Make Your Voice Heard On ACTA

from the don't-let-the-lobbyists-win dept

As the next round of negotiations for ACTA begin — with no clear statement on whether or not the results will be made public or kept secret again — it’s time for people to speak up about the problems with ACTA. We already highlighted a letter put together by a group of folks, who are heavily involved in these issues, but it would be good if more people weighed in on their own as well. Public Knowledge has set up a system to make it easy to let the Obama administration know your thoughts on ACTA. There is recommended text, but I highly recommend writing up your own thoughts in your own words. When people just reuse the same text, it makes it much easier for others to discount or discredit the effort.

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Comments on “Make Your Voice Heard On ACTA”

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IronM@sk (profile) says:

U.S. Citizens only? (typical?)

Why did they exclude the rest of the world when they created this “Action Alert”? Seems like we have just as much right to voice our concerns to your government over this “trade agreement” as if it ends up getting passed it will be forced onto the rest of the world.

By excluding the rest of the world in this campaign they are doing the exact sort of thing that ACTA proponents are doing; refusing to acknowledge the rest of the world matters. This isn’t doing much to belay the “typical self-centred American” stereotype.

Dementia (profile) says:

Re: U.S. Citizens only? (typical?)

While I agree that others than US citizens have concerns regarding ACTA, those concerns should be voiced towards your government and their participation in the negotiations. We are not at the point yet where any government feels the need to listen to citizens from another country. In fact, I question whether we are even to the point where government officials feel the need to listen to their own citizens.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: He doesn't care...

Never because they’re minds are hollow echo chambers of catch-phrases and chants that just repeat over and over and over.

It’s easier and is a better choice over critical thought; which in the long run will lead to depression if you fully consider the situation we are in.

Anonymous Coward says:

Won't Happen in canada

they wont be able to get the new copyright bill passed and as such won’t be able to impliment the ACTA treaty legislation.

NOW it seems a minister has slandered and defamed a large section of the populace who follow the law and buy levied cdrs and he is calling htem radical extremists like they are osama bin torrent ( osama bin ladens real name) and are hiding in an internet cave somewhere in Afghanistan.

Whats interesting is that slander and defamation in Canada is also a class actionable offense.

RobShaver (profile) says:

Here's what I sent. Best I could do.

Dear Mr. President,

I am deeply proud to have been a part of electing you as our first black president. It is also the first time I’ve voted to put a Democrat in our highest office. So it is with a heavy heart that I write to you about my disappointment in the performance of your administration so far.

Copyright and patent law, as currently practiced in the USA, is stifling innovation at every turn. These two concepts are government-granted monopolies ostensibly for the purpose of promoting innovation. Now they are having exactly the opposite effect and creating a new growth industry of litigating instead of innovating. Small businesses who are innovating often get threatened with litigation they might well win if they could afford it. Instead they use their scarce capitol to pay off some patent holder who isn’t making anything.
Another concern of mine is the Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) being negotiated in secret. Where’s the transparency that you promised? From what I know of the ACTA it its clearly being created to favor corporate interests and prop up their outdated business models. Again, stifling innovation is at the heart so that entrenched interests can maintain the status quo.

The Internet and digital media are two of the greatest innovations in the last hundred years. It levels the playing field between large and small interests. It serves to democratize communications and the dissemination of news and information of all kinds. But our laws have not kept pace with these changes. The ACTA serves to slow or stop these admittedly disruptive technologies.

The worst of these is the so called “three strikes” laws, already in place in some countries. This law would have an Internet connection disabled on the receipt of three accusations of copyright infringement. Unconfirmed accusations is all that’s required. And what about the other users in a household who are not infringing?

I write this in the hopes that, in some small measure, you will see how important these issues are and influence you to take steps to find a better balance among the competing interests involved.


Robert Shaver

Michael (profile) says:

What I wrote.

Dear Mr. President:

Once before I have written to this administration about my concerns with ACTA and their insistence in creating a universal counterfeit protection agreement and once before I have pleaded with you to take the correct stance on this issue and oppose it. However, the more I hear of the types of actions your administration has been taking on pushing harder for ACTA, the more disappointed I am in my decision to vote for you.

