Signing ACTA - Killing Both Torrent Sites and Bulgaria's Regions

Novinite Insider » EDITORIAL | Author: Ivan Dikov |January 31, 2012, Tuesday // 05:59| Views: | Comments: 5
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Bulgaria: Signing ACTA - Killing Both Torrent Sites and Bulgaria's Regions

Bulgaria's Borisov Cabinet has just come up with a new unpleasant surprise for the Bulgarian public by signing ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement), the controversial copyright protection deal, without telling anyone.

ACTA has already caused international protests because of fears that it blurs counterfeiting and content sharing on the Internet. It even requires Internet providers to cooperate in cracking down on pirate content.

Other than Google, Facebook, and the Bulgarian email service ABV (АБВ), torrent tracker sites such as Zamunda and Arena are the most popular websites in Bulgaria. The reason for that is not just the enormous amount of music, films, software, and books (yes, they have scanned books, too, not just free porn) that they make available to anybody for free.

The main reason for the popularity of Bulgarian torrent sites – which apparently are in blatant disregard of any copyright laws, a fact that Western companies are incessantly complaining about – is that these sites, for better or worse, have emerged as a key social institution in Bulgaria.

In other words, in order to do away with torrent sites violating copyright, Bulgaria, first of all, needs to have a more decent standard of living so that everybody can afford to purchase music, software, films, or go to the movies.

Second, people in Bulgaria need to have vehicles, ways, tools, opportunities to rent and watch movies online, or listen to music; every Bulgarian town needs to have a movie theater (right now there are probably five in total in all of Northern Bulgaria); Bulgarians need to have access to contemporary libraries with quality resources and service (I can think of only one such library in all of Bulgaria); not to mention some other amenities and indicators of spiritual and cultural development.

However, Bulgaria DOESN'T HAVE any of that. The inhumane post-communist transition has wiped out any such social institutions, or has failed to create any modern ones. All we got now is torrent trackers. A couple of cities in Bulgaria such as Sofia might have some of the proper cultural institutions I mentioned above, but what do you do if you happen to be a young citizen of the Bulgarian Republic who dares live in a small town in the Bulgarian countryside? (Even though under the Constitution people anywhere in Bulgaria are supposed to have equal rights and opportunities...)

You will have to make your peace with a slow Internet connection anyway but you are s****d if ACTA and the Bulgarian government take away your torrent trackers. In that case, all you the one single form of entertainment and spiritual life that you will be left with are the "top-notch quality" programs of Bulgarian TV stations.

There is a simple conclusion to be drawn here. Look at the other signatories of the ACTA – the EU member states, all of which are twice as rich as Bulgaria, plus the USA, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Singapore, and Morocco. Last time I checked all of these countries had movie theaters, modern libraries, online video and music stores, and the decency to consult with their own societies before singing important international deals. (This is a lot more true even for Morocco than it is for Bulgaria!)

That's right, torrent tracking sites in Bulgaria are technically and practically in violation of all sorts of copyright violations but what they offer has no alternative for the people in Bulgaria for the time being given the country's social and economic development. That's why the Cabinet of Boyko Borisov needs to pull out of the ACTA as openly as it signed it secretly. Or in the very least it should try to come up with some formula for a transition period of some 10-20 years in which Bulgaria can catch up with the other ACTA signatories so that torrent tracking sites can be rendered useless.

This article in BULGARIAN

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Tags: arena, Zamunda, torrent sites, ACTA, regional development
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» To the forumComments (5)
Chushki - 4 Feb 2012 // 16:35:33

''Learn Bulgarian and watch Bulgarian TV, ffs! If you want to watch UK TV legally there is a country where you can easily do this......''

So says the Daily Mail's most rabid reader.....

Seedy - 4 Feb 2012 // 15:10:48

Learn Bulgarian and watch Bulgarian TV, ffs! If you want to watch UK TV legally there is a country where you can easily do this......

rbrits - 4 Feb 2012 // 13:17:25

I think its an OK move but these sites are some of the only ways the \British and europian people who have redided in Bulgaria can get to watch soem of the episodes they miss in the UK.

The other issue is in my eyes is if companies like Bulsatcom get the arse in gear and allow mutlti languages on the sat TV instead of just Bulgarian they might have more eiropians signing up to them and because of this they will not have to download the episode illigally in there own language

Naso - 2 Feb 2012 // 19:13:17

Lucrative EU ACTA agreements should not force the IT industry to be a security ally on the entertainment industry. It is not the IT industry business to be copyrights law enforcement institution.

Thenonymous - 2 Feb 2012 // 10:51:04

This is more than a Bulgarian issue, everyone should write to their MEP and get ACTA stopped in the EU parliament before it's too late.

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