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The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement ( ACTA ), is a multinational treaty for the purpose of establishing international standards for intellectual property rights enforcement. The agreement aims to establish an international legal framework for targeting counterfeit goods, generic medicines and copyright infringement on the Internet, and would create a new governing body outside existing forums, such as the World Trade Organization , the World Intellectual Property Organization , or the United Nations . The agreement was signed in October 2011 by Australia , Canada , Japan , Morocco , New Zealand , Singapore , South Korea , and the United States . [ 6 ] In 2012, Mexico , the European Union and 22 countries which are member states of the European Union signed as well. [ 7 ] One signatory (Japan) has ratified (formally approved) the agreement, which would come into force in countries that ratified it after ratification by six countries.
Crossposted from Computerworld UK where it was originally split into two separate articles. It's a sign of the European Commission's increasing desperation over ACTA that it has been forced to send out a document entitled "10 Myths About ACTA" [ pdf ] that purports to debunk misinformation that is being put around. Unsurprisingly, the EC's document is itself full of misinformation. Here are just a few of the more outrageous examples.
What Is ACTA? The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is an agreement to create new global intellectual property (IP) enforcement standards that go beyond current international law, shifting the discussion from more democratic multilateral forums, such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), to secret regional negotiations. Through ACTA, the US aims to hand over increased authority to enforcement agencies to act on their own initiative, to seize any goods that are related to infringement activities (including domain names), criminalize circumvention of digital security technologies, and address piracy on digital networks. ACTA was negotiated from 2007 through 2010 by the US, the EU, Switzerland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Singapore, Morocco, Japan, and South Korea. Eight out of the eleven negotiating countries signed the agreement in October 2011.
The Parties to this Agreement , Noting that effective enforcement of intellectual property rights is critical to sustaining economic growth across all industries and globally; Noting further that the proliferation of counterfeit and pirated goods, as well as of services that distribute infringing material, undermines legitimate trade and sustainable development of the world economy, causes significant financial losses for right holders and for legitimate businesses, and, in some cases, provides a source of revenue for organized crime and otherwise poses risks to the public; Desiring to combat such proliferation through enhanced international cooperation and more effective international enforcement; Intending to provide effective and appropriate means, complementing the TRIPS Agreement, for the enforcement of intellectual property rights, taking into account differences in their respective legal systems and practices;