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US Trade Ambassador: “Complex” Anti-Piracy Treaty Details Prevent Transparency

US Trade Ambassador: “Complex” Anti-Piracy Treaty Details Prevent Transparency

Says details of Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) will be divulged to the public when “it is finished,” but that secrecy was necessary to prevent people from ““walking away from the table.”

James Love of Knowledge Ecology International (KEI), a nonprofit NGO striving to ensure that knowledge resources are “more efficient, more fair, and responsive to human needs,” had a conversation with US Trade Rep Ambassador Ron Kirk following a World Trade Organization meeting in Geneva that illustrates just what little regard many involved in the secretive Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) negotiations have for public input.

Ambassador Kirk told Love that details of the treaty would only be divulged to the public “when it is finished,” which by then would make it obviously much harder for the public to voice its opposition and make any changes if necessary.

He said keeping the details secret were necessary to prevent people from “walking away from the table” and that the topics being negotiated are “more complex.”

Love rightly pointed out that copyright holder groups like the MPAA were involved in the negotiations, and that the public is the only one being kept in the dark.

If you recall, the MPAA has amazingly dismissed calls for more transparency as a “distraction” from the “substance and ambition of the ACTA.”

Developing countries like Brazil and Pakistan have also criticized the ACTA because it fears major rights-holding counties like the US will use it to bypass the traditional World Intellectual Property Organization of the UN to achieve what it could not otherwise being that it prefers a more a “balanced evolution” of intellectual property laws (meaning needs of the people sometimes come before profits).

Stay tuned.

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Jared Moya
I've been interested in P2P since the early, high-flying days of Napster and KaZaA. I believe that analog copyright laws are ill-suited to the digital age, and that art and culture shouldn't be subject to the whims of international entertainment industry conglomerates. Twitter | Google Plus


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