This was the headline used by Cory Doctorow to break the news about ACTA to an unsuspecting Internet on November 3rd, 2009. Other Canadian copyfighters were also on the case, like lawyer Michael Geist and podcaster Jesse Brown. But I first read about ACTA on Cory’s post at Boing Boing.
If you didn’t know, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is an initiative to blanket the world in US-style copyright enforcement, despite the non-participation of such notable countries as China and Russia. Critically, the ongoing negotiations of ACTA are taking place behind a veil of secrecy. That ACTA was discovered at all is no small feat.
It would seem that Doctorow has long had an interest in digital rights. His 2007 short story Scroogled paints a scary picture of a very possible future in which our online habits are used against us. If the title didn’t give it away, here’s the gist of it:
Immigration — Powered by Google.
A quick look at Cory’s biography shows his pedigree as a champion copyfighter:
- He founded a company that wrote and released open-source P2P software;
- He helped to establish the Open Rights Group at the Electronic Frontier Foundation;
- He was an early adopter of Creative Commons, and is one of its greatest success stories.
Thanks in no small part to Mr. Doctorow you can now get your ACTA news from a number of sources, including a weekly podcast that I help out with. To read his latest you can bookmark his blog, follow him on Twitter and keep an eye out for his posts on Boing Boing.