ACTA Update II

Glyn Moody | ComputerworldUK | February 2, 2012

Although ACTA is billed as a global treaty, there are only two participants that really matter: the US and the European Union. If either of those dropped out, it would be completely ineffectual. I think the US is unlikely to do that, for two reasons. First, ACTA is essentially the US copyright industries' shopping list of measures that they would like to see forced on the rest of the world: it gives huge benefits to Hollywood and the recording industry, but little to anyone else.

The second reason is that the US government is taking the line that ACTA is not a treaty, but an "executive agreement", which basically means that it can be pushed through without asking anyone's permission - not even the US Congress or Senate (which is pretty much what happened in the UK, of course.)

That implies attention is really focussed on what happens in Europe. As I mentioned in the first update, the European Parliament has the opportunity to kill ACTA completely; whether it does that will depend critically on how much momentum the anti-ACTA movement gains in Europe. So I thought I would devote this second update to exploring some of the interesting things that have already happened in the European space...