Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Secret anti-counterfeiting trade agreement

The world over, politicians are trying to control how people live their lives. These politicians are backed by powerful corporations, lobby groups, vocal minority and sometimes the majority. Corporations want to control people economically to the detriment of economic freedom of the people. Vocal minority wants to control the rest to the detriment of the civil liberties, while the majority plays the number game of denying basic rights to the minority because they are few in number.

The powerful countries are now exporting their own system of laws via the international organizations. Currently, the heavyweights such as US, Japan and EU are negotiating a new Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) behind closed doors, away from public scrutiny. The contents of the agreements are kept under wraps, only available to the corporations and sponsored politicians. They refuse to release the details of the agreement, which in time will be forced upon the rest of the world. In fact, US Trade representative Ron Kirk is quoted to have said that the parties will be walking away from the negotiations if the content is made public.

Whats more, the EU council has res refused to release the documents when asked by FFII. A good analysis of the leaked documents can be found here.

In broad terms, its a treaty designed to give even more power to the powerful corporations in the developed countries. Hollywood will be the world copyright police. The big pharmaceuticals will be the world patent czar on medicine. The big software companies will become the lord of software patents. It proposes "criminal measures against infringements without motivation for financial gain", which seems to be a direct attack on the open-source software developers.

So did the people world over elect the supposed representatives to suppress our freedoms? Whatever happened to the role of the government to protect life, liberty and property? Is there legitimacy to a government and their policies that do nothing to protect the fundamental liberties of the people?

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