Many people would agree that intellectual property theft is a bad thing. But many others would argue that steps take by organizations like the RIAA is going a bit too far. However, according to a memo posted online by Wikileaks, there might be more Draconian measures on the way, Vnunet reports.
The proposals include a law that would mean any violations discovered by customs officials would be reported to rights holders – including personal details of the offender.
There would also be heavy fines for intellectual property theft, and could also include seizure of funds. This follows proposals that would allow customs officials to search music players and laptops for pirated material.
The leaked memo comes from businesses to government negotiators who are working on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA, which is being put together by the US, EU, Canada, Japan and Australia. So far few details have been revealed about the negotiations, although the member nations have said they’ll complete negotiations by year’s end.
“In February, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) asked for public comments with a short deadline of March 22, on the proposed treaty,” said the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
“Apart from the little information in the request for comments, citizens were given only a one and a half page "Fact Sheet" on ACTA, which failed to inform the public of its substance — making the comment process a leap in the dark.”
“Given the speed with which this treaty is being negotiated, and its potentially significant impact, the lack of transparency in the negotiation process and failure to provide citizens with an opportunity for informed consultation is extremely concerning.”
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