The key to a democratic government’s continued strength is that all its dealings are made in the open with input from its citizens. That has not been the case with ACTA. Citizens of the European Union force the discussion out into the open which caused the European Parliament to shoot down the treaty. Other countries have not been so lucky.
The Inquirer reports that Japan is the latest country to ratify ACTA. What makes this ratification so rotten is that it was done in the middle of the night. According to Japan’s Internet Watch, the treaty was quickly shoved through the House of Representatives without any kind of debate.
A quick passage seems par for the course when it comes to the current political climate of Japan. The Japanese government seems to have no problem when it comes to bending over backwards to appease content owners. Japan passed a law back in June that would make it a crime to watch YouTube videos of copyrighted content. Not to mention, the law also punishes the creation of back-up copies for personal use.
After the passage of the aforementioned YouTube law, Anonymous took to the streets in protest. They are planning on doing so again with the Pirate Party of Japan to protest the ratification of ACTA. They’re planning the protests to begin on September 9. The Japanese have proven that they’re pretty good at protesting, but the government has also proven that they’re pretty good at ignoring the demands of its citizens.
ACTA is still being debated around the world. TPP is also very much alive and well. We’ll continue to follow these trade agreements and deliver any updates as they come around. Unfortunately, updates don’t come often due to the secrecy that’s afforded to these treaties.