Published at LXer:
In 2007 a handful of countries began a treaty-making process to create a new global standard for intellectual property rights enforcement, the proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). ACTA is spearheaded by the US, the EU Commission, Japan, and Switzerland — those countries with the largest intellectual property industries. Other countries invited to participate in ACTA’s negotiation process are Canada, Australia, Korea, Mexico and New Zealand. Noticeably absent from ACTA’s negotiations are leaders from developing countries.
After the multi-lateral treaty’s scope and priorities are negotiated by the few countries invited to participate in the early discussions, ACTA’s text will be “locked” and other countries who are later “invited” to sign-on to the pact will not be able to re-negotiate its one-sided terms. It is claimed that signing-on to the trade agreement will be "voluntary", but few countries will have the muscle to refuse an “invitation” to join, once the rules have been set by the select few conducting the negotiations.
[This is news because May 22th a discussion paper appeared at WikiLeaks. In March, when it was yet unknown what ACTA would look like, IP Justice published the white paper the 'Full Story" links too. It's a paper about how the rich governments try to almost forbid P2P, stifle innovation through broader 'piracy protection', colonize poor countries and create more opportunities to spy on its citizens. All that in a secret undemocratic way; taking away digital rights. However, their excuses are quite good: Stopping dangerous fake-medicines, car parts etc. - hkwint]