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European Union and 22 members sign ACTA

updated 01:10 pm EST, Thu January 26, 2012

ACTA trade agreement signed by 22 EU members

The EU and 22 of its member states have signed on to support the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in Tokyo on Thursday. The deed was met with both online and street protests, however, as many who aren't copyright holders believe the trade agreement to be nothing more than a new copyright law. Five countries part of the EU who haven't signed up for ACTA include Cyprus, Germany, Estonia, the Netherlands, and Slovakia.

The treaty is otherwise supported by Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore and the US. The EU ambassador to Japan sated ACTA aims to help members better protect intellectual property rights.

The European Parliament vote on ACTA is due for June, and European advocacy group La Quadrature du Net is asking concerned citizens to speak out against the bill by contacting their members of parliament.

Protestors argue the enactment of ACTA will affect their freedom of expression, restrict access to medicines, and have a damaging effect on culture and knowledge. [via Wired]




by MacNN Staff

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  1. Bobfozz

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -11

    How does protecting one's...

    own intellectual property limit the freedom of expression (parody is already excepted)? All it does is force people to come up with their OWN work so it can be attacked by the very people who are against copyright (Google and Wikipedia are two). Some people WORK, others COPY. No rewards for laziness.

  1. bdmarsh

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +7

    ACTA has some vague wording

    this could result it in being applied to things it wasn't intended to cover.
    Including things like being searched at border crossings for copyright materials, it is intended to cover large scale operations like shipping, not individuals, but that wasn't specified.
    It will be interesting to see how different countries actually enforce it.

  1. Arty50

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    @Bobfozz

    Why should copyright be life plus anything? It shouldn't. Once you die, your works should enter the public domain.

    The 120/95 rule for corporate works is also ludicrous.

    These lenghty copyright terms actually have the opposite effect of what you're saying. Long terms actually incentivize people and companies to create less. If you come up with one good idea and can milk it for the rest of your life or for the next 120 years, why would you bother creating anything else? If however, your copyright term expired per the originally short limits our country started with and used for decades, then you would be incentivized to not rest on your laurels and actually continually create new works. It's a shame what we've allowed to happen to our society, all so Mickey Mouse wouldn't enter the public domain. Madness.

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