The Anti-Cyber Crime Treaty (ACTA) is an international intellectual property offender treaty. It is being negotiated between the United States and the European Union. ACTA is being touted as a potential substitute for the United States-European Union Trade Agreement, or the European Partition Agreement. What exactly does ACTA mean and how can it affect you?
The Anti-Cyberspace Agreement (ACPA) is a multi-country treaty for the purposes of establishing global standards for intellectual property authorities that did not come into force. The drafters of ACTA hope that the new international arrangement will be able to tackle the growing problem of piracy worldwide. However, the new agreement may not help if other countries start to adopt ACTA’s intellectual property legislation. In reality, it might make matters worse.
Some view ACTA as an effort by the United States and its amusement industry to monopolize the global copyright market. The movie, multimedia and music businesses are lobbying the US government firmly to limit competition from countries like India, Great Britain, and Japan who are pursuing free trade agreements with the United States. According to critics of ACTA, the US wants to impose copyright conditions which are too long, which makes it impossible for foreign companies to produce pirated content and to offer home-based companies like music recording studios a chance at competing in the American market. Another concern cited by ACTA critics is the weakening of copyright protection inherent in ACTA. For instance, the term of a copyright could be too brief in certain circumstances to allow a company to protect its own original content from rivals. Because of this, the copyrighted work could be used for online commercial purposes without the authorization and cover the owner.
The European Union has been attempting to improve its copyright legislation for many years, arguing that piracy is a significant problem. The European Commission considers it is justified to negotiate an arrangement similar to ACTA together with the United States, but it might like to see ACTA strengthened first. The Commission believes that its present copyright regime is sufficient to fight piracy. The Copyright Office is recommending that the member says pay ACTA in parallel with Europe. If this recommendation is adopted, there’ll be increased pressure on the US to adopt tougher measures to stop piracy before agreeing to enter into any agreements with other nations.
There is no doubt that the music recording industry is deeply disappointed with ACTA. The European Union’s position on piracy makes great sense. Piracy prices music publishers money. They give their artists all the revenue they could draw from selling CDs and DVDs. The European Union would like to see the music recording industry put more effort into finding ways to protect intellectual property from pirates rather than turning its back on the united states.
The music industry is not alone in expressing its disappointment with ACTA. Computers and other electronic devices have also been targeted by pirates. Many companies fear that the fallout from ACTA can cause widespread piracy. The European Commission believes that the impact of ACTA on the computer industry will be limited and probably has enough buffer to continue working together with the US while the push for tougher legislation against piracy.