Monday, September 16, 2019

Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)

Sopa and Pipa had taken centre stage in the media and people's minds, and whilst this was happening there was another threat to our online freedom and security. This was ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.

ACTA was so controversial that online activists in Poland paralysed some of the governments sites. This action was taken in response to Warsaw's plans to sign the controversial online copyright treaty. Closer to home, here in New Zealand some of the best online casinos took a stand placing messages on their websites informing kiwi players of the potential impact on them.

We will continue to monitor the situation providing you with key facts regarding this agreement and how it will effect New Zealand and its online landscape.

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featuredimage EUOnlineGamblingUpset Upset - Why is the European Online Gambling Industry Upset About the ACTA?

Why is the European Online Gambling Industry Upset About the ACTA?

Europeans are now in a huge uproar due to the rise of a trade agreement that had never been heard of by the citizens, and now is in the brink of implementation.

Most of the members of European Union had already signed the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement but it’s the first time the citizens have heard of it.

However, that’s not the only thing that upsets the Europeans. There are many other reasons, but first, we should talk about what ACTA is.

What is ACTA?

ACTA is short for Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. It’s basically an international treaty with the aim of providing countries with the ability to combat copyright infringement or any other types of property theft.

The ultimate goal of the said trade agreement is so that countries will be able to cooperate more objectively.

Why are Europeans troubled about the trade agreement?

Postimage Why is the European Online Gambling Industry Upset About the ACTA europeans 1024x683 - Why is the European Online Gambling Industry Upset About the ACTA?

Perhaps the number one reason why Europeans are upset about the said trade agreement is that it was negotiated in secret.

It was basically unknown to both citizens as well as the whole EU Parliament up until the European Commission started to publicize the implementation, at which point it was in the brink of being signed into law.

At first glance, it seems that it’s the only reason why Europeans are upset, but there’s more to the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.

What does it mean to organizations?

Postimage Why is the European Online Gambling Industry Upset About the ACTA organization - Why is the European Online Gambling Industry Upset About the ACTA?

While many citizens are upset about the trade agreement, the majority of them involves those who have connections with companies and other organizations.

This is because it’s found that there will be negative effects on several industries if such a trade agreement is to be approved.

What does ACTA provide copyright holders?

The government signed that the ACTA implications include providing copyright holders three abilities.

One is to provide copyright holders with a way to receive personal information about the suspected copyright infringers, with a warrant to pursue them.

This takes us to the second, where copyright holders are allowed to pursue the people suspected of copyright infringement, which may lead to further crime.

The third one is that copyright infringers from across borders will have their infringing content seized and confiscated.

However, what bothers the online gambling industry most is the fact that the copyright holders can demand that they receive a fee from suspects equal to the amount of the price of the content infringed.

For example, if a $15 piece of content is invaded, the copyright holder may request $15 and the suspect would be required to pay. If they are not able to do so, then other means of punishment will be carried out.

This means if an online gambling site takes even one wrong step, they may lose large sums of money, considering that even one piece of information costs a lot to the gamblers or their competitors looking to bankrupt them.

There are many ways copyright infringement can be avoided, which goes in the interest of both the copyright holder and the infringer, which is actually legally using the copyright content. With ACTA, such ways will be null and pointless.

featuredimage 3ReasonsInternetUsersWorryACTA Worrying - 3 Reasons Internet Users Should Be Worrying About ACTA Implications

3 Reasons Internet Users Should Be Worrying About ACTA Implications

The ACTA implications have always been frowned upon since the beginning. This is only natural, considering the negative effects that it may bring to the internet.

We all know that most of the video games, content, and many other products on the internet come from other sources.

It’s not exactly a crime to do so, since the owner, one way or another, allows for such action to be performed. Another case is if the platform where the product was posted have their own policies.

Here we look at how the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement can disrupt the cycle of how content is distributed on the internet.

Protections

postimage InternetUsersShouldBeWorryingAboutACTiImplicationsp rotection - 3 Reasons Internet Users Should Be Worrying About ACTA Implications

If an individual, or a group for that matter, copy an idea of an owner without their permission, they can issue copyright infringement. The offender will then be punished accordingly.

