Report From The Field: ACTA Negotiations Not Going Well
from the about-time dept
Well, there’s a bit of good news coming out concerning ACTA negotiations: apparently, all this public scrutiny is causing some problems for the negotiators. Jamie Love points us to an analysis by David Hammerstein, based on talking to a number of people involved in or close to the negotiations, and came up with some key points, including that “the negotiations are not going that well and many issues are still wide open. It is doubtful they could wrap up soon” and that “there is a significant problem in making US and EU legislation compatible on a number of issues.” Apparently, because of the way the US defines fair use and “commercial scale,” the EU negotiators are trying to leave in vague language that doesn’t sit well with others. He also notes that there’s some confusion about what the EU Parliament’s recent vote against ACTA means for the negotiation.
Then there are three key points at the end:
They get very uncomfortable when asked about the possible use of the legitimacy of Acta in authoritarian countries.
As well they should. This is a point that we’ve raised repeatedly, noting not just the similarities between the methods used for censorship in authoritarian countries and ACTA, but also in the way that those countries will almost certainly use ACTA to justify their own censorship.
They have no answer to concrete questions on the “innovation chill” that could be caused in many businesses by introducing criminal sanctions and other enforcement measures.
This is what happens when you craft rules designed to benefit legacy companies within an industry, without understanding the broader impact on the market. That the negotiators “have no answer” to this question only confirms that these rules were not created with the goal of improving the overall welfare of citizens, but to protect certain companies. And that point is only highlighted even more by the final point:
No social or economic impact studies seem to be undertaken in the EU on Acta.
Of course not. That’s because, as per usual with intellectual property rules, these ideas are faith-based, rather than evidence based.