Thursday, February 04, 2010

The ire of an ACTA negotiator

In today's FT Assistant United States Trade Representative for Intellectual Property and Innovation, Stanford McCoy, complains about widespread criticism of secret ACTA negotiations.
"Sir, The article “Secret deal aims to scuttle internet pirates” (January
29) missed the point of ongoing negotiations towards an Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

Intellectual property protection is critical to jobs and exports that depend on innovation and creativity. Trade in counterfeit and pirated products undermines those jobs and exports, exposes consumers to dangerous knock-offs from toothpaste to car parts, and helps fund organised crime.

The ACTA negotiations are one of many international efforts to fight counterfeiting and piracy – not to “transform” already strong US and European Union copyright laws. Far from keeping them secret, governments participating in these negotiations have sought public comments, released a summary of issues under discussion, and enhanced public engagement.

Among other things, the summary states clearly that “ACTA is not intended to interfere with a signatory’s ability to respect its citizens' fundamental rights and civil liberties”.

The office of the US trade representative has posted ACTA information online at The site includes meeting agendas and links to help the public understand the US approach to key provisions, which is consistent with US law. Other partners have made their own information available about this important work to protect consumers and intellectual property worldwide."
An ACTA true believer, unlike Jim?  By now you'd have thought we'd have learned to trust people who sincerely believe they are right...

Ok. Guilty as charged I'm being cynical but I'm not the only one.

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