Originally published: October 6, 2010
Last updated: October 6, 2010 - 8:17pm
The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) has been three years in the making, and at one point included language advocating "three strikes" regimes, ordering ISPs to develop anti-piracy plans, promoting tough DRM anticircumvention language, setting up a "takedown" notification system, and "secondary liability" for device makers.
Europeans were demanding protection for their geographic marks (Champagne, etc). Other countries wanted patents in the mix. That's all gone in today's release of the "near-final" ACTA text. US Trade Representative Ron Kirk, whose office negotiated the US side of the deal, issued a statement this morning about the "tremendous progress in the fight against counterfeiting and piracy," but the real story here is the tremendous climbdown by US negotiators, who have largely failed in their attempts to push the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) onto the rest of the world. Apparently, a face-saving agreement is better than no agreement at all -- but even the neutered ACTA we see today could run into problems. Mexico's Senate yesterday approved a nonbinding resolution asking for the country to suspend participation in ACTA, while key members of the European Parliament have also expressed skepticism about the deal.
Gigi B. Sohn, president and co-founder of Public Knowledge, said, "The final text of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) should be seen as a qualified victory for those who want to protect the digital rights of consumers around the world. Some of the most egregious provisions from earlier drafts have been removed on topics ranging from digital protection measures to the liability of intermediaries like Internet Service Providers and search engines. The agreement would give more flexibility to the signatories than did previous versions. We can attribute these changes in part to the willingness of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to open the ACTA discussions to public-interest groups in a way that had not been done before. We appreciate the inclusiveness USTR has shown in the negotiations. However, the way this agreement was produced is still deeply flawed."
- The ACTA Internet provisions: DMCA goes worldwide
- Official ACTA text coming next week
- ACTA arrives (still bad, but a tiny bit better)
- French Court Kills 'Three Strikes' Law
- Europe 'will not accept' three strikes in ACTA treaty
- US, NZ, Sweden, others condemn "three strikes" Internet laws
- EU Digital Agenda Commissioner Admits ACTA Is Probably Dead
- European parliament’s ACTA monitor quits in protest
- Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement slouches toward signing on Saturday
- New ACTA leak shows major resistance to US-style DRM rules
- Top EU court to decide whether trade treaty with US violates rights
- Beyond ACTA: next secret copyright agreement negotiated this week -- in Hollywood
- Czech, Slovak governments backing away from ACTA, too
- ACTA deathwatch: profs call process unconstitutional, Europe revolts
- India launches offensive against ACTA, cites "due process"