ACTA – Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement – Horribly Wrong.
Posted by aonomus on May 26, 2008
Well, if you haven’t heard of ACTA yet, its cause the participant governments don’t want you to hear about it. Its being drafted currently (and has been for several months) to ‘prevent piracy’, but it has much more significant implications overall. Under the pretext of fighting true counterfeit products and commercial piracy that causes actual significant loss to both right holders and consumers, it seems to target more specifically the everyday citizen.
As an iPod owner myself, I find this disturbing because it is difficult to determine whether or not a particular song is pirated or not. ACTA would allow border officials to randomly search any electronic device with several disturbing clauses:
- ex officio authority to act on infringers: The ability to act on infringers without legal recourse from the IP rights holder
- ‘Civil enforcement’ – ex parte searches: The ability to search items and possessions without a lawyer present
- Provisions for judicial authorities to pay the right holder(s) fines: Arbitrary, trial-less punishment, ACTA would allow government officials to force you to pay fines based on already shoddy laws under the pretext of ‘terrorism’ or other bandwagons.
- Provisions for confiscation and destruction of IP violating property. Wouldn’t this let them take, keep and suppress any evidence for you to fight their decision?
Doesn’t this make a small group judge, jury, and executioner without any oversight? I already mentioned the lack of transparency in the Canadian government by removing certain programs which allow for people to watch the government.
http://ipjustice.org/wp/2008/03/25/ipj-white-paper-acta-2008/ has a much better explanation and commentary of the leaked document regarding ACTA found here: http://ipjustice.org/wp/2008/05/22/leaked-us-govt-discussion-paper-on-proposed-anti-counterfeiting-trade-agreement-acta-from-wikileaks/
Disclaimer: IANAL, this is only an informative statement towards the public.
I felt I needed to put that disclaimer in because sooner or later, any public outcry against government policy will be illegal.