Letter to President of Mexico regarding ACTA

The following is an August 10, 2010 letter written by Alberto Cerda Silva, a Research Associate of Knowledge Ecology International, to Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, Presidente Constitucional de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos, regarding the position of the Mexican government in the ACTA negotiations.

U.S and EU ACTA negotiators often assert that implementing the ACTA Agreement would not require a significant modification of their domestic law; and that the Agreement is intended to export their existing legal standards overseas. As KEI and others have pointed out, for the proposals included in the current ACTA, both the U.S. and the EU would in fact have to change national legal norms — and be constrained in introducing changes in those norms in the future — for example in the area of introducing liability rules for intellectual property rights, such as, to address access to orphan copyrighted works. For Mexico, the changes in current legal tradition will be even more significant than the changes required in the U.S. or the EU.

Mexico is one of the two developing countries, and the only Latin-American country, now taking part in the ACTA negotiation. The Mexico legal regime will have to be substantively modified if the current text of the ACTA Agreement is adopted. In some cases, Mexico will need to adopt legal regimes that do not exist under current Mexican legal tradition, for example by criminalizing certain infringements of intellectual property, and expanding the liability of online service providers for infringements by others. In other cases, Mexico will need to modify its current national law, for example in complying with the ACTA obligations on ex-officio actions by its custom and judicial authorities and adopting a system of damages to right holders unrelated with actual harm.

In the public letter addressed to the Government of Mexico, KEI notes that the proposed ACTA text, if adopted, would require the adoption of new legal provisions that seriously compromise the public interest of the country. KEI calls the Mexican government to change its current position in the negotiations and support the inclusion of certain flexibilities and protections of the fundamental rights of its citizens.

The letter are attached, in English and Spanish, in PDF and .DOC formats.

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