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Australia goes cold on ACTA

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Another bit of flesh dropped off the decaying zombie that is ACTA, with the Australian parliamentary Treaties Committee recommending that ratification be deferred - partly because of its near-collapse in Europe.

The committee states that ACTA should not be ratified until a range of conditions, including a cost-benefit analysis, are met.

Committee chair Kelvin Thomson says, in the committee’s media statement outlines concerns including: a lack of clarity in the text; insufficient protection for individuals; “and ACTA’s potential to shift the balance in the interpretation of copyright law, intellectual property law and patent law”.

He also notes the unfavourable reception that ACTA has received internationally. The ratification process in the EU, for example, has stalled. “The international reaction to ACTA, which, without exception, comes from countries which the Committee considers would have the same interests as Australia, must also be taken into consideration,” Thomson said.

As well as the call for a cost-benefit analysis, the committee says ACTA ratification should be delayed until the current Australian Law Reform Commission inquiry into copyright is completed, and the text of the treaty is clarified.

The full committee report is published in Report 126 listed here. ®

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