Earlier today, the text of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was released. You can read it here.
The following statement is attributed to Gigi B. Sohn, president and co-founder of Public Knowledge:
“The final text of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) should be seen as a qualified victory for those who want to protect the digital rights of consumers around the world. Some of the most egregious provisions from earlier drafts have been removed on topics ranging from digital protection measures to the liability of intermediaries like Internet Service Providers and search engines. The agreement would give more flexibility to the signatories than did previous versions.
“We can attribute these changes in part to the willingness of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to open the ACTA discussions to public-interest groups in a way that had not been done before. We appreciate the inclusiveness USTR has shown in the negotiations.
“However, the way this agreement was produced is still deeply flawed. The inclusiveness was not arrived at easily, nor was it ever complete. USTR had to be taken to court and taken to task in the court of public opinion for months before agreeing to allow other than the privileged industry representatives to be part of the agreement’s development. The fact that several national legislatures around the world rejected both the process and the substance of the agreement is an indication of the dissatisfaction not only here in the U.S. but in many other nations.
“As we have said before, this is not a trade agreement in the traditional sense of past trade agreements. In all but name, it is a treaty to govern the treatment of intellectual property. As such, it should have been negotiated in the open at a forum such as the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), subject to a full Congressional debate and Senate ratification.”
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