ACTA Protest Photos From Continuing Unrest across Europe [SLIDESHOW]

  • Hindered speech
    Protesters wearing masks attend a demonstration against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in Prague February 2, 2012. Reuters
  • Cool Guy
    A protester wearing a Guy Fawkes mask attends a demonstration against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in Prague February 2, 2012. Reuters
  • Dogged out
    A dog wearing a Guy Fawkes mask rests during a demonstration against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in Prague February 2, 2012. Reuters
  • Poland continues its fight
    A protester wearing a Guy Fawkes mask demonstrates against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), outside the National Stadium in Warsaw January 29, 2012. Reuters
  • Sharing is not stealing
    A protester wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, symbolic of the hacktivist group "Anonymous", takes part in a protest in central Brussels January 28, 2012. Online activist group Anonymous protested against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which they said would curtail freedom of expression and encourage surveillance by internet service providers. Reuters
  • Pointing out injustice
    A protester wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, symbolic of the hacktivist group "Anonymous", takes part in a protest in central Brussels January 28, 2012. Online activist group Anonymous protested against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which they said would curtail freedom of expression and encourage surveillance by internet service providers. Reuters
  • Stop ACTA
    A demonstrator protests against Poland's government signing an international copyright agreement ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) which faces strong opposition from Internet activists in Poznan January 26, 2012. Reuters
  • Facing resistance
    Police officers stand in front of demonstrators protesting against plans by the Polish government to sign an international copyright agreement called ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement), which faces strong opposition from local Internet activists, in Sopot January 25, 2012. Reuters
  • Calling on our leaders
    A demonstrator protests against Poland's government plans to sign international copyright agreement ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) which faces strong opposition from Internet activists in front of the European Union office in Warsaw January 24, 2012. The government websites have been attacked on Sunday and are still paralyzed. Internet activists say the agreement will limit freedom of expression and can lead to censorship. Reuters
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ACTA protests are continuing to spark unrest across Europe. On Thursday, hundreds of people took to the streets of Prague in one of the latest of many such protest events that have swept the E.U. as anger about the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement has spread and gained force.

Last week 22 of the E.U.'s member states signed the treaty in the face of massive protests in Poland and other countries, and the people of Europe continue to voice their opposition to ACTA, which they say would limit Internet freedom, censor Internet use, and quash innovation worldwide.

Described by some observers as SOPA's big brother (in a reference to the Stop Online Piracy Act shelved last month by the United States Congress in the face of crushing online opposition), ACTA is the latest anti-counterfeiting scheme to gain the attention of Internet freedom fighters from the Free Software Foundation to the Anonymous hacktivist collective.

proposed agreement that would create an international framework and set of standards for enforcing intellectual property rights, ACTA creates a voluntary legal regime that countries may choose to join. It creates a governing body outside of the United Nations and other international institutions, allowing for copyright and intellectual property cases to be adjudicated across national lines without having to contend with conflicting national laws and legal schemes.

The ACTA protests look poised to continue for months, as the treaty is not slated to go into effect until at least June.

Here's a slideshow of some of the best photos from the world's ACTA protests:

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