Surprise, Surprise: MPAA In Favor Of Current ACTA Text Before Anyone's Supposed To Have Seen It
from the how's-that-work-now? dept
That said, Jamie Love points out that the MPAA has already released a statement endorsing the outcome of the latest round of negotiations (pdf). Now this raises a bunch of important questions. Considering that the document is still secret, either the USTR has already provided the MPAA with a copy of the document before letting everyone else know -- or the MPAA is simply assuming what ACTA says. Neither possibility says much good about either the USTR or the MPAA, but neither is all that surprising either.
As for what is making the rounds in rumors concerning what's going on, it does sound like parties caved on some of the more controversial topics. Apparently patents have been removed from the border controls section, but may still sneak in elsewhere. So-called "private acts of infringement" are thankfully excluded from ACTA, though that's been talked about for a while. Instead, the document claims to be focused only on "commercial-scale" infringement. But, take heed of the definitions, as "commercial-scale" can be a moving target, so watch the definition to make sure it can't include a kid who's filled his iPod with a lot of MP3s.
Negotiators are claiming that third party liability has been removed from the document, and that three strikes has never been in the document. Again, this will require careful scrutiny. While "three strikes" was never directly in the document, at one point it did "suggest" three strikes as a way to avoid third party liability -- and offered no other suggestions, meaning that almost everyone would interpret three strikes to be mandatory. So, while it might be good if third party liability has been removed, the devil is very much going to be in the details.
It certainly sounds like some of the worst of this bill -- the points that many people raised earlier -- may have been removed thanks to the vigilant efforts of folks concerned about the scope of the agreement. That's a good thing -- though, you can bet ACTA supporters will claim this shows that the concerns of everyone was clearly "overblown." That's clearly not true at all. Many of these things very much were in earlier versions and drafts, and their removal is almost certainly the direct result of public outcry (despite attempts by negotiators to keep much of the proposals secret).
So, while the MPAA is cheering on an agreement it isn't supposed to have seen yet, we'll wait to see the final document "officially" before making final judgment. Given the actions of those involved so far, I certainly wouldn't be surprised to see the text written in ways so that people can claims certain aspects aren't in the document, while leaving loopholes and interpretations such that they really are. We shall see later this week...