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Anti-ACTA rallies held in Zagreb, Osijek and Rijeka

place: Zagreb, Rijeka, Osijek - Croatia
Croatian opponents of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) on Saturday staged protest rallies against this international agreement in the capital of Zagreb, the eastern city of Osijek and in the coastal port of Rijeka, weathering the cold and snow.

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is a multi-national agreement for the purpose of establishing international standards for intellectual property rights enforcement. The agreement aims to establish an international legal framework for targeting counterfeit goods, generic medicines and copyright infringement on the Internet, and would create a new governing body outside existing forums, such as the World Trade Organization, the World Intellectual Property Organization, or the United Nations.

The agreement was signed on 1 October 2011 by Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the United States. In January 2012, the European Union and 22 of its member states signed as well, bringing the total number of signatories to 31. After ratification by 6 states, the convention will come into force.

Supporters have described the agreement as a response to "the increase in global trade of counterfeit goods and pirated copyright protected works". Large intellectual property-based organizations such as the MPAA and Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America were active in the treaty's development.

Opponents have criticized the act for its adverse effects on fundamental civil and digital rights, including freedom of expression and communication privacy. The Electronic Frontier Foundation among others, have derided the exclusion of civil society groups, developing countries and the general public from the agreement's negotiation process and have described it as policy laundering. The signature of the EU and many of its member states resulted in the resignation in protest of the European Parliament's appointed rapporteur (Kader Arif), as well as widespread protests across Poland. (Source on ACTA: wiki)

(Source: HINA)

(D.H., 13.02.2012)