Public Knowledge Statement on Signing of Anti-Counterfeiting Agreement

September 27, 2011 ,

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) will be signed this weekend in Japan, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced today.

The following is attributed to Gigi B. Sohn, president and co-founder of Public Knowledge:

“At the time ACTA is signed, the Obama Administration should make it clear that the Agreement is consistent with, and does not change, U.S. law, particularly the safe harbor provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

“We believe such a statement is necessary because there are still sufficient ambiguities in some parts of the Agreement that could conflict with U.S. law.

“Although the final version of the Agreement was an improvement from earlier versions, we continue to believe that the process by which it was reached was extremely flawed.  ACTA should have been considered a treaty, and subject to public Senate debate and ratification or, in the alternative, debated in an open and transparent international forum such as the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).  Instead, public interest groups and the tech industry had to expend enormous resources to force the process open to permit public views to be presented and considered.”

The Japanese announcement is here.

The USTR note is here.

For background on PK’s views of ACTA, two relevant blog posts:

Near Final ACTA Text Released

USTR Releases Finalized ACTA Text, Concerns Remain