Polish lawmakers don Guy Fawkes masks to protest ACTA
Thousands roil Polish streets – more protests planned
Over 30 Polish lawmakers held up paper replicas of the Guy Fawkes mask, made famous by both Anoymous hacktivists and the Occupy movement, during a protest in parliament of their country's signing of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), the EU's highly controversial online-piracy legislation.
The parliamentarians were members of the center-left Ruch Palikota (Palikot's Movement), named after founder Janusz Palikot, and the third-largest party in Poland's government, behind the powerful center-right Platforma Obywatelska (Civic Platform) and hard-right Prawo i Sprawiedliwość (Law and Justice) parties.
Polish parliamentarians protest their country's signing of ACTA (source: Ruch Palikota)
As The Reg has noted, Poland was one of the 21 EU member states that signed off on the legislation on Thursday – only Cyprus, Germany, Estonia, Slovakia, and the Netherlands demurred.
The Ruch Palikota protest was merely one of many in Poland, a country deeply divided between progressive urbanites and traditionalists with more-rural strongholds.
In Lublin and Warsaw, for example, thousands of Poles – many wearing the Guy Fawkes mask – have massed in street demonstrations protesting ACTA, which they claim was hammered out behind closed doors in a deal between content providers and governments. Russia's English-language news channel RT reports that more street protests are planned for Friday.
ACTA protests are not merely in Poland's parliament and on its streets. Earlier this week, hacktivisits self-identified as members of Anonymous took down a broad swath of Polish government websites.
Those protesting parliamentarians and their street-filling supporters had better be careful, however. As wittily pointed out by TechDirt, should the European Parliament ratify the treaty this summer, they could be charged with copyright infringement – Time Warner owns the rights to the Guy Fawkes mask. ®
I for one am disgusted
How dare these elected officials stand-up for democracy and due process. It is repugnant and perverted in the extreme.
The unelected councils met, the money was paid, the deal was done. It is high time that these SERVANTS learn their place and do as they are told!
Free speech? Free speech? Europe's economy is in the toilet and this shower stand-up for free speech? Where is the profit in that? No profit, no taxes. Work it out, retards!
And as for taxes, if countries like Luxembourg and the UK were not doing so much to reduce taxes (thank you, Mr. Hartnett) the economy would be in an even worse state. High taxes means less profit which means fewer jobs. Work it out!
Dear god, it makes my skin crawl to think of their be-suited thieves standing up for people's right to make duplicates of what they have bought. If people don't buy the same thing four times, WHERE IS THE PROFIT?
ACTA is a just a righteous law that will enshrine and protect the profits of hard-working and innovative companies. Without those companies you will have NOTHING. Learn what side your bread is buttered on.
Copying is theft. Moving that file onto your HDD is THEFT! Nothing less. You should be in jail! Each copy of a file costs a starving artist their next meal, you heartless, hearless bastard. I hope you can sleep at night with the suffering you cause!
ACTA for profit!
ACTA for jobs!
ACTA for life!
> and which company do you work for .????
Struggling with this irony thing, huh?
Jeebus! How heavily do you have to lay it on, before some people's irony detectors register?