ACTA goes public

Michael Geist sez,
The New Zealand round of ACTA [ed: the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, a secret copyright treaty being negotiated outside of the United Nations] negotiations concluded earlier today with participants promising to release the draft text next week. This obviously represents a major new development that reflects the mounting global pressure for greater transparency that built in the weeks leading up to the negotiations.

Since the text has already been leaked, the importance of the official release arises less from revealing what is in ACTA and more from showing how much progress has been made (the joint statement indicates "good progress"). Moreover, the released text (coming April 21st) will not attribute positions to specific countries, something that is available in the leaked text. With the official draft text released, government officials will now be able to answer specific questions about the text. Many previously declined to do so on the grounds that they would not address questions arising from unofficial or leaked documents.

ACTA Participants Agree To Release Draft Text Next Week


  1. Anyone have a link or site that explains in clear layman’s speech what ACTA and the Digital Economy Bill mean for Joe Public? I’m trying to educate some of my friends but I’m having some difficulty converting all the legalese into something a little more quick and easy to understand.

  2. Three strikes and you’re out, of the Interwebz, that is.

    The Tally-ban control of the modern media landscape.

  3. @Anon 1 – One of the most concerning aspects of the ACTA is an increase in secondary liability for online service providers. This means ISPs, web hosts, web sites, etc. can be held criminally liable for the actions of their users. There also may be a provision for preemptive injunctions against hosts/sites/users -> taking people offline *BEFORE* they have infringed upon someone else’s copyright.

    It amounts to wholesale censorship of protected speech, by private parties. Absolutely fucking insane.

    Leaked text of the ACTA:

  4. “Countries will be allowed to force ISPs to “terminate or prevent an infringement” and they can pass laws “governing the removal or disabling of access to information. So, basically, Internet disconnection and website blocking.”

    Does preventing infringement mean blocking net access proactively? What I’ve read doesn’t really say.

    The industry is practically doing everything it can to drive consumers to piracy. Why don’t they just make the consumption of all art illegal and be done with it. That’s the only way they can make absolutely sure no infringing is taking place.

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