As Cory Doctorow over at Boing Boing points out, today is the day to kill ACTA. The UK branch of the Pirate Party is holding demonstrations across the UK against it, and I’m sure many other international Pirate Parties are too.
However bad ACTA is right now, it can only get worse. Article 6.4 creates an “ACTA committee”, a sort of undemocratic, unelected committee to “propose amendments” to ACTA, essentially bypassing any democratic process. And that’s an extremely worrying provision.
I mean, it’s not as if we can’t think of ways that foreign governments would like to stop people reporting on, is it? You know, the Chinese government on human rights, Thailand on anything that remotely insults the King, Saudi Arabia on anything that doesn’t fit their Wahabbist view of Islam. And isn’t the ACTA committee just perfectly designed to allow this kind of “scope creep”? The policy wonks in Beijing must be rubbing their hands with glee as we speak…
You see, what I’m getting at here is the law of unintended consequences. While I’m
sure not convinced that this was the intention of ACTA all along, the truth remains you can see the results all through history. The rise of Hitler, the Nazi killing machine and World War 2 was an indirect result of the punitive “reparations” imposed on Germany after World War 1, thanks to the disastrous hyperinflation caused by printing lots more money (we euphemistically call it “quantative easing these days. Of course, it never produces those side effects any more – just ask Zimbabwe.)
So how do we stop this? Well, to paraphrase Marcus Porcius Cato, ACTA must be destroyed.