posted by Thom Holwerda on Wed 2nd Jun 2010 21:47 UTC
IconWe've talked about ACTA before. ACTA is an anti-capitalistic treaty which implements several measures that will seriously hurt people's freedoms, rights, and privacy, all to, among other things, support a failing business model from an industry which has failed time and time again to adapt to a changing market. In any working free market, business models are allowed to fail, but the US/EU governments clearly don't see it that way. India has now announced that it is going to forge its own anti-ACTA coalition in an effort to undermine the new treaty.

ACTA poses a major threat to India and other developing nations, but because these nations are not included in the ACTA talks, they can't influence its direction. This is a very clever move by the US, the EU, Canada, Japan, Australia, Korea, New Zealand, and Switzerland, since it means they can create an agreement which only benefits them - only to later pressure developing nations into signing it (e.g., by threatening to impose import bans or whatever).

Yes, that's pretty much how the Mafia works.

The World Trade Organisation has been bypassed by the ACTA countries. The World Intellectual Property Organization has also been tossed aside. As Ars' Nate Anderson notes, "existing international institutions, where countries like Brazil, China, and India have recently acquired some real power, will be bypassed to create the tough new restrictions in ACTA".

While many of us focus on the internet and technology aspect of ACTA, it also contains a lot of stuff related to the production of pharmaceuticals. If ACTA comes into effect, "there would be an infringement if a medicine or product is made for which a company holds a patent in any country, no matter how unclear in scope and validity of the patent is. Similarly, production of spare parts may violate an unexamined design right with unclear scope and validity may also be considered an infringement."

ACTA would give member states the ability to seize goods in transit between any other two countries. For instance, a shipment of pharmaceuticals under way from India to South America or Africa could be seized and destroyed in Europe, even if no patents apply in either India or the destination country.

"We will hold talks with like-minded countries (read Brazil, China, Egypt etc) and may oppose the ACTA proposal jointly as well as individually by holding talks with countries involved," an Indian government official said.

Well, it seems that after the EU parliament, those of us opposing ACTA have found another ally in a rather unlikely corner.

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