[IRP] Call for endorsements: draft statement about ACTA
Mon Jun 21 16:34:50 EEST 2010
Sorry for any cross-posting.
I forward to you a call for signatures on a draft statement about ACTA. The
text of the statement can be found below.
Please help to spread the word.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sean Flynn <sflynn at wcl.american.edu>
Date: Sat, Jun 19, 2010 at 2:23 PM
Subject: URGENT: ACTA Communique Sign On Process
To: IP-ENFORCEMENT at roster.wcl.american.edu
After further internal deliberation, we have decided to establish an
individual sign on process both to avoid representing the views of those who
do not wish to be identified and to open the endorsement process to
individuals and organizations not at the meeting but who support the
findings and conclusions adopted. Please help us maximize the sign ons to
this important document.
The latest version of the draft communiqu? is now posted to a public blog
Please share the draft with others, circulate on your blogs, etc.
The sign on process is as follows:
THIS DRAFT STATEMENT IS NOW OPEN FOR INDIVIDUAL AND ORGANIZATIONAL
ENDORSEMENTS AS WELL AS EDITING COMMENTS.
? Please send signatures to: acta.declaration at gmail.com
? Please enter edits into the draft (
http://sites.google.com/site/ipenforcement2/draft-declaration) or send edits
to: pijip at wcl.american.edu
*EDITING SUGGESTIONS *
WILL BE ACCEPTED UNTIL NOON MONDAY JUNE 21. THE FINAL TEXT WITH EDITS
INCLUDED WILL BE RELEASED BY 5PM MONDAY JUNE 21.
THE FINAL STATEMENT WILL BE RELEASED TO THE PUBLIC WITH ENDORSEMENTS ON
WEDNESDAY JUNE 23 AT 10AM. ENDORSEMENTS WILL BE ACCEPTED UNTIL JUNE 23 AT
WE WILL ACCEPT PROVISIONAL ENDORSEMENTS NOW. ENDORSERS WILL BE GIVEN THE
OPTION TO OPT-OUT WHEN THE FINAL TEXT IS CIRCULATED BY 5PM MONDAY JUNE 21.
*FOR INDIVIDUAL ENDORSEMENTS,* SEND YOUR NAME, TITLE AND ORGANIZATION AND
PLACE (CITY, COUNTRY) OF OCCUPATION
*FOR ORGANIZATIONAL ENDORSEMENTS*, ENTER THE NAME OF THE ORGANIZATION AND
PLACE(S) (CITY(IES), COUNTRY(IES)) IN WHICH THE ORGANIZATION HAS OFFICES.
INDIVIDUALS WITHIN SIGNATORY ORGANIZATIONS MAY ENDORSE AS INDIVIDUALS AS
WELL AS BEING PART OF THE ORGANIZATIONAL ENDORSEMENT.
PLEASE CIRCULATE WIDELY.
DRAFT Urgent Communique: Consultation of International Experts on ACTA and
the Public Interest
Release Date: June 23, 2010
American University Washington College of Law
International Experts Find that Pending Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement
Threatens Public Interests
This DRAFT statement reflects the conclusions reached at a meeting of over
90 academics, practitioners and public interest organizations from five
continents gathered at American University Washington College of Law, June
16-18, 2010. In the days following the meeting, the statement received the
individual and organizational endorsements listed below, and is still open
for further endorsements at www.pijip.org
The meeting, convened by American University's Program on Information
Justice and Intellectual Property, was called to analyze the official text
of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), released for the first
time in April, 2010, after years of secretive negotiations. The text was
released in the context of public criticism of the process and presumed
substance of the negotiations (see Wellington
EU Resolution on Transparency and State of Play of the ACTA
ACTA will not harm significant public interests.
We find that the terms of the agreement threaten numerous public interests,
including nearly every concern specifically disclaimed by the negotiators in
The proposed agreement is a deeply flawed product of a deeply flawed
What started as a proposal to coordinate customs enforcement offices has
morphed into a massive new international intellectual property (IP) and
internet regulation with grave consequences for the global economy and
governments' ability to promote and protect public interests.
Any agreement of this scope and consequence must be based on a broad and
consultative process and reflect a full range of public interest concerns.
As detailed below, this text fails to meet these standards.
