Australia to sign ACTA tomorrow

Australia to sign ACTA tomorrow

Summary: Trade Minister Dr Craig Emerson is travelling to Tokyo today to sign the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in the hopes of stemming global piracy.


Trade Minister Dr Craig Emerson is travelling to Tokyo today to sign the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in the hopes of stemming global piracy.

ACTA aimed to introduce a legal framework for 27 countries on copyright protection in an effort to curb the rampant piracy of goods ranging from music to medicine.

The agreement has drawn harsh criticism from privacy and copyright activists since discussions began in 2008, because of what appeared to be hardline tactics to crack down on piracy — for example, the requirement for signing nations to introduce a three-strikes law — and because of the discussions' clandestine nature. However, the finalised, less strict agreement, completed in October, was received better. For example, the Australian Greens had been wary of the agreement during its various draft rounds, but gave the final version a tentative tick of approval.

Ten countries and the European Union are attending the signing ceremony, the minister's office said, although reportedly the EU, Mexico and Switzerland will not be actually signing the document. A statement from the EU reportedly said that it wouldn't be signing because it hadn't completed internal procedures, such as translating the treaty into all of the EU languages and appointing an EU representative to sign the document.

Australia doesn't have to change any laws to be part of the agreement, Emerson's office said, saying instead that it would be trading partners that would be adapting their laws to meet Australia's intellectual property (IP) enforcement standards. This means that Australian and other countries with IP protections would benefit from the agreement.

"ACTA builds on World Trade Organisation standards to promote international trade in legitimate intellectual property, by elevating standards of enforcement," he said.

"This treaty will help stem the burgeoning global trade in counterfeit and pirate materials, worth many billions annually.

"The treaty will also help stop the unwitting purchase by consumers of low-quality counterfeit and pirated material."

Topics: Government, Government AU, Piracy, Security, Telcos

Suzanne Tindal

About Suzanne Tindal

Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at as the site's telecommunications reporter, a role that saw her break some of the biggest stories associated with the National Broadband Network process. She then turned her attention to all matters in government and corporate ICT circles. Now she's taking on the whole gamut as news editor for the site.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • We should stay to our own shores and stop this rise of corporate globalism.

    Its all about our government signing agreements contrary to what real Australian's want.

    Pocket book politics. Emerson's surely to get a good campaign contribution.
  • I'm glad our elected officials are taking into account the opinions of their electorate before making these agreements, through proper public consultation and accepting feedback about an open and transparent process. Oh wait.........
  • I read through the act. it looks like I can sue someone for using something that I gnugpl'ed to them.
  • isnt it funny how australia introduces the **** stuff from other countries while we dont get the good parts.
  • Why are we protecting an antiquated business model? I want to watch the current season of Breaking Bad. Why cant I? I visit the forums online (the whole world is connected to the internet in case you didnt know), I know its being played in the states, I see Us citizens comment on the show, why cant I watch it here in Australia? Give me the option of paying to watch this show, the day after it aires in the states and I will no longer be a person who watches copies posted online. Until then SSL Torrents for me, that im happy to pay for. Cheers
  • "isnt it funny how australia introduces the **** stuff from other countries while we dont get the good parts."

    Thats actually a huge issue here IMHO. US Corps/lobbies push for the same, or similar, laws that they get in the US on us, but we don't have the protections in our constitution that US folks get to mitigate some of the more harmful aspects of them...
  • Julia ain't Aussie, That's for sure
  • (I'm talking about the Carbon Tax, Don't know why)
    Not saying she wasn't born here or anything but........ With everything (Money Wise) going higher and higher, prices going higher and higher and our the earnings of our jobs getting lower this isn't fair. Why threaten other peoples jobs? WHY?

    When Gen Y grow older what is lie going to be like for them? Things are getting to pricy. More and more people are getting forced out on the streets, doesn't she realise that the Carbon Tax is hurting families, friends, children?????
  • She knows whats she's doing, Gillard is being told what to do by the elite (UN and above), who want a New World Order and don't give a rats about yours or my freedoms!!
  • Whoa never heard about this - wth? hasn't there been MASSIVE controversy about ACTA and PIPA and all that crap???
  • umm, also,just want to put this out there, why, if we are currently doing fairly well (the aussie dolar), are we following America down the ****hole its plunging into with its money and politics???