EU Continues To Give Bogus Reasons For Keeping ACTA Secret

from the transparency-please dept

One of the most disgusting displays of an industry crafting laws to benefit their industry in backrooms is the secret negotiations over the ACTA treaty. This is the international agreement on copyright that’s basically been written by entertainment industry insiders, and will effectively force governments around the world to change copyright laws in favor of the entertainment industry. Yet, the actual negotiations are being held in secret. When confronted about it, various government negotiators have basically said it has to be secret because that’s the way things are done. A few months ago, in defending the secrecy, one of the negotiators noted that it was being kept secret because negotiators had agreed to keep it secret. That’s not a defense; that’s a cop out.

Plenty of organizations around the world are pushing for more transparency and (gasp!) the actual inclusion of others who would be impacted by ACTA, but they’re not finding it easy. Slashdot points us a press release from The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure. FFII had filed a request to the EU Council to release some of the secret documents related to the ACTA negotiation, and the EU Council flat-out refused to do so. It would appear that when the government seeks to put in place an industry’s preferred legislation, it doesn’t like being called out on it.

However, the more that individuals and organizations around the world speak up and demand that the details behind ACTA be made public, hopefully the more politicians will realize that they can’t sell out society’s overall best interest in favor of a few industries who are abusing the treaty process for their own interests.

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Comments on “EU Continues To Give Bogus Reasons For Keeping ACTA Secret”

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bikey (profile) says:

ACTA is so much more

ACTA is much more than ‘changing national copyright laws’. TRIPS did that in 1995. It applies to all forms of IP and from what one can glean, would require customs officials in all ‘signatory’ (i.e. those forced to sign after the formerly developed countries have it securely in place) to enforce IP laws at the borders at the expense of all other interests. So much feeds into this. Would, for example, US law permitting confiscation and copying of hard disks at borders in order to ‘detect’ and ‘prevent’ illegal import and export of IP be globalized? It’s fairly clear that it would. It is not for nothing that this is being negotiated through the formerly low-key International Customs Organization. It is being kept secret because this makes the World Trade Agreement of 1995 look like child’s play. IP is the last hold the US and the EU have on the world economy. They are not going to let it go down the drain because of the fundamental rights this ACTA will violate, namely but not exclusively privacy and the right to protect personal data.

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