Anti-ACTA Protests Going Worldwide Tomorrow

    February 10, 2012

While there’s no way of knowing if the upcoming anti-ACTA protests will have the same chilling effect the Internet blackout did on SOPA/PIPA, citizens on a worldwide basis are preparing to speak out against the ACTA treaty.


Tomorrow (February 11), is being set aside as a day of global protest against ACTA and perhaps the newest enemy of the Internet, TPP. While these protests are largely focused in Europe, this is not just a problem facing citizens of the European Union. Keep in mind, U.S. citizens, that President Obama has shown outward support for ACTA, even as his cabinet derided SOPA/PIPA.

Much like the massive anti-SOPA movement, the web, especially social media, is helping facilitate these protests. Over at, the folks who run have set up something of a protest meet up utility, complete with a Google Map showing where various protests are occurring.

There’s also a “Write Your Official” widget, which spells out the anti-ACTA manifesto quite clearly:

I urge you to vote no on ACTA and to communicate its severe problems to your colleagues. ACTA’s vague language locks us into obsolete copyright and patent laws, preventing democracies from updating their laws to unlock new economic and social opportunities.

It criminalizes harmless remixes by ordinary users if they achieve “a commercial scale” (art 2.14.1) which many amateur videos do on sites like Youtube. And it criminalizes legitimate websites by making them responsible for user behavior (“aiding and abetting” art 2.14.4).

Worse, it permanently bypasses the democratic process by empowering the “ACTA Committee” to “propose amendments to [ACTA]” without your approval. (art 6.4) In other words, it’s impossible to know what you’re voting for.

The global movement against the US law SOPA showed that internet freedom is a crucial issue which belongs in the legislative process of each country. You should view ACTA as an attempt by a handful of companies to circumvent the democratic process, and you should vote against it.

Thank you. Please reply if you have any questions. also features embeddable widgets for sites that want to join the protest on Saturday. As indicated, the embeddable map shows where the fun will be had, especially if you’re against ACTA:

As you can see, while there is representation in the United States, it pales in comparison to our European friends. Perhaps the success of the anti-SOPA movement ended the American public’s interest, but as our European counterparts demonstrate, the fight for a properly regulated Internet is still going. It should also be noted that despite being “on the ropes,” SOPA and PIPA are not dead.

Facebook is also playing a major role in relation to organizing these anti-ACTA protests. Over at the STOP ACTA! page, there is a list of events going on all over Europe, and it’s clear our European Union neighbors, at least the citizens thereof, are not going to simply accept ACTA without a fighting back.

In Germany and France, for instance, there will be protests in multiple cities:

Aix en Provence :
Ajaccio :
Albi :
Amiens :
Angers :
Annecy :
Avignon :
Bayonne :
Besançon :
Bordeaux :
Brest :
Caen :
Chambery :
Clermont-Ferrand :
Corte :
Dijon :
Douai :
Dunkerque :
Grenoble :
Limoges :
Lille :
Lorient :
Lyon :
Marseille :
Metz :
Montpellier :
Nancy :
Nantes :
Nevers :
Nice :
Nîmes :
Orléans :
Paris :
Perpignan :
Poitiers :
Porto-Vecchio :
Quimper :
Reims :
Rennes :
Saint Brieuc :
Saint Denis (Ile de la Réunion) :
Strasbourg :
Tarbes :
Toulouse :
Tours :
Troyes :

Erfurt –
Überall :

The question is, will this anti-ACTA outcry fall on deaf ears? Considering the Polish government have already tried to pacify their citizens with more “ACTA isn’t as bad as you think” dismissives. Of course, if people took the apathetic approach and ignore their right to speak out, there’s no telling what state the Internet would be in. At least these protests bring light to the issue at hand.