SOPA, PIPA, OPENA, and ACTA

A new article appearing on ReadWriteWeb is about the international Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). The writer is part of the group that thinks SOPA, PIPA, and OPENA have been stopped. They have not. See: SOPA, PIPA, OPENA articles.

Now we have word about an international attack on our rights from another quarter: ACTA. Read the article: What You Should Know About ACTA and Your Rights.

This is important for our SL community because other counties will be adopting, or not, this treaty. Many countries still have opportunities to stop their countries from signing onto the treaty.

This law comes to us in the forum of a treaty. Pres. Obama has signed this treaty. Few people are aware of the attacks on our freedom in the US mounted by this admiration. A treaty must be approved by the US Senate. The House of Representatives has no say in treaties. So, in many ways the Senate is more important than the House.

There is confusion as whether ACTA is a treaty. Obama says it is an Executive Agreement. However, there is no Constitutional foundation for any other type of agreement with another country than a treaty. This has not stopped Pres. Obama from signing this treaty, circumventing Congress, circumventing the Constitution, and having the Dept. of Justice enforce it effectively allowing the executive branch to make a law. See: Obama Tries to Bypass Congress with Deadly Global Internet Treaty ACTA.

For Americans this is an outrageous tragedy and there is no easy way to fight it. Since Congress has been circumvented complaining to your representatives is mostly pointless. Getting the President to reverse himself is probably impossible. In the US we will not be able to do anything about this until elections in November. If your country has not signed the treaty, contact your representatives.

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