More ACTA Leaks; Reveal Different Positions Taken By Different Countries

from the it's-all-coming-out-in-the-sunlight dept

Despite the best efforts by certain participants in ACTA negotiations to keep everything a secret, that’s not really working. We’ve already seen leaks of the documents in progress, but now comes a leak of a document highlighting the actual wordsmithing of some sections, including the specific positions taken by different countries. You can download the pdf directly or see the embedded version here (most of the document should be read in landscape mode, and I don’t see any easy way to make that possible in Scribd, so downloading may be preferred):


A lot of what is happening in the document is inside baseball negotiations, but it does highlight which countries are questioning which elements of ACTA. It’s interesting (and a bit troubling) that some countries (including the US) seem to want to make sure that certain parts of ACTA don’t just cover copyright/trademark but all “intellectual property” (meaning patents as well — something that had been rumored, but not confirmed). Not surprisingly, the US is using ACTA not as just a counterfeiting enforcement tool, but to wedge in a variety of intellectual property issues into other countries. As you dig into the document, though, you see how much little changes to the wording can impact huge differences. For example, in discussing damages, the US keeps wanting to insert the word “shall” while the EU, Canada and New Zealand want “may” with regards to whether or not there should be statutory damages on infringement, or if it can be limited to actual damages. Basically, it looks like the US is looking to force other countries to set up an equivalent of (much higher than actual) statutory damages, rather than having courts ask rights holders to show actual damages.

Michael Geist has a list of some other interesting tidbits, and Jamie Love has worries about how the damages section 2.2 is much stricter than existing laws, and seems to conflict with existing US laws (but ACTA can’t change US law, right? Right?). Love also notes the oddity of the EU crossing out language (inserted by the US, mind you) that would protect “fair use, fair, dealing, or their equivalents.”

All in all, documents like these show why these discussions need to be public. Very very minor word choices can have a major impact. And hiding all of that behind closed doors is a huge problem.

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Comments on “More ACTA Leaks; Reveal Different Positions Taken By Different Countries”

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18 Comments
Danny (profile) says:

ACTA remains underreported

I got pinged last December to suggest “the top underreported stories of 2009” to Bill Snyder at InfoWorld.

I contributed “secrecy of the ACTA process” as my main entry to his list. Alas, it didn’t make his InforWorld Top Ten story: http://www.infoworld.com/t/tech-industry-analysis/top-underreported-tech-stories-2009-455

ACTA secrecy remains underreported.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: ACTA remains underreported

Well, what did you expect from the guy who wrote this?

http://www.infoworld.com/t/tech-industry-analysis/top-underreported-tech-stories-2009-455?page=0,9

“Maybe you’ll never file a patent yourself, but patents equal innovation. An industry that can’t protect its intellectual property by patenting it is less innovative, less dynamic, and less able to create capital and jobs.”

NAMELESS.ONE says:

Another ACTA leak

they do and as this document is ONLY classified as restricted it means that either some one boo booed OR a lot of people would have had access

knowing classifications having had a confidential access myself i know that regular soldiers even have restricted access clearance

getting into an office is confidential immediately ( that being military and while i can not say that govt is less classified i doubt it would be )

NAMELESS.ONE says:

ALSO

the USA is doing it as an executive order which means that it doesnt have to have congress ratify it.
NOW YOU KNOW WHY biden is vice pres
“ya ya obama ya ya do it”

canada however has ot have parliament do any changes
and if we never see the doc they could hide bits and pieces into other legislations like this current govt has done so many times

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Way cool

I do have to say this is over the top and will be ignored by most people. It will lead to criminal charges being filed and no real reduction in infringement. If you look ar Korea after the IP changes there you see an increase in infringement even with the increase in criminal cases. The same thing happened in Sweden after IPRED>/a>.

I really dont see much hope for ACTA as a tool to combat infringement. I actually see it as a bigger game of whack-a-mole. Where encryption will become standard and only the stupid will get caught …. JMHO

… history …. doomed … repeat … nuff said

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: Way cool

Damn submitted it with out this quote ….

“In this cat and mouse game, the cats have to spend millions of dollars and years of effort to achieve their aims of getting new legislation to protect their interests. However, in a crushing response, the mice spend just a few minutes in thought deciding how to spend a few dollars in order to instantly neutralize the threat.”

Laurel L. Russwurm (profile) says:

the point

ACTA seeks to enroll the entire world in the 20th century.

As NAMELESS.ONE says, the US is pushing ACTA under an executive order, and so doesn’t require congressional ratification. Most Americans have no idea this is happening. And the ones that do, think that congress will be able to stop it if it really is so terrible.

So tell people. Sure, it doesn’t have to be ratified by congress. But if there is enough of a noise about it it could still be stopped. With American citizens just getting their first idea of life in a world with DMCA takedowns the copyright issues are bound to start getting more traction.

If the entire world climbs aboard 1984 will be reality.

Tell people.

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