Items tagged "ACTA"

Press Release

Groups Protest Obama Administration Secrecy on ‘Trade Agreement’

November 5, 2009 ACTA , International , Press Release , USTR

Sixteen library, consumer, creator, and civil liberties organizations today told the Obama Administration of their “deep concerns about the lack of transparency and openness” surrounding the negotiation of an international trade agreement that has the potential to rewrite U.S. copyright law.

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Press Release

Public Knowledge Tells FCC Movie Industry Plan for Set-Top Boxes Will Hurt Consumers

October 15, 2009 ACTA , Press Release

A proposal by the motion picture industry to use “selectable output control” to hobble the functions of set top boxes won’t stop movie theft but will harm consumers, Public Knowledge told the Federal Communications Commission

In an Oct. 14 letter to William Lake, the chief of the Commission’s Media Bureau, Public Knowledge responded to arguments filed by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) that such control was needed to bring movies to the public faster than they otherwise might.

Public Knowledge responded that movie companies can bring out their product to consumers at any time and without a waiver of FCC rules. PK told the Bureau: “The MPAA has submitted no proof that grant of the waiver will serve the public interest at all. To the contrary, what proof exists in the record shows that the ‘problem’ of a longer window for release of movies to MVPDs than for release on DVDs is a business decision made by MPAA’s members.

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Press Release

Public Knowledge and EFF Ask Public Participation In Trade Advisory Groups

August 5, 2009 ACTA , Press Release

The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) should open its influential advisory committees to public interest and consumer opinion, Public Knowledge and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) told the House Ways & Means Committee.

Those industry trade advisory committees (ITAC) are composed exclusively of representatives of businesses, and follow a policy to exclude representatives of non-business organizations. One of those committees, ITAC 15, which deals with intellectual property issues, “overwhelmingly represents the interests of IP owners,” the groups said.

In a statement submitted Aug. 5 for the record on the July 21 hearing on trade advisory committees, the two organizations noted: “While U.S. IP [Intellectual Property] industries such as the pharmaceutical industry, the motion picture industry, and the recording industry have considerable influence in the formulation of these agreements, the American public has very little input in the process.

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Press Release

Groups Ask USTR To Remove Internet Issues From Trade Treaty

July 16, 2009 ACTA , Press Release , Trademark , USTR

Nine groups have sent a letter to Ron Kirk, the U.S. Trade Representative, asking him for some revisions to his decision to move forward with the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

The groups told Kirk, “Based on negotiating documents that have become public—but not made available by the U.S. government—we have good reason to believe that the ACTA negotiations could harm a significant portion ofthe economy as well as consumer interests.”

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Press Release

Government Still Blocking Information on Secret IP Enforcement Treaty

May 6, 2009 ACTA , Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Two public interest groups today called on the government to stop blocking the release of information about a secret intellectual property trade agreement with broad implications for privacy and innovation around the world.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Public Knowledge said that the April 30th release of 36 pages of material by the United States Trade Representative (USTR) was the second time the government had the opportunity to provide some public insight into the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), but declined to do so. More than a thousand pages of material about ACTA are still being withheld, despite the Obama administration's promises to run a more open government.

"We are very disappointed with the USTR's decision to continue to withhold these documents," said EFF Senior Counsel David Sobel. "The president promised an open and transparent administration.

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Post

Copyright and Secrecy Don’t Make for Good Trade Agreements

May 10, 2013 ACTA , International , Limitations & Exceptions , Transparency , USTR

Dear USTR, copyright has meaningful non-economic and social value; keep it out of the U.S.-E.U. Free Trade Agreement. If you have to have it, make sure it protects all Americans and not just large content owners. (And make the agreement transparent and inclusive while you’re at it.)


Today we filed comments about the proposed United States-European Union Free Trade Agreement – the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). We told the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) that copyright is an uncomfortable fit for a trade agreement and should be kept out of the TTIP.

If the USTR still wants to include copyright within the TTIP, it should make sure that a copyright chapter in the TTIP will not impede Congress’s ability to change U.S. copyright laws.

We also asked the USTR to break from the past and not negotiate the TTIP in secret.

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Post

EU Parliament Rejects ACTA: Ray of Hope for TPP

July 5, 2012 ACTA , Limitations & Exceptions , TPP

Yesterday, we were treated to news of a very positive development from Europe: the European Parliament voted, by a massive majority (478-39), to reject the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

This rejection comes after more than five years of negotiations that were plagued by controversy and outcry against ACTA’s secretive process. So what should you make of this rejection and what lessons should future trade negotiators learn from the ACTA experience?

For one, it should be apparent that the negotiating process is just as important as the substance. Shutting out the public and their representatives and giving privileged access to the entertainment and pharmaceutical industries severely undermines the legitimacy of the negotiating exercise.

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Post

TPP and a Very Basic Point About Transparency

May 14, 2012 ACTA , Enforcement , Forum Shopping , International , Transparency

If you’ve been following this space, you’ve likely seen that Public Knowledge was on the ground in Dallas this past weekend, covering the latest round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, or TPP. Among the various problems with the agreement itself (possible increases to already-draconian copyright penalties internationally, increased emphasis on protecting DRM, a lack of inclusion of well-established limitations and exceptions like library uses and fair use), there’s the fact that the agreement itself remains a closely guarded secret. The public is apparently not allowed to see even the opening positions their governments are making in negotiations.

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Post

The 2012 Special 301 Report Continues to do the Bidding of the Content Industry

May 1, 2012 ACTA , Enforcement , International , Special 301

The “Special 301 Report” is an annual report compiled by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), supposedly identifying countries that do not provide adequate and effective protection to the intellectual property rights of US persons.

In practice, Special 301 has turned into an arm-twisting exercise forcing countries to pass laws and adopt practices favored by large copyright and patent holders and often not in the public interest.

The office of the USTR published its 2012 Special 301 Report today. We are still analyzing the report, but here are our first impressions:

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Post

TPP Tranparency Problems Keep Getting Worse

April 10, 2012 ACTA , TPP

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) negotiation shuts out public participation and we have written extensively about why that is a problem. The agency leading the negotiation, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), however, seems completely oblivious to these problems, arguing instead that it has given opportunities to all stakeholders to present their views. The mere opportunity to present our views to the USTR, without more, does not cure problems with TPP’s process. However, it provides us with a minuscule opportunity to influence its outcome.

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