Access to Knowledge: a guide for everyone Page: 48
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2. FAIRER LAWS AND ENFORCEMENT PRACTICES
Around the world, the antiquated assumptions of copyright law and ide-
ology are again being questioned and new conflicts are breaking out.
In Brazil, for example, more than 500 musicians, writers, academics and
others signed an open letter in late May calling on their government to
reform its copyright laws so that users can have more access to music
and books. Meanwhile, the well-financed campaign against so-called
copyright "piracy" has become even more vocal and threatens us all,
except large corporations. Although three of the most important coun-
tries in the global South - China, India and Brazil - were not even invited
to the talks, a new anti-piracy treaty called ACTA is about to be signed
by rich nations in North America and Europe, as well as Japan and a few
ACTA has been controversial not only for its content, but for the se-
cretive manner in which it has been negotiated. Following considerable
public pressure including numerous public petitions,36 the first public
draft of the text was released in April 2010, only after five years of closed-
Beyond this single text, what little we know of the content of the treaty
has either been leaked, or has come from a few very terse briefing papers
prepared by some of the friendlier negotiating countries. Even a Freedom
of Information request in the United States was denied on the ground
that the negotiations were a matter of national security! In contrast, while
consumer groups (and even the European Parliament) have been left in
the dark, privileged industry insiders have been briefed on the negotia-
tions by the United States government.
There are four sub-chapters to the chapter of the draft ACTA text titled
Legal Framework For Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights which
indicate the main substantive areas to be covered:
* Civil Enforcement
* Border Measures
* Criminal Enforcement
* Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement in the Digital Environ-
36 For example, the Wellington Declaration at http://publicacta.org.nz/wellington-
declaration/ and the joint declaration at http://A2Knetwork.org/joint-declaration-
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Noronha, Frederick & Malcolm, Jeremy. Access to Knowledge: a guide for everyone, text, 2010; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33297/m1/58/: accessed February 17, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .