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ACTA: Improving but problems remain

Posted on August 16, 2010

The ACTA treaty negotiation process is still going strong. The participants apparently feel pressured to finalise the agreement before the end of the year and have agreed to an extra negotiating round in Washington next week to help hurry things up.

The most recent leaked text shows that progress is being made on the details while some major disagreements (mainly around the scope of the agreement - should an anti-counterfeiting agreement also include patents and geographic indications) are yet to be resolved.

In our last summary article about ACTA we raised five issues where we thought that the treaty was a threat to justice and civil liberties.

Here we revisit them and find significant improvement in three of those issues and minor improvements in the other two.

FAQ : Trans Pacific Partnership

Posted on May 24, 2010

New Zealand is one of the four original members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement. Other countries (Australia, the USA, Peru and Vietnam) are now interested in joining the agreement. It is referred to as both TPP and TPPA.

This FAQ answers some of the frequently asked questions about the TPP. It was last updated on 16th May 2011.

Contents:

A Week of ACTA

Posted on April 9, 2010

It's going to be a week of ACTA in Wellington, New Zealand.

  • On Saturday (April 10th) we have PublicACTA organised by InternetNZ. It's a chance for people who oppose ACTA to get together and discuss how to stop it. Guest speakers include Canadian law professor Michael Geist and Australian academic¬†Kim Weatherall.
  • Then, the following week (April 12-16th) there's the latest round of the official ACTA negotiations.

Why we oppose ACTA

  • We oppose the attempt to take away people's rights (due process, freedom of speech, right to own and use property) in an attempt to protect the business models of the big media and pharmaceutical industries.
  • We oppose the secrecy around the ACTA negotiations. Democratic societies should debate their laws in public.
  • We oppose the way that the ACTA treaty is an attempt to legislate by treaty, avoiding the normal democratic process in each of the participating countries.

Tech Liberty articles about ACTA

ACTA – The NZ Official Information Requests

Posted on March 17, 2010

We've written about the unhealthy secrecy around the ACTA treaty negotiations. As New Zealanders we believe we have a right to know what our government is doing on our behalf.

We wrote to the Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to ask them some questions about ACTA under the Official Information Act. We just got our answers back (scanned PDFs of the MED letter - 3MB, MFAT letter - 3MB, and cabinet paper - 6MB) and we have to admit that we weren't very surprised to see more excuses not to release official information than we saw information.

Media Release: New Zealand has no place in anti-democratic ACTA negotiations

Posted on December 16, 2009

The Ministry of Economic Development refuses to reveal draft text of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement at a briefing in Wellington today.

Ministry of Economic Development (MED) spokesperson George Wardle, at a briefing in Wellington today, said that they could not release the draft text of the treaty as all parties to the negotiation had agreed to keep it confidential. He also refused to say who in New Zealand they had consulted with and refused to reveal what New Zealand was arguing for. The Ministry of Economic Development is working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade representing New Zealand's interests in the negotiations.