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.
*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.