Following the signing of Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACT) by Twenty-two states of European Union during the ceremony in Japan, which is considered to be somehow or even more effective than SOPA and PIPA – if came into existence in near future.
The signing has yet to be ratified by EU commission and is scheduled to be debated in coming June. Following the signing, protesters sparked demonstrations both virtually and physically. Protesters rallied in the Polish cities of Poznan and Lublin to express their anger over the treaty. Lawmakers for the left-wing Palikot’s Movement wore masks in parliament to show their dissatisfaction, while the largest opposition party the right-wing Law and Justice Party called for a referendum on the matter.
ACTA has been significantly changed from earlier versions, removing an earlier demand that internet users found of repeatedly infringing copyright should be cut off from the web – a suggestion the EU rejected. One French MEP quit the scrutinising process for ACTA in lieu of complain that European Union governments were participating in a “charade”.
ACTA share some similarities with the earlier debated Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the US, which was shelved by lawmakers last week after the number of websites marked January 18 as black-out day followed by more number of senators opposing the bill in the house which ultimately resulting into ending the proposition to define such bill.
Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore and the United States signed the ACTA on 1 Oct 2011. As of yesterday, they are joined by Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom – 22 EU states.