The Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement has certainly been the most famous and controversial international agreements surrounding copyright. It left many stakeholders anywhere between unsatisfied to vehemently opposed. Now, one country involved in the negotiations has had their congress rejected the trade agreement outright.
ACTA is a very long running story that is continuing to this day. It was first exposed by Wikileaks in 2008 – one month and three years ago to be more precise. Over the years, it became notorious for things like a global DMCA, a global three strikes law and making law enforcement use substantially more resources at their borders strictly for intellectual property related enforcement. It was essentially a wish-list by record labels, major game manufactures and Hollywood before they focused on web censorship (as seems to be a popular for them these days)
For many, the secrecy surrounding this agreement was one major point of objection. Over 100 consumer rights groups from around the world jointly demanded ACTA be made public in 2008. Trying to pry ACTA out of secrecy wasn’t easy and, in fact, there were lawsuits against governments solely to make ACTA officially public. It wouldn’t be until the end of 2010 before ACTA was finally made public.
While a lot has changed, a lot remained the same within ACTA and many, to this day, still want to see ACTA scrapped. Proponents say that it’s up to the governments around the world to implement the trade agreement and how they choose to implement it is strictly up to them. With plenty of organizations pressuring these governments to implement things like ACTA, many see this as partly why these laws are outright bi-passing democracy itself. The only hope is that governments around the world reject ACTA. Well, we can report that Mexico has done just that.
Techdirt notes that the Mexican congress has officially rejected ACTA. The report referenced a Tweet which is linked to the government website (Spanish, Google translation) The translation states the following:
The Standing Committee of H. Congress, respectfully urges the Federal Executive Power for the scope of its powers, instruct the ministries and agencies involved in negotiating the Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), not to sign the agreement.
It was apparently one bill rolled up into a package of bills because the government was running out of time. As Techdirt points out, the only way Mexico will sign ACTA at this point is if the executive branch defies the will of congress and signs anyway.
No doubt this is another blow to the agreement. How much of a blow remains to be seen, but it is, no doubt, encouraging to see.