The Truth About ACTA


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Michael Geist's presentation at the ALDE hearing at the European Parliament on April 6, 2010.

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The Truth About ACTA

  1. 1. The Truth About ACTA Professor Michael Geist Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law
  2. 2. <ul><li>Why The Concern? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Why The Concern? <ul><li>Mounting concern with ACTA is not “anti-copyright” or “pro-counterfeiting” </li></ul><ul><li>Shift in onus - why ACTA needed? </li></ul>
  4. 4. Why The Concern? <ul><li>Transparency </li></ul><ul><li>Substantive Concerns </li></ul><ul><li>Long-term Implications </li></ul>
  5. 5. Transparency <ul><li>ACTA is not the norm </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Trade agreement vs. IP agreement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>WIPO, UNESCO, UNCTAD all more transparent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Implications extend beyond enforcement with key substantive provisions </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Transparency <ul><li>Majority of countries support transparency </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2005 - 2007 - total secrecy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>October 2007 - near total secrecy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2008 - location disclosures, statements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2009 - brief summaries, meeting agenda, NDA for insiders in U.S. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2010 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Virtually all countries support transparency </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>U.S., South Korea, Singapore now outliers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Full text should be formally disclosed (leaks not good enough) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Transparency <ul><li>Public Statements and Transparency </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Statements at hearings/consultations may mislead </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Presence of three strikes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Mandatory” vs. Model Approach </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Statements in public documents may mislead </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Enforcement only, no substance </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Circumvention </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>RMI </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Labels </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Commercial only </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Statutory damages </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>De Minimis provision </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Substantive Concerns <ul><li>Anti-circumvention provisions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Renegotiation of WIPO Internet treaties </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Notice-and-Takedown </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Established standard when some countries reject </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Anti-camcording provisions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Opposed in NZ, Australia, Switzerland </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Scope of the treaty </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Possible inclusion of patents </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Substantive Concerns <ul><li>Statutory Damages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Opens door to huge liability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Extends to commercial and non-commercial </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Criminal Provisions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Extend liability to non-commercial infringement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ inciting, aiding and abetting” certain offenses, including &quot;at least in cases of willful trademark counterfeiting and copyright or related rights piracy on a commercial scale.&quot; </li></ul></ul><ul><li>De Minimis Provision </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Computer searches as commercial or non-commercial </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Substantive Concerns <ul><li>Missing Flexibility </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Article 6 of the TRIPS (the first sale doctrine) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Article 40 of the TRIPS (Control of anticompetitive practices) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>the Appendix to the Berne Convention </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Articles 10, 10bis, 11bis, and 13 of the Berne Convention </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Article 15 of the Rome Convention </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fair Use/Fair Dealing </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Substantive Concerns <ul><li>Injunction Powers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Each Party shall ensure . . . judicial authorities may issue against the infringer an injunction aimed at prohibiting the continuation of the infringement.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Missing many exceptions to this general rule for patents, copyright, trademark </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Institutional structure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ACTA Oversight Council </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Secretariat </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Observers/new entrants </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dispute resolution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technical assistance </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Substantive Concerns <ul><li>Three Strikes/Graduated Response </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Current U.S. proposal conditions safe harbour on: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ condition the application of the provision adopting and reasonably implementing a policy* to address the unauthorized storage or transmission of materials protected by copyright or related rights” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>* &quot;an example of such a policy [ISP policy] is providing for the termination in appropriate circumstances of subscriptions and/or accounts on the service provider's system or network of repeat infringers.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not mandatory, but clearly encourages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3 strikes is the only model raised in the text </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Long-Term Implications <ul><li>Shift away from multilateral, open negotiations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ plurilateral”, closed approach raises real concerns in other areas </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Constitutional issues </li></ul><ul><ul><li>U.S. - executive agreement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Europe - Lisbon Treaty </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other countries - within the boundaries of current law? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ignoring other copyright issues </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Limitations and Exceptions work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Treaty for the Blind </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Privacy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Three strikes information sharing requirements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Investigative cross-border information sharing </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Long-Term Implications <ul><li>Undermining WIPO </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ACTA as a replacement for WIPO? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technical assistance, standard setting encroach on WIPO mandate </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Undermining WIPO Development Agenda </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Developing country goals ignored or stymied </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Developing countries face future pressure to conform </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Future ACTA Standard pressure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Trade agreements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Special 301/Watch lists </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ineffective Approach to Counterfeiting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Key countries excluded from ACTA process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Real harms not addressed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reluctance to limit to counterfeiting </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>