US Basically Says It'll Ignore Anything In ACTA That It Doesn't Like… So How About Everyone Else?
from the ignore-away dept
It’s been amusing to watch supporters of ACTA who repeatedly claim that it’s not going to matter if ACTA actually disagrees with US law, because, as an executive agreement (rather than a treaty) it “can’t” change US law. Of course, they ignore the history of such things, where suddenly lobbyists start talking up our “international obligations.” But, it appears some in the US are now claiming that Article 1.2 provides something of a giant loophole, where it states:
“Each Party shall be free to determine the appropriate method of implementing the provisions of this Agreement within its own legal system and practice.”
We’ve even had people in our comments highlight that section, as a clear indication that each country need not change its laws. And some of the US negotiators are specifically using that clause to say that it can sign the current agreement and then point to that clause to ignore whatever they don’t like in ACTA. Of course, this response has some scratching their heads. If the US can point to that clause an opt out of any clause that they don’t like why can’t other countries do the same? And, if it’s true that any country can use that clause to effectively opt-out of anything they don’t like in ACTA, what’s the point of ACTA in the first place?
Of course, the reality, again, is that it’s because down the road, when everyone’s forgotten the promises that ACTA won’t change anyone’s laws, the lobbyists will step in and do the whole “international obligations” bit. What’s amusing to me is that the very same commenters on our site who insist that ACTA cannot change US law, and who have pointed to Article 1.2 as proof, were also the very same folks in our comments a few months ago pointing to the demands that Canada change its copyright laws by claiming “international obligations” concerning WIPO/TRIPS — even though WIPO/TRIPS, similarly, is supposed to let each country set up its laws “within its own legal system and practice.”
It’s basically all a shell game: say whatever you can to get the damned thing signed, knowing that after it’s signed, it’ll be much easier to apply lobbying pressure down the road.