Obama: We Must Move Forward On ACTA
from the missing-the-point dept
With the EU Parliament soundly voting against ACTA secrecy and current proposals, lots of folks have been wondering how the US was going to respond. So far, it’s not looking good. The USTR gave a giant no comment, and President Obama (who had been pretty quiet on ACTA himself) addressed ACTA in a speech, where he expressed strong support for continuing to move forward with ACTA.
What was telling, however, was how he described ACTA — which is that he used the bogus arguments for what people think ACTA is about, rather than what’s actually in the agreement. It’s a political trick:
“There’s nothing wrong with other people using our technologies, we welcome it — we just want to make sure that it’s licensed, and that American businesses are getting paid appropriately,” Obama said. “That’s why [the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative] is using the full arsenal of tools available to crack down on practices that blatantly harm our businesses, and that includes negotiating proper protections and enforcing our existing agreements, and moving forward on new agreements, including the proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.”
Except, of course, ACTA goes way, way, way beyond that. It’s disappointing that Obama, who keeps insisting he’s in favor of greater transparency in government seems to be ignoring the fact that the USTR has been anything but transparent on ACTA, and that the whole effort has really been a blatant push by the entertainment industry and pharma to engage in legislative laundering to push through all sorts of restrictive rules that have nothing, whatsoever, to do with protecting against counterfeiting.