Senators Urge for Public Viewing of ACTA Text

November 30, 2009 -

U.S. Senators Bernard Sanders (I-VT) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) have penned a letter that implores the government to make public the proposals behind the ultra-secret Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

The letter (PDF here), dated November 23, was addressed to Ron Kirk, The U.S. Trade Representative. In the correspondence, the duo notes that they are “concerned” that President Obama’s previous stress of the importance of transparency, public participation and collaboration in government were not being applied to ACTA negotiations.

From the letter:

The ACTA involves dozens if not hundreds of substantive aspects of intellectual property law and its enforcement, including those that have nothing to do with counterfeiting… There are concerns about the impact of ACTA on privacy and civil rights of individuals, on the supply of products under the first sale doctrine, on the markets for legitimate generic medicines, and on consumers and innovation in general.

Sanders and Brown added that they were “surprised and unpersuaded” by claims that the information concerning the negotiations present a risk to the national security of the U.S. and that the public “has a right to monitor and express informed views on proposals of such magnitude.”

The Senators further stated that the secrecy of ACTA has “undermined” public confidence and attempts to tie this to a point made by Dan Glickman, CEO of the Motion Picture Association (MPAA). Unfortunately, in a letter supporting ACTA, Glickman wrote, “Outcries on the lack of transparency in the ACTA negotiations are a distraction. They distract from the substance and the ambition of ACTA which are to work with key trading partners to combat piracy and counterfeiting across the global marketplace."

Another letter supporting ACTA, sent on November 19, was signed by the likes of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), Directors Guild of America (DGA), National Music Publishers Association (NMPA), NBC Universal, News Corp., The Walt Disney Company, Time Warner, Inc., Universal Music Group, Viacom Inc. and Warner Music Group.

Update: A European Commission examination of ACTA’s Internet chapter has leaked and can be viewed online here (PDF). Michael Geist gives it a going over here. Worth noting: it appears the U.S. proposal contains a three-strikes policy, similar to one enacted in France and proposed for the UK.


Comments

Re: Senators Urge for Public Viewing of ACTA Text

I can guarantee you one thing, any more DMCA is just going to encourage people to pirate stuff, because they'll see it as the only way to give the finger to the corporations that continue to steal their rights away.

Re: Senators Urge for Public Viewing of ACTA Text

not to mention all the DRM schemes that will render legitimately bought stuff useless

Re: Senators Urge for Public Viewing of ACTA Text

After reading the leaked stuff on Michael Geist's site its clearly a work of coperations trying to hold on to what little powers they have in the digital age.

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: Senators Urge for Public Viewing of ACTA Text

This is either a genuine move to make the public more aware and able to speak out, or just a way for them to show us how we're being screwed and won't allow the public to do anything to stop them.

Re: Senators Urge for Public Viewing of ACTA Text

what does this have to do with national security? unless this thing has detailed plans for their next weapon or a list of spy names I dont see the connection HA

Re: Senators Urge for Public Viewing of ACTA Text

It's the tech that big brother is going to be using to enforce ACTA. You know... warrantless wiretapping, uploading trojans on to people's systems so they can monitor what you are doing. It's in the interest of National Security that we don't know about them because they are illegal.

Re: Senators Urge for Public Viewing of ACTA Text

It has nothing to do with national security and everything to do with allowing corporate executives to keep their private jets and limos.

It's sort of like how Apple tried ot argue agaisnt Jailbreaking Iphones. They said it would allow terrorist acts by enabling oeople to mess with cell towers, when cheap gear to do that has existed long before the Iphone came along

Re: Senators Urge for Public Viewing of ACTA Text

I for one would like to see how the ACTA changes things, make it public.

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: Senators Urge for Public Viewing of ACTA Text

Just go watch the old Max Headroom TV series. It seems to be oddly prophetic. Expect death sentences for credit fraud in the near future, and Blipverts!

Re: Senators Urge for Public Viewing of ACTA Text

When are we going to start seeing letters supporting ACTA by consumer groups?  So far all I see are groups that stand to profit from an overly draconic ACTA, so seeing their support does not ease my misgivings.

