ACTA Notebook v 2.0

From time to time we will prepare “issue notebooks” that will assembly resources on a given issue in one place for reference purposes with some limited editorial content of our own.  This notebook pertains to  the  Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). ACTA comes on the heels of the grassroots defeat of SOPA, but  some critics claim that the agreement is far worse.  In addition, ACTA comes with a taint because of its closed door negotiations, the refusal of the administration to even publicly release the agreement and its insistence that Congressional approval is not required for such a treaty.

Drafted 15 April 2011 (formal publication) 
Signed 1 October 2011
Location Tokyo
Effective Not in force
Condition Ratification by six states
Negotiators Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Korea, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States
Signatories United States, the European Union and 22 of its Member States, Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea
Ratifiers None

I.  The Treaty Text

II.  USTR and EU ACTA Talking Points

III.  Objections of Kader Arif, EU Rapporteur

IV.  ACTA Constitutionality

In the U.S., there are growing concerns about the constitutionality of negotiating ACTA as a “sole executive agreement”.  This is not just a semantic argument. If ACTA were categorized as a treaty, it would have to be ratified by the Senate. But the USTR and the Administration have consistently maintained that ACTA is a sole executive agreement negotiated under the President’s power. On that theory, it does not need Congressional approval and thus ACTA already became binding on the US government when Ambassador Ron Kirk signed it last October.But leading US Constitutional Scholars disagree. Professors Jack Goldsmith and Larry Lessig, questioned the Constitutionality of the executive agreement classification in 2010:

The president has no independent constitutional authority over intellectual property or communications policy, and there is no long historical practice of making sole executive agreements in this area. To the contrary, the Constitution gives primary authority over these matters to Congress, which is charged with making laws that regulate foreign commerce and intellectual property.

A.  Senator Wyden Letter to USTR

B.  Congressional Research Service Opinion 

 V. ACTA Analysis

VI. ACTA Videos

La Quadrature du Net -NO to ACTA


ACTA More Dangerous Than SOPA or PIPA – Rep. Issa


Michael Geist –  Beyond SOPA: ACTA, WIPO, and the Global Copyfight

Anonymous ACTA Video

Alynna Show

Latest News

ACTA protests lead EU Governments to suspend endorsement of the text
European Opposition to ACTA Swells Romanian Prime Minister Emil Boc Resigns Wyden Warns Obama on ACTA