Picture of a judge's wigThe Judge RANTS!Picture of a judge's wig



Dyddiad: 24/02/12

Actiwch Yn Erbyn ACTA!

England flag indicating that there's an English translation of this piece

Beth ydy ACTA, 'te?

Wel, yn y bn, mae ACTA ("Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement") yn gytundeb rhyngwladol sydd - yn l y sawl sydd y tu cefn iddo - yn ymdrin delio'n gyfreithiol efo cynnyrch ffug.

Beth sydd o'i le ar hynny, 'te? Wedi'r cwbl, does neb yn isio cael ei ripio i ffwrdd trwy brynu rhywbeth sy ddim yr hyn sy'n cael ei ddisgrifio, nage?

Petasai'r cytundeb wedi'i gyfyngu i hynny, wel ie. Ond nid dyna'r cyfan sydd wrtho fo. Oherwydd mae ACTA yn rhoi i lywodraethau a chorfforiaethau rym i orfodi i'r cwmnau sydd yn cyflenwi eich gwasanaeth rhyngrwyd chi sbo ar y pethau rydach chi'n eu gwneud ar-lein, gan gynnwys rhoi eich manylion personol yn nwylo'r corfforiaethau hynny fel y gallent eu defnyddio i'ch erlyn chi.

Mwy na hynny, mae'r grymoedd o fewn ACTA yn galluogi i'r 'hawl-ddalwyr' (hynny yw, cwmnau adloniant ac ati) osgoi'r angen i ddod thystiolaeth bendant yn eich erbyn chi gerbron llys cyfraith gwlad; os oes gennych chi wefan, er enghraifft, gallai corfforaeth ddwyn pwysau cyfreithiol ar y cwmni sy'n ei gynnal er mwyn dod 'r gwefan i gyd i lawr heb roi'r cyfle (na'r gallu) i chi amddiffyn eich hunan.

Eto byth; er mai 'cytundeb masnach' yw hwn i fod, y mae cosbau troseddol ynghlwm wrtho, ac y mae diffiniadau'r 'troseddau' a gynhwysir ynddo mor lydan, mor niwlog a mor benagored fel y gallai unrhywun gael ei ddal ganddyn nhw, a heb fawr ddim grym i wrthsefyll y cyhuddiadau.

Ar ben hyn oll, mae ACTA wedi ei fwriadu yn glir i alluogi i gwmnau a llywodraethau dynnhau eu gafael ar y rhyngrwyd er eu lles nhw; y corfforiaethau i droi'r rhyngrywd yn fawr dim mwy na modd i werthu pethau i chi, a'r gwleidyddion i geisio tagu un o'r ychydig ffyrdd effeithiol sydd gennym i'w galw i gyfrif.

Dyna'r prif rheswm, mae'n debyg, pam fod ACTA wedi ei drafod yn ddirgel; gan lywodraethwyr y gwledydd cyfoethocaf a'r cwmnau sy'n dylanwadu'n gryf arnyn nhw i ddechrau, wrth ddefnyddio grym y cyfoeth a'r dylanwad hynny i 'berswadio' gwledydd eraill i gytuno i'r broses fynd rhagddi.

Ar ddiwedd yr holl broses dan dn hon, gwelwn fesur sydd yn beryglus nid yn unig i unigolion a gwefannau, ond sydd hefyd yn ymberyglu'r posibiliadau o wybodaeth a chelfyddyd yn cael eu rhannu rhwng pobl ledled y byd yn anfasnachol; a hefyd, wrth gwrs, yn rhoi esgus parod i lywodraethau geisio tawelu lleisiau sydd yn mynegi'n groes i'r status quo, a gwneud hynny dan fantell 'cyfraith a threfn'.

