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ACTA Participants Agree To Release Draft Text Next Week

The New Zealand round of ACTA negotiations concluded earlier today with participants promising to release the draft text next week. This obviously represents a major new development that reflects the mounting global pressure for greater transparency that built in the weeks leading up to the negotiations. The joint statement also confirms that the next round of negotiations will take place in Switzerland in June and restates positions that have been repeated in consultations such as no mandatory three strikes (see here for why concerns remain), no iPod searches at the border (still a concern given the de minimis language), and compliance with fundamental rights (privacy concerns remain).

Since the text has already been leaked, the importance of the official release arises less from revealing what is in ACTA and more from showing how much progress has been made (the joint statement indicates "good progress").  Moreover, the released text (coming April 21st) will not attribute positions to specific countries, something that is available in the leaked text.  With the official draft text released, government officials will now be able to answer specific questions about the text.  Many previously declined to do so on the grounds that they would not address questions arising from unofficial or leaked documents.

13 Comments

  1. So we’ll have a draft….
    Now let’s burn it before it goes any further.

  2. some suggestions
    why are they not discussing alternatives to illegal downloading like global sites for streaming – hulu, last.fm, spotify, crunchyroll, funimation, iTunes japan – a lot of countries outside US and canada are also on the internet – culture and media has gone global thanks to the proliferation of sites such youtube and other video and music sites.

    and what about safety of credit card information and identity theft?

    if content was distributed online faster and legally, can piracy be reduced? if DRM was saner or removed, will people be likely to purchase more? how about bundling hardware with media – like China’s nokia handsets that come with unlimited DRM-free music downloads? or band merchandise with albums?

    there needs to be a middle ground instead of criminalizing everyone as a copyright infringer right? right?

  3. pat donovan says:

    grunt
    open draft now. ok, one point for our side.

    Now about this ‘it only takes 5 nations agreeing with this to make it a golbal treaty’ thing…

    they are gonna decide they have a proble, blame someone and punish them for it REAL soon. Even if they have to set everything up themselves.

    pat

  4. “the released text will not attribute positions to specific countries”

    To be expected based on the information we already know. Although there is something to be said about a “united front” at the conclusions of negotiations, in this case I expect this is more of a political ploy. Certain countries can now go back to their electorate and state “this is what we had to agree to”, even though the negotiators were instructed to advance/advocate a particular position that would be unacceptable to their own citizens.

    This whole case has been an example of backroom politics, on an international scale. I can only hope that the resultant worldwide attention will serve to diminish such examples in the future.

  5. Angry Anon says:

    sorry anon, but they’ve got the lawyering power.
    its much more monetarily productive to just blame everyone and then speedily shred through the people who are too poor to get lawyers. in the name of profit, anything goes.

  6. re: sorry anon, but they’ve got the lawyering power.
    @Angry Anon: well that’s not cool. it’s obvious their business model is not working and yet they are angry when society finds a way around that. And they don’t want a compromise.

    What do?

  7. cobolhacker says:

    re: sorry anon, but they’ve got the lawyering power.
    @anon: You can’t do anything. These guys at the top have figured out how to make you powerless. Even if you vote out your government, the agreement will still exist. Even if you try to convince Canada to pull out of the agreement, I’ll reckon there will be severe penalties, probably financial. This ensures no politician will ever want to support you. In fact, I’m pretty certain many of the nations engaged in this ‘negotiation’ were threatened in some way into being there. And we all know by who.

    Face it, you’re about to lose some freedom over money, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

  8. http://www.daltonfirth.co.uk/cms/node/16
    Nice Blog on the effects of DEB in the UK

  9. re: sorry anon, but they’ve got the lawyering power
    Democratically elected governments are made by the people and for the people. If the ACTA texts are representing lobby interests and not public interests, than one should expect to vote on the issue in the next election, and make sure that it is an election issue. Election time is the only time when Government is responsible to the public. There are more internet users than there are lobbyists.

  10. “the released text will not attribute positions to specific countries”
    hehe, I find this statement humorous, I guess it’s nice that they are still afraid of the public a bit, but not good that they handle it buy hiding their intentions instead of handling it by serving their public’s interests.

  11. “the released text will not attribute positions to specific countries”
    “still afraid of the public a bit”

    It’s the law son, we’all might not agree with it, but we gotta follow it.. Nothin’ we can do, short of changin the govn’mnt……

  12. hey oldguy.. I’m not sure what you mean.. It’s the law that they don’t attribute possitions to specific contries? you have me confused :)
    We can inform, protest, and vote.. or at least try.

  13. Kids In The Way