ACTA Draft Treaty

It seems that the “near final” draft released a few days ago has been watered down a lot from ear­li­er leaked drafts. Expec­ta­tions man­age­ment? Or actu­al dis­agree­ments between the par­ties? Since ACTA was an attempt to nego­ti­ate an treaty on enforce­ment of prin­ci­ples cov­ered by the mul­ti­lat­er­al frame­work in secret and among a select group of coun­tries, we can’t (yet) be sure.

It looks like the U.S. ambi­tion to glob­al­ly impose aspect of it’s DMCA approach were thwart­ed. Of course, some of those pro­vi­sions have already been accept­ed in Aus­tralian law under our Free Trade agree­ment with the USA.

The Ars Tech­ni­ca sum­ma­ry of the changes in the ACTA draft is an inter­est­ing guide. It concludes: 

But there are plen­ty of oth­er oppor­tu­ni­ties for mis­chief, espe­cial­ly when it comes to tech­ni­cal details or to items like statu­to­ry dam­ages and how they might be cal­cu­lat­ed. This is espe­cial­ly true since ACTA nego­tia­tors have shown the usu­al pref­er­ence for export­ing intel­lec­tu­al prop­er­ty pro­tec­tions while leav­ing lim­i­ta­tions and fair uses up for grabs.”

True. I note in that vein that Arti­cle 2 on “Bor­der Mea­sures” now pro­vides only fac­ul­ta­tive lan­guage on the own-ini­tia­tive or prompt­ed seizure of goods in tran­sit by a Cus­toms agency. But this is, nonethe­less, a rot­ten idea that is full of trade harass­ment potential.

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