The ACTA is out of the bag

April 21, 2010

After two and a half years of calls for more public scrutiny, the current draft of the once-secret Anti-counterfeiting trade agreement (ACTA) agreement has been released to the public, as the tech press has reported.

The name notwithstanding, ACTA has little to do with counterfeiting and everything to do with copyright in the digital age. In a misguided effort to improve global IP enforcement, ACTA proposes to mandate familiar and occasionally controversial parts of U.S. intellectual property law – statutory damages, criminal liability, anticircumvention (legal protection for “digital rights management”) and DMCA-like notice-&-takedown.

What ACTA does not do is mandate the limitations and exceptions to copyrights that, according to a 2007 study released by CCIA, are relied upon by industries that add $2.2 trillion in value to the U.S. economy. As a result, ACTA will make foreign markets more hostile to U.S. businesses, rather than more hospitable.

CCIA’s first take on the text is here, and more information is available on CCIA’s ACTA Resource Page. Additional analysis comes from Canadian law professor Michael Geist on his blog.

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