Act Up & Stop ACTA! Tell the US Trade Representative to work within WIPO

March 9, 2008

My last two posts (#1 and #2), provide a rough overview of the current situation in global intellectual property governance. If you’re anything like me, upon reading them you may be filled with a burning desire to give the office of the US Trade Representative a piece of your mind. If that is the case, you’re in luck! It just so happens that between now and March 21, the US Trade Representative’s Office wants to hear from YOU!

The USTR posted a request for public comments here and here. If you are interested in sending them something, please read the whole announcement because they seem to be kind of picky about things like file formats, subject lines, etc.

I know, I know, you are not a lawyer (neither am I) and maybe you don’t think you know the first thing about IP governance. That’s okay! It is urgent that these unelected representatives understand that citizens do not support their decision to pursue unilateral (or in this case, aristocratic) action outside the UN system. This initiative is especially nefarious because it proposes to place IP governance beyond the influence of NGO’s and other civil society groups. While WIPO and the UN are far from participatory or democratic in any real sense, an agreement like ACTA would represent a step backwards for the world. We do not need new, anti-democratic framework for trade policy. Such action is not in the interests of individual citizens, it is not in the interests of businesses, and it is not in the interests of the United States.

In the next couple of days, I am going to write up a short form letter, which I will post and circulate on appropriate email lists. Please do the same.

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