[This post appears jointly here and at the PublicACTA site]
For the past two years, most of the ACTA discussion has centered on two issues: (1) substantive concerns such as the possibility of three strikes and a renegotiation of the WIPO Internet treaties; and (2) transparency issues. The leak of the comprehensive ACTA text highlights the fact that a third issue should be part of the conversation. The text reveals that ACTA is far more than a simple trade agreement. Rather, it envisions the establishment of a super-structure that replicates many of the responsibilities currently assumed by the World Intellectual Property Organization. Given the public acknowledgement by negotiating countries that ACTA is a direct response to perceived gridlock at WIPO, some might wonder whether ACTA is ultimately designed to replace WIPO as the primary source of international IP law and policy making.
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New ACTA leaks have emerged this week that fill in the blanks about the remainder of the still-secret treaty. While earlier leaks provided extensive detail on the Internet and civil enforcement chapters, these latest leaks shed new light into the criminal enforcement section, the chapter on ACTA institutional issues, and international cooperation.
As described by KEI, the European Union has proposed language to require criminal penalties for "inciting, aiding and abetting" certain offenses, including "at least in cases of willful trademark counterfeiting and copyright or related rights piracy on a commercial scale." Willful copyright infringement includes instances that "have no direct or indirect motivation of financial gain."
KEI reports that the Institutional Arrangement chapter – Chapter 5 of the ACTA text – is the second longest in the treaty. It includes the creation of an ACTA Oversight Committee that may have the power to amend the treaty itself. The leaked text reveals the following proposal:
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