Reading ACTA. Some assorted comments from my Twitter feed

Today I stumbled upon the official Bulgarian translation of ACTA (found via Emil Georgiev’s Twitter feed). It was published on EUR-LEX, the European database for EU legislation. The text should be available in all EU languages – here is the English text, in the ANNEX section (starting with the EU Council Decision proposal): 52011PC0380

Here are some assorted comments that I made while reading the text. I originally posted them on my Twitter feed, so please excuse the non-prosaic style.

  • Reading #ACTA in Bulgarian Quite a controversial text, very unbalanced and biased towards big copyright holders.
  • #ACTA is encouraging transparency in copyright protection management, but #ACTA itself was prepared and signed with lack of transparency.
  • News coverage from 2010 (Techdirt): Brazil opposing #ACTA, saying it’s illegitimate. More Countries React To ACTA; Brazil Says ACTA Is Illegitimate
  • The Committee can discuss suggestions & changes about ACTA. Each country that has signed the document is represented in the #ACTA Committee
  • If a country wants to leave the #ACTA agreement, it can do so even after signing the document. It’s never too late to oppose it.
  • #ACTA is not applied on the borders of union-member countries, such as the EU.
    to which @agonarch replied:
    Of course not, because it is not yet in force, see Sec 3
    Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (full text ACTA, PDF)
  • I’m not a law specialist, but I think #ACTA contains too vague definitions, and can be open to wide interpretations.
  • #ACTA insists on full compensation at retail prices for each copy of infringing goods or content, physical or digital.
  • #ACTA assumes all copyright holders are multinational organisations. No mention of single / independent producers and their protection.
  • #ACTA focuses on trade marks. On random occasions, it also mentions works of the music and film industry.
  • #ACTA assumes all works are copyright protected and the authors want to be protected. No mention of public domain and / or CreativeCommons.
  • #ACTA insists on destroying and / or confiscating all infrastructure related to copyright infringement, or suspected future infringement.
  • #ACTA suggests small packages and personal luggage is included in customs control, unless the signing country decides to exclude it.
  • #ACTA is vague on how to prove authorship & rights ownership. Written as if all copyright protected goods are controlled by the same entity.
  • #ACTA insists the state initiates a process when suspecting crime. Isn’t it the copyright holders’ job? Isn’t it enough to just inform them?
  • #ACTA suggests internet service providers pass on information about suspected clients – when there is a process / investigation in place.
  • #ACTA suggests being applied to extent that doesn’t jeopardise legal e-trade & communications, freedom of expression, personal info & safety

I apologise to my Twitter followers for the Sunday morning spam these posts have created, but as Google say in their Privacy Policy update notice, This stuff matters.


3 thoughts on “Reading ACTA. Some assorted comments from my Twitter feed

  1. Pingback: ACTA – анализ | Кутията за всичко

  2. Pingback: Creative Activism #creativact – my 7 challenge responses & additional tasks, presentation, and 5 blog posts for assessment « Rumena Zlatkova

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