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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

ACTA - Poland leading the protest for freedom



Poland Leads a New Struggle for Freedom
By Claudia Ciobanu

WARSAW, Feb 14, 2012 (IPS) - Last weekend saw tens of thousands of people across Europe taking to the streets in protest against the international treaty to enforce intellectual property rights. European politicians are gradually distancing themselves from the treaty, largely as a result of citizen mobilisation initiated in Central Europe.

Several hundreds gathered in front of the presidential palace in Warsaw Saturday Feb. 11, for a two-hour modest protest. That was a far cry from the intense street actions that drew thousands in all major cities in Poland a little over two weeks back.

But, in a way, Polish protesters had already done their part: their own government, which had signed the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), postponed ratification and inaugurated a period of public debate; European Parliamentarians of various political orientations are declaring they will not ratify the treaty; and ACTA has become an issue for European debate, with coordinated demonstrations taking place on Saturday in almost every EU country.

On Feb. 11, 15,000 protested in Munich, 10,000 in Berlin, 4,000 in Sofia, 2,000 in Prague, and hundreds in other Western and Eastern European cities.

ACTA is meant to establish an international legal framework for targeting counterfeit goods, generic medicines and copyright infringement online. Critics of the act, however, argue that it is "an offensive against the sharing of culture on the Internet" and condemn the lack of public debate over such a significant treaty.

According to La Quadrature du Net (quoted above), an advocacy group defending the rights and freedoms of citizens on the Internet, "ACTA would impose new criminal sanctions forcing Internet actors to monitor and censor online communication. It is thus a major threat to freedom of expression online and creates legal uncertainty for Internet companies. In the name of trademarks and patents, it would also hamper access to generic drugs in poor countries."

European awareness about the threats ACTA could pose was first raised when activists successfully opposed similar copyright protection acts to be applied in the U.S., such as the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA). But opposition to ACTA catalysed on Jan. 26, when the European Union and 22 of its member states signed the act in Japan. The treaty had already been signed by eight non-EU members and it is supposed to come into force after ratification by six signatories.

The week of the signing, protests exploded in Poland. Sociologist Gavin Rae from Kozminski University of Warsaw argues that the signing of ACTA by the centre-right government of Prime Minister Donald Tusk was taken particularly hard by Poland’s educated youth for whom the Internet is "not simply an additional activity, but a means of life, where people communicate, socialise, share information, and, crucially, work."

According to Rae, Poland’s youth had already been feeling vulnerable as well as betrayed by the country’s political class, and ACTA acted as the last straw, causing one of the most striking episodes of citizen mobilisation in post-socialist Poland.

"The recent attack on online freedom came at a time when already the country’s youth had been feeling threatened," Rae told IPS. "Unemployment is high in Poland and a third of all Poles are working in temporary, insecure contracts – not counting the numerous ‘self-employed’. The youth is particularly affected by this ‘precariat’."

According to 27-year old activist Piotr Bratkowski, a participant in the anti-ACTA Warsaw protests, some sections of the Polish youth might have socio-economic complaints but are not comfortable using the language of the political left to fight such battles.

Gavin Rae concurs: "The present elite in Poland never wastes an opportunity to wrap itself in the flag of the previous, anti-communist opposition movement and reminisce of the days when they had to fight for freedom. The young generation is now the guardian of such freedoms and it is turning against this elite that it deems wants to take them away."

As a result of the Jan. 24-26 Polish protests, Tusk declared the ratification process of ACTA temporarily halted, and launched a longer period of public debate over the act, with an initial discussion gathering artists, decision-makers and the general public already taking place Feb. 7. Meanwhile, at the Feb. 11 demonstration, activists were collecting signatures to call for a referendum over ACTA. At least 500,000 signatures are needed to trigger the procedure in Poland.

National ratifications are necessary for implementation of criminal penalties included in ACTA, which fall outside the remit of EU law.

Over the first two weeks of February, other governments in Central and Eastern Europe followed Tusk’s example, in response to significant grassroots opposition to ACTA in their own countries. The Czech government has stopped the ratification process and called for a public debate, with the Latvians following suit. Slovakians, who had not signed the treaty, announced they would delay committing to ACTA. The Slovenian ambassador signing the ACTA treaty in Japan has since apologised for her "civically negligent" action.

