So. You may recall my post about black-out day on the internet and how I griped about not being able to do a damn thing other than spread the word.

Well, it turns out there’s more than one nasty act in the running, and ACTA (or read the wiki here) is looking like it might be even worse.

Michael Geist talks about what you can do if you’re in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the U.S., or the E.U. here, and provides a bit of a discussion on what the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage has to say about it here.

As it happens, the Department of Foreign Affairs is conducting an open consultation on ACTA and you, fellow Canadian citizen and/or resident, can email your thoughts and concerns to them at consultations [at] international [dot] gc [dot] ca

Below is the letter I wrote and sent to them, if you’re looking for something to use as a template:

~*~

Good afternoon,

I’m writing to you about Recommendation #3 in the report on CETA and ACTA (from the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage):

The Committee calls on the Government of Canada to ensure that domestic copyright policies are not part of any present or future trade negotiations; that Canada’s commitments to the implementation of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) are limited to the agreement’s focus on combating international counterfeiting and commercial piracy efforts; and that the Government of Canada retains the right to maintain domestic copyright policies that have been developed within the framework of its commitments to the World Intellectual Property Organization and the Berne Convention.

I’m relieved to see this recommendation being made. As an independent artist who relies on word of mouth (which, these days, means social media) to promote my work, I worry that CETA, ACTA will have a very negative impact on the livelihoods and freedoms of expression of my fellow writers and performers, as well as Canadians in general.

As an individual Canadian citizen, and an emerging Canadian artists and arts promoter, I agree that the copyright provisions should be removed from CETA and from any future trade agreements. I also agree that Canada should push to limit ACTA’s implimentation to combating internation counterfeiting and commercial piracy efforts as, without that limitation, I fear that the provisions of the Agreement could be used by unscrupulous governments (now or in future) to silence and censor their citizens. Lastly, I appreciate Canada’s unique copyright laws, so I’m glad to see the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage calling for the Government of Canada to retain the right to maintain our domestic copyright policies as they were developed within the context of WIPO and the Berne Convention.

Thank you for listening, for conducting the open consultation on ACTA, and taking the thoughts of Canadians into consideration on this subject.

Sincerely,
etc.

~*~

I vote that we deluge them with letters. Go forth and write!