International anti-counterfeit plans published, EU reassures

The EU published on Wednesday formerly secret draft papers on an international anti-counterfeiting deal, with no sign of a controversial mooted “three-strike” ban for on-line copyright breachers. Talks on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) have been ongoing for two years between Europe, the US, Japan, Canada, New Zealand and others. The aim is to establish an international framework for national efforts “to more effectively combat the proliferation of counterfeiting and piracy,” with the accent on Internet fraud. The drafters, who have much work still to do, have to perform a tricky balancing act. They need to balance between assuring individual music downloaders that they will not be excluded from access to broadband, give service providers ways of avoiding liability while still ensuring the goal of better protecting the products and ideas of intellectual property owners, and reduce counterfeiting and illegal trade. The agreement aims to increase international cooperation against copyright infringement, including sharing of information and cooperation between our law enforcement authorities. It also aims to establish “enforcement practices,” fostering specialized intellectual property expertise within police forces and to raise consumer awareness about the importance of IPR protection and “the detrimental effects” of infringements. The OECD estimates that infringements of intellectual property traded internationally (excluding domestic production and consumption) account for more than EUR 150bn per year.


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