Europeans rallied together in mass protests across 100 cities on Saturday, in protest of the controversial Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which many believe will limit freedom on the Internet.
Despite Germany’s Foreign Minister putting off signing the treaty, 10,000 Berliners and around 18,000 from Munich battled the icy cold to join an estimated 200,000 European protesters in opposition to Internet censorship.
The European Parliament’s president Martin Schulz has since criticised ACTA, saying that it lacks adequate balance. “I don’t find it good in its current form,” he told Germany’s ARD television on Sunday.
ACTA aims to set international standards for enforcing intellectual property rights and tackling online piracy. Yet, many fear that if the treaty were to be ratified by parliaments, many could face prison sentences for illicit downloading of music and movies and exchanging material online.
A total of 31 countries – world-wide, have signed the agreement, including countries such as the U.S, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea.