Progress on ACTA
As I’ve mentioned previously, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is pending and is bad news. (See Stop the ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement); other ACTA posts here; also Gennady Stolyarov II, ACTA: The War on Progress, Freedom, and Human Civilization.) According to some discussion of this by the folks at Public Knowledge, some of its more objectionable provisions have been watered down. See Rashmi Rangnath’s posts Near Final ACTA Text Released and USTR releases finalized ACTA text: Concerns remain; also see Public Knowledge president Gigi Sohn’s remarks about ACTA in this panel discussion, Federalist Society’s Intellectual Property Practice Group National Lawyers Convention Panel Online, from 1:20:10-end. Sohn explains that normally the subject matter of ACTA would be negotiated in an open manner under the auspices of WIPO; but it was negotiated instead by the USTR as a trade agreement so that it could be done more quickly, and in secret. Sohn says that the substance of ACTA is more benign now, but only because groups like hers and others exerted pressure to open the proceedings up to public scrutiny. This thing is still bad, but a bit less bad, now, thanks to the efforts of these groups. Yet another reason why leaking is good–sunshine is a good disinfectant.