The popular backlash against SOPA and PIPA revealed a deep discontent among people, both in the U.S. and in other parts of the world, at the way copyright policy is formulated, the interests it seeks to advance, and the means it uses to advance them. This popular energy can and should be used not only to prevent harmful initiatives like SOPA and PIPA but also to bring about positive changes in copyright law and policy.
Consumers International participated in a group of over 90 academics, practitioners and public interest organizations from six continents who gathered at American University Washington College of Law, June 16-18, 2010 to analyze the official text of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), released for the first time in April, 2010.
Q: What is wrong with a treaty against counterfeiting?
It isn't really a treaty against counterfeiting. It uses that name, but in fact the most problematic aspects of the agreement under negotiation have nothing to do with counterfeit goods. Rather, they are designed to crack down on the transfer of digital information, making it easier for intermediaries (such as customs officers, ISPs, and copyright owners) to snoop on consumers exchanging such information, and imposing new criminal penalties in case they have breached someone's copyright by doing so.
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The global consumer movement stands for the empowerment of consumers and the representation of their interests in global fora where policies affecting their interests are discussed. The antithesis of these principles is found in the current series of closed negotiations for a new Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).
Here you can find information for the press, for consumer organisations and the general public about what ACTA is, why it must be stopped, and what members of Consumers International are doing to achieve this end.