ACTA 2 - is there anything to be afraid of?

In any legislative process, the average citizen is able to simplify things for himself. This is primarily due to a lack of willingness and ability to read articles that are difficult to understand properly and to reproduce simplified messages that are widely available. This is also the case with the European Union's Internet Copyright Directive, simplistically named ACTA 2. It refers to the protests over ACTA in 2012. Even then, the adoption of the agreement changed nothing in Polish law, as the EU regulations provided for greater restrictions on copyright than ACTA itself.

So what is ACTA 2, or rather - an EU directive?

ACTA 2 is the 'working' name given by opponents of changes to copyright law on the Internet. It is first and foremost a directive of the European Union, where the key word is DIRECTIVE. This means that EU Member States have a certain degree of implementation freedom with respect to it. Poland has two years to create specific regulations. At this point, therefore, there is no certainty as to the exact form in which the changes will be introduced. The directive is intended to support creators, whose copyrights are often violated or abused on the Internet.

However, disinformation has taken hold in our society. Curious information has emerged, such as that the directive will ban the publication of memes or introduce a link tax. There were also claims that freedom of speech on the Internet would be curtailed and that censorship would be introduced.

The directive is definitely not about introducing censorship, and freedom of expression is in no way threatened. Nor will the average internet user be affected in any way by the new regulations. If anyone is affected, it is large corporations such as YouTube or Facebook. They will be obliged to check whether uploaded files infringe copyright. To this end, they should enter into licensing agreements with creators. At this stage, it is easy to guess that it is all about money. In effect, the big platforms will have to share their profits with the creators.

The directive also addresses the press and web portals. In this case, publishers will acquire related rights to published texts. This means that a portal wishing to publish a substantial part of a printed article will have to pay.


As you can see, the devil is not as terrible as he is painted. Nothing is changing at the moment, and we will find out about the specifics in two years' time.


Author of the text: Ewelina J.