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Protests Erupt Across Europe Against Web Piracy Treaty


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European protests against ACTA

Opposition to ACTA in Eastern Europe is especially strong and spreading rapidly.

Credit: Zanbard

More than 25,000 demonstrators recently took part in protests across Europe against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), a controversial international anti-piracy pact.

Opposition to ACTA in Eastern Europe is especially strong and spreading rapidly. "It's not acceptable to sacrifice the rights of freedom for copyrights," says German Greens party leader Thomas Pfeiffer.

The governments of eight nations, including Japan and the United States, signed an agreement in October designed to cut copyright and trademark theft. The protesters are concerned that free downloading of movies and music might lead to prison sentences if ACTA is ratified by European parliaments.

"We don't feel safe anymore," says protester Monica Tepelus. "The Internet was one of the few places where we could act freely."

Jeremie Zimmermann with Internet freedom group Quadrature du Net calls the protest an unprecedented demonstration "because it's taking place in all of Europe at the same time."

From Reuters 
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