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ACTA: Secret Anti-Piracy Negotiations Unveiled

Piracy graffiti in Sweden (cc Thobias Vemmenby)
Piracy graffiti in Sweden (cc Thobias Vemmenby)

It seems like ACTA negotiators have finally gone one step in the direction of transparency. After a week of negotiations in Wellington (NZ), they announced on Friday that the draft treaty would be made public next Wednesday. Or maybe they just learned their lesson after repeated leaks.

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) has been in the making for over two years behind closed doors. The new treaty aims to improve “global standards for the enforcement of [Intellectual Property Law], to more effectively combat trade in counterfeit and pirated goods,” according to the EU Commission.

As you might expect, the negotiating parties are a western club (US, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, the EU and Switzerland) with a few ‘like-minded’ friends (Singapore, South Korea, Mexico, Morocco).

ACTA has faced a storm of criticism from internet users. Here is a little summary of the main issues at stake: