The text of the ACTA agreement was released yesterday, and you can download it here.
But the secrecy around this new legislation still continues. At this very minute the EU Commission is holding a meeting to brief members of the European Parliament. At the very outset of the meeting, it was declared from the chairman that ”this is not a press conference, or a meeting to feed La Quadrature du Net or Wikileaks”.
I then chose to leave the meeting immediately.
I am not interested in receiving information on ACTA that I am not allowed to share with the citizens I represent. I think that goes against the transparency that citizens have right to demand from the EU in general, and the elected members of the parliament in particular.
But it is the text that is the important thing anyway. I have read through the agreement, and it is very depressing reading.
This is legislation being introduced over the heads of the European and national parliaments, under the guise of an international agreement. And it is bad legislation.
Internet service providers should cooperate with rights holders to combat copyright infringements, according to the ACTA text. It should be illegal to circumvent DRM, or to spread computer programs that can be used for that purpose. Damages should be calculated according to the principle that each illegal download corresponds to one lost sale. And a lot of similar things.
We will have to analyse the exact implications of the text over the coming weeks and months. This is tricky stuff, and the devil is always in the details.
Some early analysis can be found here:
- Techdirt: You can’t craft a reasonable agreement when you leave out stakeholders
- Monica Horten – Final ACTA puts Europe under more pressure for graduated response
- Henrik Alexandersson: ACTA: Första genomläsningen…
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