Archive for January 27th, 2010

ACTA Guide, Part Three: Transparency and ACTA Secrecy

Part Three of the ACTA Guide (Part One on the agreement itself, Part Two on the official and leaked documents [update: Part Four on local effects]) focuses on the issue that has dogged the proposed agreement since it was first announced – the lack of transparency associated with the text and the talks.  As yesterday's public letter from NDP MP Charlie Angus and the UK cross-party motion highlight, elected officials around the world have latched onto the transparency issue and demanded that their governments open ACTA to public scrutiny.  Reviewing the ACTA transparency issue involves several elements: the public concern with ACTA secrecy, the source of the secrecy, and the analysis of whether ACTA secrecy is common when compared to other intellectual property agreements.

1.   The Public Concern

Over the course of the two years since ACTA was first publicly announced (it was secretly discussed for about two years before the public unveiling), there have been repeated calls from elected officials and public interest groups to address the transparency concerns. In fact, each time portions of the ACTA text leak, the concerns grow stronger.  For example, a sampling of the global call from politicians for greater transparency includes:

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January 27, 2010 18 comments News

ACTA Attracts Wide Canadian Media Coverage

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement generated wide media coverage in Canada yesterday as a web-based press conference sponsored by Quebec's Union des consommateurs (I was a participant) and a Charlie Angus press conference put the issue in the spotlight.  Media coverage includes articles from, Canadian Press, and Radio-Canada. also […]

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January 27, 2010 4 comments Must Reads

NDP MP Charlie Angus Demands ACTA Answers

NDP MP Charlie Angus used the launch of the ACTA talks in Mexico to issue a four-page letter to International Trade Minister Peter Van Loan demanding answers on ACTA.  The letter challenges the government's secretive approach on ACTA and delves into a wide range of substantive issues including the prospect […]

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January 27, 2010 4 comments News

UK Cross Party Motion Tabled on ACTA

Members of Parliament representing the three major UK parties have all signed onto a cross-party motion calling for greater transparency.  Tom Watson (Labour), John Whittingdale (Conservative), Lindsay Hoyle (Labour), and Don Foster (Lib Democrats) have all supported the following motion: That this House is deeply concerned by the secrecy surrounding […]

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January 27, 2010 1 comment News

Doctorow on New Copyright Rules of the Road

Cory Doctorow's latest Guardian column examines ways to tweak current copyright laws so that they make more sense in the digital world.

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January 27, 2010 8 comments Must Reads