This week some 38 or so countries are holding a secret negotiation in Guadalajara, Mexico, on something called the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. The title is a bit of a fraud, as it highlights the emotive and prejudicial word counterfeiting, while the agreement is about a wide range of intellectual property enforcement issues, of which counterfeits are a small part. The negotiating text is secret. The names of the negotiators are secret. The actual location of the meeting is secret. The scope of the agreement is secret. Even the reason why everything is secret is clouded with secrecy. Well, actually, the agreement is no secret to hundreds of corporate lobbyists who are cleared advisers or who get access under non-disclosure agreements. It’s just secret from the general public.
Despites tons of grass roots and some DC lobbying only a few members of the U.S. Congress have spoken out calling for the negotiating text for ACTA to be made public. Make that, three members of the U.S. Congress, out of 535. Really, how difficult is it to call for transparency of an IPR negotiation? Apparently too hard for 532 members of Congress. Position Senate House
Make ACTA text public
Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Representative Zoe Lofgren (California, 16th)