Early this morning, the final draft of the Informal Predecisional/Deliberative Draft of the dubiously named Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was released by Knowledge Ecology International (KEI).[1]

“The text has shifted dramatically from the initial documents revealed by Wikileaks when this secretive treaty was first exposed. In some respects it is a slightly better document than previous leaked drafts, with some sections being watered down — however at first glance we don’t perceive this draft as being any more benign” Rodney Serkowski, President of the Pirate Party Australia said.

“Changes in the document have only occurred due to significant pressures from NGOs, political parties and concerned lawmakers across the world making countless declarations and objections to both the content and the process based on information gathered from leaked documents,” he continued.

The Pirate Party strongly criticises the process of the negotiations.

“The entire process and outcome has been undemocratic and illegitimate. Transparency and any meaningful interaction with the community was actively circumvented — there has been a wanton disregard for the conventions of a true democracy, with only hollow platitudes to transparency and community engagement being made.” said Mr Serkowski.

Parliaments across the world have taken exception with the process and the content of the agreement, and the Pirate Party maintains that agreement should be abandoned.[2]

“No one wants to see commercial counterfeiting, however, as Jérémie Zimmermann of La Quadrature du Net stated, this agreement is a counterfeit of democracy, having been negotiated behind a veil of secrecy, by unelected officials. To accept this agreement, is to accept that process as legitimate.[3]” Mr Serkowski concluded.

The agreement, as pointed out by Michael Geist, undermines existing institutions like WIPO, which have substantial transparency measures and allowance for stakeholder participation. [4]
[1] http://keionline.org/node/962 (later released by DFAT http://www.dfat.gov.au/trade/acta/)
[2]
– Mexico: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20101005/17320811304/mexican-senate-unanimously-votes-to-remove-mexico-from-acta-negotations.shtml
– EU: http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9169378/EU_Parliament_rejects_secretive_ACTA_in_vote_for_openness
– German Bundesrat: http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/5028/196/
[3] http://www.laquadrature.net/en/near-final-acta-text-is-a-counterfeit-of-democracy
[4] http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/4808/125/ “ACTA Internet Chapter Leaks: Renegotiates WIPO, Sets 3 Strikes as Model”

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