Re: Senators Urge for Public Viewing of ACTA Text

You will never see any letters of support from a consumers group because such groups are denied access to any information on the proceedings of ACTA negotiations. So far all attempts to get information have been stone walled.

Well, you might see some support from the VGVN at some point only because they are owned and run by the ESA.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Senators Urge for Public Viewing of ACTA Text

Oh, I know that consumer groups have been stonewalled.  I was just pointing out that saying ACTA is supported by a large number of groups that stand to profit from its passage, as well as these groups being allowed access to and proposing parts of it, is not a very good argument. 

I'm reminded of a crude joke Penn Jillette said at one point or another:

"What do 9 out of 10 people support?  Gang rape." 

Saying the groups that stand to profit or gain from an action support it is not justification for that action.  If it were, then the 9 raping the 1 would be justifiable since, when brought to a vote, the 9 won out in the decision. 

 
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Andrew EisenAgreed. Luckily, we don't seem to be in danger of that of late. No one's suggesting, for example, that tanks shouldn't be in video games, only that the tank in Arkham Knight is poorly implemented and out of place from a characterization standpoint.07/01/2015 - 11:27pm
MattsworknameConfederate flag, Relgious organizations, etc etc. Andrew isnt[ wrong, just remember not to let that mentality lead to censorship.07/01/2015 - 11:20pm
Mattsworknamefind offensive or disturbing, and that mindset leads to censorship. It's all well and good to say "This would be better IF", just so long as we remember not to let it slide into "This is offensive, REMOVE IT". IE , the current issues surroundign the07/01/2015 - 11:19pm
MattsworknameAndrew and goth both have points, and to that point, I'll say. Saying somethign is improved by changing something isn't a problem, on that I agree with , but at the same time, on of the issues we have in our society is that we want to simply remove things07/01/2015 - 11:18pm
Andrew EisenSee? Suggestions for improvements that involve taking things away do not mean the work is garbage or performing poorly, critically or commercially.07/01/2015 - 9:29pm
Andrew EisenSkyward Sword is spiff-a-rific but it would be an improved experience if the game didn't explain what each item and rupee was every single time you picked them up!07/01/2015 - 9:27pm
Andrew EisenHere's another: De Blob is a ton of fun but it would be improved without motion controls. Incidentally, THQ heard our cries, removed motion controls for the sequel and it was a better game for it!07/01/2015 - 9:24pm
Andrew EisenI'll give you an example: Arkham Knight is a ton of fun but the tank sucks and the game would be even better without it.07/01/2015 - 9:23pm
Goth_SkunkWell clearly we're diametrically opposed about that.07/01/2015 - 9:03pm
Andrew EisenNot even remotely true.07/01/2015 - 8:59pm
Goth_SkunkIt is, if the suggestion involves taking something away from a product in order to make it better.07/01/2015 - 8:49pm
Andrew EisenOffering suggestions for improvement does not mean that the work in question is garbage or not doing fine.07/01/2015 - 8:21pm
Goth_SkunkIf their products were garbage, they wouldn't be as praiseworthy as they are.07/01/2015 - 8:08pm
Goth_SkunkAnd Andrew, I really don't think GRRM or the producers of the Game of Thrones TV show need anyone to tell them what to do to make their products better.They appear to be doing just fine on their own.07/01/2015 - 8:07pm
Goth_SkunkThe only thing not worth talking about, is what shouldn't be talked about.07/01/2015 - 7:47pm
Goth_Skunk@Infophile: It could be a reason, if I were wrong. I'm not.07/01/2015 - 7:44pm
PHX Corphttp://kotaku.com/steam-players-take-justice-into-their-own-hands-virtua-1715215648 anyone seen this, Steam Players Make Their Own Justice, Virtually Imprison Troll07/01/2015 - 7:17pm
Andrew EisenHeh, just had our (IGN's) journalistic integrity called into question over two typos on one of the Wikis (which are editable by the readers).07/01/2015 - 6:08pm
Matthew Wilson@tech this isnt the only stupid tax in recent months though. they were adding a commuter tax as well. if they continue doing crap like this, they will run in to the same issues as Detroit.07/01/2015 - 5:34pm
 

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