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Would US Officials Really Decide Not To Sign ACTA?

from the or-is-that-for-show? dept

Well, here’s a bit of a surprise. We had just been saying that of course the US would sign onto ACTA, but apparently it’s no sure thing. Jamie Love, who is pretty well connected with what’s going on with ACTA, mentioned on Twitter that US officials are seriously considering dropping ACTA, after “losing” to the EU on the question of whether or not patents would be included. The US did not want patents in ACTA, while Europe did and Europe has likely won that battle. While the US is still pushing for them to be taken out, it seems unlikely at this point. Because of that, US officials are apparently honestly thinking about not signing. Love does note that Stan McCoy, who led the negotiations, isn’t too worried about the patent issue, but others in the administration believe it’s a big deal.

This is definitely news — though, in the end I still can’t see the US bailing on ACTA. The USTR has been so involved in the process, and has been so self-congratulatory all along with this latest draft, that it would be a huge political letdown not to sign the document. My guess is that it will get signed (and the US will be among the first to sign it), with those involved suggesting that we’ll just ignore anything we don’t like (as we’ve done in the past on other international agreements). Still, wouldn’t it be something if the US actually bailed out on ACTA?

Meanwhile, apparently in an effort to highlight just how screwed up the whole ACTA process is, the US Patent and Trademark Office, which has been heavily involved in the ACTA negotiations with the USTR as well, has apparently refused to meet with concerned individuals about ACTA until after it’s signed. This is how the US government listens to stakeholers? “We’ll only talk to you after it’s too late to fix?” Comforting.

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Comments on “Would US Officials Really Decide Not To Sign ACTA?”

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Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: c'mon techdirt

The total references on this post consists of a self-link and links to four tweets. I feel stupider for having read it. Are there no better resources on the whole Internet to provide further reading on this topic? I like TechDirt but the content-to-speculation ratio of this post is terrible…

As opposed to a traditional news article that links to absolutely nothing and is pure speculation? Jamie is very, very involved and in touch with those involved in the negotiations, and the tweets highlight what he’s learned. No one else has covered what he’s learned, so I wrote the article. Is it somehow less newsworthy because it’s in a tweet, rather than having me call him up and not tell you my sources?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: c'mon techdirt

A tweet is interesting much like a text message. A few words, but no substance.

Yes, I can understand some in the US having concerns about the inclusion of patents, but based upon my having followed the trials and tribulations of these negotiations the concerns are likely associated for the most part with pharma issues concerning generics, “in-transit”, etc.

Peter Amstutz (profile) says:

Re: Re: c'mon techdirt

I apologize for being a jerk in my original comment.

Actually, my issue is that Twitter is exceptionally bad at providing context; with the average blog it is usually reasonable to go back and read old posts, with Twitter you just have a jumble of unconnected sentence fragments.

Thus, ideally the journalistic “value add” of TechDirt would be to provide some context, such as who Jamie Love is and what the argument about patents in ACTA involves, for those of us who have not been following the issue obsessively. Two more links to background information embedded in the story is all it would take.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: c'mon techdirt

I’m in favor of context too, but I don’t know… if you care who Jamie Love is, google it. Not much harder than following a link. And if you want to know what TechDirt has written about ACTA, just enter that in the TD search box. I would rather people coming in in the middle have to do a little legwork to catch up, rather than recapping everything every time.

Chris W says:

I think there are reasons

Take this for example:


Now add that to an international level of play and you will reduce most companies to their legal departments.

I can’t say that there doesn’t need to be protection but I do think that what intellectual rights are being argued and what is currently already killing quite a lot of innovation needs to be addressed before the idea that global agreements are somehow going to make things better.

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