The ACTA Internet Chapter: Putting the Pieces Together

The mis-labeled Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (which itself is counterfeit, as politicians have been entirely dishonest about the origins and content of the treaty) has again had parts of its secret contents leaked. Some details are on Michael Geist's blog.

The Internet chapter raises two additional issues. 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. On the domestic front, it raises serious questions about the Canadian negotiation mandate. Negotations from Foreign Affairs are typically constrained by either domestic law, a bill before the House of Commons, or the negotiation mandate letter. Since these provisions dramatically exceed current Canadian law and are not found in any bill presently before the House, Canadians should be asking whether the negotiation mandate letter has envisioned such dramatic changes to domestic copyright law. When combined with the other chapters that include statutory damages, search and seizure powers for border guards, anti-camcording rules, and mandatory disclosure of personal information requirements, it is clear that there is no bigger IP issue today than the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement being negotiated behind closed doors this week in Korea.