Feeds

MPs frozen out of super-secret copyright talks

Preferences of foreign governments take precedence

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The government has refused to give MPs access to papers on international negotiations about copyright enforcement on the internet and at national borders.

Junior business minister David Lammy said he could not put documents about the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in the House of Commons Library, because other countries wanted to maintain secrecy.

Lammy said he was "sympathetic" to calls for more transparency and had told his officials to press the point at the talks, but added: "Disclosure of any documents without the agreement of all our ACTA negotiating partners would damage the United Kingdom's international relations.

"This would harm our ability to protect, promote and secure an outcome in the UK's interest, and the premature release of documents that are not agreed and not fully developed may also have a negative effect on the government's reputation."

The secrecy surrounding ACTA has prompted speculation the agreement will be favourable to the music and film industries, whose lobbyists are party to the discussions.

The European Commission, also involved in negotiations, responded that "ACTA will not go further than the current EU regime for enforcement of intellectual property rights".

It also rejected claims that ACTA will mean border guards will search digital devices for pirated material.

"EU customs, frequently confronted with traffics of drugs, weapons or people, do neither have the time nor the legal basis to look for a couple of pirated songs on an iPod music player or laptop computer, and there is no intention to change this," the Commission said, claiming talks on border measures concerned controls on conterfeiting.

In December, EuroISPA, an ISP trade association, said the ACTA talks could be used to spread disconnection policies for online copyright infringers, already proposed in the UK under the Digital Economy Bill.

"If some of the proposals currently under discussion in the context of these trade negotiations are adopted, ISPs will have to implement 'graduated response' measures," EuroISPA said.

Others have argued that ACTA will make little difference to copyright enforcement in the UK. The true effect should be clear when the talks are completed this year and the final agreement published. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.