Protestors rally in Poland over bill similar to SOPA

Crowds have gathered outside the European Parliament in Warsaw over a new SOPA-style bill which could threaten online freedom.

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), like the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), aims to counter online copyright infringement, as well as counterfeited goods and medicine, reports Gamasutra.

The European Union is currently reviewing the agreement, which has already been signed by 39 countries including the US, Canada, Australia, South Korea, Japan and more.

If passed into law, ACTA could affect games publishers, developers and businesses by closing down any sites found in breach of copyright.

Many sites reacted to SOPA by blacking out their websites for a day, including Wikipedia and N4G, while several games companies opposed the bill, such as Epic Games and Microsoft. Several US politicians withdrew support for SOPA following the online protests.

As well as the street protests, several Polish websites have gone down in opposition of ACTA.

However, in response to the ACTA protests, Poland’s prime minister Donald Tusk said: There will be no concessions to brutal blackmail.”

Polish digital games distributor said in a statement: While this is definitely a victory for free speech, it’s worth noting that here in Europe, ACTA is very likely to pass this week and it has virtually all of the same flaws that SOPA or PIPA did.

"So while we’re pleased about the news from across the pond, I’d say that vigilance is important, because this fight isn’t over yet for you or for us."

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