Watch Out: Widespread Protests Against ACTA Spreading Across Europe

from the wow dept

As we've noted multiple times, it appears the entertainment industry still does not recognize what kind of beast it awoke with its efforts to shove through SOPA and PIPA. While it still believes it was the "tech community" that caused those bills to be shelved, it's been ignoring that a very large segment of internet users have been activated on these issues... and they're angry and willing to be proactive. We've pointed out that lots of attention has turned towards ACTA -- and while it's late in the process, don't underestimate the power of an awful lot of pissed off people who recognize that their internet is being messed with in a way that may harm their ability to communicate.

A bunch of folks have been setting up February 11th as a global day of protest against ACTA, and if the entertainment industry thought that the anger would simmer down after the SOPA/PIPA fight, they may have miscalculated again. Just take a look at the live map showing the planned February 11th protests across Europe:

View ACTA Protests Worldwide - Brought to you by stoppacta-protest.info in a larger map
In case you can't see/interact with that, here's a screenshot version:
These are live, in-person protests that people are planning across Europe, and if you start clicking through, you see fairly amazing numbers of people committing to come out and protest -- even in places where you wouldn't expect huge numbers of people protesting. Take, for example, Sofia, Bulgaria where over 33,000 (!!!!) people have said they plan to show up with nearly another 10,000 listed as "maybe." Over in Valletta, Malta there are nearly 3,000 people saying they'll be there. These are not exactly protest hotbeds. As you go through the list, you realize just how widespread the opposition on ACTA is becoming -- and you wonder if the entertainment industry has any idea what it unleashed with it's terrible miscalculation with SOPA/PIPA.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 11:14am

    Knock yourselves out. Just remember to calculate the precentage protesting against the percentage not protecting to judge how much it really matters to most people.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 11:19am

      Re:

      Like how nobody gave a shit about SOPA/PIPA and how those bills passed with flying colors?

       

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      Machin Shin (profile), Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 11:34am

      Re:

      So are you seriously trying to suggest that anyone who does not show up to a protest counts as someone who doesn't care? You can try and play with the numbers like that if you want. Thing to remember is that if 3,000 will get out and protest in the streets there are going to be a lot more people who will protest in "smaller" ways. Like I don't know, voting against anyone who supports ACTA.

       

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        fogbugzd (profile), Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 11:58am

        Re: Re:

        >>So are you seriously trying to suggest that anyone who does not show up to a protest counts as someone who doesn't care?

        Actually, by industry standard math and accounting standards, anyone who does not show up is counted as a strong supporter. People who just show up are counted as neutral, and only the leaders count as actual supporters. They are probably all Google employees, anyway.

         

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          Kenneth Michaels, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 12:26pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I'm pretty sure Google is behind these protests. If Google and the MPAA/RIAA would just meet at the White House, I'm sure they could come to a reasonable compromise. Instead, Google insists on continuing to abuse its users.

           

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            Squig (profile), Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 12:34pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Yeah, because Google controls Polish citizens like other people control their children. Google has done naught about ACTA.

             

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            Justin Olbrantz (Quantam), Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 4:16pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I can't tell: was that serious or sarcasm?

             

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            Al Bert (profile), Feb 4th, 2012 @ 12:41am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            A question remains, for even if this is sarcasm, it rests on a knowledge of political cultures less prone to reason.

            That is: Why would the White House be the appropriate venue for a meeting between Google and the MPAA? If you think this is perfectly reasonable, I'd venture that your comment was honest and that you truly never will have a clue.

             

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 5:50pm

        Re: Re:

        Just curious which of the articles in the agreement cause you concern.

         

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      Spaceboy (profile), Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 11:45am

      Re:

      And how many people are actually for ACTA? Where are the demonstrations with thousands and thousands of PRO-ACTA people. Oh that's right. There aren't any. As small as the percentage of actual protesters is, the actual number of supports is much smaller.

      It is no longer acceptable for politicians to go against their constituents. We have woken up. Go ahead and keep throwing your lobby money at our politicians though.

       

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      Gwiz (profile), Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 12:28pm

      Re:

      Knock yourselves out. Just remember to calculate the precentage protesting against the percentage not protecting to judge how much it really matters to most people.

      Your response in not surprising.

      Attempting to marginalize and minimize this new online activism is about the only recourse you have.

       

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      khory (profile), Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 12:38pm

      Re:

      Are you for real? There are thousands of people willing to take to the streets and voice their outrage about this! How often does that happen?

      Attempting to marginalize the outcry is pathetic.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 5:57pm

        Re: Re:

        Outcry over what? A document that virtually none of them have even seen, much less read for comprehension?

