The PublicACTA conference took place in Wellington this weekend on April 10, and one important outcome of it is the Wellington Declaration. You should read and sign the petition if you value your rights, including the ability to make sovereign law as a nation.
Unfortunately, the secrecy surrounding the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) has made the issue drop out of public debate, so there's not nearly enough awareness of what the proposed treaty could bring about. We're talking about onerous provisions that would lead to increased monitoring online and in real life, statutory damages for non-commercial copyright infringement, patent enforcement, possible ban on generic medicines, and more. It's actually not unreasonable to demand more transparency around those issues, no matter what government officials say.
If ACTA goes through, it's guaranteed to bring about huge costs to taxpayers and business alike, in return for what? Who knows. Nobody's explained why we as a people need such an expanded intellectual property rights regime that encroaches on our already feeble rights (trust me, I've tried to find ACTA supporters, but so far nobody's come out of the woodwork). We just don't have the US-style rights that help countermand the loopier provisions in ACTA.
Something as wide ranging and far-reaching as ACTA simply cannot be negotiated in secret and then made into law, outside the democratic process. There's not much time left to sign the petition - it closes Tuesday morning - so do it now.
Other related posts:
Wikileaks keeps publishing despite Assange's arrest
Letter to Simon Power, minister of commerce re: Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill
NZ government could create new last-mile monopoly with UFB
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