The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) has been getting a fair amount of attention lately. It has also sparked a website and coalition in the country where negotiators plan on meeting next.
These days, if you want to send a chill down the spine of those who area aware of copyright matters, just mention ACTA. It would mean a global three strikes, border searches for carrying iPods and importing the disastrous DMCA on a global scale. Still, if there is one point about ACTA that is most universally shared by the most, it’s the fact that transparency is a major problem with ACTA.
Had it not been for leaks popping up in the last few years detailing ACTA, most, if not all, would simply not even know its existence. Fortunately for us, there were a few brave souls that leaked enough information so that people outside of the tight negotiating circle – critical documents that have since created an uproar amongst consumers, digital rights activists and innovators to name a few stakeholders.
As the negotiations makes its way around the world behind closed doors, a coalition is forming. Fittingly, it’s starting in New Zealand, the next scheduled stop for ACTA negotiators. Accordingggg to ACTA.net.nz, the coalition aims “to provide information about the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, and its potential impacts in New Zealand.”
“The treaty has caused concern to a number of organisations and individuals,” the site continues, “in NZ [New Zealand] and internationally, because the content of the negotiations have been kept secret (unlike many similar ‘intellectual property’ treaties), and because a leaked document shows there is an ‘Internet Chapter’ in the negotiations that appears to include provisions that are related to not counterfeiting, but rather to non-commercial copyright infringements on the Internet.”
“Some international treaties are a good thing,” Colin Jackson from the website told Computer World. “This one might be too, but we don’t know because its been negotiated in secret.”
“If you are going to take stuff away, that’s a debate we all have to have.”
The website will undoubtedly become a fantastic resource for those either new to understanding the implications of ACTA or those who are very familiar with the secretive treaty and want to keep tabs on its developments.