November 10, 2009 | By Root User

Reining in ACTA: Update and Call to Action

Last week saw the latest round of secret negotiations on ACTA, on criminal enforcement of IP, enforcement in the digital environment, and, according to one of the few public documents on the negotiations, ACTA's own "transparency". It's hard to imagine a more controversial set of IP topics -- and underlying them all is the distinct lack of transparency attached to the entire process. It's been a sore point throughout the trade agreement's long history, with pressure from the European Parliament, the Canadian delegation, and public interest groups (including EFF) in the United States to make the agreement more accountable.

We're asking the Obama Administration directly to open up the process -- but your elected officials also have a part to play. Write to your Senators now, and tell them to rein in ACTA.

Meanwhile, in the continuing absence of any true openness, reporters and analysts have had to rely on leaks and hints from the countries involved. Here's a round-up of what we know from ACTA-watchers around the world:

  • The story so far: Michael Geist's timeline from October 2007 to March 2009.
  • The full text of the leaked European Commission briefing memo, including a note that the content is sensitive "due to the different points of view regarding the internet chapter both within the Administration, with Congress and among stakeholders (content providers on one side, supporters of internet 'freedom' on the other)".
  • Reactions from EFF, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and across the blogs.
  • Open letters to Obama administration demanding transparency, signed by EFF, and joined with individuals and groups from Lawrence Lessig to the Medical Library Association.

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