The Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement continues to roll along with negotiations taking place in Switzerland in the coming weeks. Rumor has it that these negotiations might be bringing us to a finalized ACTA soon, despite protests from public interest groups, technology companies, and legislators around the world that its ham-fisted approach to enforcement can do grave harm to consumers, innovation, communication, and can even make it harder for lifesaving medications to reach populations in need. It’s time to make sure that your voices are heard on this important issue. And we have two ways that you can do that. One is by signing a declaration of principles crafted by a coalition of experts assembled at American University. The other, more direct method is by writing to the President himself, using our action alert submission form.
A group of experts and activists convened last week at American University to analyze the released text of ACTA and hash out a public declaration, highlighting exactly what is wrong with the agreement. The detailed document can be found here, and you can sign it by emailing your name, title, any affiliation, and your location to this address. The AU statement does a great job of pinpointing problems in the ACTA text and I strongly encourage you to sign it. But another thing we really want to do is focus the Administration’s attention on exactly why consumers and net users are worried about ACTA’s effects on the Internet. It’s not because we’re crypto-pirates looking to loot digital content, but because the electronic shackles meant for counterfeiters and pirates end up on every user’s wrists. To date, it seems that these concerns aren’t being taken seriously because of the pervasive insistence that ACTA is the only, or best, solution to the problems of brand owners who worry about counterfeit goods. We need to send a wake-up call to the administration that tells them to pay attention to the dangerous details hidden inside what might look to them like an uncontroversial cooperation agreement.
To send your letter to the President, with a cc to the United States Trade Representative and the Vice President’s office, simply go here and follow the instructions on the action alert page. We strongly urge you to express your own thoughts on ACTA, but you can also read through the sample text provided, edit it to your liking, and make your voice heard!