Monday, March 08, 2010

ACTA: end the secrecy. Democracy now!

Update March 28: Major library associations are calling for transparency in ACTA, including the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA), and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), the Association of College and Research Librarians (ACRL) and the American Library Association (ALA)

Update March 11: as reported by Michael Geist, the European Parliament has "today overwhelming approved a resolution on ACTA calling for transparency and raising concerns about substantive elements in the treaty such as the prospect of three strikes and personal border searches".

Further issues raised in the final text:

* the European Parliament "deplores the calculated choice of the parties not to negotiate through well-established international bodies, such as WIPO and WTO, which have established frameworks for public information and consultation"
* It says "further ACTA negotiations should include a larger number of developing and emerging countries, with a view to reaching a possible multilateral level of negotiation"
* provides that "any agreement must include the stipulation that the closing-off of an individual’s Internet access shall be subject to prior examination by a court"
* warns that "ACTA provisions, notably measures aimed at strengthening powers for cross-border inspection and seizure of goods, should not affect global access to legitimate, affordable and safe medicinal products – including innovative and generic products – on the pretext of combating counterfeiting"

Hear, hear!

thanks, European Parliament!!

Thanks to Michael Geist for keeping us posted on leaks from the secretive Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

Under discussion: international intellectual property laws, such as anti-circumvention measures, notice and notice versus notice and takedown - see Geist for as much as we've been able to figure out so far. Until recently, these kinds of discussion were a matter of national law-making, for most of us under democratic principles.

Today, these discussions are held in secret, with no opportunity for democratic participation.

Have we - all of us in the so-called free world, that is - lost the franchise?

ACTA - and all of the countries involved in these discussions: END THE SECRECY! Let's have DEMOCRACY - NOW!!

A huge thanks to whoever is responsible for the leaks.