Opposition is building to controversial measures to combat internet piracy ahead of planned demonstrations across Europe at the weekend.
Campaigners who fear increased censorship have almost reached their goal of two million signatures for a petition calling for ACTA – the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement – to be ditched.
The agreement, negotiated between the EU, the US, and several other countries, seeks to combat piracy and counterfeiting in areas ranging from merchandise and medicine to illegal downloading on the internet.
It is the last part that has caused a storm of protest.
Europe’s former communist bloc in particular has seen a wave of demonstrations. The Polish and Czech governments have suspended their ratification of the accord because of the opposition.
ACTA’s detractors say it is too vague and opens the door to abuse by the owners of intellectual property.
Observers believe people in post-communist countries are particularly worried about censorship because of their past.
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