The entertainment industry's efforts to impose U.S.-style DMCA copyright law on the globe (and push ISPs toward being network content nannies
) is dubbed the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. As we've previously discussed
, the ACTA was constructed largely in secret in negotiations between the entertainment industry and world governments -- and early versions aimed to drastically strip safe harbor protections for ISPs, making them liable for user copyright infringement.
After unprecedented public outrage resulted in the scrapping of SOPA and PIPA however, the ACTA is suddenly starting to see support almost completely unravel in Europe
. Neelie Kroes, a member of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy and one of the most senior members of the European Comission, cited public protests as a major reason for the shift:
We have recently seen how many thousands of people are willing to protest against rules which they see as constraining the openness and innovation of the Internet. This is a strong new political voice. And as a force for openness, I welcome it, even if I do not always agree with everything it says on every subject. We are now likely to be in a world without SOPA and without ACTA. Now we need to find solutions to make the Internet a place of freedom, openness, and innovation fit for all citizens, not just for the techno avant-garde.
That doesn't mean the ACTA is dead yet, but it signals a growing split among politicians -- many of which are increasingly uncomfortable being associated with policies that an informed general public is finding distasteful.