Beyond ACTA: next secret copyright agreement negotiated this week—in Hollywood

27 05 2012

One of the worst parts of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was its ridiculous secrecy, under which it was easy for negotiators and industry reps to see draft text, but impossible for the public to do so except through leaks. Thankfully, those leaks showed just how bad ACTA was going to be for the Internet, and public pressure helped remove the worst provisions.

But the basic approach to doing deals didn’t die, and it’s back again this week as negotiators meet in Hollywood to discuss a new, totally secret intellectual property chapter for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a regional trade agreement.

Civil society and digital rights groups would dearly love to be part of the process; barring that, they’d like to know simply what the process is so that they can at least mount press conferences of their own. But even that is difficult.


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