New “Final” ACTA Text Published, Open For Signature

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A new “final” text of the secretive but potent Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) has been published by the European Commission, according to the Foundation for Free Information Infrastructure (FFII).

ACTA was negotiated by governments of rightsholder-heavy economies in close coordination with industry, with little inclusion of their public, out of the eye of the press, and outside of the multilateral process. The hope is to address nagging and substantive problems of counterfeiting and piracy worldwide.

The latest version, linked here, appears to have few changes from the last known version, which emanated in December, according to FFII. Apparently, a Japanese press release says the agreement was opened for signatures on 1 May, following its adoption on 15 April.

Legal questions about the agreement are persisting in several countries (IPW, European Policy, 12 March 2011). Its effect on the multilateral trading system also has been scrutinised (IPW, Inside Views, 6 May 2011).

Parties to the negotiation included: Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States. Those countries account for the vast majority of the world’s intellectual property rights.

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