I spend far too long complaining about this injustice or that, so it’s nice for once have good news – European Parliament yesterday threw out the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). The right decision – people will blather on about rights-holders and piracy, but a much bigger issue was how the US steamrollered this treaty (it seems all of it’s dirty work is done by treaties nowadays – I await DRONA the Drones Treaty with targeted breath :-/) in secret initially which meant it was not discussed in an open and public way. I pressed that to my MEPs and the downsides of ACTA and looks like they and others won through.
So I’d like to thank the London MEPs, the people who bothered their representatives across Europe and raised visibility about ACTA, ORG and all the organisations who campaigned against ACTA – I thought it was an uphill struggle as the reports was covered in layers of legalese and governmental jargon – it was hard to understand as a layman. I’m glad sense won in the end. I suspect a lot of the sabre-rattling from the US, say the NDAA current US legislation allowing action abroad or the Megaupload case has been an own goal – it has led a lot of Europeans to shy away from the US stance.
I’m increasingly worried that the US is trying to conflate piracy with the same sort of level as terrorism – if that becomes the case then that is a very slippery slope. If copyright and IP becomes a war for the US, like the War On Terror, then I doubt many in the European Parliament would want to become their henchmen. An Osama Bin Laden style killing of a future Kim Dot Com may sound ludicrous and farcical – and thankfully at this time it DOES sound farcical and ludicrous rather than a possibility – but you only need to look at the Olympics, with it’s OTT brand policing and security scares to see a possible future if the military-industrial, and copyright & corporate complex get their way.
2012 is shaping up much better than I thought it would be at the start – SOPA and PIPA were thrown out or stalled (yes I know Return of the SOPA and PIPA Strikes Back are in the wings) and now the one I thought might slip through ACTA is no more. All we need is for Megaupload case by the FBI to be thrown out and all is well (well maybe not all is well: I’d like to see the NHS protected from Dave & Nick’s nasty claws, equality for all and healthcare in the US and the bankers to be all held personally responsible worldwide…oh and capitalism thrown out for a fairer system for everyone. Well I can dream can’t I?)
Grafitti by Mau Mau via THTC and The Real Art of Street Art