The negotiations around the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, an international effort to boost copyright enforcement, have concluded.
On Monday, the participants — Australia, Canada, the EU and its member states, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland and the US — published the final text of Acta (PDF), although this version is subject to legal review and must be approved by the governments of the participants.
Acta had initially elicited fears over such things as a global three-strikes regime, but compared with earlier versions that were officially released or leaked, the final version of Acta appears to show a very watered-down treaty. Even in the month since the almost-final draft came out, a reference to criminal penalties for the infringement of trademark rights over digital networks had been removed.
Nonetheless, concerns remain about the fact that the Acta negotiations took place behind closed doors. This was legally permissable because Acta is technically a trade treaty, but many have argued that its scope went beyond the normal bounds of such a document.