Monday, June 15, 2009

Obama Administration Reiterates Its Support Of Secretive, Industry Written ACTA; TechDirt, 6/15/09

Mike Masnick via TechDirt; Obama Administration Reiterates Its Support Of Secretive, Industry Written ACTA:

"We've been bothered by the incredibly secretive (except if you happen to be in the entertainment industry) ACTA Treaty negotiations for quite some time now. This is the industry-led effort to get a bunch of nations to agree to draconian and damaging new copyright laws by sneaking them through as a secretive "international treaty," such that countries are then compelled to change their copyright laws to "be in compliance with international agreements." It's a really sneaky trick that Hollywood has used for years. And then it acts all innocent when people accuse it of pushing draconian laws on consumers, claiming "it wasn't us... we needed to be in compliance with our international agreements." They just leave out the part where they're the ones who write those agreements for the various trade representatives. The early drafts of ACTA are no different. They were clearly written by industry lobbyists, and are now being pushed by various trade representatives, and then our elected officials will have "no choice" but to change copyright laws to be in compliance.

Perhaps the most troubling part of all of this is that the negotiations are happening in secret, and when consumers rights organizations ask to be given a seat at the table, they're denied. When those same consumer rights organizations ask to at least be told what's being negotiated, they're told it's forbidden because of "state secrets." However, for all that national security, the administration has absolutely no problem giving industry lobbyists access to the process. Funny how that works."

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