The European Union hides anti-piracy documents
The Anti-Pirate Agreement Treaty (ACTA) is currently being discussed by the leading countries of the world, and will surely lead to more stringent legislation. The problem, however, is that nobody knows how far it will go
The degree of secrecy surrounding the ACTA negotiations is surprising. Many institutions, the press and several individuals have asked the intervening countries to provide them with some clue to their plans, but to no avail. Apparently they are blocking the public from being able to have their opinion, while on the other hand they continue to receive information from anti-piracy lobbyists such as the RIAA and the MPAA.
At this stage, little is known about ACTA, but what we do know is that the RIAA has put some radical proposals on the table. One of their suggestions is to force the servers to act as “rights cops”, ordering them to filter the pirated files on their networks, and make the servers responsible if they fail to respond to the demands of the copyright holders. In addition to the request to consider an official crime unit to track and expel the alleged pirates.
Most governments that haveagreed to negotiations with ACTA have refused to reveal any information about its content, but were quick to refute the rumors. According to the New Zealand government, ACTA is only aimed at commercial piracy, and nobody has to worry about getting their iPod through customs. However, they also state that “the draft versions will not be made public.”
“Making agreements to keep the secret texts, goes far beyond what is allowed. The Council deliberately obstructs access to ACTA documents, “said FFII analyst Ante Wessels. The FFII has requested that the documents be made public. Alternatively, the EU could withdraw from the negotiations according to them.
The result is the following: We do not know what the ACTA plans are, and this is impossible to remedy because the information is denied at all levels. There is no good reason to keep this secret, except for keeping the public and other institutions prevented from making their voice heard in the proposal before it is signed. Convenient perhaps, but not very democratic.