Why Would Countries Leave ACTA Negotiations If Text Was Public?

from the how-does-that-make-sense? dept

KEI's James Love ended up on an airplane with USTR Ron Kirk, and was able to ask him some questions about ACTA secrecy. Kirk's response was that the document would be revealed after it was finished -- i.e., after those who it will impact most could have a say in the matter. He also claimed that some of those in the negotiations would "walk away from the table" if the documents were made public. It's difficult to see how that makes any sense -- but if it's true, is that a bad thing? Do you really want to be negotiating a big treaty like this one if some of the countries are afraid to stand behind the document to the public they're supposed to represent? I think the fact that some countries would walk away from the negotiations if they were made public pretty much explains why this process is so broken in the first place.

Filed Under: acta, copyright, negotiations, ron kirk, secrecy


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  1. icon
    Laurel L. Russwurm (profile), 4 Dec 2009 @ 11:06am

    @senshikaze... people need to know bad things are happening before they can protest. Since our governments are acting in secrecy ("national security") and since the big media companies are behind ACTA, surprise, it isn't talked about much if at all in mainstream media.

    @Hephaestus - maybe, but: since the entire negotiation it being done in secret we don't know what the law will entail... BitTorrent and encryption may well be completely illegal under ACTA. If I was a soulless major media company exec pushing for global domination that's what I'd be after. The point is WE DON'T KNOW.

    In Canada currently our backbone ISP carrier is allowed to use DPI to identify bitTorrent traffic so they can throttle it-- and since any encrypted traffic might be bitTorrent they are given a free pass to throttle anything encrypted as well. Stopping the same traffic dead would be child's play. they HAVE the technology. If ACTA should make file sharing illegal it will cause grave damage to open source software, Project Gutenberg, and the emerging independent music industry which uses file sharing for promo & distribution. This would be a shame as THIS MAGAZINE's article Pay indie artists and break the music monopoly — Legalize Music Piracy said “Independent musicians make up about 30 percent of the music industry now. That’s $150 million going to independent artists in Canada alone.”

    According to Bytesyle TV, AFTER ACTA is done negotiations will be TOO LATE for American citizens to make any complaints because this negotiation does not require congressional ratification (its being undertaken under an under an "executive order").

    This makes it incredibly important for American citizens with concerns to speak up NOW to your elected representatives. Spreading the word to your less technical friends would help too. Later will be too late.

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