U.S., Korea, Singapore, Denmark, Germany, Belgium And Portugal: Against ACTA Transparency

from the and-why? dept

One of the biggest issues in discussing ACTA is the rampant secrecy behind the negotiations. We've heard calls from many different politicians to get rid of the secrecy and be more transparent, but we hadn't heard who was against the transparency (other than some industry lobbyists who, in theory, shouldn't have much say in this). The only statement came from the USTR, who claimed that countries would leave the negotiating table if the text were made public -- but wouldn't say who or why.

Well, now we know who. A leaked document highlights which countries are against transparency and the list includes Belgium, Portugal, Germany, Denmark, South Korea and Singapore. Many other countries -- headed by the UK -- have been in support of opening up the process and being more transarent. Among those in favor of transparency are the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Ireland, Hungary, Poland, Estonia, Austria, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. And then there's the US, who simply claims it's being transparent, but apparently refuses to take a stand on transparency in the negotiations (why should it -- when those negotiations themselves are secret). Apparently the real stickler for secrecy is Denmark, which perhaps isn't that surprising. While there are many Danish people who are fighting the copyfight, Denmark's "anti-piracy" organization has been among the most aggressive in suing pretty much anyone, and demanding all sorts of sites be shut down or blocked. Unfortunately, it sounds like they're now the main blockers in keeping the ACTA process secret.

But, of course, for all that attempted secrecy, the documents keep leaking, and they're definitely problematic. It seems like it's time for the supporters of transparency to stand up to Denmark and the others and tell them that if they don't want the process to be transparent, then they should walk away from the agreement. And, in the meantime, it's time for the USTR to stop pretending it's being transparent and to actually support real transparency in these negotiations.

Update: And another report points out that "Italy and France fear retaliation" from the US if they vote for transparency...

Filed Under: acta, denmark, secrecy, transparency

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2010 @ 6:04pm

    Re: Why?

    "Cuz they don't want people to know of course! Duh. Would you?"

    Lets do something about that.


    Dear Mr Botnet Owner

    Currently you are pretty much free to spam the planet. After ACTA is passed your botnets will come under much greater scrutiny. ISPs will be forced to monitor everything that goes on their networks so as to not face secondary liability. They would also eventually face criminal charges. This monitoring will make it much harder for you as a botnet owner to survive and thrive. So it is in your best interest to e-mail the full text of the leaked document to everyone you can.



    What you as a botnet owner should e-mail people

    Dear Citizen of a soon to be more oppresive government

    ACTA is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

    1) ACTA is being negotiated in secret on behalf
    of the Media distribution companies (Newpapers,
    Record Labels, TV Studios, and Movie Studios),
    and Pharmacutical companies.
    2) You can be kicked off the internet based on
    accusations and with no due process.
    3) Your ISP will be forced to monitor all your
    communications without a warrant.
    4) Your website can be taken down based on an
    accusation of infringement without any proof.
    5) Making back up copies of your DVDs will be
    a criminal offense and you can face jail time.
    6) If you are accused of copyright infringement
    3 times you can be disconnected from the
    7) The secondary liability will require
    everything you post online to be checked by a
    8) There will be no way to protest or appeal
    any of laws ACTA will cause to be implemented.

    Read the Following Leaked Document and tell
    your friends and family. Contact you local
    politician and demand that ACTA to be
    opened up for public comment. Google
    for "Anti Counterfiet Trade Agreement" and

