You know how in the movies the good guys have an initial victory, then the bad guys come back worse than ever, but though the odds are outrageous the heroes come back in the end with some insane plan to save the day? Well, that’s what is happening this Saturday, February 11th. Where? Everywhere!
Who are the good guys and bad guys again? To translate from above, the internet had an initial victory with the PIPA & SOPA copyright bills in the United States, but now there’s all kind of secret shenanigans going on internationally to push through trade agreements with the same absurdly overreaching copyright and intellectual property provisions as SOPA, just this time on a global scale. For this round, the response is being led in Europe as the EU has not yet ratified ACTA. The action, however, will be happening worldwide, with over 200 cities planning protest events.
In case you haven’t been keeping score, this is how the saga has progressed:
1 – COICA, Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act – S.3804 – [Wikipedia|Bill Text]
2 – PIPA, or Protect-IP, Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act – S.968 – [Wikipedia|Bill Text]
3 – SOPA, Stop Online Piracy Act – H.R.3261 – [Wikipedia|Bill Text]
4 – ACTA, Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement – [Wikipedia|Text]
5 – TPP, Trans-Pacific Partnership – [Wikipedia|Text]
The timeline is the most shocking part. COICA was introduced in September of 2010. In 17 months, the entertainment industry and its faithful servant, the United States government, have managed to get three pieces of legislation shot down by overwhelming public opposition, yet still had the time and the nerve to try to get their way by bypassing every democracy on Earth.
In the U.S., Obama has already signed us on to ACTA, although that doesn’t mean it will stick. As Digital Commons explains it, “The problem is that the President lacks constitutional authority to bind the U.S. to the agreement without congressional consent; but that lack of authority may not prevent the U.S. from being bound to the agreement under international law.” Then again, Obama might be left holding the bag on this one, as Poland and the Czech Republic have now suspended their ratification of ACTA and the European Parliament is about to get an earful encouraging them to not even bother.
Now back to the movies. Yes, you’ve already had to hear and do a lot about this crap, you’re tired, it’s Friday and you want to go home, but we can’t walk away yet. There would be no entertainment industry if the heroes never finished the job. Go ask a focus group. We’ve got to see this through and it is going to require a little more effort.
What can you do? Once again, Fight for the Future has everything you need at KillACTA.org. Join in one of the events mapped above, sign the TPP petition and don’t hang up your spurs until you write your representatives about ACTA, which you can take care of right here, in Brainerd…
Here’s to happy endings!