Wow. We've noted that the folks who got revved up around SOPA weren't just focused on that one bill, but have remained active and interested in related issues -- with ACTA being an important one, especially given the effort by the government in Poland to sign on. Following on the big anti-SOPA protests, it seems that a bunch of folks in Warsaw decided to take to the streets in protest of ACTA... and it looks like an awful lot of people showed up
, despite this being about a copyright trade agreement and
the fact that it was below freezing temperatures outside. There are some photos on the site linked above that show a very large group gathering. This is really fantastic. Just a month ago, you would have never expected over a thousand people to show up in the freezing cold in Warsaw to protest a bad trade agreement about copyright issues. But it shows just how badly the entertainment industry is miscalculating on these things. The further and further the entertainment industry pushes, all it's doing is educating and activating a large and growing group of folks who are sick of bad copyright laws interfering with their own basic rights and civil liberties.
That is not a small crowd. That's a demonstration of just how important these issues have become to a very large population of people around the globe
. Those who still think this is about a small number of tech companies have no idea
what they're facing.
But, alas, it appears the Polish government is following in the tone deaf footsteps of the MPAA. The government has said it's moving forward anyway
, and appears to consider this example of democracy and assembly a form of blackmail
Prime Minister Donald Tusk said the government “would not submit to blackmail” and that the treaty would be signed.
Separately, he claimed that there's obviously no free speech concerns around ACTA, because countries like the US, New Zealand and others, who "are the backbone of freedom" signed on... so obviously it must be just fine and dandy.