On Feb. 10, Germany announced it would not sign until it sees the decision of the European Parliament (EP) – the first Western European government to delay adopting ACTA.

Most activists’ eyes are also turned to the EP, whose ratification scheduled for June this year is a condition for the EU-wide implementation of ACTA.

Activists from La Quadrature du Net are advising people how to contact their representatives in the various EP committees which have a say over the final vote. Meanwhile, several groups are collecting signatures in opposition to ACTA to submit to the EP, with petition site Avaaz having gathered over 2,250,000 endorsements so far.

Some EP members have already nodded in the activists’ direction - Greens and the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) have expressed opposition to the ratification, alongside EP president Martin Schultz (S&D) - although the largest group in the EP, Christian-Democrat European People’s Party (EPP), continues to be in favour of the treaty.

MEPs opposing ACTA have announced they intend to call on the European Court of Justice to weigh in on ACTA’s compatibility with EU law, a procedure that can take up to two years. (END)

36 comments:

  1. Very few people understand what is happening here. Under the guise of protecting copyright laws regarding music and videos, there is a stealth undertaking to control the broad freedoms provided by the internet and enjoyed by ordinary people. As usual the big corporations and government bureaucracies are attempting to make profound and complicated self-serving changes to things that most people know little about. Any attempt to restrict freedom for anyone always results in a restriction for everyone.

    A general rule is if big government and big business is for it, I am inclined to be against it. So it is in this case.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Under the guise of protecting copyright laws regarding music and videos, there is a stealth undertaking to control the broad freedoms provided by the internet...

    Maybe enforcing copyrights will reduce some of the Copy & Paste Zionist Triumphalism we find on the web and make this blog, for one, more enjoyable to read.

    ReplyDelete
  3. What is "occupation"Wed Feb 15, 08:26:00 AM EST

    wasp spewed: Maybe enforcing copyrights will reduce some of the Copy & Paste Zionist Triumphalism we find on the web and make this blog, for one, more enjoyable to read.



    This coming from the bar's lady of habitual lying...

    BYW do you pay copywrite to the Jews every time you cut and paste our Torah? our Writings?

    I think not..

    Maybe enforcing copyrights will reduce some of the Copy & Paste Replacement Theology Triumphalism we find on the web and make this blog, for one, more enjoyable to read.

    ReplyDelete
  4. A general rule is if big government and big business is for it, I am inclined to be against it. So it is in this case.


    As "general rules" go, this is a good one. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. What is "occupation"Wed Feb 15, 09:12:00 AM EST

    Fake Cancer Survivor Arrested

    Ashley Kirilow allegedly raised $20,000 for her charity from people who believed she had cancer—which she did not—before turning herself in Friday to Canadian authorities. Kirilow faces three counts of fraud and could face as much as two years in prison for deceiving residents of Burlington, Ontario, who held benefit concerts for Kirilow’s Change for a Cure and arranged to send her to Disney World for free. Kirilow says she’s bipolar and was trying to “make my family feel bad for how I was treated.” The 23-year-old endured a long custody battle between her parents as a kid.


    Sound down right familiar!

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  6. What is "occupation"Wed Feb 15, 09:14:00 AM EST

    Outrage in Damascus at fake lesbian blogger
    BY JEROME TAYLOR TUESDAY 14 JUNE 2011

    Syria's already embattled gay community has reacted with dismay that a popular blog supposedly written by a lesbian from Damascus was, in fact, dreamt up by a US academic living in Scotland.

    Tom MacMaster, 40, a PhD student from Edinburgh, has apologised for Gay Girl in Damascus, which purported to describe life in the Syrian capital for Amina Abdallah, an openly lesbian 25-year-old.

    The student defended his creation, saying that although the account was fictionalised, it described accurately the atmosphere inside Syria both for the gay community and pro-democracy activists. But genuine gay bloggers inside the country said the webpage had damaged Syria's nascent gay rights community and even put activists' lives in danger. Sami Hamwi, editor of the Syria page of Gay Middle East, said he and friends had taken personal risks to discover the fate of Amina Abdallah, after Mr MacMaster uploaded a post claiming that the blog's author had been seized by the country's feared security forces.


