As Countries Sign ACTA, Many Finally Admit Their Copyright Laws Will Need To Change

from the of-course-they-did dept

It will come as little news to most people that, as was expected, the US signed the ACTA treaty (while pretending it was an "executive agreement") this weekend in Japan. While the EU, Mexico and Switzerland at least had the sense to wait until they had more of a chance to review the legality of the document, the US dove right in, despite huge Constitutional questions about its ability to sign the agreement -- especially as more evidence was put forth showing that (contrary to the US's claims) ACTA is inconsistent with US law.

The US, of course, was not the only one to sign -- and not the only one to recognize that ACTA is inconsistent with local laws, despite promises to the contrary. Canada signed as well, and used it to say that Canada now needs to implement more copyright reform to keep Canada in line with the treaty:
Fastís office said the government still needs to create and pass legislation to implement the anti-counterfeiting agreement in Canada.
Funny, since all along we kept hearing how ACTA wasn't about changing laws in various countries, but just coming to agreements on how enforcement would be carried out. In fact, when criticized about ACTA, the former Canadian Minister of Industry insisted that ACTA would not require changing Canadian law. Amazing that the Canadian government admits that this was false the day they sign it.

Another signatory? Why, New Zealand, of course. Last year, New Zealand (which already recently changed its copyright laws) said that it didn't foresee any changes to copyright law because of ACTA. And yet... now the New Zealand government admits that changes will be needed to local copyright law before the treaty is ratified.

Singapore, Australia, South Korea, Japan (of course) and Morocco also all signed on. Australia's and New Zealand's signings don't mean quite as much, as their legislatures need to ratify the agreement (the part the US is trying to skip).

Not surprisingly, the RIAA put out a ridiculous statement "saluting" the "will" of ACTA negotiators to complete ACTA. Yeah. The will to continue to hide the agreement from public scrutiny until it was "done" and no changes were allowed? The "will" to pretend that it's an "executive agreement" rather than a treaty, as per the Constitution? The "will" to insist that ACTA is consistent with domestic laws when it's not? Sorry. That's not worth saluting. That's worth not being allowed to participate in these kinds of negotiations any more.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2011 @ 9:20am

    Re: Re: Smoke and mirrors

    IIRC, Kyoto still hasn't been ratified by the Senate. So they don't legally have to abide by it, technically. And yet Mike is the one called a weasel.
    Exactly. As with Kyoto, unless the Senate ratifies ACTA, it is non-enforceable and can and will be simply ignored.

    The only real "teeth" this things has might be as a template to get other governments to change their laws in accordance with the provisions of this "wink & nod" idiocy - as you can already see, Canada is recognizing that they would need to make significant changes to come into "compliance" with this and are already acting like they need to do so because they signed it...

    Like Kyoto, everyone else not signing it or not working to change their laws "quickly enough" will be beaten liberally over the head by the US State Department while at the same time, US companies would simply ignore it.

    What a sad farce...

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