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. identicon
    Ferd, 10 Jun 2008 @ 8:16am

    The Press

    The real answer to the question is this:

    Think about the people who read the press for their primary window to the world... people who like their "information" processed, sanitized, editorialized, and served up to them without any active mental or physical process being taken on their own behalf.

    The press probably (and rightly?) feel that the reading masses have been sufficiently lobotomized by now to not wish to be upset by controversial issues and stories with words longer than five letters.

    Thank goodness for well informed and conscientious public servants looking after our best interests.... ummm, no? well thank goodness at least for excellent government run school systems that teach critical thinking in our youth... ok, uhhh, scratch that? darn it, help me out here... ok, the world is going to Hades in a hand basket but at least it will be college football season, soon! All hope is not lost.

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