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ACTA has same dangers as PIPA and SOPA

Published: January 26, 2012
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The treaty’s goal is to ban counterfeit goods and online piracy by requiring Internet Protocol servers and individual websites to monitor and prosecute suspected copyright infringements. But the goal comes packaged with some collateral damage: infringements on individual’s civil rights and the creation of a system responsible for widespread, international online censorship.

This nightmare treaty is called the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. It has most of the same goals, supporters and privacy abuses of SOPA and PIPA. What it didn’t have was the kind of public outcry led by websites such as Reddit and Wikipedia when it was signed by the U.S. The treaty now awaits ratification by the European Union before it goes into full force.

ACTA’s scope is far wider than SOPA or PIPA. It aims to stop the “proliferation of counterfeit and pirated goods, as well as of services that share infringing material.” This includes knockoff Louis Vuitton purses and cheap counterfeit medicine in developing nations. It also means any website or program that could potentially be used to infringe copyrighted material, from sites with links for music downloads to music-burning software, would be automatically outlawed.


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