"We've been covering the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement
(ACTA) for two years now, and in that entire 24 month period no
official text of the agreement has been released. Remarkable,
really, given the intense scrutiny, but there you have it.
"Today, that all changed as the countries behind ACTA finally
released a consolidated draft text (PDF) of the agreement. Though
billed as a "trade agreement" about "counterfeiting," ACTA is much
more than that: it's an intellectual property treaty in
"Tucked inside the draft are provisions that will prevent people
from bypassing digital locks on the items they buy, that will force
ISPs to shoulder more of the burden in the fight against online
piracy, and that bring US-style "notice-and-takedown" rules to the
"Well, not to the world, exactly. ACTA is more like a select
club of countries: Australia, Canada, the European Union countries,
Japan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland
and the United States of America. But the treaty it develops is
really just the next rung on a ladder stretching back to 1886, and
it will certainly be wielded like a weapon on the rest of the world
in the future."
ars Technica has done some remarkable reporting on this.