Proposal to Denounce Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)

Passed consensus by the Technology Operations Group 2/8/2012

We propose that the New York City General Assembly take a public stand against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)*.

ACTA is an international agreement between the United States**, the European Union, Japan, Canada, South Korea, Australia, Mexico, Morocco, Singapore and most of the developed countries of the world with virtually no input from the public. It bypasses the laws of participating nations and applies to countries that were never involved in the negotiations. ACTA negotiations have taken place behind closed doors, without disclosure of the details***.

Certain provisions of ACTA are as restrictive or worse than anything contained in Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), proposed by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) and extends beyond the United States, into most of the developed countries of the world and the undeveloped countries by proxy.

We should all be very worried about the implications of ACTA and other trade agreements on the global economy, the ripple effects of which would reach all of us regardless of geographical location.

  • ACTA impacts, directly and indirectly, the health, wellbeing and welfare of the poor residing in all developed and undeveloped Countries.
  • ACTA threatens the manufacturing and distribution of generic drugs, farms and farmers and food independence in developed and undeveloped Countries by enforcing seed patents.
  • ACTA threatens our very rights to privacy, our civil liberties, worldwide innovation and the free flow of information on the Internet by forcing ISP’s across the globe to act as Internet police.
  • ACTA all but outlaws the use of copyrighted audio samples in new musical works and live performances.
  • ACTA was not passed in congress and is, therefore, unconstitutional****.

*Final, legally verified Agreement: http://www.dfat.gov.au/trade/acta/Final-ACTA-text-following-legal-verification.pdf

**Although the process was begun by the Bush administration, it was ratified October 1, 2011 under the Obama administration, under a procedure that bypassed the need for Senate confirmation.

***Information on ACTA remained secret until a discussion released by Wikileaks on May 8, 2008, and leaked copies of documents continued to be the only source of information.

****Ron Wyden issued a statement that if the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) ratifies ACTA without Congress’ consent, it may be circumventing Congress’s Constitutional authority to regulate international commerce and protect intellectual property.

More Information

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Other Organizations Opposed to ACTA

Friendly Amendments Integrated into Proposal

  • Add language that states since the Senate did not approve the agreement, it is clearly unconstitutional
  • Add list of all the other folks that have come out against ACTA, like Free Network Foundation
  • Fix grammar

5 comments

  1. Adrian

    I propose we become the vanguard among the internet massive in passing a moratorium on all laws affecting the state of the internet and be done with it. These bought out politicians and inept CEOs are completely reckless, insecure, and insatiable. Let’s talk about user-generated legislation and outsource our “representatives” damn it!!!

    • Dallas

      That’s what I’m talking about! The net is pretty self-regulating. That’s called ‘software’. :)

      I think the first hurdle in moving forward with these ideas is effectively communicating that fact in detail without lapsing into jargon.

  2. Patricia L

    This proposal was passed 2/9 with a couple friendly amendments, which will be added once we receive the official transcript of the General Assembly meeting.

  3. Urbaned

    Thank you for taking a stand on this. If we cannot come to consensus on everything, at least we can take a stand on matters affecting our liberty.

  4. Patricia L

    According to the Tweet transcripts, the following friendly amendments were accepted:

    Add language that states since the Senate did not approve the agreement, it is clearly unconstitutional
    Add list of all the other folks that have come out against ACTA, like Free Network Foundation
    Fix grammar