Legislators Worldwide Asking Questions About ACTA

Legislators around the world are demanding more information on the secret Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.  French Deputy Nicolas Dupont-Aignan raised ACTA questions in the National Assembly late last year, expressing concerns about a global three-strikes and you're out approach, increased costs for medicines, and the lack of transparency associated with the process.

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden goes even further in a letter to the USTR this week that seeks answers to nearly a dozen questions about ACTA. Wyden asks about:

  • possible constraints on domestic U.S. law reforms
  • ensuring ACTA does not interfere with public health flexibilities in TRIPs
  • the definition of counterfeit
  • concerns about the inclusion of patents within ACTA
  • the role of ISPs in ACTA
  • whether increased monitoring of subscriber usage is envisioned by ACTA
  • the privacy impact of ACTA
  • details on border measures provisions
  • third party liability for IP infringement
  • possible commitments worldwide to comply with the DMCA

Wyden is not the first U.S. senator to raise questions about ACTA.  Last year, Senators Bernie Sanders and Sherrod Brown also wrote to the USTR as did Senators Pat Leahy and Arlen Specter in 2008.

Meanwhile, ACTA arose in the UK House of Commons yesterday, as Labour MP Tom Watson asked questions on the government's plans for ACTA.  The government response included a desire to ensure that ACTA remains within the scope of existing UK legislation and a need to press for greater transparency in the ACTA negotiations.

All of this comes on top of earlier efforts from Swedish Member of the European Parliament Jens Holm, New Zealand MP Clare Curran, who has repeatedly raised concerns about ACTA, and NDP MP Charlie Angus, who posed questions about ACTA in the Canadian House of Commons late last year.


  1. Richard Pitt says:

    ACTA on Facebook
    There are two groups about ACTA on Facebook – I’ve chosen to join only one, the one that seems the more active, although it so far has slightly fewer members. Let’s see if we can educate the world about this and get the same kind of response as the Prorogue group has.

  2. Union des Consommateurs ACTA protest
    Quebec Consumers Union – Union des Consommateurs ACTA protest

  3. pat donovan says:

    privacey, property and freedom of infomation

    unless you start acting now you won’t have ANY of the above left.


  4. Patents?
    Does any one know if the USTR actually has to respond to a request for information from a senator? If he gets an answer it will be interesting to see if that information becomes public. The specific questions about patents are really quite chilling as the US patent system is right now in serious, serious need of reform in the US. The US Supreme Court is about to hand down a ruling that should limit business process patents for example. If the law changes they may not be able to do that. I would hate to see patent trolls, patent abuse and specious patent granting cemented into a non-changable international frame work that is foisted upon the world for all time.

    There is no way that China is ever going to agree to any of this. This will allow the US to start a trade war with China and drag us down with them. Or our PM could stop taking his orders from the US and walk away from this treaty. That would leave us free to trade with the emerging economies and use our own trade laws to control that relationship. NAFTA has taught us every thing we need to know about whether the US will hold up their end of a deal or just ignore any parts that they feel are inconvenient. There are lots of other countries in the world other than the US. It is time to move on.

  5. Doc Merlin says:

    Legislators don’t run countries anymore.
    Legislators don’t run countries anymore and this is clear evidence of it. They have passed laws that give the executive and bureaucrats more and more power to basically enact regulatory law.

  6. exatly
    @Doc Merlin: Exactly… The people say dont give the banks taxpayer dollars and the government does it anyway. The people say impose conditions on bail out loans to large banks. They give them the money and the banks execs steal it.. The government wants to throw you in jail if you do things that the companies that run the countries of the world don’t like and they keep beefing up IP laws to prove it. Who the hell wants stronger IP laws at the expense of their civil liberties? NO ONE!!! It’s about corruption and control.

    The up shot

  7. Patents?
    JV, you state that you PM should stop taking orders from the US and go your own way regarding trade. Rest assured Americans feel the same way. What you are witnessing is not the actions of the US or the UK, its the actions of the far left that have hijacked our public institutions. We are just now waking up to that fact in the US and are beginning to fight back. I hope you do the same.

  8. Sort of
    @Doc Merlin: I would agree with you partly; however the beware of using the example of the US. Because of the nature of the agreement, it is a “sole executive agreement” rather than a treaty under US law, meaning that the President can ratify it without taking it to Congress. This is not universal with respect to treaties in the US.

  9. Laurel L. Russwurm says:

    A.C.T.A. is BAD
    ACTA is being conducted under such secrecy that most elected government representatives of participatory countries in the world do not know what ACTA will even cover. Of course most citizens haven’t even heard about it. This is true of every country involved in the ACTA process, including the USA.

    I’ve written several posts about ACTA which may help people who haven’t heard of it understand starting with:

    ACTA appears to be driven by the large media companies who are trying to legislate away technological process. They don’t want progress. And they are very powerful. ACTA will show us whether the world is actually run by corporations or governments.

    I think that governments are afraid to be the first to walk away from the table. As long they think they can appease the Copyright Lobby, without citizens knowing, ACTA will happen. Doing it in the dark they think thay can avoid accountability. Obviously most of the media isn’t talking about it. Help shine the light of day on ACTA. Tell other people about it. We have to.

    If they give in and ACTA is even half as bad as we think it will be, the message will be clear: governments will no longer rule the world, corporations will.

  10. far left?
    @willis thats complete nonsense, it has nothing to do with a far left conspiracy (for a start, we currently have a right leaning government in Canada, it is the left side of out politicians who are requesting answers about ACTA).

    What it is is an example of how the political process is funded by large companies / industry bodies who then get to write laws that protect their business models and guarantee their profits. What is distressing in Canada is the way that 1) our government seems intent on passing laws that go against the public interest at the behest of our neighbors to the south and 2) that rather than use legitimate, open government to enable changes in law, they’re using secretly negotiated foreign trade agreements.

  11. Maynard G. Krebs says:

    Private Gain, Public Pain
    When laws are passed with no other purpose but to allow cartels to operate you know society and fundamental freedoms are in trouble.

  12. Junji Hiroma says:

    Rothchild wants it.
    “I wish the Internet was never invent.” – Rothchild
    THIS is the man that made ACTA

    “When Rothschild said, “Let me issue and control a nation’s money and I care not who writes its laws”, it was the beginning of the modern era’s financial, political, social, commercial, and military strife and subversion.” –

    This smells of the NWO and the big corperations wanting to restrict the worlds internet freedoms.

    The US’s freedoms have already been lost now the whole world will feel what the US is feeling.

  13. Junji Hiroma says:

    Laurel L. Russwurm about your comment
    “If they give in and ACTA is even half as bad as we think it will be, the message will be clear: governments will no longer rule the world, corporations will.”

    I think the bank of europe controls the world which is influcing corperations,banks and companies to rape and rape the customer till he’s poor.Vote with your wallet and fight the beast.