blasting the treaty, as you'd expect, but are also fulminating against the government's opacity, the companies' cooperation, and big news organizations for failing to sound the alarm:

  • Patricio Robles, Econsultancy: "ACTA could be the worst thing for the internet- ever…Not only would ACTA be bad for citizens of the member nations, it would put businesses in those member nations at a significant disadvantage."
  • Mike Masnick, Techdirt: "There is simply no reason for ACTA, at all. It is nothing but an attempt by the entertainment industry to put massive restrictions on the internet, place liability on lots of third parties, and do nothing to push themselves to adapt to a changing marketplace with new business models."
  • Jolie O'Dell, ReadWriteWeb: "Are international treaties governing Internet content and intellectual property even necessary? Insofar as they fly in the face of normative cultural practices and contradict or tighten existing national laws, we find these suggested measures inflexible and unrealistic."
  • Nicholas Deleon, CrunchGear: "Everything’s very hush-hush, of course, and you don’t hear a damn thing about it on TV, no. No, that’s filled with crackpots on the left and right claiming that health care will fix everyone’s problems automatically or destroy the country as soon as it’s signed into law. As if things this complicated could be debated in 30-second segments."
  • James Love, Huffington Post: "At this point, Congress needs to stand up and put an end to this appalling spectacle of secret legislation on a global scale. How can politicians claim to be all for transparency, and allow this indefensible violation of the public right to know proceed?…Earth to politicians -- you work for us, not the International Chamber of Commerce. Make this negotiation public!"
  • Glyn Moody, Computerworld UK: "The whole ACTA saga is one of the most nauseating demonstrations of the contempt in which the Power-that-Be hold ordinary people and their interests. Sadly, it is not clear to me how to fight it…Any suggestions not involving insurrection?"
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.