Groups Demanding That ACTA Negotiations Be Made Public

from the it's-about-time dept

We've been asking for months why the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) treaty is being negotiated in near total secrecy, allowing the entertainment industry to effectively rewrite international copyright law in substantial ways with almost no legislative review. Basically, various trade representatives, together with industry insiders, have been crafting ACTA to their own liking, with a plan to push it through for approval, claiming it's a trade agreement that shouldn't involve any legislative overview. It's an incredibly one-sided affair, from what's been leaked so far, and would substantially change copyright law around the globe in favor of protecting the entertainment industry's business model.

The entertainment industry had hoped to keep the whole process secret, and trade representatives have basically ignored all calls to open up the process, claiming that such trade agreements are always negotiated in secret. Of course, that doesn't make it right -- especially when this trade agreement isn't so much a trade agreement as it is a chance to sneak through legislation around the globe that is designed solely to protect a particular business model -- without any input from those who recognize that legislating business models harms both the competition and consumers. Now, over 100 public interest groups have teamed up to demand that the process be opened and that questions get answered about ACTA

While those involved in negotiating the document will continue to do what they've done all along (i.e., ignore the requests), hopefully some politicians will start to notice the complaints and begin asking questions. It's one thing for the entertainment industry to lobby politicians directly or pre-write their laws for them, but it's another to sneak widespread, sweeping -- and totally unnecessary -- changes to copyright law through without significant legislative review.

Filed Under: acta, copyright, secrecy, sunlight, trade agreements

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  1. identicon
    Chronno S. Trigger, 17 Sep 2008 @ 9:11am


    I learned a new word today: Luddite. Oddly enough it seems to fit into conversations about the RIAA/MPAA and the like.

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