While we've seen a lot of political pressure in Europe
where elected officials are quite concerned about ACTA, for the most part, US politicians have been blissfully touting the bogus line that "ACTA is about protecting our most important industries," without bothering to pay attention to the details. However, late Friday, Senator Ron Wyden stepped up and expressed his concerns about ACTA, and has asked the Congressional Research Service
to review the document to ensure that it does not, in fact, create legal problems in the US:
For nearly two and a half years, the United States has been in negotiations over an international agreement about how intellectual property rights will be enforced. This agreement, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), is nearly finalized and is an "executive agreement" that does not currently appear to require Congress' ratification because it is not intended to impact U.S. law. However, some experts outide of government are raising concerns that the ACTA text is contrary to U.S. law and its application or would present a barrier to changes in U.S. law in the area of reform to damages for patents, or access to orphaned copyrighted works.
I ask that the American Law Division review the current text of ACTA, which is enclosed and available at www.ustr.gov, in order to provide Congress a written, independent determination of whether the commitments put forward in the agreement diverge from our domestic law or would impeded legislative efforts that are currently underway. I ask the Division pay particular attention to the provisions relating to injunctions, damages, and intermediary liability.
It's good that he doesn't just focus on specific changes to US law, but on how ACTA might impede important reforms to US law on patent and copyright issues in the future. I do wonder, of course, what would happen if the research does show problems with ACTA...