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ACTA negotiators are not able to reach a conclusion yet on ISP liability.

The latest round of talks on the Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement ( ACTA) were not able to come to any conclusion on Internet and online copyright,  according to new leaked briefing from DG Trade.

The talks took place in Mexico from 26-29 January, the latest in almost two years of secret proposals to set up (among other things) a global regime for enforcement of copyright in respect of the Internet and peer-to-peer filesharing. DG Trade of the European Commission  is negotiating on behalf of the EU, even though it has not yet briefed the European Parliament.  

What is interesting about this DG Trade briefing is not what is says, but what it does not say.  Cross-referencing it against

an earlier briefing which details the ACTA Internet Chapter, we can learn that they did discuss ISP liability – possibly at some length, given that they ran out of time (Point 3). ISP liability, means that the broadband providers will be made liable for copyrighted content which is transmitted by users on their networks. It is a step in setting up a graduated response/3-strikes system.


They did not have time to discuss anti-circumvention measures – that is, ways to defeat new technical tools which can break their digital locks.

They also say they could not make progress due to a need for ‘clarification of different technical concepts’ and the US and the EU will present ‘their own systems’ next time.

It is not clear whether the technical concepts refers to ISP liability or to anti-circumvention. If it means ISP liability, then do we assume the EU representatives will be giving their fellow copyright warriors a briefing on mere conduit?

Their cavalier attitude to citizens concerns is also notable (See point 4). It may not say 3-strikes, but if it has ISP liability, it has 3-strikes by another name.


European Commission - DG Trade Latest briefing on the ACTA talks in Mexico January 2010

DG Official Press Release on ACTA Mexico talks


Netzpolitik report on the ACTA Mexico talks and the DG Trade briefing 


This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial-Share Alike 2.5 UK:England and Wales License. It may be used for non-commercial purposes only, and the author's name should be attributed. The correct attribution for this article is: Monica Horten (2010) New EU briefing: ACTA Internet discussions ‘inconclusive’ 17 February 2010


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Copyright Enforcement Enigma launch, March 2012

In 2012, I presented my PhD research in the European Parliament.

Don't miss Iptegrity!  RSS/ Bookmark is the website of Dr Monica Horten. She is a policy analyst specialising in Internet governance & European policy, including platform accountability. She is a published author & Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics & Political Science. She served as an independent expert on the Council of Europe Committee on  Internet Freedom. She has worked on CoE, EU and UNDP funded projects in eastern Europe and the Caucasus. In a voluntary capacity, she has led UK citizen delegations to the European Parliament. She was shortlisted for The Guardian Open Internet Poll 2012.

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