13 February 2009

Leak of Classified ACTA Dox Reveals Dissent

There's a battle going on for the soul of ACTA, and Knowledge Ecology International has a leaked document that spells it out:

Classified negotiating proposals for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) obtained by Knowledge Ecology International and examined by Inside U.S. Trade reveal wrangling between Japan, the United States, European Union, Australia and Canada over issues of civil and criminal enforcement and how to apply border measures against infringing products.

The post contains the full details of what is known, but the following sections are of particular interest for EU citizens:

The section on empowering authorities to order infringers to provide information on other persons involved in their activities also appears in the Korea FTA and ACTA draft. In the document, the EU seeks to add language that would limit this provision so that it conforms with national laws such as those on personal data privacy.


In this section, the EU has sought a provision specifically designed to exclude non-commercial items in personal baggage, from the scope of the ACTA border measures. U.S. officials have said that the agreement would not lead to wholesale raids on laptops and iPods at airports, but the EU appears to be trying to make sure this is the case in this section.

If true, these are to the credit of the EU delegation, which is clearly trying to limit at least some of the most damaging aspects of ACTA. But other areas remain a concern:

The documents do not detail the subsection on Internet measures and these are known to be among the most controversial provisions.


Criminal trafficking in labels is defined as occurring even in the absence of willful piracy.

Which would seem to capture P2P sharing.

Although much remains shrouded in secrecy, it's good news that at least a little light is being shed on what is clearly a hugely important treaty. The fact that participants are still trying to negotiate it in secrecy so as to present a fait accompli is nothing short of scandalous.

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