"What is ACTA?
ACTA is an abbreviation for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. It is an International Treaty that will be pushed to implementation by 2010. It has been discussed in secret since October 2007, and has been leaked by government officials who were against the unconstitutional, ineffective, inhumane, and unlawful nature of such a treaty.
Countries affected by this treaty include but are not limited to:
Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan, The Republic of Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States
The official goal of the agreement is the international enforcement of strong intellectual property rights. Some of our concerns include the vague, amorphous manner in which “counterfeit” is used in many of the public comments. These uses run the gamut from undisputedly illegal products to expressly legitimate generic products. We believe that ACTA holds the potential to restrict innovation, consumer choice and freedom on the Internet by it's many restrictions and its changes to the legal front on copyrights.
The scope of ACTA includes counterfeit goods, generic medicines, Internet censorship, irrational new downloading laws and what is termed "piracy over the Internet". ACTA is a treaty, which would overcome many court precedents in your own country that defines consumer rights as to "fair use" and would remove any limitations on the application of intellectual property laws. This means that ACTA would overrule any laws in your own country, and deal harsher, unfair and ineffective punishment to anyone suspected of piracy, without a trial in court. If you are just suspected of listening to songs illegally, or uploading anything illegal, you may be dealt with harshly, against the laws of your own country.
ACTA also makes Internet Service Providers legally responsible for any of it's users downloaded content. ACTA gives recording industries more rights to enforce copyrights and officers of the law the right to search any digital device for copyrighted material. Did you pay for the songs on your iPod? Under the new law, that instantly classifies you as a criminal, and the same classification as murderers and rapists. You will get a criminal record. Even if you do not download songs onto your iPod, you will feel the effects as millions, possibly billions of dollars in taxpayer's money will be poured in to catch these "criminals", money that can be used to save lives.
Part of ACTA deems anyone accused of copyright infringement to "compensate" for the loss in profit to recording companies. They want harsher punishments for these criminals. These recording companies, such as UMG, earn upwards of $1 billion in 2009. However, the RIAA (Recording Industries Association of America) recently sued a 12 year old girl for downloading, as well as many other people. They are seeking $150 000 per song, on allofmp3.com. How much harsher will they go?
Isn't there a point where they must stop?"