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ACTA: case study

The Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is the last fashion in international commerce [es]. It’s about bi-lateral negotiation with those countries with cultural policies and legislation, on author rights, copy rights and access both to cultural content and the Internet, unfavourable to its promoters: US’ entertainment industry.

For example, the US could establish a secret process, avoiding any looks from any civil and/or control organism, subordinating the production of both physical and intellectual products of this country to hollywoodistic interests.
Meaning that if the country at matters does not give up to the majors’ demands, the United States will use all its commerce force to cripple all its industrial sectors.

If we move this formula into the African Continent, the obtained result is even much more bizarre. In a recent post, Emeka Okafor commented the african situation as was exposed by Thabo Mbeki.

The forgotten continent

is a primary producer of intellectual resources, and also a consumer of finished intellectual products, but makes little contribution to the value that is added in between. Much (perhaps most) African intellectual production occurs under northern (American and European) contracts. Consequently, Africa’s intellectual agenda is set outside the continent, with African scholars are co-opted as consultants and primary researchers, while the ablest of them are provided with careers in western universities, research institutes and policy institutions. The final product is then re-exported, its value having been multiplied many times over, to Africa for consumption by African people, governments and institutions.

And this is how ACTA works. If local interests are subordinated to big foreign megacorps, local production will decrease until becoming a mirror for the african situation, a big and rich whole continent forced to sell cheap its own resources, in order to buy extremely high its derived products.

If you want to protect the cultural production, its authors, creators and the citizens who buy and consume those products, first step is slam the door to ACTAs, Sustainable Economy Laws, Digital Economy Bills and any other clones.

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