The European Commission is negotiating the international ACTA agreement about intellectual property rights enforcement, but it refuses grant public and parliamentary access to ACTA negotiation texts and summaries.
The negotiations are carried out behind closed doors, and not even the elected members of the European Parliament are allowed to see the texts.
The only way that we can get to know what they are planning to do in the name of intellectual property rights enforcement, is to rely on leaks.
A leaked consolidated version of the ACTA text dated January 18th, 2010, has been floating around unofficially in the corridors in Brussels for some time. Last week, the French activist organization La Quadrature du Net published a pdf of the leaked ACTA document with each page scanned as a picture.
The same pdf file is also available for download via The Pirate Bay.
The leaked ACTA text is now also available as a Word document (which can be read with the free software suite Open Office ).
I got it from a net activist who prefers to remain anonymous, but has gone to the trouble of converting the document to text format and proof reading it to make sure the transcription is as accurate as possible.
He points out that the page numbering is not completely in sync with the original, so if you want to make references to a specific page, you will have to consult the original.
It is of course good that we at least have access to the text in leaked format, but it is not enough.
According to the Lisbon Treaty, which went into force on December 1, 2009, the Commission has a legal obligation to inform the European Parliament immediately and fully at all stages of international negotiations.
We demand all papers on the table, not under it.
But until we have that, we will do what we can with the leaks. Thank you, everybody who has contributed!