10 ACTA Myths from the European Commission


The European Commission has just published a series on online articles in support of ACTA (the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement)…Unfortunately, it’s pretty dry, so we’ve run through it for you to cull the most essential points. Read on!


The move comes as the treaty is increasingly described as the European equivalent of SOPA. The latest online documents aim to highlight misconceptions about the treaty, claiming that ACTA will not restrict freedom of the internet nor censor or close websites, as SOPA aimed to do.

The 10 ACTA points explained

The rather dry and decidedly unsexy EU documents reinforce the claims that ACTA’s main focus is on organised crime. Here are the main points from the 10 Myths About ACTA so that you don’t have to read the whole document (you can thank us later).
The main points raised are:

  • ACTA “does not foresee” cutting off internet access to anyone
  • ACTA won’t censor or shut down websites
  • The text of ACTA is publicly available to all
  • Laptops won’t be controlled at airport security borders
  • ACTA doesn’t require additional legislation to enforce
  • ACTA won’t work on the controversial “Three strikes and you’re out” policy. It won’t oblige ISPs to monitor or filter content of their users
  • ACTA won’t require changes to EU legislation, and it’s in-line with international law
  • It won’t prevent poor countries buying medicines
  • It doesn’t favour ISPs
  • ACTA wasn’t formed as a self-standing agreement to avoid being negotiated by World Trade Organisation (WTO) or the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

The jist is that ACTA, according to the EU, is simply enforcing existing intellectual property rights and doesn’t create any new legislation and it’s going after organised crime rather than individual users.

Online anti-ACTA group La Quadrature du Net has responded to these points with a post debunking these recent statements as well as a video on why internet users should oppose ACTA.

What do you think? New SOPA or sensible measure against piracy? Have your say below…

Image credit: Flickr user ottodv