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 8:05pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Take it on faith.
          Faith that politicians will screw the public every time.

           

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          Spaceboy (profile), Feb 5th, 2012 @ 7:24am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The document hasn't been read by many because no one was allowed to. People are protesting not only the contents but the secrecy around it as well.

           

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          PaulT (profile), Feb 6th, 2012 @ 1:46am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Ah, the old "they haven't read it!" attack on people who disagree with the legislation you're trying to buy. It didn't work when that was all you had to defend SOPA, it isn't going to work now.

          Hell, in many ways it doesn't even matter what it contains. It's a naked attempt to pass laws to benefit American corporations at the expense of European citizens, and was drafted in private with no representation for those who aren't paying for it in the first place. That's enough to oppose it, regardless of what it contains.

           

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          niiwe (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 7:24am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Given the number of senators and representatives that appeared not to have read and understood SOPA/PIPA, I would be more worried about people voting on unread laws, than people partaking in demonstrations against the same laws.

           

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      Jim, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 12:51pm

      Re:

      Remember to calculate the percentage pirating against the percentage not pirating to judge how much it really affects your bottom line.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 12:56pm

      Re:

      Ya, because not as ever been against some and demonstrated that in a way other then protesting, for example writing letter to those responsible for what their a against, making website about,etc..

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 1:37pm

      Re:

      Hmmmm, so if I take the amount of people having sex on February 11th and find that less than 50% do it on that day can I conclude that people don't really care about sex and we should restrict it to permit only in a government approved bed?

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 5:55pm

      Re:

      Just remember to calculate the number of shills pressing for these laws to pass compared to everyone else to judge how much these laws really matter to people.

       

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      Nick, Feb 11th, 2012 @ 9:49pm

      Re: Anonymous Coward (First Post)

      Just because you don't physically go out there and protest, doesn't mean you don't care. If I look at every protest in history, it wasn't a high percent of the population. I mean, not every African American came out to protest in the Civil Rights Movement of the 20th century. Not even the majority of them did. But I doubt anyone would say that most of them didn't care.

       

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    Beta (profile), Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 11:17am

    RAH, RAH, RAH!

    Is there anything a U.S. citizen can do to offer support and show solidarity, apart from speaking out against ACTA (which I'm already doing), and getting on a plane to join the crowd in whatever part of Europe I'd most like to visit (which might be inappropriate, considering that it's supposed to express European opposition)?

     

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    Loki, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 11:26am

    don't underestimate the power of an awful lot of pissed off people who recognize that their internet is being messed with in a way that may harm their ability to communicate.

    Not just communicate, but as I said in the last post, their ability to once again control the direction of culture without having it imposed upon them by small collective of individuals/corporations.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 11:31am

    Too bad I'm working tomorrow, otherwise I would've gone down to the Ireland protest.

     

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    Loki, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 11:39am

    The lack of protest by even more people does not by itself mean that it does not matter, or that they are in agreement.

    To quote a line from the Declaration of Independence:

    and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 11:42am

    In case anyone didn't notice, people are really pissed off everywhere over a lot of very important issues today. 2011 was only the beginning of the manifestation of the global revolution that is occurring. In my opinion, we are witnessing a paradigm shift away from industrial revolution based world views.

     

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    Mason Wheeler, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 11:50am

    The tech community?

    Hollywood thinks it's up against the tech community. And they're absolutely right. What they fail to understand is that the Internet has turned the entire world into the tech community!

     

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      Pwdrskir (profile), Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 12:08pm

      Re: The tech community?

      That's the part they can't grasp, WE THE PEOPLE are the Internet, tech companies, pop culture, creativity, story tellers & music players. WE are what matters, they are just leaches who need to be removed.

       

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    Jay (profile), Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 12:00pm

    Just one observation

    That's a helluva lot of lolcats...

     

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    Kevin H (profile), Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 12:03pm

    Government leaders listen up

    When forcing a law on your people uou need to make sure that you have a good majority of them in agreement with you, or that can be subdued with double talk and politicking. Otherwise (and more importantly) you need to remember that the public outnumbers you.

     

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    anonymous disenfranchised Dutch coward, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 12:08pm

    yeah right

    claiming to turn up is not the same as turning up. hope it is true tough for once.

     

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      Pwdrskir (profile), Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 12:11pm

      Re: yeah right

      There will be Millions on-line at the same time watching videos, communicating, sharing, creating and Planning UR DOWNFALL JackHole!

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 12:08pm

    Someone start a protest here in the U.S.!! If it's in my area I may attend.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 12:11pm

    when people and interested bodies are purposefully locked out of all meetings over Bills/Laws that will affect the people, what do these politicians expect? especially when a particular industry, which has already proven to be detrimental to the people by it's attitude, is gonna be the sole beneficiary of those new Bills/Laws. waiting now to see the backlash from the non-transparent talks over TPP and how the same industry will again be the sole beneficiary!