When I voted for change in our country, I listened to your message that “hope” was your call to action for the people in this nation to start waking up to the realities of not only our nation, but for society around the world. With ACTA, you have the power to make the most direct impact on a global scale by refusing to allow corporate lobbyists trick other nations into believing that counterfeiting and pirating are the worst offenders of our new economy. That somehow the actions of a few are devastating the needs of the many, when in reality, they are not.

Pirating, counterfeiting, plagiarism are all defined by our society as being morally unjust, wrong, or evil acts that take away from those who legitimately work hard. The fact of the matter is that these acts are hardly affecting content rightsholders as the unwillingness of these same people to act in accord with the natural state of our changing economic and social centric society is what really keeps them from seeing success.

It’s a beautiful act of sharing and expression that is being displayed by the world community that brings us all closer together that’s most at threat here, not the content holders’ success. No person has a right to the financial prosperity that these large content groups claim they do, just the right to earn and keep their earnings if they are successul. Similarly, no person or persons has the right keep others from success if they find a legitmate and useful means of success that benefits our society as a whole.

Pirating, counterfeiting, and plagiarism are not keeping rightsholders from success and this is an important point: rightsholders are keeping rightsholders from success. Their fear and unwillingness to change with the economy is their biggest enemy, not those that want a positive and useful change for our new economy and digital society.

I believe you would also argue that no person or group of persons has the right to stamp out dissent from public opinion or hide behind a veil of secrecy to avoid outraging the public at large. Yet this entire process behind ACTA has been nothing but a circus without a show and the only way to see these performers is to sneak in behind the tent only to find the majority of them are mocking the public as being brainwashed, unintelligent, and misinformed.

That’s not our society, Mr. President. It never was, it never will be. There are many people including myself that can see right through the tricks and if you want your administration to be seen as the transparent, good-willed men of change, then you will oppose ACTA and its backwards, draconian restrictions to a society that’s bursting at the seams with cooperation and forward looking views of what a globally connected world can be.

ACTA isn’t change, it’s backwards dealings.


Michael Eugene Burchett II

Anonymous Coward says:

a pre-written message? you would think that people would be more creative than that. why have a boilerplate?

mine was “mr president, dont listen to the weenies looking for a free ride and free content. approve acta and stick with your guns on it. in the long run, it is good, even if it pisses off a few high school students and pot smoking college kids”

Jay (profile) says:

My letter

Dear Mr. President:

I am a student that has watched the intellectual property debate for the past 11 years. I have watched as people say that the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) was the answer to the problems of copyright infringement. For eleven years, I have watched as the DMCA has been used to silence innovation in quite a few industries.

From Microsoft chilling the voices of others for security holes in their software, to giant corporations who have decided that their music must assuredly be worth the CDs they are printed on. Ironically, we have a levy on CDs to assuage the music industry, however it never seems to be enough. Now we have the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)

I watched and read the ACTA and saw the one-sided effect it would have on our economy. Through expensive court cases, free speech would effectively be chilled. People would be asked to pay exorbitant amounts which would be deemed fair and proportionate. A careful observation would prove otherwise. Who would be able to pay $1.92 million for 24 songs? How would this be fair or proportionate? Before the ACTA has come in, those questions need to be answered. It is neither a deterrent nor fair or proportionate to charge citizens with paying for an outdated business model.

Looking further into the ACTA, I have to worry about my Internet Service Provider spying on me, all in the name of “copyright protection”.

As I am learning, there are better ways to protect the monetary interests of Intellectual Property. There are better ways to build business models using the technology of today, rather than fighting against it. We, the consumers have asked for ways to innovate and make life a little better within the US.

Sadly, a “three strikes” law or even exorbitant fees is not the way to promote art and culture. The ACTA needs balances. It needs protections from corporate abuse. It needs consumers to be able to voice their concerns in open dialog without a fear of jail time or exorbitant amounts that people can never afford to pay off in debt.

The ACTA as it stands is not in line with consumer beliefs. It is very pro industry and very short sighted. Should it pass, we have no idea the innovations that will be killed because of “inducement” or “infringement”. It should be high time that we embrace innovation and move toward the new century. The ACTA will put us right back into the 1980s.

Your entire campaign was about change, Mr. President. As it stands, we need a change from the ACTA.



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