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WinMX World :: Forum  |  Discussion  |  WinMx World News  |  Secret ACTA treaty can't be shown to public, just 42 lawyers

Author Topic: Secret ACTA treaty can't be shown to public, just 42 lawyers  (Read 540 times)

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Offline DaBees-Knees

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Secret ACTA treaty can't be shown to public, just 42 lawyers
« on: October 15, 2009, 05:01:57 pm »

Turns out that the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) will include a section on Internet "enforcement procedures" after all. And how many people have had input on these procedures? Forty-two.

ACTA has worried outside observers for some time by threatening to delve into issues not normally covered by "trade agreements." Topping the list are concerns about ACTA's possible use as a Trojan horse to shove tough Internet controls onto countries like the US at the behest of Big Content. It's been hard to tell exactly what ACTA will include, though, because the process has taken place in such secrecy and even when information has been released, the section relating to the Internet has been empty.

But the secrecy wasn't total. Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) found out in September that the US Trade Representative's office had actually been secretly canvassing opinions on the Internet section of the agreement from 42 people, all of whom had signed a nondisclosure agreement before being shown the ACTA draft text.

After filing a Freedom of Information Act request (the names of the 42 people were considered a matter of "national security" and were not released voluntarily), KEI yesterday revealed the list of people who have had access to the ACTA Internet provisions. Here are the first 32 names, all of them people outside of USTR:

Emery Simon, Business Software Alliance (BSA)
Jesse Feder, Business Software Alliance (BSA)
Bill Patry, Google
Daphne Keller, Google
Johanna Shelton, Google
Lisa Pearlman, Wilmer Hale
Robert Novick, Wilmer Hale
Bob Kruger, Consultant to eBay
Brian Bieron, eBay
Hillary Brill, eBay
Sarah Deutch, Verizon
David Weller, Wilmer Hale
Steve Metalitz, International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA), Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP
Veronica O'Connell, Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)
Jim Burger, Dow Lohnes, Counsel to Intel
Jonathan Band, Jonathan Band PLLC
Gigi Sohn, Public Knowledge
Rashmi Rangnath, Public Knowledge
Sherwin Siy, Public Knowledge
Maritza Castro, Dell
Jeff Lawrence, Intel
Mathew Schruers, CCIA
David Sohn, Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT)
Michael Petricone, Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)
Ryan Triplette, Intel
Janet O'Callaghan, News Corporation
Chris Israel, PCT Government Relations
Alicia Smith, Sony Pictures Entertainment
Cameron Gilreath, Time Warner
Seth Greensten, Constantine Cannon LLP, for Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)
Daniel Dougherty, eBay
David Fares, News Corporation
A further 10 people who have seen the draft are regular members of USTR advisory boards:

Anissa S. Whitten, Motion Picture Association of America, Inc.
Eric Smith, International Intellectual Property Alliance
Neil I. Turkewitz, Recording Industry Association of America
Sandra M. Aistars, Time Warner Inc.
Steven D. Mitchell, Entertainment Software Association
Thomas J. Thomson, Coalition for Intellectual Property Rights
Timothy P. Trainer, Zippo Manufacturing Company
Jacquelynn Ruff, Verizon Communications Inc.
John P. Goyer, US Coalition of Service Industries
Mark F. Bohannon, Software and Information Industry Association
It's a motley collection. While the continued secrecy of the process remains troubling, the list actually represents a wide swath of views. Big Content is well-represented; if stakeholders like the RIAA and MPAA don't appear often on the first list, that's only because they have a permanent connection with USTR and regularly get to advise the agency on crafting its trade policies.

But many of those on the top list don't support much in the way of Internet "enforcement" of IP law, not if that includes items like filtering or graduated response. Bill Patry, for instance, is Google's top copyright lawyer and has just written an entire book lambasting the content industries in no uncertain terms for their utter lack of innovation. Michael Petricone of CEA regularly appears at conferences opposing many content owner ideas, and Jonathan Band is a DC lawyer who regularly represents library associations in copyright proceedings. Public Knowledge and CDT both received invites, and lawyers for Dell, Intel, and eBay are generally not excited about content-owner-protection proposals.

On the other hand, copyright's eminence grise, Steven Metalitz, is also on the list; Metalitz was last seen in these pages telling the Copyright Office that consumers have no right to be upset after buying DRMed music from a store that goes out of business and takes its DRM servers offline.

According to Jamie Love of KEI, however, the whole thing smacks of corporatism. Sure, the corporations may be on different sides of the issue, but is the public actually being well-represented here?

"We were told that everyone who needed to see the documents has seen them," he writes. "Outside of Public Knowledge and CDT, everyone who received the documents was representing a large corporate entity."

ACTA negotiations resume in early November in Seoul, South Korea, where (in its own words) "USTR will be pressing for provisions that strengthen the ability of governments to deal with the serious issue of Internet piracy."

"We were told that everyone who needed to see the documents has seen them,"

Did someone mention vested interests? It seems the public are not fit to be consulted.  8)

WinMX World :: Forum  |  Discussion  |  WinMx World News  |  Secret ACTA treaty can't be shown to public, just 42 lawyers

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