Hate SOPA: Check Out The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA); The US Has Already Signed It

Forbes.com just covered the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, ) (ACTA) which is an Agreement or treaty if you will, which contains some provisions “which are similar to – and more expansive than – anything we saw in SOPA.”

The ACTA is being treated as by the US as an Executive Agreement rather than a treaty.  A treaty would have to be approved by the Senate, while an Executive Agreement can just be signed by the President.

President Obama signed the ACTA a few months ago.

According to Thejournal.ie,  Ireland and the EU are suppose to sign the Agreement tomorrow as well.

Other countries that have signed or are considering signing it are include;  Japan, Australia, Canada, South Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore and Switzerland.

“”The treaty has been secretly negotiated behind the scenes between governments with little or no public input. The Bush administration started the process, but the Obama administration has aggressively pursued it.”

This is what the Electron Frontier Foundation (EFF) says about the ACTA:

“”ACTA has several features that raise significant potential concerns for consumers’ privacy and civil liberties for innovation and the free flow of information on the Internet legitimate commerce and for developing countries’ ability to choose policy options that best suit their domestic priorities and level of economic development.””

“”ACTA is being negotiated by a select group of industrialized countries outside of existing international multilateral venues for creating new IP norms such as the World Intellectual Property Organization and (since TRIPs) the World Trade Organization. Both civil society and developing countries are intentionally being excluded from these negotiations. While the existing international fora provide (at least to some extent) room for a range of views to be heard and addressed no such checks and balances will influence the outcome of the ACTA negotiations””.

“”The Fact Sheet published by the USTR together with the USTR’s 2008 “Special 301″ report make it clear that the goal is to create a new standard of intellectual property enforcement above the current internationally-agreed standards in the TRIPs Agreement and increased international cooperation including sharing of information between signatory countries’ law enforcement agencies.

“””While little information has been made available by the governments negotiating ACTA a document recently leaked to the public entitled “Discussion Paper on a Possible Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement” from an unknown source gives an indication of what content industry rightsholder groups appear to be asking for – including new legal regimes to “encourage ISPs to cooperate with right holders in the removal of infringing material” criminal measures and increased border search powers. The Discussion Paper leaves open how Internet Service Providers should be encouraged to identify and remove allegedly infringing material from the Internet. However the same industry rightsholder groups that support the creation of ACTA have also called for mandatory network-level filtering by Internet Service Providers and for Internet Service Providers to terminate citizens’ Internet connection on repeat allegation of copyright infringement (the “Three Strikes” /Graduated Response) so there is reason to believe that ACTA will seek to increase intermediary liability and require these things of Internet Service Providers, while mandating copyright filtering by ISPs will not be technologically effective because it can be defeated by use of encryption efforts to introduce network level filtering will likely involve deep packet inspection of citizens’ Internet communications. This raises considerable concerns for citizens’ civil liberties and privacy rights and the future of Internet innovation.””

For another take on this agreement click here

Click  here to watch a video on the ACTA

 

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