Following the latest round of Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) talks in Mexico, internal documents leaked from the Dutch delegation have offered additional insight into the closed proceedings.
From the documents we’re given a look at what countries back the idea of making ACTA negotiations more transparent, a growing concern given growing criticism over the secret meetings. The document claims that Poland, the United Kingdom, Austria, The Netherlands, Finland, Ireland, Hungary, Estonia and Sweden are all in favor of transparency.
Germany has apparently not yet decided on its stance on transparency, and was joined by Belgium, Portugal and Denmark as being unconvinced “that complete transparency has to be achieved.” Denmark was further labeled as “not very flexible.”
Korea and Singapore flat out oppose the release of documents. The U.S. has remained silent regarding its stance on transparency, which apparently has unnerved other countries, such as France, who indicated “they were concerned about the position of the USA.”
Part of the movement for transparency seems to be to address “unwarranted criticism” from the public over fears that ACTA would contain measures for searching personal belongings or a feature a three-strikes type of anti-piracy law. The Dutch document expressed that those types of measures are not a part of ACTA.
Michael Geist notes that full transparency of the ACTA proceedings would require a unanimous agreements among all parties involved.
The document also reveals that the U.S. wrote the ACTA section on the enforcement of Intellectual Property pertaining to the Internet, to which Computerworld said, “This is something critics have feared for some time, since leaked versions indicate strong similarities between parts of the treaty and the U.S. law, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.”
The 8th round of ACTA talks are scheduled for April 12-16 in New Zealand.