A new website for PublicACTA — the parallel ACTA conference open to the public — has opened for registrations at www.PublicACTA.org.nz. The next round of official talks will be in Wellington during the second week of April and people from ACTA.net.nz (including the CFF) are arranging several events to both inform artists the wider public and to garner their opinion for New Zealander negotiators. More information on PublicACTA and SecretACTA can be found in our previous blog post.
Professor Michael Geist is the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law at the University of Ottawa in Ontario, Canada. He is a leading voice in the public debate surrounding ACTA and has become an invaluable go-to source for current information on the negotiations as it is released/leaked.
People who are interested in attending the PublicACTA event should register their interest by sending an email to email@example.com.
Further details about the Conference will be released on a dedicated website next week.
A joint resolution (PDF) has been tabled by the major European Parliament parties that threatens to go to court unless things change. The parliament is calling for public access to negotiation texts and rules out further confidential negotiations. Moreover, the parliament wants a ban on imposing a three-strikes model, assurances that ACTA will not result in personal searches at the border, and an ACTA impact assessment on fundamental rights and data protection.
Nathan Torkington recently posted a summary of New Zealand’s standpoint on ACTA based on leaked documents.
At Ignite! Mark Harris gave a talk on ACTA (youtube video), the international treaty being negotiated with an unprecedented amount of secrecy. “The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is coming up fast. It’s being negotiated in secret by a boy’s club of developed nations and could have a huge impact on the lives of everyone, online and off. Because we don’t know what’s in it, it’s hard to be specific, but we can talk about the process being used to negotiate it, which is dishonest and seeks to block the general public from having input.” You can find more ACTA information at acta.net.nz.
There are two important meetings in Wellington in April this year.
Today saw the biggest leak so far of ACTA info. Michael Geist has details on Internet and Civil Enforcement Chapters With Country Positions
Nathan Torkington has posted a summary of New Zealand’s standpoint on various issues within the leaked document.
The treaty remains protected by “National Security”, and these are all unofficial leaks. We can’t be sure that the document is genuine, but it appears to be the real deal.
Despite not releasing any official info, New Zealand’s Ministry of Economic Development has today asked the public for ACTA advice.
Michael Geist reports on the leaked ACTA Internet Chaper that was previously available to Hollywood lobbyists but is now available to everyone. He says “The draft chapter finally puts to rest the question of whether ACTA in its current form would establish a three strikes and you’re out model. [...] the treaty may not specifically require three-strikes, but it clearly encourages it as the model to qualify as a safe harbour from liability.”
Michael Geist reports : “The summary statement from the Mexico ACTA talks has been posted online. As predicted, it is a bland statement confirming discussions on civil enforcement, border measures, and Internet issues. It also includes the usual discussion around transparency and the desire to conclude ACTA in 2010.” The CFF have been told that New Zealand has called for more transparency, joining the UK Government, the EU Parliament, Australia, and Canada. However, while there’s a lot of talk about transparency, we have yet to see any serious moves to inform the public.