    Hmmm we see a pattern?

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  7. BYW do you pay copywrite to the Jews every time you cut and paste our Torah? our Writings?

    The copyright on the work of fiction Ezra slapped together in the Babylonian Captivity and called the Torah expired long ago.

    ReplyDelete
  8. "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living in society, they create for themselves, in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it."

    Frederic Bastiat

    ReplyDelete
  9. Rufus: "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living in society, they create for themselves, in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it."

    In any closed system, you cannot create new energy (first law of thermodynamics)

    You always lose a little energy (second law of thermodynamics)

    ReplyDelete
  10. what is "occupation"Wed Feb 15, 10:30:00 AM EST

    Wasp said...
    BYW do you pay copywrite to the Jews every time you cut and paste our Torah? our Writings?

    The copyright on the work of fiction Ezra slapped together in the Babylonian Captivity and called the Torah expired long ago.


    fuck you thief...

    ReplyDelete
  11. fuck you thief...

    God: "I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth."

    ReplyDelete
  12. what is "occupation"Wed Feb 15, 10:52:00 AM EST

    Wasp said...
    fuck you thief...

    God: "I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth."


    If you love to read the "book" so much, read what he commands us to do to lying, twisting, distorting un-g-dly demons like you...

    cant have it both ways sweetie...

    you lie, you distort, you defame Judaism, Israel and you then think you have a license to quote scripture?

    go fuck yourself liar.

    ReplyDelete
  13. You sound like an idiot this morning Teresita.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Santorum has my vote. He hit the floating green on the first try from 250 yards out at the Resort yesterday.

    Ash will appreciate this feat, and Sam, too.

    ReplyDelete
  15. 250 yards out?? He must have the helping hand of God at his disposal.

    C'mon Bob, and WiO, go easy on T. 'cause it posted a picture of a boy and a girl and we all know that means sincerity in all posts that follow.

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  16. I'm sure he said 250 yards. Maybe he said 250 feet though. How far is a normal hole away? The green had been floated out a ways cause it wasn't being used this time of year. That's another nice course for you to play Ash.

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  17. 250 yards is a good drive. The Pro's, and they really are much much much better than an amateur average around 285 yards for driving though they can get up to well over 300 yards. But with a drive it is very hard for an amateur to land it on a green that far away. It is possible but you'd have to be pretty darn good. 250 feet would be less than a hundred yards and very doable.

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  18. Ash: C'mon Bob, and WiO, go easy on T. 'cause it posted a picture of a boy and a girl and we all know that means sincerity in all posts that follow.

    Never forgive, never forget.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I think it was 250 yards then, and he did say it was total blind luck.

    Santorum I kinda liked, knowing zero really about him. Not so much a rousing campaign speech as a lecture by a sweatered professor. Kept totally away from attacking the other Republican candidates, but did really attack Obama, thief of our freedoms, on the whole range of issues available to him. Spoke well about how important this election is to an overflow crowd. The one thing that was missing was any discussion of foreign policy. I learned that some folks picked up on the southern border were strange folks that spoke Spanish with an Iranian accent. My wife has heretofore been a Mittens supporter but she changed yesterday. I was well impressed too. For something to do maybe I'll see if I can get on as a delegate. He was looking for some delegates. Later in the day he spoke to an overflow crowd in Boise, Idaho too. Will he win here? Idaho has lots of Mormons, but.....maybe. This rally had a high number of Catholics who seemed really behind the guy. He is being prayed for, so it was testified.

    your political reporter

    ReplyDelete
  20. Never forgive, never forget.

    Sentiments of the true Jesus people, alrighty.

    ReplyDelete
  21. He had a good line about if the Framers were alive and kicking today they'd nearly be forced to sign a Declaration of Dependence on Uncle Sam.

    Did say he wouldn't cut the military any further.

    ReplyDelete
  22. What is "occupation"Wed Feb 15, 01:59:00 PM EST

    Ash said...
    C'mon Bob, and WiO, go easy on T. 'cause it posted a picture of a boy and a girl and we all know that means sincerity in all posts that follow.



    Now that is funny...

