The Slippery Slopa

Ever try to catch something slimy only to have it slip away from your best attempts to grasp it? That’s how the intellectual world feels towards SOPA and the various laws that follow in it’s slimy footsteps.
Slippery sopa snake

Public protests erupt as Poland signs ACTA

Yesterday Poland went ahead and signed onto the ACTA agreement joining the nations already signed on and enraging it’s public in the process. The internet is cheering on activists who took to the street in mass protests of the signing.

[jwplayer mediaid=”3275″]Over 9000 protesters meet in the streets of Kraków to have their voices heard!”

Hopefully this strong public reaction will be a very clear message to other political powers debating on how bad the public backlash will be over signing such ‘internet endangering’ agreements.

As if ACTA wasn’t bad enough?

Over in Ireland they are showing respect for the people by slipping in a bit of legislation called the “S.I. No. of 2011 European Communities (Copyright and Related Rights) Regulations 2011″, which will pass via ministerial order which does not involve a public vote.

Is it the sort of addendum that doesn’t merit input from the public?

Well Irish legal expert Tim McIntyre had the following comment on the new regulations:

“At a minimum this will probably allow courts to require ISPs to block access to alleged infringing sites (such as the Pirate Bay). Over and above that it becomes impossible to say — the language is so vague it might, for example, allow a court to require an ISP to introduce a three strikes system or to block certain ports. However, once copyright plaintiffs get hold of this power you can expect it to be pushed to its absolute limit.”

There’s still time!?

While the USA, Canada, and Mexico are already signed onto ACTA, there’s no reason why the public can’t organize an opposition to the decision and work to either get the agreement amended or have support withdrawn one country at a time. The only roadblock is getting folks to agree on a meaningful reaction that everyone can rally behind. So far the most centralized effort I’ve come across is the SOPA subreddit which has plenty of discussions on ACTA and PIPA as well.

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