Vive Le Canada

Complete ACTA text finally leaked
Date: Wednesday, March 24 2010

Last April, the US Trade Representative explained to us that the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement had to stay secret in order to provide room for negotiating. In fact, ACTA was so inchoate that "a comprehensive set of proposals for the text of the agreement does not yet exist." In other words: there's nothing to release.

That was true in early 2009, but by 2010, there was such a comprehensive set of proposals—and still we got nothing from the ACTA negotiating nations, except a long series of piecemeal leaks that appear to have emanated from Europe. This week, those leaks became a flood as French digital rights group La Quadrature du Netreleased a complete copy of ACTA's consolidated text, filled with various textual proposals from the different negotiating countries.

Much of ACTA isn't particularly controversial, and much of the rhetoric around it has been overblown. Back in 2008, we noted that hysterical talk of "iPod-scanning border guards" was unhelpful, drawing attention away from the true area of concern: the worldwide imposition of the American Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Stung by those headlines, however, the negotiating governments went out of their way to deny that border guards were going to rifle through luggage looking for illicit music, and indeed the consolidated text shows that there are no less than four explicit proposals to exempt personal, noncommercial luggage from ACTA's proposals.

But the DMCA bits of the treaty are also in evidence, demanding widespread adherence to a "no circumvention of DRM" rule. Countries like New Zealand and Japan are fighting this, along with the insistence that ISPs have some sort of "plan" to curtail repeat infringement by subscribers, but the US is pushing hard (and drafted the relevant sections).


This article comes from Vive Le Canada

The URL for this story is: