The Acta treaty is one most of you will have heard about in passing, thats been mainly dictated into many countries national laws at the expense and urging of the US govt, its an insult to anyone who demands a free market rather than allowing protectionist monopolies to stagnate the market and its been negotiated in secret and thus its claims have been unscrutinised, sounds like underhand activity to keep a few fat cats fatter eh folks , well you would be right but just when you think the slight of hand tricks some governments play can get no worse we are hearing of a new threat to the free market.http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20111018/05561916398/out-acta-ing-acta-all-tpp-negotiating-documents-to-be-kept-secret-until-four-years-after-ratification.shtml
The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) has now been signed by several nations – even if its actual status is by no means clear. But that doesn't mean governments have finished with their trade negotiations behind closed doors. As Techdirt reported earlier this year, the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement is, in some ways, even worse than ACTA, and looks to be a conscious attempt to apply the tricks developed there to circumvent scrutiny yet further.
For example, like ACTA, TPP is being negotiated in secret. But that, apparently, is not enough: a memorandum has been signed that stipulates only the final treaty will be revealed at the conclusion of the negotiations. The parties have apparently agreed that all documents except the final text will be kept secret for four years after the agreement comes into force or the negotiations collapse. This reverses the trend in many recent negotiations to release draft texts and related documents. The existence of agreement was only discovered through a cover note to the leaked text of the intellectual property chapter.
Not only that, but it seems that even the memorandum about secrecy is going to remain secret:
An open letter to Prime Minister John Key and Trade Minister Tim Groser from unions, civil liberties, church, public health, development, environmental and trade justice groups has demanded the release of the secrecy document.
It's not hard to see why the US wants to keep its dirty laundry private. Like the recently-signed bilateral trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea, these treaties are incredibly one-sided, essentially giving the US media companies everything they are demanding in an attempt to prop up their dying business models through disproportionate copyright enforcement legislation around the world. The drafts would presumably make that much clearer.
This is a very worrying trend and one thats likley to fail basic honesty tests when applied by the public, why is it necessary to keep a treat secret unless it contains something very unpalatable or unfavourable to those being forced into signing it, I really do think transparency is the best way ahead with all stake holder being represented rather than simply underhand corporations and their lobby groups looking to steal further revenues from those who enjoy the audio and visual arts.