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
    Darryl Epps, 15 Mar 2009 @ 4:13am

    IP Treaty and corporate control

    Wow, why are we surprised by this? It's the same story, same tune. The thing that worries me is that some corporate jock will discover a way to claim ownership of the air we breathe, have it legislated and we'll find we owe them our very lives. And when it happens we'll be the last ones to find out about it.

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