One of the biggest issues in discussing ACTA is the rampant secrecy behind the negotiations. We've heard calls
from many different politicians to get rid of the secrecy and be more transparent, but we hadn't heard who was against the transparency (other than some industry lobbyists
who, in theory, shouldn't have much say in this). The only statement came from the USTR, who claimed that countries would leave the negotiating table
if the text were made public -- but wouldn't say who or why.
Well, now we know who. A leaked document highlights which countries are against transparency
and the list includes Belgium, Portugal, Germany, Denmark, South Korea and Singapore. Many other countries -- headed by the UK -- have been in support of opening up the process and being more transarent. Among those in favor of transparency are the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Ireland, Hungary, Poland, Estonia, Austria, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. And then there's the US, who simply claims
it's being transparent, but apparently refuses to take a stand on transparency in the negotiations (why should it -- when those negotiations themselves are secret). Apparently the real stickler for secrecy is Denmark, which perhaps isn't that surprising. While there are many Danish people who are fighting the copyfight, Denmark's "anti-piracy" organization has been among the most aggressive in suing pretty much anyone, and demanding all sorts of sites be shut down or blocked. Unfortunately, it sounds like they're now the main blockers in keeping the ACTA process secret.
But, of course, for all that attempted secrecy, the documents keep leaking
, and they're definitely problematic
. It seems like it's time for the supporters of transparency to stand up to Denmark and the others and tell them that if they don't want the process to be transparent, then they should walk away from the agreement. And, in the meantime, it's time for the USTR to stop pretending it's being transparent and to actually support real transparency in these negotiations.
: And another report points out that "Italy and France fear retaliation"
from the US if they vote for transparency...