In some cases, intellectual property owners post on platforms such as Facebook, knowing that they have no right to keep their idea from getting copied. This allows for the distribution of their work.

However, with the ACTA, even if the owner knows and approves of the copying and doesn’t want to be protected from it, anyone who copies the work will be prosecuted anyhow.

Player Licenses

postimage InternetUsersShouldBeWorryingAboutACTAimplications player license - 3 Reasons Internet Users Should Be Worrying About ACTA Implications

When an online gambling company creates software or a game, they allow people to play their game by providing player licenses, and sometimes for a price. In the perspective of the players, it’s only natural to make backups of their game data.

If the ACTA is to be implemented, this won’t be possible because if they create backups with the company being aware, they can be prosecuted one way or another. This is a big downside of the trade agreement.

Plots and Concepts

Companies ensure that they don’t bypass any laws by making sure the owner approves of it. For example, video games may include dialogues, character designs, and more concepts that originated from other’s works.

If we’re going to consider the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, then that means users of different platforms may be suffering from consequences by using the platform with a concept with even a bit of copyrighted part.

These reasons prove that internet users may not be able to relax one bit if the ACTA is to be implemented in New Zealand, or any part of the world, for that matter. On top of that, this will affect the online gambling industry greatly.

featuredimage ACTAWhyShoulditBotherNewZealand NewZealand - What Is ACTA and Why Should It Bother Online Gamblers in New Zealand?

What Is ACTA and Why Should It Bother Online Gamblers in New Zealand?

ACTA or the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement was been trending at the time when it was made public.

Many issues had risen due to how it can supposedly affect the industries running on the internet. Of course, the online gambling sector is one of them.

If you haven’t heard of it, make sure to read through to the end because its effects will surprise any online gambler.

What is ACTA?

ACTA is an international agreement, evident from the complete name. it aims to create standards from all countries that enforce intellectual property rights.

It deals with different types of counterfeit goods. This may also include the products and services in medicine organizations or other sectors.

However, the agreement is actually covering a much broader subject, which includes the online distribution of intellectual properties. Thus, it’s suspected that it may disrupt the normal cycle of distribution of content on the internet.

Is the negotiation open for the public?

postimage whatisACTA handshake - What Is ACTA and Why Should It Bother Online Gamblers in New Zealand?

The negotiations had always been made in secret, and they weren’t even discussed with the EU Parliament, which caused a huge uproar. Regardless, the public wasn’t supposed to be part of the talks about the ACTA. But due to the interference of the EU Parliament, it became open for an inspection from the public and other organizations.

Is it a trade agreement?

Due to the uncooperativeness of the European Commission with the EU Parliament, they came up with the trade agreement that counterfeiting and piracy are to be punished with criminal penalties.

However, as previously noted, the EU Parliament fixed this by making the discussion open for scrutiny, which made it as it is now and you may even call it a “mixed agreement” as a result.

What are the penalties for violating the trade agreement?

postimage whatisACTA prison - What Is ACTA and Why Should It Bother Online Gamblers in New Zealand?

There are many ACTA implications mentioned in the trade agreement, but the offender, which may even include innocent individuals, will have to pay large fines or time in prison.

This seemed to be a bit too much and so it’s perhaps one of the reasons why it got voted against almost unanimously by the EU Parliament.

While copyright holders are the main group that supports the trade agreement, the majority of internet users and organizations vote and protest against the ACTA and we suggest you go through that, too, considering the many downsides of the agreement.

featuredimage EUParliamentAgainstACTA copyright - EU Parliament Against ACTA on Internet Disconnection for Copyright Infringement

EU Parliament Against ACTA on Internet Disconnection for Copyright Infringement

The Europe Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement discussion had long been too far from being transparent. Talks about the implementation and negotiation terms of ACTA had been hidden to the members of the Europe Parliament and so they have banded together to address this lack of openness.

In addition to voting that talks about the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, the EU Parliament also agreed on voting against the internet disconnection proposed by the EU ACT for the penalty of copyright infringement.

