The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is probably the most discussed topic concerning the numerous people who surf the Internet on a daily. I may also be affected by a possible enactment of the treaty. There have been a number of protests in different countries against this treaty since its introduction in October, 20110. The reasons of such reactions are alleged infringements of freedom of Internet which in this context means the infringement of rights of an Internet users. Before starting this essay I had just a vague idea about the ACTA. For that reason I want to start with giving an explanation for it. ACTA is an international agreement that aims to create international standards on intellectual property rights enforcement. The title of the treaty suggests the agreement deals with counterfeit goods, such as medicines and luxury goods. However, the treaty actually has a much broader scope and will deal with tools targeting internet distribution and information technology.
It has been negotiated, mostly in secret, between various countries (and the EU over the last four years). Many states have already signed up Acta. It is very unclear, it gives advantages for governments to use to control the internet consequently society- medium of direct dialogue between people because of that i think ACTA is not just about copyrights. When I started to search for further information about this treaty the first thing that I figured out was that it covers not only Internet issues but also counterfeit goods as such including fake medicines. I admit that this discovery itself somehow changed my attitude towards the treaty because one can often hear from the news that people die from fake drugs.
However the most important for me as quite an active computer user part of ACTA is a chapter called “Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights”. The way I understood it is that everything in the Internet will be copyrighted. In a nutshell people everywhere would be punished for simple acts such as sharing a newspaper article or uploading a video of a party where copyrighted music is played. Personally, I think ACTA or this kind of treaties might not be effective against the things these bills want to address.
Especially ACTA, because this treaty tries to address not one but many industries at the same time. For better or worse, such a broad language of a treaty might effectively change how many industries would behave, because each industry might work differently. Of course, the Internet might be one of those industries that breaks under the pressure of ACTA. The Internet is an important vehicle which helps the spreading of ideas and knowledge. I do not think it’s wise to stop the Internet from helping to spread ideas and knowledge. People want to be heard, to share, and to know more.