How ACTA Will Increase Copyright Infringement
from the it's-all-about-respect dept
there is the question of public perceptions as to the value and fairness of the agreement. A perception that it is fair as between stakeholders is important to IP law, which it is not readily self-enforcing. By this I mean that IP law requires people to self-consciously refrain from behaviours that are common, easy, and enjoyable: infringement is so easy to do and observing IP rights, particularly copyright, involves, particularly these days, some self-denial. IP law therefore needs support from the public in order to be effective, and in order to receive any such support IP law needs to address the needs of all stakeholders. 135 Treaties that strengthen enforcement without addressing the needs of users look unfair and will bring IP law further into disrepute.This is a key point that gets ignored in all of this. When you negotiate agreements like ACTA in secret, leaving out key stakeholders, it should come as no surprise when those same people feel no compulsion to respect the agreement. They were left out of the discussion and so, in their minds, such an agreement should not hold any weight.
What this means, of course, is that the very awful process by which ACTA was put together may actually serve to create the exact opposite scenario that the drafters hoped to create. Rather than strengthening the power of copyright law around the globe, ACTA has only served to increase the lack of respect for copyright law, as the process by which it was put together has been shown to not be deserving of any respect, in that it failed to take into account the interests of most of the people it would impact.