ACTA drops key clauses

The EU has released a statement on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in which it implies that when the final agreement comes out it will not be as bad as many feared.

A draft text of the ACTA agreement will be made public  soon, according to the EU and it looks like there will be an international public consultation exercise.

It is intended to release this on Wednesday 21 April.

The EU said that ACTA will not interfere with a signatory’s ability to respect its citizens’ fundamental rights and liberties.

It will now be consistent with the WTO Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) and will respect the Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health.

Practically there is no longer any proposal to oblige ACTA participants to require border authorities to search travellers’ baggage or their personal electronic devices for infringing materials.

In addition, ACTA will not address the cross-border transit of legitimate generic medicines.

“While the participants recognise the importance of responding effectively to the challenge of Internet piracy, they confirmed that no participant is proposing to require governments to mandate a ‘graduated response’ or ‘three strikes’ approach to copyright infringement on the Internet,” the EU said.

It is starting to look like the EU has forced the ACTA out into the open and managed to make the others move away from a “give big content what it wants” plans.