Senator Wyden Asks Congressional Research Service To Determine If ACTA Impacts US Law

from the good-for-him dept

While we've seen a lot of political pressure in Europe and Mexico 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...

Filed Under: acta, copyright, ron wyden, us laws


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  1. identicon
    Alex Bowles, 11 Oct 2010 @ 1:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: w00t

    You're confused about what's being taxed. It's not the money, it's the exchange.

    If I pay you to mow my lawn, that money becomes part of your income. The fact that I earned that money (and was taxed accordingly) does not mean that the portion I kept was transformed into magical untaxable dollars that I can now use to pay others without them incurring any liability.

    If tax law regarded an extended family as a single entity, then the case against taxing inheritance as income would be different. In that case, it would be like taxing an individual's transfers from checking to savings.

    As it stands, only married couples are taxed collectively. That makes sense, since marriage allows for joint ownership of housing, investments, etc. The recognizes this, and can treat shared income accordingly.

    Inheritance is obviously *not* jointly owned. That's the whole point. Ownership is - explicitly - transferring from one person to another.

    It's no different, really, from the transfer tax that cities asses every time a house changes hands.

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