Recognizing that the terms of the agreement are under negotiation, a fair
reading of the proposed text as a whole leads to our conclusions that ACTA:
-Encourages internet service providers to police users of the internet
without adequate court oversight or due process;
-Globalizes 'anti-circumvention' provisions which threaten innovation,
competition, open source business models, interoperability, copyright
exceptions, and user choice;
FREE TRADE AND ACCESS TO MEDICINES
-Disrupts the free trade in legitimate generic medicines and other goods,
and sacrifices the foundational principle that IP rights are territorial, by
requiring customs authorities to seize goods in transit countries even when
they do not violate any law of the producing and importing countries;
-Does little or nothing to address the problem of medicines with
insufficient or wrong ingredients as the majority of these are not IP but
regulatory system problems.
-Extends the powers of custom officials to search and seize a wide range of
goods, including computers and other electronic devices, without adequate
safeguards against unwarranted confiscations and privacy invasions;
-Extends 'ex officio' border search and seizures from willful, commercial
scale trademark counterfeiting to a broad range of intellectual property
infringements, including ?confusingly similar? trademark violations,
copyright infringement standards that require interpretation of "fair use"
or similar user rights, and even to patent cases which frequently involve
complex questions of law and fact that are difficult to adjudicate even by
specialist courts after full adjudicative processes;
FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS
-Will curtail full enjoyment of fundamental rights and liberties, including
rights to privacy and the protection of personal data, health, access to
information, free expression, due process and presumptions of innocence,
cultural participation, and other internationally protected human rights;
SCOPE AND NATURE OF IP LAW
Distorts the balance fundamental to IP law between the rights and interests
of proprietors and users, including by
- introducing very specific rights and remedies for rights holders
without correlative requirements to provide exceptions, limitations, and due
process safeguards for users;
- shifting enforcement from private civil mechanisms to public
authorities and third parties, including to customs officials, criminal
prosecutors and internet service providers -- in ways that are likely to be
more sensitive to proprietary concerns and less sensitive to user concerns;
- omitting liability and disincentives for abuses of enforcement
processes by right holders; and
- requiring the adoption of automatic damages assessments unrelated to
any proven harm;
-Alters the traditional and constitutionally mandated law making processes
for IP by:
- locking in and exporting controversial aspects of US and EU enforcement
practices whcih have already proven problematic, foreclosing future
legislative improvements in response to changes in technology or policy;
- requiring substantive changes to intellectual property laws of a large
number of negotiating countries.
INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT
-Will disproportionately harm development and social welfare of the poor,
particularly in developing countries, including through raising
unjustifiable trade barriers to imports and exports of needed medicines and
other knowledge embedded goods;
-Contains provisions inconsistent with the WTO Agreement on Trade Related
Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement);
-Conflicts with the World Trade Organization Doha Declaration on TRIPS and
Public Health and World Health Assembly Resolution 61.21 by limiting the
ability of countries to exercise to the full flexibilities in the TRIPS
agreement that can promote access to needed medicines;
-Circumvents and undermines the commitments agreed to under the World
Intellectual Property Organization development agenda, particularly
recommendation 45 committing to ?approach intellectual property enforcement
in the context of broader societal interests and especially
development-oriented concerns," and "in accordance with Article 7 of the
-Creates a new and redundant international administration for IP issues
outside of WIPO or the WTO with broad powers but limited transparency,
threatening multilateralism in international IP norm setting;
-Encourages technical assistance, public awareness campaigns, and
partnerships with the private sector that appear designed to promote only
the interests of IP owners;
CONCLUSIONS ABOUT THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS
The current process for considering public input into ACTA is fundamentally
flawed in numerous respects. In many countries, the only consultations
taking place are with select members of the public, off-the-record and
without benefit of sharing the latest version of the rapidly changing text.
There is little possibility that a fair and balanced agreement that protects
and promotes public interests can evolve from such a distorted policy making
Governments, right holders and civil society should have an open and
evidence-based discussion on the right strategy to confront willful
commercial scale trademark counterfeiting and commercial scale copyright
piracy. This discussion should take place in multilateral and national open
and on-the-record forums with access to current negotiating text so that all
interested stakeholders can participate.
- Please send signatures (individual or Organization, City, Country) to:
acta.declaration at gmail.com
- Please send edits to: pijip at wcl.american.edu
Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property
American University Washington College of Law
202 274 4157
Centro de Tecnologia e Sociedade
FGV Direito Rio
Center for Technology and Society
Getulio Vargas Foundation
Rio de Janeiro - Brazil
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