ACTA Communiqué Organized by PIJIP Warns Against Threats to Numerous Public Interests


CONTACT:  Sean Flynn
W: 202-274-4442 | M: 202-294-5749
sflynn@wcl.american.edu

Over 650 European Parliamentarians, civil society organizations, academics, practitioners and individuals have signed an ACTA Communiqué authored at a meeting of over 90 international intellectual property experts held last week at American University Washington College of Law.  The full text is available here: http://www.wcl.american.edu/pijip/go/acta-communique. An excerpt follows:  

“We find that the terms of the publicly released draft of ACTA threaten numerous public interests, including every concern specifically disclaimed by negotiators.
  • Negotiators claim ACTA will not interfere with citizens' fundamental rights and liberties; it will.
  • They claim ACTA is consistent with the WTO Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS); it is not. 
  • They claim ACTA will not increase border searches or interfere with cross-border transit of legitimate generic medicines; it will. 
  • And they claim that ACTA does not require "graduated response" disconnections of people from the internet; however, the agreement strongly encourages such policies.

“ACTA is the predictably deficient product of a deeply flawed process. What started as a relatively simple proposal to coordinate customs enforcement has transformed into a sweeping and complex new international intellectual property and internet regulation with grave consequences for the global economy and governments' ability to promote and protect the public interest.

“Any agreement of this scope and consequence must be based on a broad and meaningful consultative process, in public, on the record and with open on-going access to proposed negotiating text and must 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 further closed-door negotiation over a text we do not have access to, a fair reading of the April 2010 draft leads to our conclusion that ACTA is hostile to the public interest in at least seven critical areas of global public policy: fundamental rights and freedoms; internet governance; access to medicines; scope and nature of intellectual property law; international trade; international law and institutions; and democratic process.”

The Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property (PIJIP) at American University Washington College of Law promotes public interest approaches to domestic and international intellectual property law through advocacy, events and the provision of legal and consulting services.  PIJIP’s activities focus on a balanced approach to intellectual property and other legal regimes that reward creators while ensuring broad public access to information and its products.

CLICK HERE FOR A PRINTABLE PDF OF THIS PRESS RELEASE.

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