USTR has issued a request for comments on ACTA. The deadline for submissions is February 15, 2011. The notice gives very little guidance regarding the issues the USTR would like addressed in the comments.
Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement: Request for Comments from the Public
Agency: Office of the United States Trade Representative
Action: Request for written submissions from the public
Summary: The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has concluded negotiations on a proposed agreement to strengthen international cooperation, enforcement practices and legal frameworks for addressing counterfeiting and piracy. USTR is requesting written comments from the public on the final text of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in connection with consideration of U.S. signature of the agreement.
The deadline for submission of written comments is, 5:00 PM, Tuesday, February 15, 2011.
Address: All written comments should be sent electronically via http://www.regulations.gov, docket number USTR-2010-0014. Submissions should contain the term “ACTA Public Comments” in the “Type comment & Upload file” field on http://www.regulations.gov.
See further coverage at Knowledge Ecology: http://keionline.org/node/1037
Before commenting be sure to hear Michael Geist, a Canadian Law Professor, speaking about the ACTA threat: http://blip.tv/file/2837223
Here is a list of those individuals and groups that have taken a critical look at ACTA and found it wanting, again from Michael Geist’s blog:
- Senator Ron Wyden, United States
- Senators Bernie Sanders and Sherrod Brown, United States
- Senators Pat Leahy and Arlen Specter, United States
- Rep. Mike Doyle, United States
- Rep. Zoe Lofgren, United States
- Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, France
- MP Tom Watson, United Kingdom
- UK Liberal Democrats party
- Minister Åsa Torstensson, Sweden
- European Parliament Resolution
- MEP Jens Holms, Sweden
- MP Clare Curran, New Zealand (second time) (third time)
- Peter Dunne, New Zealand
- MP Charlie Angus, Canada (editorial)
Public Interest Group Letters
- Library Content Alliance
- EFF, Essential Action, KEI, PK, Salud y Farmacos, TACD, UAEM, PIRG
- Worldwide NGO Coalition
- European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association
- KEI and PK
So what can the general public do? One thing is to learn more and work together with groups already active on ACTA. These include:
- ACTA.net.nz (New Zealand)
- Public Knowledge
- IP Justice
- CIPPIC (Canada)
- Electronic Frontiers Australia (Australia)
- La Quadrature Du Net (France)
- Movimento ScambioEtico (Italy)
- Bits of Freedom (Netherlands)
- Open Rights Group (UK)
Every individual concerned with ACTA can also speak out. Write to your local MP or national leader or participate in the specific activities sponsored by some of the organizations listed above. These include the EFF ACTA Action Alert, the effort to encourage UK MPs to support the cross-party motion for ACTA transparency, and the signing of the A2K ACTA Petition.