    ReplyDelete
  23. What is "occupation"Wed Feb 15, 02:13:00 PM EST

    Wasp said...
    Ash: C'mon Bob, and WiO, go easy on T. 'cause it posted a picture of a boy and a girl and we all know that means sincerity in all posts that follow.

    Never forgive, never forget.




    LOL... I think he/she/it has said that to almost everyone at the blog...

    Right back at ya! Ya evil lying sack of crap....

    Never forgive, Never Forget, now WHO says that?


    Oh yeah...

    We are Anonymous
    We are Legion
    We do not forgive
    We do not forget
    Expect us.

    Occupy Wall Street... Anonymous...

    Like I have said, you are no Christian...

    ReplyDelete
  24. That's what we need, alright - another born-again bible-thumper.

    The last one worked out so well.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Then I see this --

    During a 28-minute question-and-answer session with the audience, Santorum said he would separate the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals from Idaho and other Western states, leaving it to cover only California. He also said he would sell millions of acres of federal lands--

    and begin to reconsider.




    His first questioner didn’t have a question at all. She told Santorum, “I love you with all my heart. I’ve been praying for you since the first time I laid eyes on you.”

    Another invited him back after he becomes president.

    “If this is the reception I’m gonna get,” he said. “I’ll definitely come back.”


    Seemed to me too that everyone was doing a lot of praying for Santorum.

    Are we having a theological shootout here, a test as to which God is the stronger, the Mormon or the Catholic? Because certainly the Mormons are praying fervently for their Mittens.

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  26. Better than your commie Koran thumping anti American piece of shit Kenyan trash, Rufus. The guy that voted to withhold medical care from a baby that survives an abortion.

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  27. Hamza Kashgari is a newspaper reporter from Saudi Arabia. He was in Malaysia when local police, acting on behalf of Interpol, detained and arrested him. Kashgari was then immediately returned to Saudi Arabia to face charges that carry the death penalty.

    What was his crime?

    According to a report from Saudi Arabia, Kashgari was guilty of blasphemy because he criticized the founder of their religion of Islam when he posted the following on his Twitter page,

    “I have loved things about you and I have hated things about you. There is a lot I don’t understand about you. … I will not pray for you.”


    The world police now enforces Sharia.

    ReplyDelete
  28. The authorities in Gaza say the Palestinian territory's only power station has shut down because of a lack of fuel.

    But that's okay, Israel will take up the slack, between rocket attacks.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Wasp said...
    The authorities in Gaza say the Palestinian territory's only power station has shut down because of a lack of fuel.

    But that's okay, Israel will take up the slack, between rocket attacks.





    Notice how the Bar's Lying sack of shit likes to EDIT the news?

    here is the complete sentence..

    Feb. 14, 2012. (Reuters/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)
    By Nidal al-Mughrabi

    GAZA CITY (Reuters) -- The Gaza Strip's only power station, which supplies the Palestinian enclave with up to two-thirds of its energy needs, was shut down on Tuesday because of a shortage of fuel from neighboring Egypt.



    A shortage of fuel from EGYPT...


    Context ya lying bitch... CONTEXT...

    ReplyDelete
  30. Teresita said...

    What would anyone want with a lopsided lesbian with a nine inch scar?



    That was Ms T, Teresita aka WASP back when she/he/it started to sell the cancer story

    Now she/he/it is straight?

    lol

    ReplyDelete
  31. Teresita said...

    Deuce:

    Actually I am tired of your shit Teresita.

    Never forgive, never forget.

    ReplyDelete
  32. That was a black link Deuce, not a blue link Deuce that was the real Deuce.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Last minute news
    February 7th, 2012

    Polish Prime Minister: "ACTA was a mistake"

    The Polish Prime Minister, Donald Tusk, declared today that "supporting ACTA was a mistake". Mr Tusk said that during the last few weeks, after many meetings with experts, he concluded that the Polish government's standpoint regarding ACTA "didn't suit the 21st Century reality". He qualified ACTA regulations as "archaic". Donald Tusk said that today (February 7th, 2012) he has send a letter to the leaders of the European People's Party (forming the largest fraction in the European Parliament) proposing to reject ACTA in the present form and to begin a debate about new regulations of copyright protection respecting freedom and anonimity in the internet.

    Best wishes from Poland,
    Peter

    ReplyDelete