Items tagged "ACTA"

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Copyright “Harmonization” Hits Snags in Europe and Singapore

March 10, 2010 ACTA , Special 301

Can we ever get international consensus on what the proper scope of "intellectual property" should be? ACTA and the Special 301 process are an attempt to "harmonize" international IP law–to use American trade muscle to get other countries to adopt IP regimes similar to ours. But it can be difficult to agree on the scope of intellectual property rights, as a recent court decisions in Singapore and Britain, and the European Parliament's ACTA resolution, attest.

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ACTA Internet Chapter Leaked, Transparency Still Absent

February 22, 2010 ACTA , International , Three Strikes , Transparency , USTR

Yesterday, PC World came out with the news that the much-discussed, but long-secret Internet chapter of the Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was leaked to the public. The leak confirms a number of suspicions that had been raised by previously leaked European analysis papers. So with this revelation, what remains of calls for transparency?

Everything.

For instance, Michael Geist compares the text of this leak with the statement that Stan McCoy of the U.S. Trade Representative gave to us, noting that McCoy emphatically denied that the United States was asking for ACTA to include mandatory 3 strikes provisions. Of course, the key word there was mandatory.

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Leaked Document Summarizes January’s ACTA Negotiations in Mexico

February 18, 2010 ACTA , Three Strikes , Trademark , Transparency , USTR

Michael Geist is reporting that a new document about the secretive Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) has just been leaked. The document, a report on the most recent round of ACTA negotiations in Mexico, reveals more about where the parties are and what topics they are actually discussing.

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ACTA Needs to Be Public, Even if It’s Just About “Enforcement”

February 11, 2010 ACTA , Enforcement , USTR

Supporters of the Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) are careful to say it's all about "enforcement."

Ambassador Ron Kirk, the United States Trade Representative, describes ACTA as aimed at "strengthening the framework of practices that contribute to effective enforcement, and strengthening relevant [intellectual propety] enforcement measures themselves." The MPAA supports "a sound and comprehensive ACTA that codifies best practices for copyright enforcement."

Because it's just "enforcement" and can't "change the law," when groups like us, EFF and KEI, or bloggers like Mike Masnick or Cory Doctorow make a big deal over ACTA's secrecy, we can be accused of just looking for something to complain about.

But whether the agreement is about "enforcement" or "substance," the public has the right to know its contents.

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U.S. Government Denies that ACTA Mandates Filtering or Three Strikes, But Questions On its Contents

February 10, 2010 ACTA , Filtering , Piracy , Three Strikes , USTR

On Monday, the New York Times added to the increasing media scrutiny of ACTA, the Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. This proposed international agreement, which has the potential to drastically change the landscape of copyright law and policy, still remains hidden from the public eye.

Given this lack of transparency, it's no surprise that the substance of the agreement can only be discussed by way of leaks, speculation, and warring sound bites. Among the suppositions on ACTA's contents was the following:

E.U. negotiators, for example, are said to have balked at a U.S.-backed proposal to require Internet service providers to take tough steps against digital piracy.

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You Want Enforcement? Here’s Your Enforcement

December 4, 2009 ACTA , Enforcement , MPAA

This week, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that a 22-year old woman was arrested on charges of "criminal use of a motion picture exhibition" when she recorded two segments of the new Twilight movie, totaling four minutes of footage.

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Another Pro-ACTA Letter from MPAA, RIAA, et al.

November 20, 2009 ACTA , MPAA , RIAA , Three Strikes , Trademark

A number of movie studios, record labels, and other copyright-holding companies (and their related trade associations) have also written a pro-ACTA letter to Congress, which I first saw posted on Ben Sheffner's blog. Minus the bizarre "distraction" claim, it follows the same basic pattern—that ACTA will benefit IP businesses and do nothing harmful.

The evidence for this? Still absent. Instead, the letter reiterates that changes in technology require online copyright enforcement, and thus a section of ACTA covering the Internet.

This probably shouldn't require repeating, but I'll say it again. A solution has to be tailored to solve the problem. Is ACTA properly tailored to solve copyright infringement? No one can tell.

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Hollywood: Never Mind the Transparency, Here’s the ACTA

November 20, 2009 ACTA , Forum Shopping , MPAA , Trademark , USTR

It's not a surprise that the Motion Picture Association of America is a supporter of the so-called Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, a proposed international copyright and trademark agreement that the public isn't allowed to see. What is surprising is how willing the MPAA is to dismiss calls for an open and democratic process as a "distraction."

In a letter addressed yesterday to Senator Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the MPAA endorsed ACTA and then went on to say this:

Outcries on the lack of transparency in the ACTA negotiations are a distraction. They distract from the substance and the ambition of the ACTA

This is a pathetic excuse for logic.

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Copyright, Climate, the Chamber of Commerce, and ACTA: a few more connections

November 9, 2009 ACTA , Forum Shopping , Trademark , Transparency , USTR

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has made a good deal of intellectual property news recently, given their copyright and trademark lawsuit against the Yes Men for the latter's fake press conference and website, in which they impersonated the Chamber and claimed that it was reversing its position on climate change legislation.

Of course, the Chamber is more than just a plaintiff when it comes to IP issues—they're one of the reasons that more lawsuits like theirs may soon be replicated overseas. That's because the U.S.

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Artist, Open Government, and Civil Liberties Groups Join Calls for ACTA Transparency

November 6, 2009 ACTA , Competition , Enforcement , International

Public Knowledge and other public interest organizations have been calling for transparency in the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) negotiations since the United States Trade Representative (USTR) started the negotiation process. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests file by PK, EFF, and KEI are a testimony to this fact. Continuing this saga, PK and 15 other public interest, library, artist advocacy, and civil rights organizations sent a letter to the President yesterday, urging him to keep his promise of making government more open, transparent, and participatory and release the ACTA text.

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