This research project provides a considerably strong and opinionated argument against the passing of the ACTA. Theorist Aaron Shaw argues that the ACTA will create harsh legal standards that infringe on the principles of a democratic government and civil liberties. Shaw further states that the USTR is just one of many organizations that is taking part in the formation of this agreement, a fact unknown to most file sharing users. The author further writes that service providers will be protected from the actions of their subscribers, throwing their own internet users under the train tracks of the law. If signed, this agreement would put money back in the hands of a few wealthy states and corporations while simultaneously crushing the rest of the world . This rejection of multilateralism will laud the usage of the DRM and other technology-blocking devices that prevent existing file sharing/transfer of information. Many large, multinational companies such as Microsoft and Time-Warner both agree that their software and liabilities would be better protected after the passing of this, but Shaw argues that they are overlooking the patents being passed on user-generated software, such as Myspace. This highlights many other points about the importance of user-generated interfaces such as Apple’s App store and the restrictions that would be placed on future products made by users.
This article provides a good third party view on the ACTA and the preliminary steps taken against its passing. Shaw’s outlook, though highly biased towards the liberalization of the media and its associated property rights, does provide a few good points about the potential consequences should this be approved. Though the passing of this bill could serve to help larger companies, the stress placed on consumers could serve as a double-edged sword for the larger service providers. The thesis within which my argument is framed specifically focuses on the transfer of information, so Shaw’s argument on the ethics of file sharing and the blockage of information seems to benefit my stance most. I highly recommend this source as a good introduction to the opposition against the ACTA. Shaw also provides a clear argument against the passing of this and the future consequences that may result in both a theoretical and economical context.