USTR: A Lot Of Misperception Over ACTA, But We Won't Clear It Up Or Anything
from the um...-why-not? dept
Via Michael Geist, we’re pointed to a short interview with a representative from the US Trade Reps office, where the issue over ACTA concerns is raised, and the response is almost comically ridiculous. Stan McCoy, the assistant US Trade Representative for intellectual property and innovation, responds to complaints by saying that there has been a lot of misrepresentation about ACTA and that it really has a lot about counterfeiting and isn’t just about copyright. And….? Well, that’s it.
You see, this is the point where Stan McCoy or Ron Kirk or anyone in the USTR’s office should explain what those misperceptions are, by telling us what’s actually being negotiated. But, of course, they don’t. The USTR keeps insisting that it’s going to be more transparent, but hasn’t actually done anything. If anything, over the last couple months, the USTR has become even more secretive about ACTA. Saying that people aren’t accurately describing what’s in the document, and then not saying what’s actually in the document, doesn’t help matters. It just makes us wonder who the USTR is representing, because it certainly does not appear to be the American people.
Furthermore, McCoy is being willfully disingenuous, in saying that the “misperception” is that “this agreement will focus mostly or exclusively on copyright infringement in the digital environment.” No one has been suggesting that at all. Everyone knows that it covers real counterfeiting as well — but the part people are concerned about is the intellectual property part, because it’s being shoved into ACTA as if copyright infringement and counterfeiting are the same thing (or at least very similar) when they’re not. So his next statement is meaningless:
“The threat of physical goods bearing counterfeit trademarks is a real one and it is a priority for ACTA. Americans do not want to brush their teeth with counterfeit toothpaste or drive a car with knockoff brakes.”
That implies people are arguing otherwise, but no one is. Of course, we don’t want dangerous counterfeits, but that’s not the issue. The issue is using ACTA as a back door to changing IP laws in a way that does not reflect what’s best for the country.