EU Parliamentarians’ Displeasure of Lack of Transparency

postimage Copyrightinfringement Transparency - EU Parliament Against ACTA on Internet Disconnection for Copyright Infringement

This move by the EU Parliament only proves how dissatisfied the members are due to the lack of transparency of the members discussing the implementation of the frowned-upon ACTA.

Since the members of the EU Parliament proved that there has been no approval whatsoever regarding the ACTA, it’s only natural that the EU Parliament be involved in any and all talks about the ACTA.

Internet Disconnection and Copyright Infringement

postimage Copyrightinfringement InternetCopyright - EU Parliament Against ACTA on Internet Disconnection for Copyright Infringement

This started when they got hold of information showing that the EU ACTA discussed the implementation of “internet disconnection for copyright infringers”.

Since then, the EU Parliament had been very clear about ACTA talks that there should be no personal rights to be trampled upon in the implementation of said ACTA. If not, it’s only right to vote against the ACTA, which we all know have already been done for a long time now.

ACTA Negotiations Open to Inspections

postimage Copyrightinfringement Negotiations - EU Parliament Against ACTA on Internet Disconnection for Copyright Infringement

The EU Parliamentarians also decided that if ACTA is to be implemented, there should be no civil rights to be breached, in addition to the openness of ACTA negotiations to scrutiny. Thus, the succeeding rounds of ACTA negotiations after that decision became more transparent and many issues concerning ACTA arose and got addressed accordingly.

While this decision by the EU Parliament didn’t mean for the ACTA to be ignored and get fought against by the public, it’s aim is to make the discussion of the European Commission about ACTA be more open.

They also mentioned that instead of dropping the hammer of justice to copyright infringers, it should be focused on how to combat the said issue. EU Parliamentarians specifically stated that federal liberties shouldn’t be changed.

Regardless of whether the European Commission agree to this, the EU Parliament has the right to vote against the implementation of the ACTA. As of now, there have been no further discussions about this law, but we can’t be sure if the idea becomes open again to the European Commission.

featuredimage theagreementACTAonlineGambling agreement - The Agreement in the ACTA That Will Change the Online Gambling Industry

The Agreement in the ACTA That Will Change the Online Gambling Industry

It’s known that the European Parliament voted against the ACTA and it’s only natural considering the countless downsides there is to implement it in the country.

Not only does it change the way several industries run, but it also disrupts the peace on the internet, which we know is the fastest-growing industry around the world.

This is precisely why we at Publicacta proposes ideas and information that may help citizens of New Zealand, to protest against the dangerous Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.

To give you a better understanding of how ACTA can change many industries, including the online gambling sector, take a look at the negotiation terms that prove to be worrisome.

It was not done democratically

postimage AgreementintheACTA democratic 1 - The Agreement in the ACTA That Will Change the Online Gambling Industry

Before we get into the actual negotiation terms, it’s important that you understand the process in which this idea was proposed to the members of the European Parliament.

Even with much effort into tracing back to the origins of the proposal, it was not found who or what organization started this idea. This is thus, not done in a democratic manner.

It refers to counterfeiting as if it’s piracy

postimage AgreementintheACTA piracy - The Agreement in the ACTA That Will Change the Online Gambling Industry

Counterfeit is used to describe fake goods, while piracy refers to the act of reproducing products or services without the permission of the owner.

Regardless, one will have a punishment, while another will have different consequences. The negotiations from the implementation of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement makes it look as though counterfeiting is the same as piracy.

It can easily prosecute innocent bystanders

There are many internet users that are making their living online. They are capable of doing so by making use of the properties of others.

While it may sound dirty, it’s not exactly a crime since the original owner may have been aware that their property can be used freely.

However, in the case of ACTA, that doesn’t matter and anyone who uses the property of anyone (this is especially true for YouTubers), can be prosecuted.

It will take away the ability of groups to make their own policies

postimage AgreementintheACTA socialmedia - The Agreement in the ACTA That Will Change the Online Gambling Industry

As we already know, platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and more allow for fair use and users can make use of the works of others. With ACTA, the terms clearly state that the whole nation will go along with their own rules.

There are many downsides of ACTA. Their negotiation terms will clearly disrupt the peace on the internet, both for the uses and commercial groups.

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