Chaos, chaos, chaos…
Today’s post is devoted to ACTA issue, because in Poland it’s a very serious problem since the last week.
Not a Polish?
ACTA will find you (or have already found you). This document, probably made with good intentions, can harm the net users. Consequently it can also harm fashion bloggers who talk about brands, magazines and so on. Who shares pictures and comment brands and trends.
I read it twice, but I still think it’s messed up. I have many personal fears, there’s a lot to worry about:
- I don’t know how to behave as a blogger (when will I breach the law)… which content is legal? Which is not?
- As a blogger I don’t like the idea of searching my computer, mp3 or mobile devices, even though I DO BUY music and movies
- I don’t know if I break the law by saving pictures on my computer
- I don’t know if I break the law by criticizing brands – I never give a f*ck about political correctness – because by doing this I use them to attract people to my blog, do I?
- Things which are currently happening – test world’s (not only Internet’s) democracy…
- and what about secrets about ACTA in the past? It’s a shady problem.
Poland is currently experiencing a wave of protests over an anti-piracy pact called ACTA. There’s a general agreement that the anti-piracy law should be created. Our increasing online world needs clear rules – and we can all agree to this point.
Nevertheless, ACTA is a big-deal for Polish and European because this kind of regulation should be developed in consultation with the public, citizens who actively use the Internet, just like people described in my post devoted to Voguepedia and participatory culture. And it wasn’t. This plurilateral agreement had been established secretly, in the course of time it leaked to the Internet. What is more, this treaty threatens human rights and freedom.
So… (very briefly) what is ACTA and why should people give a damn about it?
It is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement which (on Saturday, Oct 1, 2011) was signed by the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea and (probably) will be signed by the European Union, Mexico, and Switzerland.
- It aims to harmonize the anti-piracy law
- It should protect artists’ copyrights and intellectual property
- It should counteract counterfeiting
- It allows to censor the Internet and monitor what particular people (you, me, your friend or mom) do online
- It allows to search or confiscate users’ computers without saying ‘why?’
- It allows to search mp3 players for pirated music
- It allows arrests based on the content of the person’s search
- It will ban most of p2ps
- It allows to block websites
- it allows to ban users permanently
- It was established in a secret or a half-secret
- Many NGOs (e.g: Consumers International, EDRi, the Free Software Foundation, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, ASIC, the Free Knowledge Institute) speak against it, because in their opinion it threatens human rights and freedom
Why (else) should you (as a fashion blogger) care about it?
- This treaty doesn’t really define piracy, but it defines the punishment. So you can’t be sure when you will be punished and for what. It doesn’t really give any know how
- You will probably have to delete a part of your pictures, because you can’t be sure if this brand’s logo in your photo’s background can be used here or not
- It can censure a lot of information – info that you’d like to know (about fashion, culture or changes) or info you’d like to discuss on your blog
- What about sharing information? You will Never be sure if your facebook or twitter shares are legal or not
- The way of introducing this document is an attack on democracy. And blogging, just like fashion, is a way to express your individual opinion, it’s an extension of democracy.
At the end, I’d like to add that I’m against hacking and blackmailing. But at the same time, I’m against secrets and shady treats. The ACTA issue is a test for democracy. I Hope we will all pass this exam.
I also hope I won’t need to continue this issue. ACTA should be checked and changed. But if Poland and the European Union sign it, I will try to collect some ‘know how’ and ‘how to’ behave in this awkward reality.
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