Why is the secret copyright treaty a secret?

Michael Geist sez, "Part Three of my ACTA Guide [ed: ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, a brutal secret copyright treaty presently under negotiation in Guadalajara] focuses on the issue that has dogged the proposed agreement since it was first announced - the lack of transparency associated with the text and the talks. As yesterday's public letter from Canadian NDP MP Charlie Angus and the UK cross-party motion highlight, elected officials around the world have latched onto the transparency issue and demanded that their governments open ACTA to public scrutiny. Reviewing the ACTA transparency issue involves several elements: the public concern with ACTA secrecy, the source of the secrecy, and the analysis of whether ACTA secrecy is common when compared to other intellectual property agreements.

Identifying the sources of ACTA secrecy are alternately easy and difficult. The confidentiality statement that forms the basis of ACTA confidentiality has been leaked and makes it clear that the U.S. set the initial terms of secrecy. A more detailed discussion can be found in several documents responding to access to information/freedom of information requests. For example, the Declaration of Stanford McCoy of the USTR on ACTA disclosure of documents provides the U.S. perspective, while European Council response on ACTA transparency and disclosure of documents provides the EU view (second EU document here).

ACTA Guide, Part Three: Transparency and ACTA Secrecy

(Thanks, Michael!)

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