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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Friday, 12.08.2022, 11:38

Thousands Estonians want to protest against ACTA

Juhan Tere, BC, Tallinn, 10.02.2012.Print version
Non-profit organisation Estonian Internet Community (EIC) opened yesterday a web page dedicated to the Anti-Counterfeit Trade Agreement (ACTA) and announced that thousands of people are ready to protest against ACTA on Saturday, LETA/Postimees writes.

EIC's board chairman Elver Loho noted that protest actions against ACTA will take place on Saturday in Tallinn and Tartu and in Facebook, 4,000 people have promised to attend them.


"I wouldn’t even say that these events are against ACTA, but they rather draw attention to important problems connected to ACTA. We want a real discussion in the society and that it would take place at the government and Riigikogu level too," he said.


Loho said that protest actions against ACTA take place on Saturday in more than 200 cities in Europe and elsewhere in the world.


Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip came under fire Thursday after suggesting that critics of the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement must be on drugs, LETA/AFP reported.


The center-right premier lashed out during a debate on Estonia's planned signature of the international accord known as ACTA, which opponents say could curtial Internet freedom.


"Someone who says something like that must have eaten some seeds and not those kind of seeds we grow in our fields," Ansip told lawmakers.


"It might be helpful to put tinfoil in your hat," Ansip added, referring to the belief of some UFO-watchers that it wards off alien mind-control.


Ansip has been challenged over his alleged hurry to ink ACTA, while some countries which have signed up, such as Poland and the Czech Republic, have decided to freeze their parliamentary ratification.


"A prime minister who says something like that, about eating seeds and those anti-mind control tinfoil hats, treats people in this country like drunken teenagers," said lawmaker Juku-Kalle Raid of the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union, which governs with Ansip's Reform Party, echoing opposition criticism.


ACTA was negotiated between the 27-nation European Union, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland and the United States.

It aims to bolster international standards for intellectual property protection, for example by doing more to fight counterfeit medicine and other goods.


But critics say its attempts to stop illegal downloading give copyright-holders such as big corporations too much clout, for example allowing them to force the closure of websites without the level of proof a court would demand.


Former Soviet-ruled Estonia, a nation of 1.3 million, is home to vibrant hi-tech sector and with most public services accessible online, the issue of Internet freedom strikes a chord.

Estonian anti-ACTA campaigners are due to hold rallies on Saturday as part of an international day of action against the increasingly-contested accord.

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