Innovation Asset Blog

International anti-piracy agreement continues to spur controversy

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement continues to stir up debate around the world, as experts and industry analysts have begun to reflect on the most recent release of the international treaty drafted in Tokyo last week.

The agreement, to be structured on a volunteer basis by each country, has found support among most of the world's developed nations including the United States, Japan, Australia and the Eurpean Union. However, many argue it will severely inhibit individual liberties and rights to information.

Aaron Shaw, a research fellow at Harvard University, argued the "ACTA would create unduly harsh legal standards that do not reflect contemporary principles of democratic government, free market exchange or civil liberties."

Of chief concern is a stipulation that requires Internet Service Providers to cut access to violators of copyright law - a move that many believe could also lead to penalties being levied on the service providers themselves.

But the United States Trade Representative maintains the bill "establishes a state-of-the-art international framework that provides a model for effectively combating global proliferation of commercial-scale counterfeiting and piracy in the 21st century."

Significant changes to the treaty have been made over its three-year drafting and incubation period. However, the first draft was only made public last April.

The need for an internationally regulated IP enforcement agency has become more pressing in recent years as internet resources continue to permit unparalleled levels of copyright violations, patent infringements and other forms of piracy.

Peter Ackerman

Peter Ackerman

Founder & CEO, Innovation Asset Group, Inc.