Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement Round 6

There is enough news on this to not require a long post, and after last night's 2,000 word monster a little brevity won't hurt.

Short version: we're in the 6th round of negotiations for ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement), a multilateral trade agreement intended to combat copyright and trademark infringement. A few hot buttons raised by this trade agreement concern a lack of transparency in the negotiations and what amounts to the U.S. trying to shoehorn its IP policy into the global market. The truly interesting (and topically relevant) aspect of the current round of negotiations is what came out in the most recent leaks; namely the "three-strikes" policy that requires ISPs and SPs under the DMCA safe harbors to shut down user accounts after receiving three copyright infringement notifications in connection with a particular user.

Now what's interesting about this is that according to the EFF at least two aspects of this policy differs from current U.S. policy. First, currently there is no three-strikes policy in the U.S., although content providers have been pressuring ISPs for this for quite some time. Second, under U.S. DMCA safe harbors Copyright Infringement Notifications (CINs) must be made in good faith. According to U.S. Courts, good faith requires that reasonable defenses, including fair use, should be considered. According to the EFF the current draft of ACTA doesn't contain these limitations to CINs. I'm not sure how much of that is fear-mongering, and because the good faith requirement has been broadened by the courts it's likely that it will still apply.

You can find more discussion on this issue here.