By: Nikhil Malankar
The Internet has defeated the SOPA and PIPA but do you know about something known as the ACTA? Well, in case you don’t know, ACTA stands for ‘Anti-Counterfieting Trade Agreement’. Let us take a look on what it is about and how it is misused by the Government to curtail our freedom of speech and expression.
What is ACTA about?
The ACTA is about protecting Trademark companies and intellectual properties. For example, you cannot start a company with the registered name of ‘Google Inc.’ or the likes. This offers a healthy protection of copyrights and provides a legally safe environment for both small and large corporations by protecting their trademarks. It is supposed to protect products against selling fake copies of branded products. For example, you cannot sell a Cola under the registered name of ‘Coca Cola’ or, say, ‘Pepsi’ because that damages the reputation of the respective companies. ACTA is supposed to protect patents and support artists to churn out high quality content. So, whats the problem? Its actually a great law. If you think about it this way then think again..
The Problem With ACTA:
Alrighty, sure ACTA is a great act for protecting copyrighted content and patents. But what will happen when the ACTA will be imposed on the Internet? Before giving the answer let me define counterfieting from the Oxford English Dictionary. Counterfieting is defined as the fraudulent imitation of something else. And when the ACTA will be imposed on the Internet you won’t be able to download files. Well, when you download a file you just download the exact copy of the original. In fact the file you downloaded is exactly the same and you have not stolen the original copy. The original copy is intact. Let me give you a more simple example. If you go to a computer class and learn some basics of computing. Now you want to share your knowledge with, say, your brother or sister. Now you are sharing your understanding of the knowledge gained from the classes with your siblings for free. But the twist here is that you are a criminal in terms of the ACTA. Since you just shared the information
that you learned from the computer classes. And also the ACTA criminalises your siblings for taking the knowledge from you.
But then this surely will help artists, right? WRONG!
An artiste will gain recognition for his/her work only when people watch them. If the act is imposed on the Internet then you would never be able to download movies for free.
Social networking sites like Twitter and the likes and the video sharing giant YouTube will be the ones that will get most affected by ACTA since you would not be able to share your thoughts or upload a video expressing your views and stuff.
Its totally wrong!
Nowadays we use the Internet for almost everything. After ACTA you won’t be able to share photos, post status updates, upload/download videos. In short, the Internet will become a vast Wild West wherein you won’t be able to do anything. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and even the Big G(Google) will have to shut down for the same reasons mentioned above. It violates freedom of speech and freedom of expression. If I don’t like, say ‘X’ Politician, then I have the full right to express my views on the same. The ACTA or no other act has the right to curb that.
Here is a prime example of how the author of SOPA Mr. Lamar Smith himself has violated his own act:
So, a personal request from GeneticWriters to all its readers: Please Google ‘ACTA’ and spread awareness among your friends to protest against this shit act which will snatch away our freedom of speech and expression.