     

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    Squig (profile), Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 12:27pm

    Hi (from the creator of the map, no less ;-) )

    There is something those Americans that live in a big American city can do: Organize a protest in front of European consulates. There are plenty of them all around the States. It would be awesome to have some rallies (small or big) on February 11th in the US, too, and since the US gov is unlikely to change its position on ACTA, you can try to make the members of European parliaments stop and think (just as Europeans supported the Stop SOPA and PIPA protests).
    As for Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders: You can try to get a national debate on the whole thing going as well. There's already a protest scheduled in Montreal, why not in other places?

    Kind regards from Hanover

    Justus Römeth

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 5:55pm

      Re:

      ...and the negative impact that ACTA will have on you that gives rise to your ire is...?

       

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        The Groove Tiger (profile), Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 7:15pm

        Re: Re:

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 8:59pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          As difficult as it may be for many to understand, there are many who have read the dire predictions permeating the internet and recognize, having read the document and having researched judicial precedents, that the vast majority of the predictions are fallacious.

          I have studied both sides of the issues, and in my view those who support the conceptual bases for ACTA stand on firmer ground than those who do not. Moreover, and contrary to what say is the case, opponents who have raised concerns about certain provisions will find that they have not been ignored in the final document. The DNS issue has been put aside for further study. Possible conflicts with peculiarities of US law relating to state and federal sovereign immunity have been addressed. National laws concerning the availability of drugs are now recognized to try and prevent endangering the health of citizens of other nations. The list goes on.

          What I find particularly interesting about the entire process is that those negotiating ACTA have shown a willingness to compromise. If only those who stand in abject opposition to anything associated with ACTA were inclined to do the same. Sadly, compromise does not seem to be one of their strong points.

           

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            Josef Anvil (profile), Feb 4th, 2012 @ 4:30am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "What I find particularly interesting about the entire process is that those negotiating ACTA have shown a willingness to compromise. If only those who stand in abject opposition to anything associated with ACTA were inclined to do the same. Sadly, compromise does not seem to be one of their strong points."

            That quote is alone should get your post flagged as offensive to the community. If it wasn't for TechDirt, most of us would have been completely unaware of ACTA until it was signed around the world. If you want to know why those opposed to ACTA are unwilling to compromise, try this: The negotiations were conducted in SECRET. It no longer matters what is in ACTA or whether its fixed or whether the rumors about it are false. Mike has been putting forth an effort to educate people about the false claims out there about ACTA, but I don't think that matters anymore.

            You don't get to negotiate treaties behind a wall of secrecy and then get upset that people misunderstand and oppose you. If the negotiations were open and the public kept aware of what was going on, then the opposition might be less or not at all, but the negotiators didn't want ANY opposition at all and chose to do their work in secret.

            Deal with it.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2012 @ 6:57am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              In other wordss, ACTA is not about what ACTA says. It is about how it was negotiated.

              I presume this means that that statements like "It will censor the internet", "It will kill children who need drugs", "It will end internet 'freedom'", etc. are just slogans, and not substantive issues to the myriad persons who seem inclined to rail against it.

               

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                Niall (profile), Feb 6th, 2012 @ 5:20am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                ACTA is about both how it was negotiated, and what was negotiated in so dodgy a way.

                No upstanding law should be discussed in such secrecy, or attempt to be fobbed off avoiding democratic scrutiny (in the US).

                Because ACTA was negotiated and implemented (as far as it has been) in bad faith does not take away from that it is problematic and purely designed to prop up an obselete business (model). Because people don't like the cavalier attitude ACTA has towards everyone who isn't the content industry doesn't mean they can't disagree with the incredibly concerning secrecy it was agreed under.

                 

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            Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2012 @ 6:49am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Re DNS, my mistake. With several documents floating around it is easy to confuse some of their provisions. DNS is used in relation to SOPA and PIPA.

             

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 12:40pm

    Hmmmm.

    While watching the backlash against SOPA/PIPA, I thought "Sure, 6 million cats may APPEAR to be acting in concert against a single mouse, but herding cats is still a futile exercise."

    Now, I think the cats don't need to be herded at all.

     

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    Squig (profile), Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 1:13pm

    I could see the friends becoming enemies of the American political system, but not the American people. As many/most Americans are paranoid about foreign influence that will be problematic nevertheless.

     

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      The eejit (profile), Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 1:24pm

      Re:

      Can you imagine the outcry from the US Government if it was discovered, say, Russia called up to confimr that Democrats were voting strictly on party line about their oil and gas?

