Last month CIMA looked at the SOPA bill and how it compared to similar laws in France, Spain, Italy, and Denmark. Since then, several other pieces of legislation have passed or are being considered, most notably the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). In recent days protests have broken out across Europe against ACTA.
ACTA is a multi-national treaty that aims to combat counterfeit goods and copyright infringement. The agreement was signed by Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, and the United States in October 2011, and the European Union signed it in January 2012, but several member states have refused to ratify it, including Germany, the Netherlands, and Bulgaria. ACTA has been criticized by several net freedom groups, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which says, “ACTA is the new frontline in the global IP enforcement agenda.”
CANADA: Bill C-11, titled the Copyright Modernization Act, is currently under consideration in Canada’s House of Commons. The bill would provide incentives for ISPs to block users who infringe on copyrights more than once and could target sites that are not pirate sites but could be used for piracy.
IRELAND: Minister of State for Research and Innovation Seán Sherlock has stated that he intends to enact a law without a vote in the Oireachtas (the Irish parliament) that would curtail access to websites and give power to the courts to grant orders against ISPs. Over 80,000 people have signed a petition in protest. Nicknamed “Ireland’s SOPA,” the announcement brought attacks by Anonymous to Irish government websites.
NETHERLANDS: The Dutch government announced plans to target ISPs that give access to file-sharing websites like Pirate Bay. The proposed law would target websites but does not criminalize those who download copyrighted material.
UNITED KINGDOM: The UK’s Serious Organized Crime Agency (SOCA) shut down the file-sharing website RnBXclusive.com this week. This warning was posted on the site: