EU Legal Review Agrees With US: ACTA Dreadfully Written; Wide Open To Interpretation
from the this-is-not-a-good-thing dept
Earlier this year, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) did a legal review of ACTA to see if it conformed with existing US law. While the USTR tried to keep the report buried, it eventually came out — and basically said that ACTA was drafted in a dreadfully confusing and opaque way. The issue? It’s not even clear if US law conforms to ACTA, because ACTA can be interpreted in many different ways — some of which suggest the US is in compliance, and some of which say we’re not.
The EU Parliament’s legal service recently conducted a similar review and came to an identical conclusion: ACTA may or may not be legal… depending on how you interpret it.
This should be seen as a massive problem. When you’re crafting a giant international agreement that is binding on various countries (and, yes, the US pretends it’s not binding, but the other signers insist it is binding, meaning under international law, they likely can hold the US to a claim that it’s binding), the fact that it’s so vague that what is and what is not legal under it is totally wide open to interpretation means you’ve drafted a really bad agreement that shouldn’t be approved. In the meantime, any country signing such a document should be ashamed of itself, because it doesn’t even know what it’s bound itself to.