Post Tagged with: "acta"

The European Parliament Rejects ACTA: The Impossible Becomes Possible

On October 23, 2007, the U.S., E.U., Canada, and a handful of other countries announced plans to the negotiate the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. The behind-the-scenes discussions had apparently been ongoing for several years, leading some countries to believe that a full agreement could be concluded within a year to coincide […]

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July 4, 2012 15 comments News

Australian Parliamentary Committee Warns Against ACTA Ratification (For Now)

Australia should be added to the growing list of countries that are either rejecting the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement or expressing serious doubts about it. The Australian Joint Standing Committee on Treaties, which conducted an extensive review of ACTA, has just released its report and it is cautioning against ratification for now, noting that “there appears a very real possibility that ACTA will not be ratified by sufficient countries in order to come into existence.” The committee found many shortcomings with the treaty.  For example, on secrecy and the lack of transparency:

The most troubling aspect throughout the development of ACTA has been the opaque nature of the process. Whilst DFAT has stated that a certain level of confidentiality is required for trade negotiations, and while there is ground to enable a certain degree of secrecy where complex issues warrant negotiations in confidence, there is no valid rationale for the level of secrecy that DFAT has maintained for what is essentially a copyright treaty.

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June 26, 2012 3 comments News

Transparency: WIPO vs. TPP & ACTA

The World Intellectual Property Organization has just concluded the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances. KEI notes that WIPO is now providing webcasts and video on demand of its sessions and diplomatic conferences. Contrast that with the TPP and ACTA, where discussions are shrouded in secrecy. In fact, four U.S. senators […]

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June 26, 2012 Comments are Disabled News

European Parliament’s INTA Committee Votes to Reject ACTA

The European Parliament’s INTA committee, the lead committee studying the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, has voted to reject ACTA. The 19-12 vote against the agreement means that all five EP committees that studied ACTA voted against ratification. I appeared before the INTA committee’s workshop on ACTA earlier this year and submitted […]

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June 21, 2012 Comments are Disabled News

The MPAA’s Secret Lobby Campaign on Bill C-11 and a Canadian SOPA

Over the past few years, the Motion Picture Association – Canada, the Canadian arm of the MPAA, has recorded nearly 100 meetings with government ministers, MPs, and senior officials. While their lobbying effort will not come as a surprise, last October there were several meetings that fell outside the norm. On October 18, 2011, MPA-Canada reports meeting with Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore, Foreign Minister John Baird, and Industry Canada Senior Associate Deputy Minister Simon Kennedy, all on the same day. These meetings occured less than three weeks after the introduction of Bill C-11 and the decision to sign ACTA, and only eight days before SOPA was launched in the U.S.

To get a sense of how rare these meeting were, this is the only registered meeting John Baird has had on intellectual property since Bill C-11 was introduced and ACTA was signed by Canada. Similarly, since the introduction of Bill C-11, James Moore has only two intellectual property meetings listed – this one with MPA-Canada and one in March 2012 with the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (in fact, Moore had only three meetings on intellectual property in all of 2011. Those meetings were with MPA-Canada, the Canadian Recording Industry Association, and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce). Even the Simon Kennedy meeting was a rarity as he has had multiple meetings with pharmaceutical companies, but only two (MPA-Canada and the Canadian Council of Chief Executives) that appear to have included copyright.

Given how unusual it is for a single lobby group to gain access to two of Canada’s leading cabinet ministers and a senior department official on the same day, it begs the question of how they did it.

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June 14, 2012 46 comments News