Why Is ACTA Being Negotiated In Secret?

from the and-why-isn't-the-press-asking-about-it? dept

We've already talked about the ACTA treaty, which is being used by the entertainment industry to basically do an endrun around the legislation process for intellectual property, and getting all its wishes encoded into an international treaty, so it can start running around claiming that every country absolutely needs to change its IP laws to "live up to" international treaties. William Patry has been asking why the mainstream press isn't covering this, and it's an excellent question.

His latest post on the topic covers the fact that the entire process is happening in secret behind closed doors and the folks negotiating the treaty seem to think this is fine:
"A spokesperson of the European Commission confirmed that consultation with different stakeholders had been on the agenda and would happen over the coming month at the domestic level. Draft text proposals still have not been published, the source said. Several parties contacted pointed to confidentiality agreed on by the negotiating partners."
Patry translates that paragraph accurately as really saying:
"Countries also discussed whether they should actually talk to those who would be affected by the agreement, and agreed that sometime they will, but everything we have done is super-secret because we agreed it would be super-secret."
So why aren't stakeholders invited into the process? Why is the whole thing being negotiated in secret, using notes in discussion with entertainment industry lobbyists but no consumer groups or other business groups who aren't necessarily supporters of more restrictive copyright regimes? And why isn't the press asking these questions?
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Filed Under: acta, copyright, secrecy, sunlight, trade agreements


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  1. icon
    Crosbie Fitch (profile), 10 Jun 2008 @ 6:38am

    The press?

    The press started the unnatural corruption of commercial privilege that is copyright in the first place.

    They're not exactly the first ones I'd to look to for unravelling the legal mess that's left behind when copyright starts creaking at the seams and the public sees that release from their rusted bonds into liberty is within reach.

    The public aren't 'stakeholders' - they're the ones that are bound to the stake that everyone else is holding.

    Sorry folk, but you're on your own.

    The press look out for themselves.
    The government look out for their corporate sponsors.
    The media corporations look out for control over communications channels, the raw material they pump along them, and the advertisers that harvest the crop from the opiated masses.

    Who else is there?

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