      The US Goivernment needs to be cleansed of its tyrannical career politicians and its corrupted bribery system.

       

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    Mike Uchima (profile), Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 1:35pm

    I am not surprised!

    I suspect a fair number of people overseas are starting to view ACTA as an infringement on their national sovereignty. Once people start to perceive it as a form of US economic imperialism, they're gonna get rather pissed off...

     

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    Lars (profile), Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 2:01pm

    ACTA

    Until everyone begins to boycott the movie industry they will continue to stiff-arm governments into becoming their lackies and bow to their pressure.
    Boycott, refuse to attend movies or buy/rent their videos and see how fast all these bills get pulled off the table.
    We can all live without movies, but be damned if I can live without my Internet.
    Let's start a General Worldwide Boycott - GWB!

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 2:31pm

    I think the answer that #8 gave about the end of the industrial era may hit closer than most realize.

    In part we are seeing the same thing that happened when we went from agriculture to industrial. People lost jobs, hiring wasn't very good as the jobs were for mechanical people, not farmers, and suddenly as an information age, the internet is prime to this era.

    Sneaking around making treaties behind closed doors and having no one to speak for the public on the public domain issue is now showing where that sort of setup's weakness is.

    If you make bad laws, people are not going to obey them. Government after government has found this to be true. History is littered with examples of that.

    Given the reaction once the people found out about SOPA/PIPA/ACTA how do you think they are going to react to the latest they are working on in secret. Somehow, I think that method is now doomed to failure; stillborn.

    The pendulum is finally swinging the other way and will gain momentum. A lobbyist once said that IP rights were boring subject matter that people just didn't have much interest in. The tide has changed and so too the fortune of those pulling off these grab bags of power.

    There is one other thing folks can do if they absolutely most go to the theater to see a high priced movie. Don't go during the opening box office days when the Hollydud moguls are eying the box office returns to estimate how well it will do. They spend a lot of time pouring over box office receipts and if they don't show up as money in hand, they will write the movie off as a dud and it will become available sooner.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 8:07pm

    And now ACTA falls.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2012 @ 4:44am

    The root of the problem is government corruption and abuse of power, we're only fighting the battle when we should also be fighting the war, although i do think this is a positive first step, i hope this brings more awareness to the real problem.

    We might win this battle, but the war will rage on, those in power will continue to fight us (propaganda media, ndaa.....a much bigger problem), we gave our goverments their power to govern us to make all our lives easier, and now it seems the ones making the the decisions have become corrupt, i think we need to take that power back and put it into hands of those who truly have our best interest at hearts


    I know some might think this is all an exaggeration, i personally dont, food for thought

    How far does the corruption go, how high does it go?

    If we take care of the littlefish, will that take care of the big fish?

    Do you think its safe to have even an ounce of corruption in our governments, knowing now, how easily corruption has becomes the norm?


    a bunch of laws that deal specifically with corruption, and abuse of power, resulting in massive penalties and/or jailtime, imunity for whistle blowers, and a massive pro active approach to these new laws to weed out the corrupt by the root, until i start seeing laws like these, i will know we're still being run by the corrupted

     

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    Heretic3e7, Feb 4th, 2012 @ 7:43am

    Encouraging

    Protests are great and a good way to show displeasure with ACTA. I would like to encourage all of those protesting to also boycott. The entertainment industry is entirely dependent on our discretionary spending. Their product is not one essential to survival or even real material comfort. As you raise your fists and voices, close your wallets.

    We could quite literally make the source of the problem disappear almost overnight if we really wanted to.

     

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      Boo Boo, Feb 5th, 2012 @ 3:42pm

      Re: Encouraging

      Agreed, our most potent weapon against big content is our wallets. We can if we really want to, slay these beasts by not giving them our money. Just stop , its really simple actually. Theres no point whining then going out and buying their product is there ?
      Whine like hell AND stop buying their product. That combo will bring these assholes to their knees if enough do it.

       

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    Boo Boo, Feb 5th, 2012 @ 3:26pm

    don't forget TPP !

    TPP is another secret squirrel ' trade agreement ' that everyone needs to be aware of.

    http://www.webpronews.com/exclusive-sean-flynn-ip-2012-02

    They just keep coming eh ???

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 3:16pm

    Black March Boycott protest ACTA do NOT buy Movies, Music or Video Games for the entire month of March. Starts 3-1-2012 google it and tell friends and family especially if they're in other countries, try to make this a Global Event.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2012 @ 8:32am

    If the politicians aren't being bribed, I mean lobbied by somebody, they just don't understand why they should care.

     

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