ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, is the notorious, unprecedented secret copyright treaty that was negotiated by industry representatives and government trade reps, without any access by elected representatives, independent business, the press, public interest groups, legal scholars, independent economists and so on. Time and again, the world’s richest governmental administrations (only rich countries were in the negotiation) told their own parliaments and congresses that they could not see what was in the treaty, nor know the details of the discussion.
The European Parliament was one of the bodies that asked its administration to share the treaty discussions with the elected members, only to be turned down. Cables in the Wikileaks dumps showed US officials orchestrating this secrecy because they knew how unpopular this one-sided, heavy-handed copyright treaty would be. Freedom of Information requests to the Obama administration confirmed that the reason for the secrecy was the experience in transparent negotiation at the UN, which resulted in an uprising by developing nations, who saw stricter, more expansive copyrights as a means of extracting rents from the world’s poorest people.
Now the European Parliament is being arm-twisted into ratifying ACTA, which contains many of the worst provisions that Americans rejected in SOPA and PIPA. We need your help and input to resist this terrible, dirty, punishing treaty from coming to Europe.
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Stop ACTA: secretive treaty will bring in the worst of SOPA through trade obligations