    Full text of leaked document

    ACTA (Anti Counterfiet Trade Agreement) internet section

    Article 2.17: Enforcement procedures in the digital environment
    1. Each Party shall ensure that enforcement procedures, to the extent set forth in the civil and
    criminal enforcement sections of this Agreement, are available under its law so as to permit
    effective action against an act of, trademark, copyright or related rights infringement which
    takes place by means of the Internet, including expeditious remedies to prevent infringement
    and remedies which constitute a deterrent to further infringement.
    2. Without prejudice to the rights, limitations, exceptions or defenses to copyright or related
    rights infringement available under its law, including with respect to the issue of exhaustion
    of rights, each Party confirms that civil remedies, as well as limitations, exceptions, or
    defenses with respect to the application of such remedies, are available in its legal system in
    cases of third party liability1 for copyright and related rights infringement.2
    3. Each Party recognize that some persons3 use the services of third parties, including online
    service providers,4 for engaging in copyright or related rights infringement. Each Party also
    recognizes that legal uncertainty with respect to application of intellectual property rights,
    limitations, exceptions, and defenses in the digital environment may present barriers to the
    economic growth of, and opportunities in, electronic commerce. Accordingly, in order to
    facilitate the continued development of an industry engaged in providing information
    services online while also ensuring that measures take adequate and effective action against
    copyright or related rights infringement are available and reasonable, each Party shall:
    (a) provide limitations5 on the scope of civil remedies available against an online
    service provider for infringing activities that occur by:
    (I) automatic technical processes and
    (II) the actions of the provider's users that are not directed or initiated by
    that provider when the provider does not select the material, and
    (III) the provider referring or linking users to an online location
    when, in cases of subparagraphs (II) and (III), the provider does not have actual
    knowledge of the infringement and is not aware of the facts or circumstances from
    which infringing activity is apparent; and
    (b) condition the applicantion of the provisions of subparagraph (a) on meeting
    the following requirements:
    (I) an online service provider adopting and reasonably implementing a
    1 For greater certainty, the Parties understand that third party liability means liability for any person who authorizes
    for a direct financial benefit, induces through or by conduct directed to promoting infringement, or knowingly and
    materially aids, any act of copyright or related rights infringement by another. Further, the parties also understand
    that the application of third party liability may include consideration of exceptions or limitations to exclusive rights
    that are confined to certain special cases that do not conflict with a normal exploitation of the work, performance or
    phonogram, and do not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the right holder, including fair use, fair
    dealing, or their equivalents.
    2 Negotiator's Note: This provision is intended to be moved and located in the civil enforcement section.
    3 For purposes of this Article, person means a natural person or an enterprise.
    4 For purposes of this Article, online service provider and provider mean a provider of online services or network
    access, or the operators of facilities therefor, and includes an entity offering the transmission, routing, or providing
    of connections for digital online communications, between or among points specified by a user, of material of the
    user's choosing, without modification of the content of the material as sent or received.
    5 For greater certainty, the Parties understand that the failure of an online service provider's conduct to qualify for a
    limitation of liability under its measures implementing this provision shall not bear adversely on the consideration of
    a defense of the service provider that the service provider's conduct is not infringing or any other defense.
    policy6 to address the unauthorized storage or transmission of materials protected by
    copyright or related rights except that no Party may condition the limitations in
    subparagraph (a) on the online service provider's monitoring its services or affirmatively
    seeking facts indicating that infringing activity is occurring; and
    (II) an online service provider expeditiously removing or disabling access
    to material or activity, upon receipt of legally sufficient notice of alleged infringement, and
    in the absence of a legally sufficient response from the relevant subscriber of the online
    service provider indicating that the notice was the result of a mistake or misidentification.
    except that the provisions of (II) shall not be applied to the extent that the online service
    provider is acting solely as a conduit for transmissions through its system or network.
    4. In implementing Article 11 of the WIPO Copyright Treaty and Article 18 of the WIPO
    Performances and Phonograms Treaty regarding adequate legal protection and effective legal
    remedies against the circumvention of effective technological measures that are used by authors,
    performers or producers of phonograms in connection with the exercise of their rights and that
    restrict unauthorized acts in respect of their works, performances, and phonograms, each Party shall
    provide civil remedies, as well as criminal penalties in appropriate cases of willful conduct that
    apply to:
    (a) the unauthorized circumvention of an effective technological measure7 that controls
    access to a protected work, performance, or phonogram; and
    (b) the manufacture, importation, or circulation of a technology, service, device, product,
    component, or part thereof, that is: marketed or primarily designed or produced for the
    purpose of circumventing an effective technological measure; or that has only a limited
    commercially significant purpose or use other than circumventing an effective technological
    5. Each Party shall provide that a violation of a measure implementing paragraph (4) is a
    separate civil or criminal offense, independent of any infringement of copyright or related rights.8
    Further, each Party may adopt exceptions and limitations to measures implementing subparagraph
    (4) so long as they do not significantly impair the adequacy of legal protection of those measures or
    the effectiveness of legal remedies for violations of those measures.9
    6. In implementing Article 12 of the WIPO Copyright Treaty and Article 19 of the WIPO
    Performances and Phonograms Treaty on providing adequate and effective legal remedies to
    protect rights management information, each Party shall provide for civil remedies, as well as
    criminal penalties in appropriate cases of willful conduct, that apply to any person performing any
    of the following acts knowing that it will induce, enable, facilitate, or conceal an infringement of
    any copyright or related right:
    6 An example of such a policy is providing for the termination in appropriate circumstances of subscriptions and
    accounts in the service provider's system or network of repeat infringers.
    7 For the purposes of this Article, effective technological measure means any technology, device, or component that,
    in the normal course of its operation, controls access to a protected work, performance, phonogram, or protects any
    copyright or any rights related to copyright.
    8 The obligations in paragraphs (4) and (5) are without prejudice to the rights, limitations, exceptions, or defenses to
    copyright or related rights infringement. Further, in implementing paragraph (4), no Party may require that the
    design of, or the design and selection of parts and components for, a consumer electronics, telecommunications, or
    computing product provide for a response to any particular technological measure, so long as the product does not
    otherwise violate any measures implementing paragraph (4).
    9 Negotiator's Note: This provision is subject to broader government action/sovereign immunity provision elsewhere
    in the Agreement.
    (a) to remove or alter any rights management information10 without authority; and
    (b) to distribute, import for distribution, broadcast, communicate, or make available to the
    public, copies of the works, performances, or phonograms, knowing that rights management
    information has been removed or altered without authority.
    7. Each Party may adopt appropriate limitations or exceptions to the requirements of
    subparagraphs (a) and (b) of paragraph (6).
    10 For the purposes of this Article, rights management information means:
    (a) information that identifies a work, performance, or phonogram; the author of the work, the performer of the
    performance, or the producer of the phonogram; or the owner of any right in the work, performance, or phonogram;
    (b) information about the terms and conditions of the use of the work, performance, or phonogram; or
    (c) any numbers or codes that represent such information.
    When any of these items is attached to a copy of the work, performance, or phonogram or appears in connection with
    the communication or making available of a work, performance, or phonogram to the public.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Copying Is Not Theft
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.