Scores of activists piled into streets across Europe Saturday in a planned protest of the international Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). In terms of Internet copyright legislation, ACTA is a rising star, especially after the recent SOPA and PIPA defeats here in the U.S.The Guardian reports that European Parliament president, Martin Schulz’reaction to the proposal as it stands: “he said the necessary balance between copyright protection and the individual rights of internet users was only very inadequately anchored in the agreement.” So similar to proposals that failed in the Senate and House, opponents see ACTA as too vague and far-reaching, whereas proponents like those in the movie and music industries are gung-ho on the idea.
Thousands protested in several European countries on Saturday. In German cities more than 25,000 demonstrators marched in freezing temperatures, while 4,000 Bulgarians in Sofia rallied against the agreement, which is designed to strengthen the legal framework forintellectual property rights.
Thousands more demonstrated at other high-spirited rallies, despite snow and freezing temperatures, in cities including Warsaw, Prague, Slovakia, Bucharest, Vilnius, Paris, Brussels and Dublin.