ACTA: is the criticism fair?

01-02-2012

Jens K├╝nzel

On February 11, 2012, more than 100,000 people in 55 cities demonstrated against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in Germany, an international trade agreement which has not been ratified in many countries, including Germany.

On February 11, 2012, more than 100,000 people in 55 cities demonstrated against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in Germany, an international trade agreement which has not been ratified in many countries, including Germany. Demonstrations took place on the same day in many other European countries such as France, Austria, Switzerland and Poland.

The widespread German protest is noteworthy, not only because of the high turnout in spite of very low temperatures, and the traditional German ‘reluctance’ to utter any kind of protest by going on the streets, but first and foremost because the criticism from the organisers—Germany’s Pirate Party (which seeks to promote ‘transparency’ in the Internet world) and the local Internet community—largely ignores the fact that the content of the ACTA agreement is already law in Germany.

The critics may have a point when they target the lack of appropriate transparency in the ACTA negotiations. The subject seems to stir emotion among interest groups (users and bloggers, the Internet business community), so more publicity and explanation would have defused much of the commotion from the outset.


ACTA, anti-counterfeiting

WIPR