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, 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 @ 2:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: w00t

    Separately, what you're saying is that only sales of goods and services should be taxed.

    Investment income, property, and inheritance should all (for some completely unspecified reason) be 100% tax free.

    This is brutally unfair, and totally insane. For one thing, it puts all eggs in one basket. If the economy slows, the entire government crashes. Distributing the sources of taxation is fundamental to basic stability.

    You scheme also means placing the heaviest burden on those least able to pay, since the poorer you are, the more of your income you spend on goods and services. If 100% of your income is spent just making ends meet, then 100% of your income is taxed, and your effective tax rate is the same as the sales tax. But if you're doing a bit better, and can save or invest, then your tax rate starts to drop. At the top (where relatively little of your totally income may be spent on goods and services), your effective tax rate is a fraction of that paid by the lowest ranking members of society. And that's an even bigger threat to social stability than boom / bust budgeting for governments.

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