We Have Every Right to Be Furious About ACTAElectronic Frontier Foundation -- Maira Sutton and Parker Higgins -- 1/27/2012
If there’s one thing that encapsulates what’s wrong with the way government functions today, ACTA is it. You wouldn’t know it from the name, but the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is a plurilateral agreement designed to broaden and extend existing intellectual property (IP) enforcement laws to the Internet. While it was only negotiated between a few countries,1 it has global consequences. First because it will create new rules for the Internet, and second, because its standards will be applied to other countries through the U.S.’s annual Special 301 process. Negotiated in secret, ACTA bypassed checks and balances of existing international IP norm-setting bodies, without any meaningful input from national parliaments, policymakers, or their citizens. Worse still, the agreement creates a new global institution, an "ACTA Committee" to oversee its implementation and interpretation that will be made up of unelected members with no legal obligation to be transparent in their proceedings. Both in substance and in process, ACTA embodies an outdated top-down, arbitrary approach to government that is out of step with modern notions of participatory democracy.
Keep the Web Open
OPEN: Online Protection & ENforcement of Digital Trade Act
The OPEN Act was formally introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on January 18, 2012. This version includes user-generated improvements to the draft version. OPEN secures two fundamental principles. First, Americans have a right to benefit from what they've created. And second, Americans have a right to an open Internet. Our duty is to protect these rights. That's why congressional Republicans, Democrats and the public came together to write the OPEN Act. But it's only a start. We need your ideas: sign up, comment and collaborate to build a better bill.
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