Anti-counterfeiting treaty turns into maximum copyright free-for-all

Copyfightin' law prof Michael Geist tackles the Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), a new global treaty proposal that has expanded to cover all the bad stuff that we're more used to seeing from the World Intellectual Property Organization (which bears the same relationship to bad copyright law that Mordor has to evil in Middle Earth), like prohibitions of breaking DRM and the use of public money spent to police the private interests of a few giant corporations.

Unlike WIPO, ACTA is undertaken without input from those pesky consumer rights groups and developing nations, and without the need to come to consensus.

Despite the absence of any independent data (indeed, there is evidence that some numbers have been fabricated), politicians are easily convinced that action is needed since the lobbyists often come armed with compelling props (exploded batteries, unsafe toys) and no one actually supports counterfeiting. Of course, the issue is not whether you are for or against counterfeiting, but rather whether the proposed reforms have anything to do with health and safety or significant economic concerns.