As ACTA Talks Continue, A Few Updates

As the seventh round of Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) talks continue in Guadalajara, Mexico, watchdog Michael Geist assists in pointing out some new information related to the controversial accord.

The Wire Report writes that Canada will not comply with ACTA unless it is “fully satisfied that it [the agreement] reflects the best interests of Canadians. This statement is attributed to Canadian International Trade Minister Peter Van Loan, who also said, “The Government has been transparent in this process and will continue consulting stakeholders.”

The article also contains a quote from Barry Sookman, a registered lobbyist for “the major recording companies,” who said that a three-strikes anti-piracy provision is “not on any proposal that anybody has seen.” He added, “It’s an attempt to scare the public against some of the provisions of the treaty.”

Additionally, in response to a lack of transparency surrounding ACTA talks, 20 UK MPs have signed a motion arguing that, if a handful of companies are able to influence ACTA decision making, politicians too should be offered the same courtesy:

…this House is deeply concerned by the secrecy surrounding international negotiations on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA); notes that any agreement reached could affect the measures to protect copyright online currently being debated in the Digital Economy Bill.

MP Don Foster authored the motion, which was signed by pro-gamer MP Tom Watson, among others.

This week’s round of ACTA talks, according to the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade, will focus on Civil Enforcement, Border Measures, Enforcement Procedures in the Digital Environment and Transparency.

Geist has also been busy updating his ACTA Guide all week. Part One covers the talks to-date, Part Two focuses on ACTA documents, both official and leaked, Part Three discusses transparency and secrecy and Part Four centers on what ACTA might mean for different countries around the world.

|Image, purportedly the ACTA meeting room in Mexico, via TwitPic|

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