Archive for December 22nd, 2010

CanLII Seeking New President

CanLII, a leader in free access to law, is seeking a new President.  If you’re interested, please apply (I’m a CanLII board member).

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December 22, 2010 1 comment News

Wikileaks ACTA Cables Reveal Concern With U.S. Secrecy Demands

The Guardian has posted two Wikileaks cables that focus on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.  The first is from Italy in November 2008.   It provides a useful reminder that the U.S. at one time hoped to conclude the ACTA negotiations by the end of 2008 (and the George Bush term).  The cable quotes the Italian head of the IP office within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as saying that timeline was unrealistic:

European countries are likely to ask for a slowdown in negotiations because of opposition to the EU commission’s involvement in negotiating portions of the treaty, disagreements over the confidentiality level of the negotiations, and the absence of geographical indications from the agreement.

The official also noted opposition among member states with the European Commission negotiating criminal matters and ongoing frustration with the level of secrecy associated with ACTA that made it impossible to properly consult stakeholders:

The level of confidentiality in these ACTA negotiations has been set at a higher level than is customary for non-security agreements. According to Mazza, it is impossible for member states to conduct necessary consultations with IPR stakeholders and legislatures under this level of confidentiality. He said that before the next round of ACTA discussions, this point will have to be renegotiated.

The official characterized ACTA as “TRIPS Plus” and noted (correctly) that geographic indications was likely to become a major sticking point.

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December 22, 2010 5 comments News