Leak Confirms ACTA Is As Bad As Feared

While the entirety of the proposed ACTA treaty for the global enforcement of intellectual property and copyright has yet to become public, the response of the EU to the draft document surfaced today.  It was posted on the website of the German political party, Die Linke (The Left), but is in English, although it should be said, the language is somewhat legalistic, and a bit cryptic without access to the original document itself.  Nonetheless, as the Canadian Law Professor Michael Geist points out, and to the surprise of absolutely no one, the leaked document makes it very clear that the worst fears about the ACTA treaties content have been confirmed.  Via ACTA the US would create a new global copyright regime that combined the worst of American law like the DMCA and the notice-and-takedown policy, with the growing international policy of “three strikes and you’re out” Internet bans.  Many countries, including Canada as Geist points out, do not have all of the current US provisions for protecting content rights-holders, such as the DMCA’s prohibition of DRM-circumvention technologies, or the Grokster inspired “contributory copyright infringement” that can legally target technologies themselves, rather than the actual infringers.
 
As has been pointed out here and elsewhere, the entire ACTA enterprise is a rather thinly veiled attempt by the large content producing corporations, via their well-paid government enablers, to turn back the clock on the past ten years of Internet evolution  Over the years, and in many different countries, all of the proposed measures in the ACTA treaty have proven to be both ineffective in decreasing piracy and even worse, in creating negative distortions to the free play of both culture and commerce online.  Extending these failed policies to the entire world would do nothing to make them more effective, and in fact would simply magnify their inherent flaws.  No wonder the powers involved in pushing ACTA through are so loathe to allow for public involvement, or even comment on the process of the treaty’s passage.