The latest round in the ACTA talks has finished and KEI (Knowledge Ecology International) has released the leaked version of the text, which seems somewhat toned down. Still, it isn’t over yet. Nor is this an official version.
Obviously the USTR (United States Trade Representative) is aware that there have been many ACTA leaks. It is reasonable to assume that the people who have leaked the ACTA documents have been as concerned about ACTA’s attempt to make an end run around democracy as I am. Leaking the ACTA documents has been a very risky undertaking with serious consequences if caught. Yet there have been many such leaks.
There was in fact been one official release. In the midst of the process. But the American Government blocked a second official release.
The August 25th version isn’t an official ACTA release, this is another leak.
It has long been clear that major media corporations have been the biggest force behind ACTA. And the most major of these special interest groups are the MPAA movie corporations.
I’ve always loved spy thrillers and multi-layered mystery stories. If I were a major movie company trying to pass a secret trade treaty that would ensure my corporation’s economic health by forcing global adoption of laws beneficial to my interests, I would do what any good thriller writer would do: employ misdirection. It shouldn’t be very difficult at all particularly with the talented writers at their disposal.
Think about it. Releasing an official version would show the reasonableness of the treaty participants. It would demonstrate that ACTA is not as bad as it has been portrayed. Doing it in the middle of the process would be a wonderful way to lull opposition into a false sense of security. You can always reintroduce controversial elements once it is again clothed in secrecy.
In the same way the Allies used misdirection to keept the Nazis confused as to where an Allied invasion force would land, I would release a fake leak. One that would make it look as though the worst bits of ACTA have been watered down. Declawed even. It is not like draft legislation; it is a document without provenance. No one stands behind it.
a leak is not official… it can say anything
Are movie companies that sneaky? Several years back I remember reading that three movie companies decided to make a movie based on The Three Musketeers in the same year. Why not? It’s a great story and its in the public domain. The story was that the richest and most powerful of the three movie companies scoured Europe and bought or rented every possible period costume that could be had. The end result being that only one Three Musketeers film was made that year. So yes, I rather think that movie companies could be that sneaky.
If ACTA appears to be getting weaker the forces arrayed against it may weaken as well. I don’t know about anyone else, but I would rather be working on any number of things than blogging about this. This is just a wild eyed conspiracy theory. Pure speculation.
I learned a long time ago not to believe in the check that’s in the mail until it has been cleared by my bank. The thing is, we can’t afford complacency.
cliched but true: it ain’t over ’til it’s over
Some recent ACTA articles from around the web:
Starting with KEI’s James Love in The Huffington Post: White House Blocks Disclosure of Secret Intellectual Property Trade Text
and one of the premier sources of ACTA information and explanations is Canada’s own Michael Geist, whose latest at time of posting is ACTA’s Enforcement Practices Chapter: Countries Reach Deal as U.S. Caves Again
Another important ACTA Source has long been La Quadrature Du Net
and ending with the inimitable Cory Doctorow’s boingboing: Latest leaked draft of secret copyright treaty: US trying to cram DRM rules down the world’s throats
Any way you slice it, ACTA continues to be bad.