Wednesday, 4 November 2009
Geist has a new report on ACTA here, with some discussion of the potential inclusions in an internet text. Nothing that would surprise an Australian, given our experience with the AUSFTA.
I do, strongly, agree with Michael here, when he notes that:
On the international front, it provides firm confirmation that the treaty is not a counterfeiting trade, but a copyright treaty. These provisions involve copyright policy as no reasonable definition of counterfeiting would include these kinds of provisions.
From an Australian perspective, I suspect that the temptation for negotiators will be to say that since we are already committed to such rules in the AUSFTA, there is ‘no harm’ in signing up to similar ACTA terms. I think that would be a serious mistake. When Australia signed to such terms in AUSFTA, it did so in a trade deal, where there were other ‘benefits’ (however illusory some might have been). And it retains the freedom to step away from the AUSFTA at some future point if the costs outweigh the benefits. Signing up to such terms in an ACTA would be agreeing that these are to be general international standards: removing any remaining flexibility we have and giving a whole new set of people the right to complain if we want to resile.
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