The blackout of over 7000 popular websites a couple of weeks ago got a lot of media attention and cooperation from several big websites, like Wikipedia, Google,.. The result: PIPA and SOPA are thrown in the waste basket, and most of the former supporters suddenly discovered that they are against PIPA/SOPA. Strange how people can suddenly discover these things about themselves :-)So it seems this virtual action not only achieved its goals, but achieved it quite well.
But the fight isn't over. PIPA and SOPA weren't the only idiotic and rights-abusing laws the US was trying to force upon us, they were just the most recent and biggest immediate threat.
Another law has been trying to creep in through the backdoor for a couple of years now, and has now also been discovered by the media and activists: ACTA.
Unlike PIPA and SOPA, which were just national laws of the USA, but which would have affected the entire world wide web, because a lot of it passed through the US, ACTA is a multi-national agreement. Before ACTA gets into action, it has to be ratified by enough countries, which means YOUR country and YOUR politicians also decide if this monster becomes alive.
ACTA, or Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, is a lot less concrete, and it's impact is more abstract, but it lays the groundwork for further invasions in your privacy, your right to free speech, and the destruction of public culture. Among other things, it tries to make ISPs responsible for the content that is spread through the internet, to force them to become an internet cop. It also tries to give more rights to copyright holder, but mostly to benefit big companies holding copyrights, not so much the small content creators or poorer countries.
ACTA will also have a big impact on third world countries and poorer people worldwide. Why, you ask? Because this Anti-Counterfeiting Agreement will also make it more difficult to create generic versions of patented medicine.
The inventors of this agreement knew it would cause a massive outrage, and that people would be against it if they found out what it meant, so they tried to surreptitiously negotiate it and get it ratified before people found out about it. Already in 2008 a first draft of of leaked throught WikiLeaks, so luckily some of us were already aware of what was being planned and negotiated by our governments behind the curtains of the political stage.
To protest against ACTA and also to show the anger we still feel about the other attacks of big media on our internet freedom (like SOPA & PIPA), Black March has been announced. During the entire month of march everybody should boycott the entertainment industry by not buying any cd, video, book, or computer game or go the cinema.
Let's show them our power by not using our buying power.