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Complete ACTA text leaked online - at last

Floodgates open on secret copyright talks

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After weeks of extracts of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) being published on the interwebs, a French digital rights group has finally leaked a complete copy of the deal online.

La Quadrature du Net published a consolidated version of the ACTA text dated 18 January, 2010.

"This document contains information that is to be treated as Foreign government confidential," it reads.

Earlier this year junior government minister David Lammy said he couldn’t put papers about ACTA in the House of Commons Library, because other countries wanted details of the talks kept secret.

"Disclosure of any documents without the agreement of all our ACTA negotiating partners would damage the United Kingdom's international relations,” said Lammy on 20 January.

MPs across the political spectrum asked the UK government to release details of the negotiations to honourable members as soon as possible.

Similarly, the European Parliament threatened earlier this month to take the European Commission to the EU's highest court if it failed to disclose the details of the secret international copyright treaty.

The Parliament voted by an overwhelming majority to adopt a resolution demanding that Brussels limit the scope of the proposed treaty and pony up details of the agreement immediately.

The talks have been exciting conspiracy theorists for months, not least because they are expected to result in personal copyright infringement being classed as counterfeiting. Though individual countries will theoretically not be obliged to adopt the whole program.

But while politicos have been fighting for the full ACTA text to be made available, more and more details have continued, unsurprisingly, to be leaked online.

A scanned copy of the document is available here (pdf) and La Quadrature du Net has helpfully published a full transcription of ACTA, as of 18 January 2010, here. ®

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