Shameless Plug: “The Problem with ACTA” essay in Knowledge Ecology Studies

May 17, 2008


The interdisciplinary open-access journal, Knowledge Ecology Studies has published a short essay of mine about the proposed “Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement” (ACTA) in their current volume.

My paper looks at some of the history behind ACTA and considers the most troubling aspects of the agreement.

As currently proposed by the United States (through the office of the U.S. Trade Representative), the European Commission, Switzerland, and Japan, ACTA threatens business interests, civil liberties, consumer rights and democratic governance.

If such an extensive laundry list of bad sounds improbable to you, I encourage you to read the essay (and contact me). The agreement could be signed within the next few months – unless sufficient opposition forms to alter its scope.

I’ll be writing more about ACTA (and other misguided attempts to impose overly-restrictive IP enforcement regimes) here in the coming weeks. In particular, I plan to analyze some of the economic and strategic reasons why more restrictive IP enforcement will not enhance innovation, market growth, or security. My sense is that the folks behind this treaty have either forgotten (or ignored) these realitie

Whether or not you have any interest in my essay, I highly recommend the other work in KE Studies. This issue includes an entertaining and thought-provoking interview with Bruce Sterling; a rigorous analysis of prize systems by Ron Marchant; and an important study (in French) on the impact of new restrictive IP regimes on access to HIV/AIDS anti-retrovirals in Morocco by Gaelle Pascale Krikorian, Kamal Marhoum El Filali, and Hakima Himmich.

(Photo credit: “Orange plug,” by nic0 (via Flickr). CC-BY-NC-SA)


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