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Why Google, Bing, Yahoo Should Fear ACTA 290

Posted by kdawson
from the reason-enough-to-keep-it-secret dept.
littlekorea writes "US intellectual property law expert Jonathan Band has warned that Silicon Valley's search engines, hosting companies, and e-commerce giants have much to fear from the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, negotiations for which continued in Switzerland today. The fear for search engines in particular is the erosion of 'fair use' protections and introduction of statutory damages, both of which could lead to more copyright claims from rights holders." The article links a marked-up ACTA draft (PDF) that Band and a coalition of library organizations and rights groups believe is more balanced. Quoting Band: "Our high-level concern is that ACTA does not reflect the balance in US IP law, [which] contains strong protections and strong exceptions. ACTA exports only the strong protections, but not the strong exceptions."
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Why Google, Bing, Yahoo Should Fear ACTA

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  • by Deus.1.01 (946808) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @01:48PM (#32733744) Journal

    ...so why can't google?

    Oh rite...they can afford the lawyers.

  • by langelgjm (860756) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @02:06PM (#32734060) Journal

    Below is the text from a Q&A session with ACTA negotiators held on June 28, 2010 in Lucerne. These were notes taken by hand by the questioner, and the answers were considered "on the record." I have highlighted some important parts, and omitted some irrelevant parts.

    On June 28, 2010, at 7:30pm Swiss time, a group of civil society representatives met with 21 ACTA negotiators. The negotiators included representatives (21 in all) from the Switzerland, France, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Mexico, Japan, U.S., Morocco, Canada and Korea.
    ...

    The questions raised were given to the negotiators in advance and the answers were represented as those of the collective views of the negotiators rather than of an individual negotiator unless otherwise indicated. Unless otherwise indicated, the speaker is the chair of the Swiss Delegation who was appointed to speak for the group.

    There are a couple news items here. First, there is an “emerging consensus” to take patents out of the border measure chapter, but not out of the rest of the agreement. Some parties appear to desire to take patents out of the whole text. The EU appears to be in favor of leaving patents in the civil chapter. The change appears to be a rather direct result of concerns raised by access to medicines advocates.

    There are still major concerns on access to medicines and free flow of goods in the border chapter. Negotiators seem committed to requiring in transit seizure and it is possible (although there seems some division) that it will include common trademark infringements and non-commercial scale copyright infringement, thus reaching far beyond TRIPS standards.

    There was an admission that countries may have to change their laws to comply with ACTA. That may not be real news, but I have not heard it admitted by a delegate before. But the EU continued to press that they will not change their laws.

    There seemed to be little desire to remove or narrow considerably the internet chapter. There was a desire by some delegates to ensure that DMCA-like protections are in the ACTA internet chapter. But several discussed (off line) the desire to combat “file sharing,” even apparently when not done on a commercial scale.

    Meeting with ACTA negotiators, Lucerne, 28.06.2010; Compiled questions from the civil society for the Q&A session

    1. Will negotiators commit to continue releasing the text of the Agreement following completion of this week's negotiating round and subsequently until the completion (or abandonment) of negotiations?

    A: This is a question that the delegation takes up at end of each round. This will be a question to be discussed and agreed by consensus.

    On issue of public comments, this is a plurilateral process and each country will have to take that into account. It is not as if the ACTA group is a formal organization. For a pluralateral agreement, we have promoted a great deal of transparency already – more than in other agreements.

    Q. Wait. In other processes – e.g. anything done at WIPO or the example of the Doha declaration – civil society got access to text before and after each round. That has not been the case here. We received text once, after years of negotiations and close to what you declared to be the end point of the discussions.

    A. Those are multilateral negotiations. This is a plurilateral negotiation. We do not have a secretariat to assist with such matters. This has been an extremely transparent process.

    2. Are negotiators reviewing the text of the Agreement to ensure it is fully consistent with the WTO TRIPS Agreement? Will the WTO or other independent legal experts be asked to review the text of the Agreement to ensure it is legally consistent with WTO rules? Will you provide clear and objective information regarding the evidence base upon which ACTA is purportedly justified, as

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @02:32PM (#32734426)

    What makes it even more confusing...

    Steam Summer Sale [slashdot.org]

    You can get great games for bargin bin prices. TF2? $6. GTA4? $4.99. 25% off, 50% off, 66% off.

    When the price point of a game drops below $5, I don't want to hear any excuses about piracy.

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