Ond mae'r gath wedi ei gadael o'r cwd bellach ac, fel efo PIPA a SOPA yn yr UDA (mesurau eraill a hyrwyddwyd fel modd i 'atal dwyn' ond a gynhwysodd lawer mwy), mwyaf y mae pobl yn darganfod yngylch ACTA, po fwyaf y mae'r gwrthwynebiad iddo yn tyfu. Eisoes, mae rhai o'r llywodraethau sydd wedi arwyddo ACTA yn barod wedi gorfod camu'n l oherwydd gwrthwynebiad gan eu hetholwyr; ac er bod y Gymuned Ewropaidd fel corff wedi cytuno i weithredu ACTA (a dim syndod, gan fod y GE yr un mor amlwg yn y trafodaethau arno 'r Americanwyr), fydd yn rhaid i'r penderfyniad terfynol fynd gerbron y Senedd Ewropaidd ym Mis Mehefin. Os bydd y Senedd yn ei wrthod, gallai hynny fod yn ben arno, er gwaetha'r ffaith fod y llywodraeth Americanaidd yn barod i ddial ar unrhyw wlad na fydd yn fodlon ildio i'r cytundeb (fydd dim cyfle i'r Gyngres drafod ACTA, gyda llaw, gan fod Obama a'i griw wedi datgan mai 'cytundeb masnach' ydy o).

Felly, mae 'na amser o hyd. Ond, mae'n bwysig i chi gysylltu 'ch Aelod Seneddol Ewropaidd ar fyrder a cheisio dwyn pwysau arnyn nhw i wrthod ACTA. Gwnech hi rŵan, wrth ddefnyddio'r gwybodaeth yma.

A gallwch chi lawrlwytho ffleiar sy'n datgan y peth yn glir ac yn gryno yma (ffeil .pdf).

**********

Act Against ACTA!

What's ACTA, then?

Well, basically, ACTA ("Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement") is an international treaty which - according to its proponents - concerns how to deal legislatively with fake products.

What's wrong with that, then? After all, no-one wants to be ripped off by buying something which isn't what it purports to be, do they?

If the Agreement had been restricted to that, well yes. But that's not all it contains. Because ACTA gives to governments and corporations the power to force your Internet Service Provider effectively to spy on what you do on-line, including handing over your personal details to those corporations so that they can use them against you.

More than that, the powers in ACTA permit 'rights-holders' (that is, entertainment corporations and so forth) to avoid the need to bring definite evidence against you before a court of law; if you have a website, for example, a corporation could bring legal pressure to bear on your webhosts to bring your entire site down without your having the opportunity (or the means) to defend yourself.

Further still; although this is supposed to be a 'trade agreement', it contains criminal sanctions, and the definitions of the 'offences' described in it are so broad, so woolly and so open-ended that anyone could be caught by them, and without much power to resist.

On top of all this again, ACTA is clearly intended to enable companies and governments to tighten their grip on the internet for their advantage; the corporations to turn the net into little more than a channel for selling you things, and the politicians to try to stifle one of the few effective ways we have of calling them to account.

That was almost certainly the main reason why ACTA has been put together in secret; by the rulers of the richest countries and the corporations who so strongly influence them to begin with, then using the power of that wealth and influence to 'persuade' other countries into agreeing to carry the process forward.

At the end of this whole secretive process, we see a measure which is dangerous not just to individuals and websites, but which also imperils the possibility of information and art being shared between people all over the world on a non-commercial basis; and, of course, which will give a ready excuse for any government to try to silence voices contrary to the status quo, and to do so under the cover of 'law and order'.

But the cat has been let our of the bag now, and as with SOPA and PIPA in the USA (more measures which were promoted as means of 'stopping theft', but which contained far more), the more people discover about ACTA, the more the opposition to it grows. Already, some of the governments which have signed up to ACTA have had to backtrack in the face of opposition from their electorates, and although the European Union as a body has agreed to enact ACTA (scarcely surprising, given that it took as prominent a position in the discussions upon it as the Americans), the matter will have to go before the European Parliament in June. If the Parliament rejects it, then that could be the end of it, despite the fact that the American government is ready to retaliate against any country which refuses to yield to the treaty (Congress, by the way, will not have the opportunity to debate ACTA, because the Obama administration insists that it's a 'trade agreement').

So there's still time. But it's important that you contact your Euro MPs soon and try to bring pressure to bear on them to reject ACTA. Do it now, using the resources here.

You can also download a flyer which states the issues clearly and concisely here (.pdf file).