Latest update, June 6th: All four committees that have voted so far have recommended the European Parliament should reject ACTA. This is good news, but the final 'plenary' vote in July is the big final decision. So it's still useful to find your MEP and explain why you think they should vote to reject the treaty.
We're supporting another day of demonstrations on Saturday, 9th June. We'll be at the London demonstration, which is going to be outside Europe House, 32 Smith Square. There's a Facebook page with more information.
Update, 29th May 2012: See our latest blog post on a crucial week for ACTA. Find out how you can help by getting in touch with your MEPs.
What is it?
The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is an international agreement, negotiated in secret. It is supposed to tackle large-scale counterfeiting. But its overly broad definitions, harsh punitive measures and lack of democratic validity make it a danger to how our Internet is governed and to freedom of expression and privacy online.
The Agreement is now finally facing some democratic scrutiny, as the European Parliament decides whether to give it's consent. That means we have a chance to influence what happens.
We have posted a briefing paper that sets out some of the key reasons why we believe ACTA should be rejected.
You can help.
Contact your MEP. Tell them why the European Parliament should reject ACTA.
Find out who your MEP, and get in touch with them to explain why you care and why you think they should reject ACTA. Remember that the MEPs are considering the agreement, rather than responsible for it! You can contact your MEP using our tool.
Subscribe to the public-mailing list for discussion of the Stop ACTA campaign.
ACTA is in trouble - support is ebbing away. So your help could make the difference.
Why you should care?
- ACTA has no democratic credibility: ACTA is an affront to our democratic right to have a meaningful stake in the decisions that affect us. It was written by a cabal of bureaucrats behind closed doors. There have been repeated efforts to deny us a fair say in what happens to our Internet. Like other laws related to intellectual property, civil society and other voices were excluded. It is only now we have a chance to say what we think. This is one reason why Kader Arif, formerly the lead MEP for ACTA in the European Parliament, resigned in the past week. He called the ACTA process a 'masquerade' and 'unprecedented'. Read more on why MEP Kader Arif resigned.
- ACTA threatens your privacy and freedom of speech: The broad definitions of criminal liability will push private companies to police the Internet. Private interests will be given more control over what you do online, would encourage harsh measures be taken against large numbers of citizens for trivial offences, and could mean more disclosure of your personal information.
- ACTA would be a hindrance to innovation: The vague threshold for criminal measures, including liability for 'aiding and abetting' infringement, alongside harsher potential fines and other measures will create disincentives to innovate, as companies fear unsustainable liability for their users' behaviour.
- ACTA could hurt developing countries: Charities such as Oxfam have complained that it will make it harder for developing countries to access life saving generic medicines.
Where to learn more: We have a short briefing that gives a little more detail about why we think ACTA should be rejected.
What else can I do?
ACTA is currently being considered by a number of committees in the European Parliament. These committees will produce opinions that will help determine whether MEPs vote to accept or reject ACTA. You can also help by contacting the MEPs on these committees and explaining to them why you are concerned.
Find out which MEPs are on these committees and how to contact them at the LQDN wiki.