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Michael Geist's Blog

Official ACTA Responses Begin To Mount

As public outrage over ACTA mounts, there have been a series of official responses to questions posed by legislators or raised through access to information requests.  In addition to yesterday's statement from International Trade Minister Peter Van Loan's office confirming Canada's support of release of the ACTA text, recent documents or statements include:
  • David Lammy, United Kingdom Minister for Intellectual Property, has confirmed his support for ACTA transparency: “The UK has long been in favour of greater transparency in the ACTA negotiations, so I am very pleased that EU has now agreed that the draft ACTA text should be placed in the public domain as soon as possible. This would allow much more open and informed engagement with citizens, society, and parliaments.
  • Several NZ documents have been released under Access to Information.  They include documents outlining which organizations have been consulted and disclose that the New Zealand government was initially interested in using ACTA to cover traditional knowledge such as Maori culture.
  • A European Commission response to MEP Alexander Alvaro's questions on ACTA that focuses on cross-border copyright enforcement.
  • A lengthy letter from the Dutch Ministers of Economic Affairs and of Justice to the Dutch Parliament on ACTA, addressing transparency and the legal competence of the EU and its Member States to enter into the agreement.

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NPR: ACTA Causes a Stir

National Public Radio featured a story on ACTA yesterday that included comments from across the spectrum including the USTR's Stan McCoy, the MPAA, Gigi Sohn from Public Knowledge, and me. 


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ACTA Events Around the World

There are several ACTA events upcoming worth noting: an EU consultation on March 22nd in Brussels, a European Parliament hearing on ACTA on April 4th, and PublicACTA, a full day conference in Wellington, NZ on April 10th.  I am participating in the latter two events.
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Masthead Editorials Oppose Extension of Private Copying Levy

The Calgary Herald and Windsor Star both have published lead editorials opposing the extension of the private copying levy to devices such as iPods.
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