Started by Silver Knight, 27-01-2012

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Silver Knight

QuoteFrench MEP Kader Arif yesterday quit his role as lead Rapporteur for ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) for the European Parliament, denouncing the agreement as a "masquerade". The resignation coincides with the signing of ACTA by diplomats representing the European Commission in Tokyo. ARTICLE 19 commends this symbolic move and calls upon all members of the European Parliament to stand up for democracy and safeguard freedom of expression online. 

"MEP Kader Arif's resignation exposes the true extent of the democratic scandal enveloping ACTA" said Dr Agnès Callamard, ARTICLE 19 Executive Director. "ACTA is a dangerous agreement for freedom of expression that was brokered in secret. We must urge all MEPs to refuse to sacrifice freedom of expression on the altar of intellectual property." 

The European Commission signed ACTA yesterday, moving one step closer to ratification of the controversial international instrument. As rapporteur, Kader Arif was in the process of leading the EU International Trade Committee's (INTA) scrutiny of ACTA. Members of the European Parliament are due to vote on ACTA in June.

Protests against limits on free expression in the name of protecting intellectual property are quickly gaining momentum. Thousands of people demonstrated in Poland yesterday following news that the Polish government had signed ACTA. On 18 January thousands of websites – including – went black to protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), a bill before the American Senate that would have had a dire effect on freedom of expression online. 

ACTA poses a much greater threat to free expression than SOPA or PIPA. It criminalises everyday and harmless forms of internet use. It envisages a world in which internet companies are compelled to spy on users' online activity. It allows intellectual property corporations to recoup astronomic civil damages sums, chilling cultural sharing. ARTICLE 19 has repeatedly voiced its concern that the drafting of ACTA was anti-democratic, having been negotiated in secret with industry representatives and excluding civil society.

ARTICLE 19 urges all individuals who value Internet freedom to call upon their representatives in the European Parliament to reject ACTA, and to sign the Avaaz international petition for the defeat of this dangerous international agreement.  I think that's even more proof of what is about to come up.

Sign the Petition here: (Actually over 717,050 signs - I did.)

Source: Click Here   

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