USTR Continues To Lie: Claims ACTA Release Proved Internet Rumors About ACTA Were False

from the lies,-damned-lies,-and-sticking-up-for-lobbyists dept

This is pretty funny. After working really hard to keep ACTA negotiations a secret (even ridiculously claiming it was a national security issue), the USTR finally was pressured into release the draft text which showed, in fact, that the online leaks were exactly correct. Yet, the USTR is sticking to its earlier talking point that all the concern about ACTA in the online community was due to “misrepresentation” and “misinformation.”

USTR boss Ron Kirk, at a World Intellectual Property Day event earlier this week, claimed that the official release of ACTA text had shown that there was “a lot of the misinformation about ACTA.” Except, no, that’s not true. While there had been some misinformation about it last summer (mainly due to Kirk’s own actions in keeping the document secret), the leaks that started coming out late last year appear to have been 100% accurate. In fact, the significant changes to the officially released copy appear to have been driven by concerns brought forth due to these leaks. He went on to say that it’s too early to “judge” things:

“We’re still in the middle of the process,” Kirk said, adding that “let’s not prejudge anything.” He also said his office has “gone to great lengths to hear” from all the stakeholders involved in the ACTA debate and will continue to do so.

But that’s wrong on a variety of fronts. While the USTR had shown some snippets of the documents, under NDA and only for very brief periods of time, to consumer advocacy groups, that was significantly less access than many industry lobbyists had to the document and the negotiations. As for “pre-judging” the document, the issue isn’t “pre-judging” the document, it’s about actually listening to the stakeholders. To date, Kirk and the USTR has shown no interest in doing so. That’s why they seem to only be publicizing letters from industry lobbyists who support ACTA, but not the concerns of pretty much everyone else about ACTA.

The issue isn’t “pre-judging,” it’s making sure that by the time anyone’s allowed to “judge” the document, it isn’t too late.

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Comments on “USTR Continues To Lie: Claims ACTA Release Proved Internet Rumors About ACTA Were False”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

IMHO, the problem is that they only consider industry lobbyists to be stakeholders. And I think it’s an honest mistake on their part… they don’t see how this may affect others. Or stated correctly, they see how this affects others (or else they would not have kept it secret), but they don’t think the opinion of others is important because it’s not their industry that’s “dying”.

Derek Kerton (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Yeah. We’re not pre-judging the final version…we’re post-judging the draft.

Verdict: A biased, over-reaching, one-sided debacle that will adversely affect citizens rights, right to free thought, and will unduly influence domestic laws in a number of countries without due legislative process.

Kirk’s logic could be applied to murderers: We shouldn’t throw them in jail, because that is pre-judging them on a “draft version” of their lives. We need to let them finish their lives unfettered, then judge them once final.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“before they manage to push it through like they did with the Digital Economy Act here in the UK.”

In the long run the digital economy bill will cause several things, more privacy due to encryption becoming SOP, secure anon software to replace torrents and P2P, the accelerated collapse of the media companies, the eventual reform of IP law to something more queen anne-ish and consumer friendly, a corporate backlash against the media distribution industry.

In the short run it will mean raids, imprisonment, fines, secondary liability, guilt by accusation.

Anonymous Coward says:

Why are you surprised? In the end, it stands to benefit the US Trial Lawyers association, which is a very active political influence in the previous election. The driving force behind it is the same as “too big to fail”, only it’s “too inept to woo the market”.

Even if the product is shit, the grandiose expectation to make mountains of money shouldn’t be be lowered, right?

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: keep doing what youre doing

That’s true, or at least it’s negotiated by people appointed by them. However, once someone is elected to office they are placed under huge pressure from various powerful lobbies. It takes a rare breed with steel spines to withstand that, and even if you do it becomes almost impossible for you to accomplish anything from your own agenda. You have to play the game or be irrelevant. Corruption is built into the system.

So, although voting is critically important, it alone is far from sufficient. We need to balance the powerful lobbies, and apply equally serious pressure in the direction we prefer.

People who are angry at their lack of representation in government are absolutely right in their anger. That anger is also part of how the system works, as it’s usually through anger that citizens unite enough to present a powerful counterpressure.

Complacency is the death of our form of government. It warms my heart to hear people realizing their powerlessness and in so doing, discover their power.

Executive Presidential orders ARE NOT democratic says:


elected ?
you want to show me a list of the mpaa , riaa, bsa and people that GAVE me the right o vote on such legislation and ill SHOW you how hes bypassing congress with it being an executive order cause OBAMA is to fraidy cat to have the PEOPLE have a say , even there so called elected officials WHOM would be horrified to have to vote for this piece a garbage legislation.

FACT is go look what happened in Canada when they tried BILL-C61 which seems to be an awful lot like ACTA
IT FAILED and now because fo that 67% want lower term rates
and over 80% want protection for non commercial copying.

AND to boot that canuck gov’t with its corruption scandalous and abuse and torture in Afghanistan is now dropping in polls worse then a lead rock. THe gainer , the ndp party
YEA in another month at this rate your going to see them pass the liberals aka fibrals and the CONserveratives.

they are gonna try and get something rammed at us and the next govt will repeal and destroy it



they said ACTA would be done by June of this year
IF htis is half way then your saying 2012?
GOOD election time in USA and by then we’ll also have a new govt in Canada and one that won’t be conservative.

SLOWLY but surely were going to eradicate NON democratic govts around the world and YOU OBAMA are becoming ground zero
with your mpaa, riaa , bsa buddies

Anonymous Coward says:

At the very least the release of ACTA has negated the once famous ‘national security’ argument always made by officials that wanted to keep it a secret. So either these people are compromising the security of this nation by releasing this document or the national security argument was a lie. and if they lied about that, why should I trust them from this point on?

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