ACTA for beginners

ACTA is a beefed up version of the WTO TRIPS enforcement sections, without the balance and safeguards of the agreement as whole.

  1. The ACTA has ignored or left out the safeguards in TRIPS Articles 1, 6, 7, 8, 40 and 44.2.
  2. The ACTA has refashioned in a more restrictive and anti-consumer way Articles 41, 44.1, 45, 46,47, 50, most of Section 4, and Article 61.

Signatures to the petition to President Obama, regarding transparency of ACTA

Back to the petition

US signatories
Knowledge Ecology International
David Bollier,
U.S. Public Interest Research Group
Essential Action
Health Action International (HAI) Global
Public Citizen
Ellen Miller, Sunlight Foundation
Electronic Frontier Foundation
IP Justice
Students for Free Culture
Entertainment Consumers Association
Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure e.V
Nuria Homedes, Salud y Farmacos
Wouter Tebbens, Free Knowledge Institute

Petition to President Obama, regarding transparency of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

The following is a letter that was sent on November 3, 2009 to President Obama, asking that the negotiations regarding ACTA be made more transparent.

While the letter was sent on November 3, 2009, people may add their names to the online version of the petition, by sending a note to Malini Aisola at

For more background on ACTA and the disputes over transparency, see

Updated: USTR statement on use of NDAs to provide access to ACTA Internet text

Updated October 16, 2009, 11:10 am

White House shares the ACTA Internet text with 42 Washington insiders, under non disclosure agreements

On November 4-6, 2009, the next round of negotiations for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Negotiations (ACTA) will take place in Seoul, Korea. The following is another strange chapter in the secrecy surrounding this negotiation.


Since ACTA was first announced, KEI has pressed the negotiating governments to provide more transparency, including recently, for example

EU-US IPR Enforcement Working Group public meeting in Washington D.C.

Today, KEI as a member of the TransAtlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD) participated in a meeting of the EU-US IPR Enforcement Working Group in Washington DC. Attendees included several government and industry representatives, and only a handful of civil society participants.

The agenda addressed several IPR enforcement topics such as ACTA, seizure of generic medicines in transit, WHO Resolution WHA 61.21, climate change, customs regulations and country/region specific issues.

Why does the Obama Administration insist on secrecy of the draft Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) text?

Civil law injunctions and damages for infringement are national security hot spots
4% (10 votes)
ACTA negotiators don't want people asking informed questions about the substance of the agreement
69% (191 votes)
No one in the Administration cares enough about transparency to change the policy set by the Bush Administration.
20% (56 votes)
I don't know, but there must be a good reason
7% (20 votes)
Total votes: 277

USTR's system of NDAs to provide private sector access to ACTA position

USTR has a system I was not that familiar with. For documents the public can't see, USTR provides access under an NDA to private sector "experts" they want to consult. On Friday I was told by USTR:

"We've consulted with an array of experts from various IP and tech industries and associations and NGOs in the process of deliberation regarding a US proposal on one section of the agreement."

White House: ACTA still “secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy”

By James Love, on July 31st, 2009

On Thursday, July 30, 2009, the White House office of the United States Trade Representative denied release of 4 new proposals for text that were circulated in July to “all countries” in the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) negotiations. The request was limited to documents that were prepared in the past 90 days for purpose of discussion at the July 2009 ACTA negotiating meeting held in Morocco.

USTR located 4 such documents, but denied the FOIA request under 5 USC 552(b)(1). The specific exception cited reads as follows:

ACTA and changes in global norms for damages and injunctions (for enforcement of intellectual property)

The Obama Administration, with the support of a Democrat-controlled U.S. Congress, is insisting the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) negotiations be conducted in secret. We know, from documents obtained in Europe and the summaries released in April 2009, that the draft ACTA has sections that deal with both injunctions and damages. We don’t have the current text.

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