As GamePolitics has reported previously (see: Digital Rights Groups Go To Court Over Secret Anti-Piracy Treaty), secret negotiations are taking place between the United States, Japan, Canada, the European Union and others governments. Representatives of the various nations are attempting to broker a mysterious treaty known as the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).
Under discussion are intellectual property and copyright protection, important issues, to be sure. But while the Bush - and now, Obama - administrations have claimed that national security interests prevent consumer access to information about ACTA, Knowledge Ecology Notes reports that dozens of corporate lobbyists have been cleared for ACTA documents.
Included among these, according to the site, are Stevan Mitchell, VP of IP Policy for the Entertainment Software Association. The ESA is a trade association which represents U.S. video game publishers.
Also represented are the Motion Picture Association of America, the Recording Industry Association of America and the International Intellectual Property Alliance, of which the ESA is a member.
Hal Halpin, president of the Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) has previously expressed concerns about ACTA:
Because ECA supports the balance that must exist between the rights of copyright owners and the right of copyrighted material consumers, we do not think it wise to include any portions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) currently being discussed...
We are concerned that any DMCA language in ACTA may cause enormous, unforeseen negative implications in US law. That is why ECA, together with the Consumer Electronics Association, the US Internet Industry Association, Intel, Yahoo, Verizon and others, sent a memo asking the USTR to carefully consider that any discussions of “Internet issues” in ACTA be carefully circumscribed, consistent with U.S. law, and not include any portions of the DMCA.
FULL DISCLOSURE DEPT: The ECA is the parent company of GamePolitics.