This statement reflects the conclusions reached at a meeting of over 90 academics, practitioners and public interest organizations from six continents gathered at American University Washington College of Law, June 16-18, 2010. The meeting, convened by American University’s Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property, was called to analyze the official text of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), released for the first time in April, 2010. Negotiating parties released the text only after public criticism of the unusually closed process and widespread disquiet over the negotiations’ presumed substance. (See Wellington Declaration, EU Resolution on Transparency and State of Play of the ACTA Negotiations).
We find that the terms of the publicly released draft of ACTA threaten numerous public interests, including every concern specifically disclaimed by negotiators.
• Negotiators claim ACTA will not interfere with citizens’ fundamental rights and liberties; it will.
• They claim ACTA is consistent with the WTO Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS); it is not.
• They claim ACTA will not increase border searches or interfere with cross-border transit of legitimate generic medicines; it will.
• And they claim that ACTA does not require “graduated response” disconnections of people from the internet; however, the agreement strongly encourages such policies.
ACTA is the predictably deficient product of a deeply flawed process. What started as a relatively simple proposal to coordinate customs enforcement has transformed into a sweeping and complex new international intellectual property and internet regulation with grave consequences for the global economy and governments’ ability to promote and protect the public interest.
Hat tip to Larry.
p.s. I haven’t seen any defenses of ACTA. Is this issue as one-sided as it seems? Please provide links/papers in the comments if you know of any.