Curran calls for NZ release of ACTA talks

New Zealand Labour MP, Clare Curran has today called on the NZ Government to reveal the text of their "secret discussion" with South Korea on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).
Written by Colin Ho, Contributor

New Zealand Labour MP, Clare Curran has today called on the New Zealand Government to reveal details of "secret discussions" being held in South Korea over the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which may have implications for regulation of the internet.

"In the interests of transparency and public interest, the New Zealand Government should reveal the text of recent secret discussions in South Korea on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)," wrote Curran in the NZ Labour blog.

ACTA is currently being negotiated between eight counties, including members of the EU, the US, Japan, Korea, Canada and Australia.

Curran posted a transcript of a recent Q&A with Rory McLeod, the Director of Competition, Trade, and Investment in the Ministry of Economic Development, held on 26 November.

McLeod said that the ACTA discussions could not be released to the public. "The nature of international negotiations is that they have to be conducted in secrecy because they are a negotiation. If you start bringing them out into the public arena, it almost becomes impossible to conduct," said McLeod

Curran said she was also concerned that there was a relationship between the ACTA talks and a decision to delay an amendment to Section 92A of the NZ Copyright Act. Section 92A stipulated that an ISP was required to terminate the services of users caught repeatedly infringing copyright.

McLeod denied that the ACTA negotiations were related to the amendment. "It is due to the fact that we have got some fairly challenging institutional and budgetary issues to sort through in terms of making it work," he said. "Our strong commitment is to have something up in the public arena before Christmas," he added.

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