Protest Organizer: ACTA Doesn't Distinguish Counterfeiting from Sharing

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Bulgaria: Protest Organizer: ACTA Doesn't Distinguish Counterfeiting from Sharing

An interview for (Sofia News Agency) and with Ivaylo Dinev, one of the organizers of Saturday's protests in Bulgaria against the ACTA trade afreement.

ACTA supporters claim that it is a normal trade agreement that is not seeking to harm users' rights. What arguments can you name that refute this statement?

First of all, ACTA is not a normal trade agreement, since it arrives 18 years after the last one in a similar field – TRIPS, which was signed in 1994 and tackled in a more lenient way the issues of copyright and intellectual property. The difference between ACTA and TRIPS is that ACTA affects a wider framework that allows various interpretations and therefore can be used in a different context in the future.

ACTA makes no difference between counterfeiting and sharing. ACTA is a serious threat for generic medicine production. ACTA allows spying in Internet. ACTA makes Internet Service Providers do tasks they are not accustomed to. Let us pay attention to one of the most controversial texts in the treatment – article 27, paragraph 4:

A Party may provide, in accordance with its laws and regulations, its competent authorities with the authority to order an online service provider to disclose expeditiously to a right holder information sufficient to identify a subscriber whose account was allegedly used for infringement, where that right holder has filed a legally sufficient claim of trademark or copyright or related rights infringement, and where such information is being sought for the purpose of protecting or enforcing those rights...

Innocent till proven guilty – forget it.

That will inevitably violate our privacy rights guaranteed by Bulgaria's identity information protection act passed in 2002.

Much has been said about ACTA as a potential danger to our information access rights. What other aspects of the agreement bother you?

It is not the agreement's different aspects that triggered the most serious concerns among citizens; it is the way it was signed. I mean these four years in which it was discussed in absolute secrecy. I mean Bulgaria's "invisible ink" signature. This is completely unacceptable.

In its essence, ACTA threatens to monopolize the market. It may introduce a "golden standard" monopoly to which Third World countries will find it very difficult to adjust. The fact that generic medicines are among the most discussed topics is no coincidence.

How would you explain the massiveness of Bulgaria's anti-ACTA protests? Is it our love for torrent trackers or something else?

If we are pessimists, we will explain it with that; if we are optimists, we well praise the civil society's activeness; if we are realists, we will protest. ACTA affects all Bulgarian citizens and the size of the protest movement in Facebook comes as no surprise.

Who would benefit and who would lose if ACTA gets ratified?

The mainstream movie and music industry giants will most probably not directly increase their profits as a result of ACTA. In fact, they have doubled their profits over the past 20 years despite the pirating of their products. However, their leaders will sleep calmly, since no one would be able to share their products with friends freely.

This is a question of morality and it should be answered from a moral point of view. Do we need high copyright standards, a strict patent control and do we need to crack down on counterfeiting in times when a big part of the world lives on it.

Won't ACTA make some people shamelessly rich, even richer than now, because of the monopoly it would allow them to create, while the poor will stay poor – but without their fake "Adidas" and their generic medicines? Won't culture collapse in poorer countries whose populations not only lack means to buy "high culture" but also places where it can be promoted and shown?

These are, needless to say, rhetorical questions. In my opinion, the truth about ACTA lies within our understanding of the contemporary. ACTA is mostly a conservative agreement – because it was created in full secrecy and because it contradicts the human development. Everyone knows that we need intellectual property rights, but ACTA imposes draconian measures against habitual human activities in a way the fuels our indignation.

An interview for (Sofia News Agency) and with Ina Kileva, CEO of Prophon, a Bulgarian music licensing company, regarding the ACTA trade agreement can be read HERE.

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» To the forumComments (2)
Naso - 13 Feb 2012 // 05:17:30

“Respect Fair Bulgarian Copyrights Acts” just 1%

Bulgarian diplomats should and must develop and implement Fair International Copyrights Acts and bilateral agreements on the global scale to protect Bulgarian innovation, arts, talents and business copyrights.

Say NO to ACTA
Say YES to Fair Copyrights Bulgarian Acts.


Bulgarians are historical know as FAIR LAW & ORDER FOR EVERYONE oriented people, nations and cultures for century.

“Love Bulgaria” just 1%

Naso - 11 Feb 2012 // 16:54:32

Online learning is the 21 Century way of exploration in education.

The creative play experience is vital for the stimulation of children and young people imagination. It offers opportunities for children to learn, express themselves and interact with.

“Innocent till proven guilty – forget it.“

Just imagine what great problem will it introduce to the parents, teachers and educators if they have to police the kids and the students all the time.

"Love Bulgaria" - "Love Your Kids" - Say no to ACTA

Bulgaria news (Sofia News Agency - is unique with being a real time news provider in English that informs its readers about the latest Bulgarian news. The editorial staff also publishes a daily online newspaper "Sofia Morning News." (Sofia News Agency - and Sofia Morning News publish the latest economic, political and cultural news that take place in Bulgaria. Foreign media analysis on Bulgaria and World News in Brief are also part of the web site and the online newspaper. News Bulgaria