Right for the Wrong Reasons

Disregard the Anonymous video, it’s good to have an accurate representation of ACTA courtesy of Ars Technica. To demonstrate, here are two passages from the article in question (Ars Technica text in italics).

ACTA does not strictly mandate that ISPs survey their clients’ traffic:

The closest ACTA comes to mandating ISP surveillance is section 27.3, which requires participating nations to “promote cooperative efforts within the business community to effectively address trademark and copyright or related rights infringement while preserving legitimate competition and, consistent with that Party’s law, preserving fundamental principles such as freedom of expression, fair process, and privacy.”

Generic drugs need not be threatened by ACTA:

An in-depth report on the impact of ACTA on generic medicines found that the treaty “makes enforcement of intellectual property rights in courts, at borders, by the government and by private parties easier, less costly, and more ‘deterrent’ in the level of penalties. In doing so, it increases the risks and consequences of wrongful searches, seizures, lawsuits and other enforcement actions against legitimate suppliers of generic medicines.” So at the margin, ACTA might be bad for the flow of generic drugs to poor countries, but it’s a huge exaggeration to say that generic drugs would be “banned.”

Keep in mind, this is still a bad agreement. One that was negotiated in secret to bypass other international institutions that may have wanted a say in the matter in order to get things just the way a select few parties want them to be. Said secret negotiation even made some of the parties negotiating feel uncomfortable:

The EU’s top negotiator on ACTA even told US embassy official in Sweden that “the secrecy issue has been very damaging to the negotiating climate in Sweden… The secrecy around the negotiations has led to the legitimacy of the whole process being questioned.”

Surely there are other reasons ACTA is bad that are beyond the scope of this post. Research time, people =)

Though if people are still up in arms about ACTA, even if their reasons for being enraged are inaccurate, isn’t it a good thing? Action against bad policy is a good thing, after all. The ignorance about the actual content of the agreement is symptomatic of the secrecy the agreement was created in. Ultimately drafts and the final documents were released, I admit, but how aware were people of this fact?

If one wishes to be accurate in their dissent, read up on the final text (English, French, Spanish) and if that doesn’t make much sense, or if wading through 25 pages of unintuitive wording is not your thing, check out the link to the Ars article up top.

So, I think until I find something else interesting on the subject, I shall leave it at that on the topic of ACTA.